Excerpts from Alice's life as a Two-Year Old

"When Alice was born, I began to write to her. Just little things; how she looked, what she did, how she changed, how we loved her. Little did I know what a gift it would turn out to be - for both of us. I can look back and read about all those "little things" (that are now worth more than anything) and marvel at how quickly I had forgotten them. Luckily for me, the weakest pen-stroke is stronger than the best memory. Someday I'll give her these journals so she can read about all her silly, messy, adorable stories. I hope she's overwhelmed with how much we love her and how much everyone else loves her." - July 2014

While I've written less frequently this past year, I've still managed to jot down little anecdotes, what she is doing, and her funny lines. Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from the last year...

(One-year old Alice excerpts here)

"You sing the ABCs while drawing perfect hearts. You sing Frozen songs to any passerby while standing on the porch swing in your pjs. You do things 'by myself" a lot more lately, in addition to climbing anything you possibly can. You pray for Jack and Libby at almost every meal. You talked to your new imaginary pal, Little Bear, this morning (he was hiding outside). When you take pictures with your wooden camera, you like to say to the back imaginary LCD screen, "silly baby!" The other morning, you came up to me and said, "I need to check my emails" and then promptly walked off to my studio. Intrigued, I waited, and when you came back, you showed me your 'emails.' They were little sticker gems that had fallen off of the fairy wings Aunt Brenda made you. You like to empty the mugs we use to hold crayons because, according to you, 'I need a sip of coffee.' I love to hear you giggle with daddy at bedtime. You two melt my heart. He's such a good daddy and you adore him. You guys pal around everywhere when he's home." - 8.16.14

"We had such a lazy, lovely day :) This morning, I tiptoed into your bedroom and we spent some delicious cuddle time while I told you stories. Stories about daddy going to work and the story of how Lucy discovered Narnia. You immediately retold me about how you and Lucy went to Narnia and built Olaf the snowman. I love your imagination. I can't wait to get your Narnia closet ready! After a while, we toddled downstairs to eat french silk pie for breakfast, along with freshly-picked raspberries and homemade whipped cream - a decadent affair, indeed. We put our dishes away and then grabbed our blankets and headed outside to sit on the porch and watch the storm roll through. It was warm, but we still cuddled close on the rocking chair while singing songs, telling stories, and marveling at the thunder and lightening. You're not overly scared, but still liked to huddle close under your Marty blanket every so often when the thunder rumbled loudest. We talked about seeing lightening with our eyes, hearing thunder with our ears, and feeling rain with our hands - and all of it is a gift from God. We needed the rain badly and He is blessing us with a whole week of it." - 8.24.14

"We visited Papa Milo the other day and you got a cookie and milk and chocolate-covered raisins (you waste no time in asking for the good stuff - totally my kid). Then you tucked every stuffed animal in that house into his bed. Then you proceeded to accessorize Papa Milo with rubber bands and he obligingly held out wrists and bent his ear so you could decorate him. :D It's the sweetest thing in the world the way you two play. In fact, it reminds me of how I used to play with him growing up. He's such a good man. Gramma Alice adores you, too - but Papa is your pal when we visit." - 8.24.14

"You tell anyone and everyone we meet about the owie on your knee and how you got it at the post office when you fell on the sidewalk and they gave you a sucker and your leg was 'juicy.' Oh kid - you're such a storyteller." - 8.24.14

"This morning we slept in and enjoyed a delightful breakfast of eggs, buttered toast, and a pear. After eating, we grabbed our blankets and cuddled on the porch rocking chair, looking at the wet, green, cool day. We listened to the birds sing and the wind rustle the leaves. I love gray, dreary days, especially with you, and knowing we have a toasty home to walk back into. We're going to bake nutella cookies this afternoon and eat homemade chicken noodle soup for lunch." - 9.12.14

