A Letter To My Daughter: 4 Years at home

Kobi: four years apart

My Dearest Katherine: Today marks THE DAY you came home from the hospital after you stayed in the NICU for two months four years ago… that was a mouth full, that’s for sure.

It may not seem like a huge day, but in retrospect, it’s everything to me! This was the day that we finally got to take you home and start living life fully and completely, and today, four years later, you have already surpassed my wildest dreams!

Right now, you can read and write, and your storytelling abilities are fantastic. You are a great athlete (soccer and pseudo volleyball). You are super into drawing, and you are beginning to help out around the house more by making your lunch and folding laundry. You care about people genuinely and are very emotional, and you’ve got a funny way of calling me bro and dude in casual conversation.

Simply put. Kid, you’re fantastic!

Today we did school work: we worked on odd and even numbers, and you memorized Deuteronomy 31:8, which says

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.

NIV
Kobi’s memory verse written out

We also played outside for a little bit, and we got to pray with Mr. Red and Mr. Leo, who are essential personnel during this COVID-19 situation. You blew them bubbles and wished them a happy, almost April! We told stories together using your story cards, and you picked what you wanted for dinner.

You’ve changed so much in four years, and even though I’m sad that you will never be this young again, I am so excited to see where you will go and how much more you will grow with each passing year! I love you, Kobi, and I hope you always remember you can always come home.

Kobi, my love, I simply wanted to say thank you for being your beautiful sweet self and always remember that I love you.

Love mom

To my daughter on her last day as a three year old…

Mom and daughter on couch
Kobi and I during her last day as a three-year-old.

My Dearest Katherine,

I am currently happy-sad that this is your last day as a three-year-old. It’s the only way I can explain the overwhelming emotion that is pulsing through my body. I’m trying to find the words, but all I can think of is what color combinations from the color monster book I could use to adequately describe how I am feeling, what would yellow and pink with a little blue be?

You are my treasure, but you are not in a treasure chest. You are an answered prayer, and the fact that you’ve been an answer to my prayer for almost four years now makes me marvel at our God! I’m so grateful to have you here with us, but with every year that’s passed, I’ve gotten sadder because you’ll never be that little again, and the way that you are currently fast-tracking your studies I feel like we have even less time with you before you are off in some distant land telling everyone you know about what Jesus has done for you!

You are so so full of life and energy and joy. Even though I am exhausted at night, I am also so thankful for the blessing you are to my world. The way you love your father is so sweet to watch. Your sense of justice is endearing! Thank you for always standing up for what’s right. I love that you have begun calling us out for the way that we speak to each other because there is the power of life or death in our tongues, and you remind us of that all the time.

This third year has been a great one! We moved to Miami, and it seems to have done us right. You love the letter church and your school, and you are even beginning to learn Spanish.

Thank you for being my Sunshine and for truly making me happy when skies are gray! You single-handedly saved Christmas for our family and have shown me what it means to make everyday moments into extraordinary memories! Thank you for loving people so well and for showing me that I can enjoy them too!

So tonight as you sleep, please know that although it hurts me to watch you grow, you are growing just the way Jesus wants you to grow and don’t ever shrink your growth thinking that will make me happy. I want to see you discover new and wonderful things that I have never known. You truly were created to do great things, and I want to see you accomplish them all! So, my love, I leave for just a little while, for the next letter will be on the first day you are four (in just a few short hours)!

Rest well my love,

Love, your mom!

Highlights of the Decade

In this decade I have gotten married and celebrated ten years of marriage, bought and sold a house, went on several mission trips to other countries, coached volleyball and track, birthed two babies, moved to three different states, finished my bachelors degree, obtained my Masters, helped in church plants, went to ministry schools, gained perspective and deeper faith, began therapy, and wrote a book. It’s been a definite adventure, and I have a holy anticipation for what the next decade will hold!

Merry Christmas, My Love

Katherine,

Merry Christmas, My Love! Your unadulterated joy has been my Christmas miracle. Thank you for loving Jesus and still being excited to see Santa, snow, and the bright lights all around you at every turn! Hearing you sing Christmas songs in English and Spanish has been a real treat, and listening to you read scripture has been a highlight of my life!

Thank you for showing me how great Christmas could be, I know you are going to miss it when it’s gone, but you can celebrate it all year long if you want! I’m glad I was able to find some matching pajamas for us, and I’m so happy we got to spend time together doing some of the things we enjoy doing.

Seeing Christmas through your eyes was so magical it blessed me to see your excitement. I love you, and I’ll always love celebrating Jesus’ Birthday with you!

Merry Christmas, My Love! When you read this, I hope you know that I love you and that you truly made my Christmas season merry and bright. You saved Christmas for me this year, and my prayer is that I would remember how magical this season is for you and embrace it entirely in the future.

~Love Mom

Runners in the making

Tonight I went on a run with Kobi, and a few women from MOPS and church that I met. It was the first time I’ve run outside/with others since I left Oregon and it felt so good! Not to mention I was so proud of Kobi who ran most of the way and l only stopped a couple of times and even then it wasn’t that long.

Kobi hydrating after our run

It was her first time running for fun and it was my first time being brave enough to run with her as a form of exercise and not just a quick race. I’m proud of me too. I didn’t want to go because I’m so tired and I had already gotten a workout in earlier in the day and it was dark and Bill wasn’t home yet, but I stuck to my word and showed up and I had a great time! I’m excited to see how we improve as we continue to show up!

I got home and checked my Facebook memories and found this picture from four years ago:

I realized looking at this memory that I had just found out I was pregnant with Kobi in this picture and so “we” ran this fun run way back then and we just so happened to run together again tonight!

What a cool little memory. I am so happy that I showed up and fought through the sleepy whiny kid and my excuses because I love when things line up like this and Jesus knew that, and did I mention I actually had fun and don’t feel horrible after running?!

I am excited to see where this running thing takes us, as individuals and as running buddies. As I watched her run and love winning and struggle when our friends left us, I realized that she had no clue how well she’d actually done and how if we keep running she’ll get it and she’ll only get better.

Our time and distance to beat next time

Then I realized as I was talking to my dad that if I could have believed in myself when I ran track as much as I believe in myself now I would have been an even greater force!! I didn’t know then that I could run more than a lap back then. As I grew older I saw glimpses of it and obviously I learned how (while I was in the Army) to run longer distances but I never enjoyed it, until now.

So here I go, again. It took me a minute to get here but hopefully with Kobi’s help I’ll stick around a little longer.