To my four year old Katie,
It seems like just yesterday that I went into false labor and called my parents to make the 12 hour drive to see you. Then you decided it wasn't time to come out and we waited around and looked at each other for four days. Then you finally did come out, all 9 pounds, 9 ounces of you. You were beautiful and perfect. Labor with you was a blink and a sneeze, and I was shocked to see you so soon.
From the beginning, you were easy and happy. You nursed well, you grew well, you got along well with everyone. You adapted quickly to being the third child in the house. You waited patiently in your high chair while I juggled dinner and dishes, and you weren't demanding of much. You were always surrounded by a crowd, and you loved being at the center of it.
You have always been tough and adventurous, learning things at an early age, climbing higher than you should, eating exotic foods like salad with Ranch dressing. You learned to stand up for yourself, to push back when you were pushed, and to fight for what you wanted.
Yet you have a sweet, feminine, girlie side as well. You love to have your nails polished. You love to put on a pretty dress for church so you can show your teacher. You can't stand hair bows, and you like to have your hair cut short. It's darling on you, and you know it.
You have always been funny. From the time you learned to talk, you learned how to appreciate making your brother and sister laugh. And you are good at it. You tell knock-knock jokes, or sing songs, or just make silly faces at them. You have a ridiculously funny 'bad-guy' voice when you're pretending, and a stranger in the grocery store was snickering at it last week.
You like to play with your brother's Legos and superheroes. You like to climb trees. You like to climb anything. You like to eat Raisin Bran, strawberries, and carrots dipped in ketchup. At bedtime, you insist on singing Old Macdonald and Away in a Manger, but you won't let me sing along. When I read a book to you, you point out words that you already know how to read. You pray the sweetest prayers.
Every moment of the last four years, you have been a joy to have in my life. You were a wonderful surprise, my unexpected blessing, and you continue to surprise me. Every day I am thankful for you. You are a gift from God. Happy birthday.
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