How did this happen??? I'm sitting here on my lunch break at work, reflecting on the fact that I have an 8 year old daughter, and it's so hard to believe. It's funny, because when you were born, I couldn't imagine what you'd be like at 8. When you were a toddler, I tried to cherish the moments we had, because I knew you'd quickly be growing up, and I wanted to enjoy your innocence and the pure joy you exuded on a daily basis. I wasn't afraid, but I felt like it wouldn't quite last as you transitioned into school and learned more about the world.
I'm so happy to say that I was wrong. You still exude pure joy in your life, no matter what is going on in the world around us. You've learned more in your 8 years than I did when I was your age, yet you retain your innocence and infectiously positive outlook on life. I admire that more than you know.
I'm so proud of you for so many reasons. I couldn't let your birthday pass without documenting just a fraction of my love for you here. Thank you for being such an amazing blessing to me, Natalie. You've softened my heart. You've made me feel more joy than I ever thought possible. You mean the world to me, my little junior bacon double cheeseburger. :) I love you more than I can begin to say.
Happy birthday, my sweet Natalie!
Love always and forever,