My Sweet Olivia,

Today you turn eight years old. I can’t believe it’s been that long since the first time I ever held you in my arms and looked into your tiny face. I still remember the smell of your sweet, warm, pink skin. I couldn’t believe you were mine.

I know you are so excited to turn another year old! I remember feeling the same way with each birthday that came when I was a little girl. I know it doesn’t make much sense to you now, but every birthday you have is a little bittersweet to me. Sweet, because it means I’ve been blessed to spend yet another year with you, watching you grow and living life with you. But bitter because your birthdays always remind me how fast the time is flying by and that there just never seems to be quite enough time left before you’re all grown up.

But this year, I am thankful for all the time you and I have been able to spend together. I have loved being your mom and your teacher. It feels so nice to have you home with me during the day again…..just like when you were really little. I had thought that time was gone, and then I got it back again. 🙂  I love waking up next to you every morning because you’ve crawled in bed with me after daddy leaves for work. Sometimes I just lay there and stare at your face, remembering a time not so long ago. I love going to the coffee shops with you to eat cookies and have coffee…sometimes while doing school and sometimes just for fun! Sometimes I catch myself looking across the table at you, imagining you all grown up, and what you will be like then. That makes me happy too, because I know that even though you won’t always be little, you will always be mine. I love the car rides and our walks on the trail, and the collection of all the small details that make up our days together.

I’ve learned so much about you this year. And what I love most about you is that you are so creative, independent and full of ambition.You dream big and you see the possibilities in everything and no idea is to crazy or too impossible to at least give it a try. You believe in yourself and in others, and when you love, you love hard. Don’t ever stop dreaming and believing for BIG things. Dreams – even the ones that seem impossible, are what make life worth living.

This year you’ve told me several times right in the middle of doing school that you want to be a veterinarian when you grow up! Only time will tell, but just know that I think it’s a great dream and no matter what, I will be proud of you.

This year of you being 7 has shown us all how much you love art, crafts, anything that let’s you be creative and you LOVE being outside…especially if you can spend time with animals. You LOVE animals, especially horses and dogs. I try so hard to bring structure, order and CLEANLINESS to your life, but I think you would be just as happy to live in a zoo if the truth be told. 😉

In some ways, you and I are alike- but in other ways we are a little different and that’s ok! I have been learning to let you be who YOU are and encourage and help you have the opportunities to find and do the things you love. Because I’m your mom, and that’s just what mom’s do.

What I want the very most for you is that you will always put your faith in Jesus above all else, that you will always stay sensitive to, hear and follow His voice. Wake up every morning and spend time with Him. He wants to be with you, because He just loves you that much. Everything else about your life, will fall into place. It doesn’t mean things will always be easy, but you will be in His will. That is the one thing that is important above everything else.

Your dreams for life will be His dreams.

Know that no matter where you go, or what you do – I will always be here for you. To love you even in the times when you feel like you’ve screwed things up, to hold you when you cry, to cheer you on and celebrate with you in all of life’s big wins.

Even though I know I get on your case at times, it’s because I want only the very best for you. Know that I am and will always be your biggest fan, and I couldn’t be more proud of the girl you already are.

You are a very special girl Olivia Faith, and I love you so much more than you can imagine. I can’t wait to spend another year with you, loving you, discovering more about who you are and who you are so quickly becoming.

Keep creating and dreaming sweet girl! I’ll be right here, cheering you on.