"The other night at the farm, we were watching Madagascar and you said 'it's showtime!' out of nowhere. We had no idea what you were talking about, until 10 seconds later, Marty said 'It's showtime!' !!! You know movie lines!!! You're a Kahnk, that's for sure. Then the other day at lunch I asked you to stop moving so much and to eat, and you paused, smiled, and said 'I like to move it move it. I like to move it move it.' Oh, kid, you crack me up." - 9.12.14

"You like to help with everything right now. 'Please I help?' Sweeping, building, picking tomatoes and weeds, folding laundry. It all takes much longer and I inevitably have to backtrack and clean up after you, but it's worth watching you learn and grow and become more confident." - 9.12.14

"'We are silly together, Mama.' :) Oh, Alice, I love you so much. Our time as a little duo is coming to an end, and while I'm excited for Milo to join us, I'm sad to share my attention and not just be "Alice and Mama" anymore. It's our last week, just you and me. Enjoying all of it." - 10.27.14

"Your brother is here! Your first question upon seeing him was 'Can I kiss him?' :D You love to kiss, cuddle, hold, and hugga-mugga Milo. He gave you Emily the Train at the hospital when you met him which really sealed the deal." - 11.14.14

"You and daddy are BUDS now. He played with you so much while I tended to Milo. The day he went back to work, you said to your baby doll, 'You stay with Mommy and Milo while I go to work.' You miss him. I do, too. We had a lot of fun while he was home." - 11.14.14

"You're starting to get very good at identifying emotions. Yesterday, I was working at the computer and you kept climbing on me and sitting on me and generally taking over my space and I was starting to get mad when you said, 'Mama, are you frustrated? Let's take a deep breath and count to 4.' So we did. 'You feel better?' 'Yes, sweetheart. I feel better.' I love you, Alice. And praise God for Daniel Tiger! You are always amazing me. So glad you're mine. Hugga Mugga, Little Bear." - 11.14.14

"Last Thursday night, we had some time to kill before my haircut at Bungalow 8, so we walked around Regency - you love the fountains. And guess who just happened to be there in all his Christmas fanfare? Santa himself, velvet suit, white beard, twinkle in his eye and all. We weren't going to pay for pictures (sorry, kid) but we asked if you could just meet him. With a green light, I followed your steady steps to the base of his great chair where you silently lifted your arms - your cue for him to pick you up. He did so, setting you gently on his lap. By the way, you didn't even turn around to see if I was there - you bravely decided you were meeting Santa all on your own, no outside introductions necessary. The look on your face was part awe, part dead seriousness. Santa, being a gentleman and excellent small-talker, politely asked you your name. That seems to break your trance, because you responded, "Hi! My name is Alice!! Nice to meet you!." Santa seemed pretty pleased and proceeded to ask what you would like for Christmas. You, not wanting anything in particular, declared, 'a toy!' 'Do you want anything else?' Santa asked. 'Uhhhhh, nope!' :D I love you, Alice. So concluded your first encounter with Kris Kringle, and I couldn't have been more proud." - 12.09.14

"'Is it Christmas-time, Mama?' 'Yes, it is!' 'Yay! We can open presents!!!' 'Uh, no...' ...'It's snowing, Alice!' 'Hooray! We can open presents!!!' 'Uh...no again.' We had many conversations like this over the last few weeks.Your excitement to open the much anticipated boxes and bags under the tree is practically palpable." - 12.22.14

"You love to play hide and seek - although you have no idea what it really is. I'll begin counting, hear you run around, and then stop right beside me, waiting for me to say "Ready or not, here I come!" just so you can say, 'I found you!' You'll get it someday." - 1.15.15

"One of my favorite things lately is to climb into your bed in the morning once I hear you chatting to yourself and cuddle for a few minutes before the day starts. It's the best." - 1.15.15

"Your most cherished phrase in the world is 'A comer!' After I shout it, I can usually hear your stampeding feet drawing you to the kitchen whilst shouting to everyone else 'A comer! A comer! A comer, daddy!' You love mealtimes. You help me set the table and clear up, too. You like making Milo smile while he joins us in his Bumbo. You insist on twirling with me in the kitchen while I cook and love to go on parades with daddy and Milo around the table." - 2.18.15

