Last week, our baby girl turned 8 years old.
It just doesn’t seem like 8 years have gone by since we brought her home from the hospital. While I definitely miss some of those early stages from time to time, I am also really enjoying this age. She is SO FUN to be around! She is developing quite the sense of humor and loves to make people laugh. She’s old enough to hold real conversations, to play fun games, to help around the house, and is starting to develop her own sense of independence. She has her own goals and dreams for her life, and it’s so fun to see who she is becoming and to truly appreciate the unique person that God created her to be.
Looking back over the years, it’s fun to see what has changed and what has stayed the same.
Her favorite color is still RED.
Her favorite animal is still an elephant – with her all time favorite stuffed animal, Peanut!
She’s still just as kind-hearted, generous, and loving – with a special heart for little kids and animals.
She still adores nature, playing in the mud, and is more at home in the water than anywhere else in the world.
One big change is an amazing sense of COURAGE that has blossomed over the past year.
She has always loved motion like jumping on the trampoline, running, & riding her scooter, but she’s also had quite a bit of fear about heights and falling.
Just last year, she was nervous about jumping off this diving board:
THIS YEAR was a different story! She wanted to go to a local water park called Fantasy Lake for her birthday. They have a beach area and shallow water to play in, but also water slides & rope swings – both kid-sized and for the adults. What a great way to spend a hot summer day, right?
We already had a hint this courage was growing when we recently went to an amusement park and she was less-than-amused with the “kid rides”, and much more excited about the rides with a minimum height requirement.
This year on her birthday, our little girl went on this:
Did you just say “WOW!”? I know I sure did when I saw her. Honestly, I was completely prepared for her to climb UP the stairs, and back DOWN the stairs – but she just marched up there and went down that slide like she’d done it a million times.
She did end up doing it 3 times.
Mommy and Daddy each did it ONCE. At first I thought, “If she can do it, I can do it!”. Then I got to the top of the stairs and realized that thing was a little more scary from the top, but I still couldn’t let an 8 year old beat me!
We are so incredibly proud of Emily! She has overcome some tough challenges and she is facing new ones head-on. She has the most amazing trust and faith in God that many adults spend a lifetime growing and it carries her through each and every day. I am so thankful that God chose to bless us with the miracle of Emily and that He continues to use this precious child to teach us more and more about Him & His love each day.