Nine already. I wonder where the time went. It was just yesterday that we found out we were expecting you. Your Dad and I couldn’t have been happier. From the moment we saw you, we loved you so much.
You’ve always had a smile on your face. It’s a smile that lights up the room. My friends started to call you “cheese” because you had this huge smile that would make your nose squish up. It was the cutest, most genuine smile I’ve ever come across. You still squish your nose up sometimes and I flash back to when you were a toddler. I hope you never lose that joy.
Making friends has always been so easy for you. You were always a little social butterfly, even on your first day of school.
You found a love for dance and gymnastics early on. The passion I see in you when you dance, tells me that there is so much beauty and grace inside of you.
You care so much about others and love with your whole heart. You are always talking about how you’re going to take care of your Dad and I when we’re old and I have no doubt that you will keep that promise.
You love to coupon! I’ve never seen a child so excited about saving money, though I know that it’s less about the money and shampoo and more about the time we are spending together, just you and I. I love it just as much as you do.
You are just as sweet as you are goofy. You don’t care what people think. You are more concerned about how they feel and you will stop at nothing to make sure they are happy.
You are so sensitive. When you cry, it breaks my heart but one day, I hope you’ll use that compassion to change the world and make it a better place.
You are scared of thunder and love to make a safe place for you and your little sister to sit and wait out the storms.
Your faith is inspiring. You’ve worked so hard to learn and really understand your religion.
You’ve wanted to grow up to be so many things (sometimes all at once): a veterinarian, a singer, a teacher… This month, you want to be a pediatrician. I wonder how many times that will change before you are an adult. I know you’re going to choose the perfect career and change the world, no matter what it is.
Watching you grow up has been a pleasure and an honor. I can’t wait to see what the next 9 years has in store for you (but please, let’s not rush it, I want you to enjoy every single part of your childhood).
Happy 9th Birthday Iyla! Daddy and I love you more than words could ever say.