How did she get so mature? 16 years ago today, I was in labor.

The irony’s not lost on me–Mary in labor on Christmas Eve. Thankfully, there was room at the Inn (cleverly disguised as a hospital). A few more hours and Sophie would’ve been my baby Jesus, but she fought her way to Christmas Eve, as if she knew gift giving would be difficult enough! She came to us after one long nap in a big red stocking, a little Santa hat on her peach-fuzzed head.

And now she wears a helmet. (Just kidding, this was taken when we went climbing last summer at family camp). She’s adorable, beautiful, thoughtful, Jesusy, intelligent, conscientious, sweet, and a joy to be around. I can’t imagine my life without her. We’re moving from mother-daughter to friend-friend, although we both fasten on the other when it’s necessary.

I feel the rumblings of change, though. A little over two years and this girl will be heading off to college, forging her way. I think my heart will break in two.

But today I’m rejoicing that she’s so amazing. I love my daughter’s tender heart. Love how she loves children. Love that she’s got a heart for the world. Love that she’s dedicated and goofy all at the same time. I watch her and see Jesus. And I want to capture more of her child-like wonder to myself.

Happy Birthday, Sophie!

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