It doesn't seem possible that we have lived in the "dream house" for a whole year, but here we are celebrating your 5th birthday! This year we really did it up for birthday week extravaganza and trust me, you deserved every single second of the celebrating! I know I say this every year but Lil, you are seriously the bees knees. Hands down the coolest chick I have ever known, and I can't believe that you are mine!
We had another big year around here, full of changes, most notably you became a big sister for the second time. We knew that you would love your new brother and I wasn't worried at all that you would be upset upon his arrival. Just as expected you greeted your tiny brother with a kiss and a pat on the head as if he had always been a part of your life. In those early days you were helpful and kind and as time has gone by you have continued to show an almost infinite amount of patience when it comes to the baby. I can literally count on one hand the number of times you have lost your temper "waiting your turn" when I have been too busy with your brothers. It certainly doesn't hurt that you are so independent and a lot of time you will figure out how to get what you want/need all on your own. (Plus, Daddy is almost always willing to hook a sister up!)
The things you can do all on your own, you amaze me. Most of the time you are happy to let Daddy or me do things for you (because we are already doing them for Ben), but you are more than capable of getting yourself a cup of water, buckling your own car seat, brushing your teeth, and helping with chores like laundry and clearing the table. You love to pick out your own clothes and get yourself dressed. Most of the time your outfits are reasonable, but sometimes you need a little coaching. Specifically you currently insist that socks with summer dresses and sneakers "looks perfect", I beg to differ. I get it though, you are conflicted. It's tough to climb a tree in a dress but impossible to do it without sneakers! Your standard uniform is a tshirt, skort/skirt, with leggings underneath. I imagine you will wear a sundress every single day this summer just like you did last year. You are still a total girlie girl and although you say you like "all the colors in the rainbow", pink and purple are still your actual favorites. Since we are talking clothes here let me take a second to tell you just how beautiful you are.
Your hair is so soft and fine with stunning highlights. I have learned to tame the perfect storm of cowlicks into a sweet little "side pony" that you wear almost every day (with a bow of course). Your nose and cheeks have become slightly more freckled and your eye color seems to change with your mood, or the lighting...one of those two. At least once per day you take my breath away with a bashful smile or an innocent giggle. A few weeks ago you had a nasty fall that left your front teeth bruised and gray. I will admit that Daddy and I were both a little vain about the situation at first. The important thing is that the teeth are not going to fall out before they are ready, and they are not hurting. No matter what, I will always think you are the most beautiful girl in the world. You can always just learn to smile with your mouth closed...I'm joking! You have taken the whole thing in stride, including the trip to the dentist. Like I said, coolest chick I know.
Most of the time your maturity and independence are great assets to you, but of course they come with their share of downfalls. You like to have things a certain way. Details matter to you, sometimes too much. You tend to get very upset if you request something (like a pink plate) and all we have clean are green ones. You like to get your own way when it comes to where we all sit at the dinner table and which "pets" we get to play with. I, in particular, take some responsibility for this and try very hard not to diminish these feeling but it is also my job to teach you a little perspective...something we can work on together for the next fifty years, ok?
Despite your tendency to be a micromanager your little brothers adore you, most of the time. I know that sometimes you just want all of the crayons to yourself, but most of the time you are pretty grateful to have Ben hanging off your arm. Together you build elaborate forts and train track systems, you play pets and act out all sorts of dolly drama. This past winter one of your favorite games to play was "beach" and you and Ben would run around for hours upstairs in your bathing suits! Every night for the past year you have slept in the "boys' room" and for the past several months you and Ben have chosen to sleep together in the top bunk. There is hardly enough room for one kid up there, let alone two, with all of the stuffies you insist on sleeping with, but you both find a way to snuggle in every night. This has been the year of the "beanie boo" and you have added at least 10 new members to our family since Christmas. For the record good old Heartly is still top dog! You also still have your blankie, but you are much less attached to it than you used to be and most days it stays in the bed all day.
You really are a saint for spending as much time with Ben as you do, he can be a bit much. On the contrary your little Hugh is "the best baby ever" and you make sure he knows it. Never, not even one time have you ever said something unkind about him. It is ironic that the worst thing you have ever done (literally the meanest thing you have ever done) was to hit Hugh in the car one day after losing your temper with me. You were devastated and so ashamed. After a lengthy time out (for both of us) you were so apologetic and to this day you have never directed your temper at the baby for any reason. You have always been so willing to give both of your brothers your unconditional love and attention. They will be better men because they have a sister like you.
This next year will be another year of big changes as you start kindergarten in the fall. Girl, you are so brilliant. I pray every day that you are always surrounded by people who will help you grow and nurture your love of learning. Daddy and I are already feeling such trepidation that school will somehow change your sweet spirit. You will inevitably be faced with social situations that will leave you questioning your kind tendencies. Just the other day you were introduced to the idea that if someone says something to you with "fingers crossed" that means they can go back on their word or were "just joking". That was a tough one for Daddy and me to explain, why you shouldn't do it, when it was ok, and why you shouldn't take it to heart when someone does it to you. Needless to say we are not looking forward to many many more of those conversations as we thrust you out of the nest. YOU will be great and are so ready for kindergarten, Mommy and Daddy could just use twenty more years or so to warm up to the idea.
Lily, you always rise to meet our high expectations and make us so proud. (Listen to me, you can ride a bike without training wheels, I promise!)
I can't imagine a single day without you. Just when I think I couldn't possibly love you any more you throw me a perfectly timed wink and I fall even deeper. I'll go ahead and say it again, coolest chick I know. You seem so grown up and at the same time so little. I wish more than ever that I could freeze time and just stay here with you for a little longer. Tonight when you wrap your arms around me for my "kiss, hug, big squeeze, snuggle and a cuddle" I will thank God for the millionth time that you are mine.
I love you coo coo girl.