Happy Birthday Big Girl!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sweet Kate,

Every year on your birthday I like to write you a letter.  This year has been full of change and transition.  Shortly after your birthday last year, Dad was offered a job in Texas and we decided to move.  I think the move was really tough on you (me too;).  We were in  a corporate apartment and you slept in a pack and play in a large closet for a few months.  We had to flee a hurricane and you had a lot of illness this year. I think you demonstrated your displeasure with all of this transition through typical 2 year old behavior~tantrums. Once we settled into our new house, things got a little better.

You also started pre-school two mornings a week this year.  You were hesitant at first but eventually you came to love it.  In the Spring, we moved you to the three morning a week class and you adapted beautifully.  You took ballet and tap and had your first recital.  You are a natural on the stage and you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to dance.

You have never been a big fan of toys and you still don't really wander off and play (although I am trying to teach you this skill).  But you ADORE the Disney princesses and all things girly. You will watch Cinderella or Princess sing alongs and you love to dress up like the princesses. Speaking of dress-up, you also wear tutus and ballet slippers constantly.  Give you a tiara and a tutu and you are one happy little girl.  You also have recently discovered the love of having your fingernails and toenails painted.

Other things you love include cupcakes and books.  Your favorite books are Fancy Nancy and Green Eggs and Ham.  You also like Pinkalicious and Arthur books.  You will sit on your floor and "read" the books you have memorized.

You have become such a big girl this year....you started school, potty trained and for the first time last night, you slept in a big girl bed (you did fall out though).  We are hoping to put that crib away for good next week.  You also became comfortable swimming independently with your bubble and having babysitters (woo-hoo!).  Unfortunately, you have pretty much said goodbye to nap time too. I am so proud of all of your accomplishments (except that last one).

You definitely pushed my buttons more this year than ever as you asserted your independence. You have a very strong will and while I know one day it will serve you well, it makes for a challenging two year old.  You know what you like and what you don't like and you are not shy about letting others know too.  You might just get that from me;)

Kate, you have such sweet manners.  You say please and thank you.  When people wish you a happy birthday...you respond by saying "happy birthday" in return.  You share with your friends and get sad when your brothers are upset.  Your heart is full of love and compassion.

You absolutely adore your Daddy.  You refer to yourself as a princess and him as the King.  You run to him when he gets home from work and he reads to you and puts you to sleep every single night.  I love watching your relationship.  It is simply beautiful.

Similarly, you look up to your big brothers.  They have taught you all sorts of silly things (pound it, knock knock jokes, and other things).  You wrestle with them and play all kinds of made up games (ghostie ghosite, pink burrito, and hide and seek).

One thing you started to do recently really touches my soul.  Every night at dinner we go around the table and share our favorite part of the day (or other positive item).  We have been doing this for years.  When you came home from China as a baby we always asked you about your favorite part of the day.  Dad thought I was being silly but I insisted that we ask every single night.  When you finally started answering, you said the same thing every day. You would tell us your favorite part of the day was "getting a haircut." You said it all the time whether you got a haircut or not.  But in the last few months, you actually began to answer us accurately. And a few weeks ago, YOU started asking each of us what our favorite part of the day was.  

I get teary eyed as I see how you have seamlessly worked into our family and our hearts Kate. You are such a gift to us and I love you to the depths of my soul.  I could go on and on about all the things I love about you.  But mostly I just love YOU!  Happy 3rd birthday Kate Emerson.




On your first birthday

I wonder

Your 2nd birthday


And today on your 3rd birthday


We celebrated as a family today and I will post those photos soon.

(Kate's dress is from Old Navy for those who have inquired)


  1. Happy Birthday beautiful Kate! You look so pretty in your white birthday dress. Sounds like you are one beautiful, smart and spunky birthday girl!

    Gin =)

  2. Happy 3rd Birthday Kate Emerson..
    You are sooooo BEAUTIFUL .. inside and out..
    you are a blessing and you have an AMAZING family..
    Can't wait to see photos of your wonderful day..
    Have a great week..
    Love watching you grow up..

  3. Beautiful letter and pictures. She is growing into a beautiful little girl!

  4. Happy Birthday, Kate!

    I enjoyed reading your letter to Kate. I also write birthday letters and it is so much fun to go back and read them every year.

    Can't wait to see more birthday pictures!

  5. Oh, Kim, what beautiful photographs. Kate is such a darling little girl. Congratulations to you as you celebrate her third birthday.

    Thank you for sharing your stories and pictures. To those who are in the process of following their adoption dreams, you provide so much inspiration.

    Happy birthday to Kate!

  6. Happy Birthday beautiful Kate! You are a blessing to your loving family! A perfect match made in heaven!

  7. B-UTIFUL Photos today my friend!!!! Kate Emerson, you know I am crazy about you!!! Happy Birthday sweet girl! I hope you liked your presents!

    Miss Di

  8. Happy Birthday Kate! We so wish we could have been there to share it with you. Hope that you enjoy the books~

    Maggie and Denise

  9. Wow! So beautiful...the letter and the birthday girl! Happy birthday Kate!
    I honestly think my favorite part is about your dinner conversations. You have raised incredibly wonderful children - all three of them!

  10. Happy Birthday, it has been such a joy to watch you grow!!!


  11. Happy Birthday to your sweet girl! She has really grown and changed -- lovely letter!


  12. So sweet! I got teary Eyed just reading that letter! She is beautiful!

  13. Beautiful and incredible! I love your blog, Kim!

  14. What a sweet letter! Happy Birthday to one special lady!
    Birthdays are so bitter sweet. I think I have been crying for 6 months preparing for my baby's 1st!!

