June 7, 2017

Dear Daughters- May

I captured these pictures while we were on our trip in Vegas at the beginning of May. It was our first family trip we had taken away in a while. Being out of our normal everyday routine and on vacation forced us to just be a family playing together. It brought out a newness in seeing the girls playfulness come alive and I loved every second. Taking trips away is something I highly recommend to do, even if its just down the road 20 minutes at a nearby hotel. There's always something fresh that comes from being away together and I think is just what our souls need every once in a while.

Dear Raleigh, 

Oh how fun it was being with you and watching you on our trip away. Your excitement for every little thing made it that much more exciting for me too. You were brave and adventurous and so...grown up. You would've spent the whole day being in the water if we let you. You made friends playing in the pool and invited them in to play with you and your sisters. It showed me how caring you are of others and love to let others be a part of the fun you're having too. I pray this only grows and matures in you more and more. You were silly and kind and imaginative and made the best time out of every little thing we did. Like building sand castles with Jaelynn, filling buckets and dumping them over and over again with Joci, helping Sage learn how to "swim" around in the water and being up for anything we were going to do. I love watching you grow up. I love watching how you learn and teach and play. You give me fresh eyes to see the best in our surroundings. I'd go anywhere with you!

Dear Joci, 

That smile! It can light up a room. And the giggle that usually follows can't help but make everyone join in. I'm learning how to love you better. There are some pretty strong differences between us, and I think thats a good thing. You are causing me to pay more attention to the things that may be hard for me to deal with. You are helping me understand that even though someone may see things differently than me, they are just as much important and valuable as anyone else. And usually, they have a legitimate need that is worthy of nurturing too. Watching you around the sand and water was just like this. You were careful and shy at first, but once you warmed up and engaged in the fun you were pure delight. You laughed and screamed with joy. And even though you wanted to do things your own way on your own timing, you still were able to play alongside your sisters and create fun in the moment. I love to be with you. I'm learning to see things in and through you that can easily go missed if I don't pay attention to the details of your heart. I'm seeing that even through our differences there are pieces that are so endearing and beautiful. And I wouldn't want to miss that for the world. 

Dear Jaelynn, 

I'm learning how your adventurous spirit comes alive more and more whenever we go away on vacation. And gosh is it a breath of fresh air to be around. You were like a whole new person in the water...in the best way. I didn't think your smile could get any bigger and brighter, but somehow it did. You made everyone around you have so much more fun because of your ability to laugh and enjoy everything. You brought others into the fun with you and gently helped your little sister learn how to enjoy the sand and water too. You are helping me enjoy being present in the moment and not letting the little things pass by. You are easily able to notice when someone is alone or needs help and quickly draw close to them to make them feel better. You do this for me daily and I find so much joy just being in your presence. 

Dear Sage, 

The past couple months your quiet and content personality has turned into hilariously feisty and bold. You came alive on this trip in the best ways. We're seeing how brave you are in going after things without caution or care (something I think you get from your dadda). You took on swimming like a pro, not being afraid of the unknown. You tried new things with laughter, making us realize you might be the most adventurous one in the family so far. I can't wait to see how much more your character will unfold as you get older. I imagine we're in for a lot more fun and amusement than you've already given us. 

I love you all...more than life itself. 


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