Better late than never, right?!
My precious Ryder,
You are now FOUR! You have been four for over a week but it still seems so surreal.
Every year I have written your birthday post and have sobbed because we had made it through many obstacles. This year I am certain to cry tears of joy and thankfulness because it has been such a quiet year. A beautifully, quiet year.
As I sit here thinking of what to write to you, a ginormous and goofy grin spreads across my face because you are just so hilarious and silly and precious. I have so many words and yet none seem adequate.
Ryder, you give me so much unimaginable joy. There is no other word to describe you more than joyful. You always have a smile on your face and are always ready to make someone else smile too. Even when you are hurt you quickly start to smile. I thought I knew what joy was before I had you, but I surely did not because you have given me the perfect example of what the word means. I hope you never lose that joy.
You are so joyful, but you are also very intuitive to what other people are feeling. You are the very first person to try to make someone feel better. When Rory is in danger (usually on purpose ha!), you are her alarm and her encourager to do the right thing. If I’m ever down, you will come and rub my back and make me smile. This trait is one of my favorite things about you. It is irreplaceable in our home- we needed you and your intuitive spirit in our family.
Goodness knows that you are also hilarious. Rory has a very dry sense of humor that keeps us in stitches, but you are just downright silly. You are constantly making all of us laugh with your silly antics and hilarious faces.
Speaking of faces…. Girlfriend. No one has to guess what you are thinking. You are so insanely expressive and never hide how you feel. Sometimes that gets me into all kinds of embarrassing situations in public, but it is also something everyone that knows you loves. It is hilarious to watch you watching something. We can see ALL THE FEELS YOU HAVE all over your face.
You are so dramatic that it keeps us in stitches. But you aren’t dramatic in a drama queen way- but in your expressions and the way you talk. Everything you tell us requires BIG HAND GESTURES AND DRAMATIC VOICE INFLECTIONS. You also have a wild and vivid imagination. You love to play by yourself and create a big dramatic world in your bedroom with your toys. Sometimes I sneak and sit and watch you without you knowing because it is the funniest and cutest thing to watch.
I have so many things that I say are my favorite thing about you because everything is my favorite, but the thing that truly is my favorite is how content you are. I could give you dirt and you would think it was the best day of your life. You are so abundantly thankful and content with everything. When we ask you what you want for your birthday you say, “Anything that you get me.” I MEAN COME ON. I literally think you’re my saving grace sometimes because of how content and thankful you are. I absolutely love this the most about you.
Though you aren’t sure of yourself often and struggle with anxiety over things (heights, darkness, failing at something), you are such an encourager to others. You are Rory’s biggest cheerleader. You are constantly encouraging her and cheering her on at everything she does. You encourage your dad and I too and there are so many times that I’m so thankful for your little encouragement throughout the day. You have no idea how much it means to all of us.
Ryder, I want you to know just how special you are to me. Your smile has gotten us through some of the hardest times in our lives. You should know that not a single day goes by that I don’t look at you and see your beautiful scar and thank God for saving you. I don’t ever want to dwell on the pain of the past, but I also want you to know that I could never forget because we saw so many miracles performed with you. Most of all, your life reflects grace in every aspect. You have no idea how thankful I am that this year was a year of no health scares and stillness. I feel like I got to enjoy you without worry for the first time in your life and that is one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given.
Oh, Ryder, I also want you to know that you are strong, smart, and oh so kind. You can do anything that you set your mind and heart to. I hope I can continue to encourage you to try because sometimes just trying is so hard for you. I hope I never skip out on teaching you how important it is to sometimes fail so we can be better the next time. It is so okay for you to fail. We all do, especially me. But if we don’t try and try again we will never know our potential. You have the potential to do anything you want to. Even if you don’t always believe in yourself, I promise you I will never stop believing in you.
You are my little sunshine and I thank God for you every single day. Your life has taught me more than I ever thought imaginable.
Love you to the moon and the heavens and back my precious one,
FOUR YEAR STATS:
– 27 lbs
– size 3t (sometimes you wear 2 t and sometimes 4t – you have such long legs but are skinny so sizing is a struggle!)
– size 6ish shoe
– Favorite Foods: sausage, waffles, peanut butter crackers, oatmeal, brussel sprouts, CHICKEN, cooked onions, okra, corn, strawberries – you are such an amazing eater and a true lover of food, your dad and I always joke that you didn’t get enough food the first year or two so now you are trying to make up for it!
– you love to play by yourself but you also love playing board games and puzzles with the family
– you love to sing and are quite dramatic when doing so
– favorite movie : Ice Age, Despicable Me, anything that gets you laughing… and of course Frozen – you aren’t a big tv watcher
– you LOVE to read books, sometimes I will find you HOURS after bedtime still reading to your barbies or stuffed animals