Sunday, November 17, 2013


Dear Mady Mae,

You are turning four today! We can hardly believe it. We're wondering if it's time to stop calling you our baby, but you're the youngest, and well, our baby, and I guess even turning four won't change that.

You make us laugh, Mady, every single day. You may be the littlest Terp but you pack a powerful punch. You are sweet and smart, just like your big brother and sister, but you've got your own thing going on too.

You march to your own beat and aren't afraid to speak your mind. You can command the attention of everyone in a room and know how to hold your own.

You have carefully considered the pros and cons of thumb sucking and have decided, for you, at this time, because it is also your favorite way to hold your blanket, you are going to continue on. (Mommy almost fell over the other week when you looked straight into the kind orthodontist's eyes and stated boldly, "I don't even care.")

You are learning how to stand up for yourself as the baby of the family, how to put big brother and sister in their places. They no longer defer to you as the baby -- they've embraced you as one of them. You've learned most of sister's cheers (and performed them in front of bleachers full of people, at sister's games), and you can run a football past big brother faster than a preschooler in rain boots has any right to.

You love going to preschool and you know all the songs and all the motions. Some mornings you sing your way into school, Daddy by your side, some days you play it shy. You don't buy into the mundane idea that certain colors of construction paper can only go on certain parts of your bird.

You very clearly stated this year that you would like your own birthday cake that reads, "Dear Mady, Have a nice day, it's your birthday."

That's the thing about you, Mady Mae, you are your own person and you aren't easily swayed. (Sometimes that makes Mommy and Daddy feel a little crazy, but mostly we know it will serve you well as you grow.)

We pray you never stop thinking for yourself, that you don't easily give into the world around you, that you fiercely defend the opinions, ideas, and people you believe to be good and true.

You were a game changer for us, baby girl, for our family. You challenge us and push us and add a sweetness and a richness to our life that was not here before you arrived on the scene.

You are the icing on our cake, the cherry on top, this family's grand finale. You were fearfully and wonderfully made in His own image. We are in awe of the unique person He made you to be.

We love you dearly. We are honored to be your parents.

Happy birthday, Madelyn Mae. You're FOUR!

Mommy & Daddy

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