"You are Orange-Green! You and I butt heads a lot (haha, 'butt heads' ;)) and it's because we're both first color orange which means we want what we want when we want it. Hoping I'll learn how to better parent you now that I know your motives." - 2.18.15

"This morning you hopped into bed with us, nestling into the middle, burrowing under the covers, and nudging us til you were comfortable. So stinkin' cute :)" - 3.15.15

"Spring is on the way! You've been playing in the backyard more lately and getting so dirty, but it's good for you. I finally clipped your nails because you were gathering enough ground under them to start a garden." - 3.15.15

"Last Saturday, we had gone to the bakery for donuts before a preschool open house and decided to pop into the library to apologize for a book you ate and tore. (Goat girl! Why are all the corners missing? And why, oh why, a book that isn't ours?!) Even though we prepped and practiced your apology, you froze when we stood in front of The Lady. Eventually she learned what had transpired and you managed to squeak out "I'm sorry." You looked like you were going to cry. We handed over $5 and left with a contrite little soul in our wake. It was a good experience for you to answer to someone else. You're a little person making choices and we're trying to teach you how. I'm proud of you. Stop eating books, okay? :)" - 3.15.15

"You're my sassy little sassafras lately with your moxy and gumption and 'tude. But you know what? I kind of love it. You have an independent, unbroken spirit and to tell you truly, you're a lot like me. You twirl to your own music and laugh when no one else does. You discover our little world with your curiosity and magnifying glass in hand. You draw on yourself with sidewalk chalk - Matisse-style - but instead of a green line down your nose, you choose pink." - 4.1.15

"We talked about death again recently. Last week, you came with me to Libby's house while they were in Disney World so we could take care of Buddy, Sophie, and Lola. I taught you how to approach a dog like Lola who had been hit and hurt before Libby took care of her. She's leery, easily angered, easily scared, and very cautious. I also had to tell you Lola had cancer and was sick. I showed you how to get lower than her and slowly hold your hand out to sniff. You did all of this beautifully, until...you hopped up, ran to the door, disregarded everything I had taught you, and then tried to pet her by lunging. Lola didn't respond well. She bared her toothless gums and made a threatening growl. I tried to stop you but then had to escort you out and explain that you lost her trust and that you could try again next time. Except, there was no next time. Lola died less than a week after. We drew a picture of Lola for Libby and brought flowers. When I told you she died and was buried and wouldn't be alive again for us to see her, you didn't act sad. Maybe since she wasn't ours, or maybe you think Jesus will give her a new body like we will get someday when Jesus comes back for us. (Or maybe you really don't care?) Who knows. But at least you understand that death isn't the end for us. We all die, but for those who believe in Jesus, He will give us new bodies and bring us to be with him forever. FOREVER! Isn't that awesome?!!! Alice, death is so temporary. We'll feel it's sadness, of course - we miss people we love. We still have life here to live without them. But it goes so fast. Then will be the real show. We're on the short side of eternity right now. Heaven is going to be so wonderful and magical and full. You won't have any misplaced or unfulfilled desires. No more heartache, no more pain. This Earth will be made new - just like us. I hope beyond hope that you will be there with me and your daddy. That you choose Him. Choose life, little one. It's a choice - He won't force himself on you. It wouldn't be love otherwise, and He wants the real deal as much as we do. Even when you stray, He'll still be there waiting for you, wooing you back. He's a persistent lover, and yes, you are worth it. You alone, Alice, were worth the cross. Did you know that? My little one. Daughter. Alice-bear. I love you. I love being your mama and teaching you. I fail with you a lot. I lose my patience and cool and hurt you by being harsh. I'm sorry. Will you forgive me? Thanks for loving me back. Sure do love you, dear heart." - 5.18.15

Mother Bear