nine years old… happy bday caroline cate

I’m fairly certain I write this each and every year when March 17th rolls around, but how in the world is my baby NINE YEARS OLD??? It happens in the blink of an eye I assure you of that and I never understand how we get here. But watching my little lucky charm grow and come into her own is a gift I’ll never take for granted so here’s a little update of our St. Patty’s Day birthday girl:

Where to even begin with how much you’ve changed this year?? I look at you and suddenly I see just how much you resemble me at that age, but goodness you are your daddy made over… the kindness you exude, the analytical way you think about every decision, and your love of all the cuddles and kisses = I wish I could bottle it up and keep it forever! You are truly a gift Caroline Cate with your wit, your vivacious smile and effortless style and you bring so much JOY to my world that I’ll never be able to fully explain the love I have for you. You made me a mama and for that I’ll always be thankful… I still remember March 17, 2012 like it was yesterday. All the excitement and love, surrounded by family + friends all decked out in green, it was one of the best days of my life when you entered the world and I saw the most beautiful baby…

So, let’s chat about school! Third grader with Ms. Taylor for your teacher = seems like we hit the jackpot. I know this year has been unlike ANYTHING we could’ve planned for, but you’ve handled it with such grace and determination and your go-with-the-flow mentality is a trait I wish I had more of. You absolutely LOVE science and are currently fascinated with all things weather, the solar system, and reading all of the “I Survived” books. I’ve been so thankful to see you thrive this year in school, considering the challenges you’ve faced… from at-home Zoom learning to in school days where you’re having to wear a mask all day, all that matters to you is that you get to see your beloved friends and get some sense of normalcy and this year hasn’t slowed you down one single bit! Even sweeter is to see you save up your Mustang Merits so that you could go read to Carson’s class last week = melt my heart!!!

You’ve also been taking weekly art camp classes with our dear friend and teacher Mrs. Melissa via Art Smart Kids and I’ve never seen anything in the world bring you so much JOY. You anxiously await Thursdays to see what you’re going to get to work on and I can tell art is going to be a creative outlet for you throughout your entire life… you’ve got such a gift for creating and painting and it’s been fun to watch you try new art forms and master the canvas and every type of paint with landscapes, abstract, mixed media and more. We’ve got so much of your original artwork displayed at the beach house and it’s truly priceless to this mama! Then it’s onto the photography… for the past two years youve said you want to be a professional photographer in Paris and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that to happen for you. You come alive behind the lens, always looking for the perfect shot and wanting to get all the memories on your camera and it’s fun to see your passion for this = because we all know mama is always needing lots of photos ;).

In terms of all the extracurricular, you’re still taking gymnastics at My Gym and I LOVE seeing your refine your skills and work hard each week to master everything Mrs. Stacey wants you to learn. I cannot wait for the day you complete that back handspring on your own and I know it’s CLOSE because you’re practicing all the time to make it happen! You’re also in your third year of taking violin lessons with Mrs. Bethany and your hard work and practice shows… I cannot believe how dedicated you are to learning how to play better and your determination is one thing I admire about you so very much!

When it comes to fashion, my little boho loving lady has quite the opinion about what she wants to wear and how she wants to wear it. That independent spirit will serve you well my darling CC. You’re a tshirt and shorts kind of girl, but always want fun matching accessories to go with and thank goodness you’ll still apease me from time to time with ruffles and coordinating with your sister, too. Our next big project we plan to start this spring is a bedroom refresh and I cannot wait to tackle this with you… we’ve got some fun decisions we get to make and I want you to enjoy the process right along side me!

I hope you know that nothing in the world matters more to me than being your mother sweet Caroline. You are everything I dreamed of and you fill my heart with more happiness than I ever thought possible. God gave me the greatest gift when he gave me you and I’ll love you forever and always… Happy Birthday Caroline Cate!!

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