To My Sweet Katherine:

You have made me a mother. And so on this Mother’s Day, I celebrate you, sweet girl.

You are nearing being 7 months old. And I am constantly amazed at how much you have grown, developed, and learned. You already make us so proud. Katherine Elizabeth Connatser, we are completely in love with you (and your precious baby chunkiness only adds to our love).

You are so active and when you’re lying down you just roll all around. You have always loved standing up and scurrying so fast around the house in your walker. Bath time and reading time you definitely have come to enjoy. You always love hearing music. You especially love being outside and going on walks. You haven’t slept through the night yet; you wake up every couple hours and just don’t know how to get your little self back to sleep. But one day you will learn and we both will thoroughly enjoy the rest that comes from a good night’s sleep. But for now, I will continue to love you through these exhausting nights. But even without solid sleeps, you are still so happy, content, and healthy. You have loved everything I’ve made for you so far and excitedly eaten lots (cereal, bananas, spinach, green beans, mangoes, avocados, carrots, peas, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, smoothies, and I’m probably forgetting something), and you get quite excited about a cup of water too. Your smile is constant; your giggles completely warm our hearts; we can tell that you love being around people. Your daddy and I have already watched your sweet and fun personality start to show. And your personality lights up our life.

Life in this family will most certainly be full of adventures. I cannot be certain of where the adventures will take us or what they will look like.

But the one thing I do know is that you will be so loved on this journey. At times you may not understand our love for you.

When we have to discipline you, know it is because we love you enough to lead you to the Truth.

When we make decisions for you that you don’t understand, know it is because we love you enough to pass our wisdom along to you.

Sweet girl, you have brought us an abundance of joy. Your short life has already strengthened our faith and made us better disciples of our Lord. The past year and a half of you being in our life has been filled with the highest mountains and some of the lowest valleys. We have soared through levels of love and goodness that we hadn’t known before you; we’ve trekked through some harsh valleys. And combined they have enabled us to be better parents for you, dear one.

I will gladly tell you about the valleys someday. I want you to know of God’s faithfulness through them. But I never want you to think that they were your fault. You may have been a surprise to your daddy and I, carrying you was far from easy, your birth was so very hard, and those first weeks with you were quite trying, but you, my dear one, were so worth it all. So very worth it. And I would gladly do it all over again so we could have you in our life. The Lord is faithful to redeem our hardships and pain, not to let us forget them, but to exchange them for the sweetest of joys; I pray that is something you quickly hold fast to.

Your smile melts us; your cries make our hearts ache.

Your abilities astound us; your strength amazes us.

Your past strengthens us; your future excites us.

Your independence is so mature; your attachment to us is so sweet.

My sweet Katherine, the Lord has used your precious life to teach me and grow me. He’s revealed my selfishness so that I may learn to selflessly serve you and your daddy. He’s taught me patience so that I may be more content. He’s forced me to rest and lay aside my striving for perfection so that I may more fully cherish the days we have together. He has reminded me that I can trust Him and His timing. He has taught me to open my eyes to miracles, because pregnancy and birth has shown me how completely miraculous life is. He has directed my heart to pray for those who so desperately want children and for whatever reason it hasn’t happened and those who have had to say goodbye to their precious babies. He has shown me the foolishness of my insecurities, as I look at you and only see beauty.

Sweet girl, the Lord is already using you in so many ways. And your daddy and I pray that you will trust and love Jesus, follow Him all the days of your life, know Him intimately and make Him known.

Dear one, you are our beloved daughter, and we pray you will one day be our sister.

We hope you will always know you are loved and you are prayed for and you are beautiful.

Thank you for making me a momma. But you have not only made me a momma, but a better wife and disciple of Christ. I love you, sweet girl. Thank you for being you. I celebrate you today and always.