Hello my little junior bacon cheeseburger! Wow, a lot has happened since you turned eight years old! Pumba is gone. He passed away a few weeks ago. It's still weird to think that he is gone, and we feel bad that he wasn't more a part of your life. RIP Pumba!
I'm glad we still have Big Guy. Boy, Micah loves him, but I think you're growing to love him more too. You've been holding him more lately, well- as much as he'll let anyone hold him! He likes to be around us more than on us.
You have been BFFs with Alyssa all school year, but after Lily's friend Livi moved away, you've been saying you think Lily is your new BFF. This is surprising to me, since you had even asked if you could take Alyssa to the prom when you were in high school! But hey, things change, as you know. It's a weird balance to write about you now, while you're an innocent 8 year old, and writing to you knowing you'll be (hopefully) reading this as an adult, or at least a teenager. Anyway, I love seeing you strengthen your existing friendships and developing new ones at the same time. You'd be a good friend to have. I love that when I tell you how shy I was as an eight year old, you always say you wish you could go back and time and be my friend. That is so sweet, and so YOU.
Speaking of your friends, Cara's dad recently passed away, between your birthday party and me writing this. It's a hard thing to really understand, and I don't think you quite grasp how much this is affecting your friend. It's my honor to help you figure things out, both big and small. I hope so much that I am doing a good job. I feel so badly for her, and for the complications she will have dealing with it at such a young age. Her dad was exactly my age- in your words "not 41, but 42!". I'm so thankful that I get to spend more time with you than Cara got to spend with her dad.
What else is new? Well, you're going to have a new baby girl cousin! Uncle Nathan and Aunt Bethany are expecting their first child this year. That's exciting! Hopefully you will spend a lot of time with her (we don't know her name yet).
It's a little thing, but you're loving it- Grandma and PawPaw gave you one of their old bookshelves, and since it's now where your TV was, mommy moved your TV to the dresser beside your bed. Now you can watch DVDs from your bed! That's pretty cool. I'd have loved that when I was your age!!
Well, I can't think of too much else that is new right now, so I'll wrap this up.
Love you, beautiful girl!!