Evalee Ann --
When I look back at the baby you were on your first birthday, I can't believe how much smarter, taller, and more beautiful you've become in the last year. It has been an eventful year, for sure. You had two surgeries, and even though they were minor and routine I was stressed and paranoid. But you were so strong and brave through both of them. You've learned so many things this year. I'm mainly so proud of how many of your letters you know. I think the credit there goes to your relentless grandma with her letters on your drawing pads and that crazy iPad of hers that you love so much! You can also count, when you're in the mood. You can identify so many animals by name and by the sound they make, and going to the zoo with you this year is going to be a blast now that you're a little chatterbox that we can actually understand sometimes.
My favorite part about spending this last year with you has been watching your personality bud and shine. You're one of the most stubborn people I have ever met, and that is not an exaggeration. That stubbornness can lead to you being pretty bossy at times, but what's funny is sometimes you're bossy, we do what you say, and we end up cracking up over whatever creative thing you've dreamed up for us to do. As much as I dread the show downs we often have, I know that stubborn nature will lead you to be become a strong, independent-minded young woman someday. You're also so loving and caring. You're almost never shy and will give hugs and kisses freely to those asking. You also have a very helping spirit -- you love to help wash dishes at the sink, help Daddy pick up sticks or rocks in the yard, "help" me put on my make up in the morning, and you even beg to let me help you cook at the stove (sorry kiddo, not for a few more years). You love to make people smile and laugh, whether it's by belting out long notes with the organ at church, starting a game of hide and seek, or making your bread talk at dinner.
It has been a wonderful year getting to know you even better, Eva. I can't even imagine the little lady you'll be when you turn 3 a year from today, but I'm looking forward to watching you get there.
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