Monday, April 1, 2019

Happy 4th Birthday, Madeline Clarke!

Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog
Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog
Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog

"Time flies when you're having fun." 

"Cherish every second, you'll blink and she'll be a little girl!"

"The nights may be long, but just know that in a few years, you'll do anything just to have those sweet moments back."

Yes, all three of these above were quoted to me at some time or another (more like multiple times), when Madeline was a baby. And goodness can I say, HOW TRUE! Y'all I've blinked, and today, my baby is turning FOUR! I simply cannot believe it. I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. Today, and actually more like the week leading up to today, I've been thinking on everything that happened. Every last doctors appointment, making sure my hospital bags were packed and ready to go, making sure her diapers were stocked, squeezing in a lunch date with my mama friends and so much more! But overall, April 1st will forever be the best day of my entire life, because it's the day I got to hold my Madeline for the very first time. 

Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog
Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog
Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog
Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog

From day one, I just had a feeling that Madeline would be full of spunk. It may have something to do with the red hair hehe, but full of personality would be an understatement! And with each passing day, her personality shines through more and more. She keeps me laughing, smiling and always on the go. And of course some days can be a trying (I mean, I'm raising a "fournager") :) Sometimes, I have to ask myself, "did she really just say that?!" And honestly, the conversations we have, I have to remind myself that I'm actually talking to (a now) four-year-old and not an adult. She's just growing up so fast!!

Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog
Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog

I was thinking back on this past year and how much she's changed over the last year. Besides growing several inches (hello long legs!!), her hair growing in length, loosing all her baby chubbies (goodness do I miss those chubby legs haha), and her personality level increasing x100000, she tried so many new things during her third year! Just to name a few, she started ballet and LOVES it! She loves going to class, loves her teacher Miss Sophia, and just loves dancing in general. She just had her first ballet performance this past weekend! You can find her dancing most of the time haha. She also loves gymnastics and has been begging me to let her do both ballet and gymnastics next year. She also loves going to church and to AWANA club. She loves her friends and has amazed me at how quickly she can memorize Bible verses. And goodness does that warm my heart like no other! She is only three verses away from completing the entire book! Hearing her recite John 3:16 entirely was probably one of the most special moments. 

And while on that topic, it has been so amazing to watch the Lord work in her little heart this year. I firmly believe that when we instill a love for the Lord in our little ones at an early age, miraculous things can happen. She loves to pray. loves to sing Jesus Loves Me, and especially hearing her begin to understand that Jesus died on the cross for HER has made this past year such a special one. One of my favorite things she said to me this year goes something like this:

We had just finished reading the story of Easter in her children's Bible story book.

Me: Madeline, so do you know why Jesus died on the cross?
Madeline: Yes, He died to keep us safe.
Me: Okay? Can you tell me a little more?
Madeline: He died to "safe" us from our sins. Hey Mama, that's kind of what super heroes do! They want to keep us safe!
Me: Haha so true!
Madeline: Mama, Jesus is like a super hero! He's SUPER JESUS!!

So yes, that conversation will forever hold a sweet place in my heart. So many times over the past few months, I have found myself saying, "There's nothing too big for Super Jesus" :)

Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog
Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog

Some of Madeline's other favorite things are singing (she lovesss to sing!), and her favorite songs are "Play that Song" by Train (she says her Uncle Trey sings it) and "Jesus Loves Me". She loves playing outside as she loves her swing set and scooter. She also loves helping me around the house, baking (she loves to help ma bake a cake), painting (I can't tell y'all how many canvases we've been through haha) and getting creative, working with Mimi in the garden, going to the beach (definitely her happy place, just like her Mama!), playing sports with her Uncles, and especially playing nurse and doctor. Thanks to her Aunt Hannah, she has a deep love for all things medical. If someone has a boo boo, she's the first to kiss it and run and grab a bandaid. She LOVES to play check-up, and says that one day, she will be a nurse, doctor, veterinarian, and ballerina. I especially love how she loves to play nurse, because honestly, her sweet, caring personality shines through then. If I say I that my head hurts, she'll run and grab an ice pack for my head. She loves her pup, Jaycee. She has the biggest heart and loves to pick out presents for people, make things for people and give it to them. She also has the biggest imagination ever!! And of course she has a heart for animals. 

She loves her toys! Her favorites are definitely her baby dolls (she LOVES dolls and says they are her little sisters haha), Barbies, Peppa Pig, Disney Princesses, playing chef, board games and more. She also LOVES her books and has a huge desire to learn. I also have to mention that she loves mermaids! And because of that (I think, haha), she loves water and giving all of her toys a bath. 

She also has lots of favorite foods! She loves a good corndog, ham sandwich, spaghetti, grilled cheese, cheese burger, Chinese food, and of course Chick-Fil-A! However, she also LOVES most fruits (she could eat only fruit and be totally happy haha), broccoli, carrots, peas and more. I guess it's all about balance, right haha? She also is always down for some ice cream or chocolate cake :)

Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog
Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog

But most of all, I have to mention just how much Madeline has taught me. She has changed my life in so many amazing ways, made me a better person and brought me more joy than I ever knew possible. She has made a story so beautiful and can simply brighten up a room. Even though I'm teaching her each and ever day, she is teaching me even more! She reminds me of all the many reasons to smile, to worry less and cherish every second. Because watching her turn into a little lady right before my eyes truly puts that into perspective. There are times when I'll admit that I'm not the best at hiding my feelings. And on a few occasions she has seen me cry, even though it's something I try not to do in front of her. But the times when it's happened, she'll place her little hand on my shoulder and tell me everything will be okay. Even though she'll always be my baby, she's turning into my best friend at the same time. She is constantly giving kisses, and I just want to hold each and every one close to my heart. She's much braver than I'll ever be haha. She's feisty yet so caring. She knows how to stand up for herself, and I pray that's a quality she'll never ever loose. 

But most of all, I love her loving heart and all of the many way she cares for others. Oh Madeline, you have stolen your Mama's heart and do so more and more each and every day.

Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog
Madeline's 4th Birthday wearing Lilly Pulitzer - Something Delightful Blog

So, here's my message to you, Madeline:

Mama loves you so. very. much. More than you could ever imagine. I will do absolutely anything for you and will always be here for you, being your biggest cheerleader and right by your side. I will always encourage you to follow your dreams and support you in anything you set your mind to doing (just like Mimi has done of me). I will always believe in you, and remind you to always believe in yourself! I will always continue to teach you of the love of Jesus and to cling to the truth of Psalm 27:1. I am just so proud of you and love you more than you could ever know. Happy fourth birthday, my precious girl. 

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