Dear Olivia

Yesterday you turned THREE! It’s hard to believe you were such a little peanut only weighing 5lbs, 4oz. the day we brought you home. You were already two weeks old by then, and trust me girl, you loved your milk and started packing on the pounds quickly. As your Dad and I have been watching you over the last couple weeks we’ve realized you are no longer a baby. All of that baby chub is gone and has been replaced with little girl cheeks, little girl hands, little girl arms, little girl legs… It’s making us realize you’re growing up faster than we’re probably ready for. I look at you and get a picture of what you’ll look like 10 years from now – tall, thin and beautiful.

Not only are you physically growing up, we’ve seen you grow up in leaps and bounds over the last few months. I’m pretty sure that Canada not only exposed you to things like school and parks and camping, but also princesses, the idea of make-up and shopping. Oye! Just today as you were drawing, it was all about princesses and castles and I found myself thinking that no matter how little we try to influence that, you’ve found your favorite things, and they are all girly. I’m pretty sure your Dad is taking this harder than I am, but I’ve promised him that I’ll encourage you to go do things like learn how to fix an engine and use power tools when you get older.

As I listen to you chatter away to yourself, or share the things that are on your mind with us, sometimes it’s hard for me not to break out giggling. You have such enthusiasm and the things you say are so much more in depth than they were even a few months ago. We’ve gone from hearing mini sentences to full on stories. And, we’re realizing how much you really observe and think about. Your observations about us and how life moves around you are fun and entertaining, if not enlightening. I’ve heard it said that kids are like a mirror. I can’t tell you how much this is true.

One thing I love is that even though you are growing up, you still love your snuggles and cuddles. You love your kisses and hugs and you make sure we fill you up with those daily. You also have such a sweet nature, and regularly throughout the day, often randomly you’ll just say, “Mom!” and when I ask what you want you say, “I love you.” Sometimes it comes out loudly, and sometimes it’s a whisper as you’re wiggling down in bed with me because you just need a middle of the night snuggle. It’s enough to make me melt into a pot of goo.

I completely understand now why people say that this is such a fun age. It really is. You’re discovering and interacting with the world around you in new ways, and you’re sharing all of this with us in greater detail. You can tell us what you want and what you need. You can tell us what you like and don’t like. We can have conversations about things. You have opinions about things. We are having so much fun being your parents and we thank God regularly that he entrusted us with you. It’s a huge responsibility.

Yesterday, you had not only one, but two parties with friends. And, to round things off, we had a birthday party before we left Canada with family there. Three parties for our three year old. The first of yesterdays festivities was a visit to our friends in St. Marc, where all the kids worked together to make decorations and presents for you. It was a fun surprise. It was also fun to see how excited they were about the cupcakes I made. Peter met us at the gate and the first thing he said when he saw us was, “We’re going to eat cake!!!” :) You had a fun afternoon playing and then we headed home to regroup and get ready for round two. Lolo came over and Peter, Sara, Noah and Abe came for supper. There were more cupcakes with some candles and some singing. You’re a pro at blowing out the candles.

The birthday princess blowing out her candles in Canada.

Every birthday girl should get to lick the cake batter bowl.

A happy birthday girl.

We love you and are so grateful that you’re our “baby girl”. I’m pretty sure that no matter how old you get you’ll always be that to us. We can already tell that you’re going to be a fireball as you get older, and I can’t wait to see who that person is. For right now though, we’re going to enjoy every last second with you. We want to treasure the time we have with you as a family of three, and look forward to watching you become a big sister. I have no doubt in my mind that you will take your roll very seriously ;)

I love you Olivia!


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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

3 thoughts on “Dear Olivia

  1. Happy Birthday, sweet girl! Can’t believe it’s been 3 years! She’s growing up so fast!! I think a visit soon is a must ;) Give Olivia a big kiss for me! :)

  2. Happy Birthday Olivia! Someday I want to come meet you too! I would love to get to know you and see where your family live and serve. Our birthdays are also really close to each other! Maybe someday we can celebrate together! Love ya kiddo! Your “uncle” Matt!

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