TWO: A Letter to Liv

My baby turned TWO this weekend. HOW. Man. You know how we all hated hearing cliches from random “old people” when we were kids, but then we grew up and they always turn out to be 100% accurate? …Yup. “They grow up so fast!” is ringing true right about now. We had the *best* weekend with Liv – spent the day at the zoo on Saturday before opening presents and enjoying Reese’s peanut butter ice cream cake, which is just as delish as it sounds. 😉 Maybe it’s just how quickly she makes clear changes now and how obvious her growth is in more areas as she learns new words or new activities, but I find myself trying to mentally capture + cling to moments more and more. I started a little Wonder Woman notebook at her ONEder Woman birthday party last year for folks to write little letters to Liv in for when she’s older, and I thought it’d be fun to keep the tradition alive each birthday and just keep the book going.  So, this is TWO:


My beautiful Olivia,

I think you’ve packed more joy + amazement into two years than some people have in two decades! What a difference two years can make. You started off as a three pound preemie entering the world “way too soon” according to doctors – but right on time according to God. And in these two years, your growth has blown everyone away, from your physical strength (your pediatrician calls you “jacked” – ha!) to your cheeky smirks and comprehension of ideas beyond your years. When you’re older, maybe you’ll hit a point where you’re playing time games with God – wanting or wishing for some time to pass for one reason or another, or wondering if a certain change or event will ever happen. And in those moments, I hope + pray that you’re able to look back at pictures of (since you probably won’t remember) your first two years of life. To you, it was just day by day – baby steps (literally).

To the world, it was miraculous. There was monumental growth and change and magic happening to turn a three pound NICU baby with a feeding tube, into the strongest, fiercest, sassiest, hungriest, smartest toddler.

And I’m sure you’ll roll your eyes at daddy and I (and Mimi, too, since she gives advice like it’s going out of style 😉 ) when we remind you that life goes by so so fast – to not rush it. While that one might take firsthand experience to truly sink in, there are a few things I want you to always remember:

1.) You are a light.

You really, truly are. You bring joy + smiles to EVERYONE you meet, from cashiers in the grocery store to little old ladies at church. I have to catch my mama heart from becoming sad or worried that the realities of the earthly world we live in now will ever dull that light – because Lord knows they’ll try. And for a time, they might – but my biggest prayer is that you never ever lose the ability to look inside yourself and find it again, and that you never ever lose the willingness to share it with other people. Light only gets brighter by being shared – no force of darkness can, or will, ever dull your fire. You are such a fun, kind soul, and I pray you never lose that sparkle.

2.) God is GOOD.

Some things in life are unexplainable and not always in a good way – they can be scary and hard. But you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you {Phil. 4:13}. And He works for the good of those who love Him {Romans 8:28}. It might not always be pretty – and sometimes it can be downright painful. But He loves us and He has a very special plan for YOU. Don’t fall for the lie that God’s goodness and favor on you is manifest through happy smiles and material blessings. While yes, those things may be good – they are not “rewards” for a job well done. There is NOTHING we can ever do to make God not Love us – and there is nothing we can ever do to earn the ultimate sacrifice he made for us on the Cross. His Grace is a gift. And sometimes, while it usually won’t feel like it in the moment, it’s a gift to go through hard times and challenging trials. Because it’s through them that we’re given the ability to draw closer to Jesus, and to grow stronger.

3.) When you think you know how much I love you, multiply that by infinity.

I am so proud of you, Liv, and I am so proud to be your mama.

You are the best thing that’s ever been mine (besides Dada 😉 ).

All of my love(lovelove),