At this time two years ago I was feeling rather proud of myself. We were winding up a dinner with the Medlins and was proud that I had resisted your Dad and Ryan's offers to drive to Taste of Texas for a chocolate cake treat. I wanted to post a good weight the next week at my doctor appointment and I had been hovering at my goal weight for the past two weeks and did not want to exceed it. They would have happily driven to satisfy that craving and had I known you were actually going to come the next day (as I had been predicting for months) then I would have gladly indulged in a slice all my own. We said goodbye and jokingly told Ryan that your Daddy would not be needing the ticket to the Men's Wild Game event at church the next evening because you were going to come. And your Daddy told me one last time that he really, really didn't want to go to work the next day and if I could do anything to make it so, he would be really, really happy. The next morning you obliged with a water breakage, a quick labor, and a somewhat intense delivery. There you were, safe in my arms, making your presence known.
Over the past year you have changed so much, from a crawling and babbling little baby to a full fledged walking, talking, jumping, and ferocious little girl. You surprise us every day with how much you have changed and while you are no longer a baby or our baby, we still marvel in all the little things you do.
For the most part, you are the sweetest little girl that gives the best hugs. You love to hug friends and family, wrapping your arms around their legs when they are standing and around their neck when you are at their level. You really squeeze and make sure people know how much you love them. You smile and talk to everyone we encounter and are very enthusiastic with your "Hi", "Bye!" and "Thank you" as we are out and about. You love to laugh and have an infectious laugh that starts with small giggles and bubbles out and takes over the room. You love to laugh at others, to laugh at yourself, and to laugh just because. You are also a nurturer, determined to take care of everyone in the room, from dolls and stuffed animals to friends and family. You don't care who it is, big or small, young or old, you make sure their needs are covered in any way you can.
This year we added a new title and rank for you, Big Sister, and you are amazing at that. You love to get on the floor or near Johnny and coo "Johnny Boy" at your little brother. You pat him on the head, bring him toys, bottles, and pacifiers, and would pick him up and cuddle him if we let you. I so look forward to you interacting with him and your big sister in the future. It seems that, while you fight with MacKenzie over toys and games, that most of the time you truly get along and like to be with her.
As I stated above, you do love to take care of your stuffed animals and dolls and it is cute to hear you catch on to the names that your sister has given to all the animals in the house. You also love to play outside, running around, swinging, and trying to keep up with MacKenzie. Sometimes you like to read, settling into our laps with little books, but I think it is more for the snuggles than the reading time. You also love to lay on our chest when we watch a family movie or when we are all just hanging out. It is interesting to watch you grow up in relation to your sister because you are into things at a much earlier age than she was just be default of wanting to play with her. So you enjoy your fair share of princesses and dress up while being a pretty good sport at interactive play. You verbal skills have exploded over the past few weeks and you have started using full sentences more and working on more complicated words. One of the words you know best is "patience" because Mommy tries to work on that with you a lot. We are working on letters with you right now and you are getting the hang of it fairly quickly.
You still sleep well and go through random eating phases. You really like spaghetti, donut holes, tomatoes, all fruit (we have to limit you), and milk. You are not crazy about sweets most of the time and will often forgo the free cookie at the grocery store or other goodies that we get from time to time.
You are a little demanding sometimes and are the more openly passionate of my children, but in some ways that makes you easier because we always know where you stand. We know when you are happy (which is most of the time) and we know what makes you mad or sad and can usually fix those things quickly. While we are working on you communicating those needs in a more quiet manner, it's good that you recognize what you want! We are starting to get a bit of attitude with you which is kind of funny to see you test your limits. You will test us, receive discipline, and then be super sweet about complying with what we asked you to do...definitely keeping us on out toes!
Keegan, you are the life of the party and I don't think you will ever know a stranger. I think you will make friends wherever you go and will work hard to make sure those around you have what they need. I look forward to seeing where your big heart takes you and I am so glad that a large part of your heart is with our family.
We love you! Happy Birthday!
Mommy and Daddy