  15. Happy Birthday to your sweet little Princess!

  16. I cannot believe she is three. She gets more beautiful every year. I love the idea of a letter on each birthday. I want to start doing that too!

  17. You write these letters so beautifully. What a treasure for your children. Happy 3rd Birthday Kate!

  18. Awwwww, what a precious post, you made me cry.

    Happy Birthday, sweet Kate!!!

  19. I love that you write these letters to your children...what a beautiful gift for them to reflect back upon one day!

    And please give Miss Kate big hugs and good wishes from your bloggy friends... "Happy 3rd Birthday, Princess Kate!!" :)

    Oh...and where did you find that white ruffley dress?!...I just LOVE IT!!


  20. Beautiful!! I love reading about Kate-- man does she sound like my Mia. Happy birthday Kate!!!!

    Christy :)

  21. Happy Birthday Kate! What a darling and sweet girl you are!!!

    Mom: have fun at the Fab Flea - if anything, just look around the compound and drool. hahah!!!!

  22. Happy Birthday Kate. What a sweet letter for a sweet, sweet girl!

  23. What a beautiful little soul Kate is....not only on the outside but on the inside. She seems so compassionate. Sweet letter.

  24. Happy 3rd Birthday Kate! Such a sweetie pie! We have been celebrating birthdays this week too! Our special red thread with you is that we left for China on the day that you were born. We got Myah when you were just 3 days old! You will always be special to us!

  25. Happy, Happy Birthday Kate! What a beautiful letter for your beautiful girl ~ inside & out :)

  26. Happy Birthday Kate...love the dress...do share where it came from...so cute.

  27. Happy Birthday Kate!

  28. Happy Birthday Sweet Kate! xoxo

  29. Happy Birthday beautiful Katie Ru.....
    You are too precious and too sweet.
    We miss you!

  30. Ohhh Kim, such a beautiful beautiful letter! You are so good at keeping up with your special traditions, and for that your kids will be so grateful. I smiled when I read what Kate does when you sinkg her Happy Birthday, because when Sophie Lu called to sing to her yesterday, Kate got on the phone and sang to Sophie first! Sophie loved it- Kate is so so sweet-just like her mama!

    Happy Birthday again, sweet Kate!

    Love, Shana :)

  31. happy birthday kate!!

    what a wonderful letter kim. you are such an awesome mommy!
    the portraits of sweet girl each year are beautiful...& you know i especially love the white theme.


  32. A very happy birthday to sweet, beautiful Kate!
    Such a touching letter, Kim ... something Kate will certainly treasure!!

  33. Happy 3rd Birthday Kate! You and Lilah are almost a year apart. Lilah too has this dress from Old Navy! I am a sucker for white! :) I think your mommy is too!

  34. BEAUTIFUL! Happy Birthday Kate!

  35. Happy Birthday Kate!! You are just as beautiful as the day you were born!

    My little one has this dress too! I JUST LOVE IT ON HER AS WELL!!!

  36. Happy 3rd Birthday Kate!! You are such a beautiful and special little lady who is blessed with an amazing family.

  37. Happy Birthday Kate!!! It is such a pleasure to watch you grow from a little baby to such a sweet (and from what your Mommy says)kind young lady:)

    Blessings for a wonderful 3rd Birthday, Ashley

  38. Beautiful letter... Beautiful pictures... Lovely girl.

    Happy Birthday!!

  39. I love all the white dresses. What a beautiful tradition!

    Our blog: Double Happiness!

  40. What a beautiful birthday letter!!! So sweet!! And awesome pictures of her in the white dresses each year!! What a great idea!! You are such a thoughtful mom!!


  41. Happy Birthday, Kate!! Your letter is beautiful! I do truly hope Kate and Meg meet one day. They are very similar in so many ways! From their likes and dislikes, LOVE of dance and determined personalities. Meg is singing, "Happy Birthday to Kate" back here in NY!

  42. Happy Birthday to a little princess!!! I love you peanut!

  43. Your letter is beautiful! She is beautiful! Happy Birthday!

    Alyzabeth's Mommy for Eight Months

  44. Such a dear post for a dear little girl!

    Happy Birthday, sweet Miss Kate!

  45. Wow! Another year has come and gone. Sweet Kate is just beautiful, and your photos are great. You really have such a gift! I now have the nice camera, but it takes much more than that to get these great photos. And you've got it!

    Thank you for your sweet comment. Miss you guys!

  46. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATE!!! It is so hard to believe that she is 3. Hope she had a birthday that she will long remember. I am sure she did!!!

  47. Oh, Dear. Now I'm crying, too. Aren't little girls just the most wonderful piece of heaven?

  48. Another lovely post Kim....Happy Birthday sweet Kate! ;)

  49. Happy birthday Kate...you're each day more and more beautiful...
    Love from Spain,

  50. Happy Birthday to one beautiful little princess!

    I loved your post...what an incredible testimony to your love while keeping memories of her childhood cherished.

    Beautiful my friend!

  51. Precious, precious wonderful baby and beautiful words from a Mamm's heart to her little girl.

    Wonderful you are!

  52. I love your letters to Kate. Yes indeed they are tear jerkers in some ways!
    So tender in others.
    So full of compassion in others and MUCH full of love all the way thru! over and over!
    I love your traditions.
    I love your thankfulness!
    I am thankful for you that GOD allowed this darling little baby girl to be a part of your life forever!! and forever!!
    She will one day know just how blessed she has been!
    And at that still IS!
    Precious are the children in the eyes of the LORD!

    What a wonderful mother you are!
    I know moving is not easy!!
    I lived in 3 states in a span of 14 months time when my son years ago was about Kate's age!

    It's hard but the LORD does provide all the strength from above!
    Again precious letter from a mama to a little darling girl!



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