You are nine years old! Our computer is on the fritz so it has taken me about 1 hour to get this post over the course of two days so please forgive me for being 2 days late.
This past year has been one of growth for you; physically, spiritually, and emotionally. While we all have a long ways to go it is the first year that we have really gotten a glimpse of the young lady you are becoming.
Physically you have me in awe. Of course you are still tiny but you are so strong and active. You swam 5 days a week and played golf at least twice a week this summer. You go to 4 hours of gymnastics/cheer a week. You are always the last one to get out of the pool in the afternoon and you beg me to go running with you daily. You ride your bike, climb trees, jump rope, jump on the trampoline, and prefer cartwheels to walking.
This past year you made your first communion and have started to take a much more active role in our faith. Your questions about God and religion inspire us all to dig deeper. I love hearing you explain things to your brothers in a way that only kids can.
Emotions this year have been a roller coaster for all of us. I hope that as your parents we are giving you the right tools to weather the storms to come and to really keep your focus on things that matter. I feel like as a parent our job is to give you a safe place to harbor. The world around you is rough so I hope that you will always know that home is a place of unconditional love and understanding. I hope to build your self confidence so that you can really know yourself and your values. While I want you to stay young and little forever I know that we are embarking on new territory that I hope you are patient for and not too eager to grow up.
One of your favorite things is listening to stories about when dad and I were young from your grandparents. You also love to hear stories about when you were a baby. There isn't a day that goes by that we, your parents, don't give thanks and remember that you are the one who really made us parents. God gave us a gift when he gave us you as our first child. Here is my favorite story about when we first found out that we were pregnant with you.
Dad and I have always been planners. We have always been goal oriented and when we first started to talk about our future together we had a ten year plan. Now that we have been married for ten years we think about how different and wonderful God's plan for us was and what we had planned. You were the very first change that God showed up that was different than what we planned.
While you were very welcome the timing was not what we had planned. We had only been married six months when we found out we were pregnant with you. Dad was in his first year of medical school and mommy had only been working 1/2 a year. We had hoped to wait a few more years until we had saved more money. So when we first found out we were both pretty shocked and really nervous because it wasn't part of our plan. We decided to wait to tell our family. My grandmother at the time lived in a small apartment right next to the college that I was working at. The day after I found out I decided to stop by and visit before heading home from work. Needing to tell this news to someone I told her before anyone else besides your dad.
My grandmother immediately burst into tears of joy and smiled bigger than I had ever seen her smile. She was so happy and excited for me that I too became over joyed. All of the worry and stress that I had been holding onto all day about having a baby started to melt away. She had so much wisdom to share and confidence in me. I will never forget that little chat we shared. It is my most precious memory with my grandmother and it was all because of you.
We love you very much Emily Grace.