You are not a little girl anymore, but every once in a while, you still want to hold my hand or dress like me, and I have to tell you, I cherish those moments, because I know they are fleeting. You are becoming a young woman. A beautiful, smart, funny, incredible young woman, who I am very proud to know!
You have continued with piano lessons this year, and Dad and I can really tell you are improving, and your teacher has nothing but nice things to say about you and your progress. You have also continued with Martial Arts, and you just recently became an orange belt. And, you won second place at the state PSIA meet for writing. Did I mention, I'm super-proud of you?!
You have become very interested in music in the past year, and you are always wanting me to turn up the radio in the van or turn the TV to a music station that you and your brothers can dance to. You seem to like a wide variety of music and are very quick to pick up the words. You are also planning to attend singing camp this summer. Dad and I decided to get you an iPod for your birthday, so that you can continue to develop your love for music. You are still interested in reading, cooking, sewing, animals (especially horses) and arts and crafts. And you have recently become interested in the Star Wars movies, which your Dad has thoroughly enjoyed watching with you in the last few months.
You acquired yet another brother this year, and you and he have a special bond. Clay loves spending time with you and has learned to say your name. And you are always so sweet with him, just as you have been with your other brothers. You are such a wonderful big sister and a great help to Dad and I.
You got braces in August, which instantly made you seem older. We can all tell a big difference in the straightness of your teeth, but the brilliance of your smile remains largely unchanged. You can light up a room with your smile, which encompasses your whole face. And your laugh is contagious. You are an absolute joy to be around!
While we do have a lot of fun, you and Dad and I have had the opportunity to have some pretty hard and/or serious talks this year, on a variety of topics. You always show a great deal of maturity and sensitivity in these situations and often display wisdom beyond your years.
You reached your financial goal to save $1000 a couple of months ago and decided to retire from your laundry job. But not before opening your own checking account. You are still earning money doing some of the household paying chores, and you are very frugal and careful with how you spend your money. You generally prefer saving to spending--a habit Dad and I hope you will continue to harbor throughout your lifetime.
These past ten years have been so much fun! It has been amazing to watch you grow and develop into the lovely young lady you are today. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be your mom. I love you more than words can say!