Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is She 3 ALREADY?!

***Be ready for a picture OVERLOAD***

Dear Dannika Jane,
My little Queen. I don't know if I should be happy or sad today that you are officially 3. I'm happy and extremely proud of what a vibrant, intelligent, and GORGEOUS little lady you are becoming, but it makes me sad that you are literally growing up so fast right before my eyes. You can hold full blown conversations with people, tell jokes, talk back, argue, and express honestly (out loud) about how you think the homeless man outside the grocery store is dirty. Yes, your honesty is brutal and extremely embarrassing to Mommy. We are working on putting a little filter on that mouth of yours.
You are one of the most physically and emotionally tough little girls I know. It's not uncommon for Daddy and I to ask you, "Where did you hit your head?" Seriously, you hit your head on EVERYTHING. You are doing back flips off the couch, somersaults on the hardwood floors, and you try and crossfit with us. Emotionally, I don't know many 3 year olds who can say that a year and a 1/2 of their life has been spent sending Daddy away because of his job and welcoming home. You've done 2 deployments, COUNTLESS nights with just one parent (Mommy), and yet when you see either your Mommy or Daddy at the end of the day, you are all smiles and laughter. Any guilt that we feel about not being around you enough melts away with your little "bear hugs". 
You wave and smile at EVERYONE. You ALWAYS say hello. It's a little scary sometimes because you are not afraid of strangers, and you have NO problem walking right up to them to ask them for a high five.
Your hair is finally growing!!!!! HOORAY! Mommy can actually get away with putting little clips in it. It's still in its' awkward phase, so putting it into a ponytail or pigtail of some sort still looks a little funny. Don't worry baby, I am CONFIDENT that you will have long, thick, luscious hair like your Mama. 
You are loved by everyone you come in contact with, and have the ability to change someone's day and mood with just your smile and laugh. The sky's the limit little Queen....the world is yours!

As the cliche goes...
"Where DOES the time go?!?"

Here was our little acorn 3 years ago today...

Here she is on her 1st Birthday...

Two...(Remember her Sweet Shoppe Birthday Party?)

Her 3rd Birthday photos...

It's crazy to see how much kids change in such a short amount of time.
The last time Nick was home was Memorial Day Weekend, and he was ASTONISHED with how much she had changed in just 7 short weeks.
(OH BTW, Nick came home late Saturday night to visit, and we got to spend Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and this morning with him)
I'm SO thankful that God made timing perfect for Nick to be able to take leave and come home for her Birthday week. (Her official Birthday is TODAY!)

I won't bore you with all the exciting details.
I'll just post the pics.

The Birthday extravaganza started on Sunday night at the Gilbert's home.
We had fajitas and Sprinkles Cupcakes!

Just loungin' poolside at the Gilbert's home

A little skinny dipping (for Dannika) in the pool before the festivities.

Oh I love thee. We had red velvet, chocolate, vanilla, lemon blueberry, and salted caramel.

The Birthday Girl ALWAYS gets red velvet

Dannika and Mrs. Gloria

Our next adventure was the Disneyland California Adventure Park
Reading the map and deciding what ride to go on next.

 I LOVED that she was just tall enough to ride most of the really fun rides!

Carsland is the newest attraction at Disneyland, and there has been a TON of hype about it. 
People were camping out at Disneyland before opening day to see Carsland.
Let me just say, it did not disappoint.
It was so real, and I really felt like I was in Radiator Springs! 
So cool!!

 The Mater ride was by far, Nick and my favorite ride! Dannika was ONE inch taller than the height requirement. It was a lot faster than it looked and super exciting!

Nick and I found a children's dance club and spent the last 2 hours of our Disneyland trip in the A/C. We couldn't get Dannika to leave! They played all these hit songs, had a DJ, crazy lights, a Disco ball, and random Disney characters would come out and dance with them! 

This is Dannika doing the "chicken dance"

We  had such a fun-filled weekend!
Normally, Nick and I like to do a "date night" without Dannika when he comes into town, but since it's her Birthday week, we wanted the entire weekend to be about her.

The day after Disney (Nick's last full day home), we took her to see Brave (a must see! I have a new appreciation for "gingers"
After Brave, we walked right over the petting zoo and spent a few hours just enjoying time as a family. 

While 3 full days just seemed way too short, I thank God every single day for the little blessings that we get. :-)


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