Oh my sweet, sweet girl...these birthday posts seem to come quicker with each passing year. It seems like only last week that I was writing your first birthday post and here I am writing your ninth. I seldom see the glimpses of my baby anymore, you are changing right before my eyes into a beautiful young lady. This last year was a biggie for you, you were in your first wedding, had first communion, joined swim team...lots of firsts, and not surprising to me, you handled them all beautifully, with all the grace I have come to expect from you. You did surprise me this year by asking to be on the swim team. You are a good swimmer, don't get me wrong, but you really haven't been swimming that long and this seemed like a huge leap to me. Daddy and I said OK and signed you up, and to be honest we both were questioning whether it was a good idea or not. I was nervous walking into your first meet...would you be able to swim the whole length, would you have your breathing right, all these questions and more made me so nervous for you. When it was your turn, you got up there to swim and your confidence and excitement were clearly visible. Suddenly, I wasn't nervous for you anymore, and I thought to myself "she's got this." and you did. You were amazing! You have become such a good little swimmer and more importantly (at least to this mama) you had so much fun this season. I have a feeling we might have some more swim meets in our future, but if not...that is OK too. It was truly a joy to watch you swim this summer. I could ramble on and on about your accomplishments this year, like your team winning the cupcake bake off at UD for kids (that's my girl!) or how great you did at school this year, but they all pretty much boil down to this, and this is what I really want you to remember when you look back at these letters....I am so so so proud of you. Watching you grow and change these last nine years has been one of the greatest joys of my life. You aren't afraid to try new things, you have a confidence in you that I still to this day don't have, you are smart and funny, you love fiercely, you are sweet and gentle and kind...and sweet girl, you truly teach me so much more than I teach you (and one day I'm sure you will comment on how that is one giant run on sentence). The beauty that radiates from you both inside and out catches my breath. I often find myself thinking..."I can't believe she's mine, how lucky am I?" The answer...so very very lucky. I am so honored that I get to be your mommy.
Here's to the next year and all the new adventures out there waiting for you. I can't wait to see what comes next.
I love you with all of my heart little one...