This girl. I don't even know where to start. She was literally the BIGGEST surprise of my entire life. If you were to ask me what in my whole entire life has surprised me the most, I would say the day I knew I was expecting a baby that we had not "planned" for. We were in the midst of moving to a new state, a new place, a new start. Not only was she the biggest surprise, she is also one of my best GIFTS from the Lord.Hannah Kate is one of the kindest, most compassionate children I know. And I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter. I'm saying that because she is, because it is God's beautiful work in her. She's not my most outgoing child, and most people think she is very shy, reserved and quiet. Outside the haven of our home, she is. And because she is shy in a sense, I've noticed many times that it seems like she isn't necessarily part of "the group," or she is always "in the back," or she is off "to the side." But lately I've begun to notice that's not the case at all. She's looking for the one who needs a friend. She's looking for the one who needs a little extra encouragement. She's looking for the underdog. She wants everyone to feel welcome and included and like they have a place. Her teacher at Sequitur even told me this week that she has observed this very thing. She described Hannah Kate as living with an "open heart." She said Hannah Kate has gotten to know all of the girls in her little class, befriended all and not just one or two. There have been so many times that my Momma heart was concerned because I feel like she "doesn't have any friends." I mean, we homeschool. The church we go to is super small. She's the only girl in her Sunday School class. She's known the girls in her dance classes for several years, but most of them go to school or church together so they already have their group. I was so encouraged this week to hear her teacher say this.
Hannah Kate is also very sensitive, tender and thoughtful. I can always tell what she's feeling. She wears it all over her. She's independent. Always had been. She doesn't want my help. She wants to do it herself. And, let me tell you, she can definitely "do it herself." But sometimes I just want to help! She had a little art project to do last week for science. I never once saw it until she was completely finished. She never asked any questions, never asked my opinion about anything, never needed any kind of help. I was really impressed when I finally saw it.
She absolutely loves "school," loves learning. She is THRIVING at Sequitur. She said the only thing she doesn't like about it is that she wishes she could go everyday and not just two days a week. School comes so easy and so natural for her. She enjoys her work, and I can tell she's sometimes disappointed when she's finished for the week because she just wants more. She loves to read. As a matter of fact, I cannot keep enough books in this house for her. For her upcoming birthday and Christmas, she just wants all the books! And a Lego set. She is very artsy and loves to draw and craft and glue and use scissors. She loves to write, especially in cursive.
Hannah Kate is the best big sister. She has doted in Ellie since the day she was born. She is so patient with her. She helps bathe her. She helps her get a drink and a snack. She plays what Ellie wants to play. She helps Ellie pick up her toys. She also shares her own toys and doll clothes and dress up clothes with Ellie. She also helps me teach Ellie numbers and letters and such. Ellie is so blessed to have such a wonderful big sister.
Hannah Kate also loves Mason. Those two. The bond is special. They were whispering back and forth today while we were doing errands. I kept asking them what they were talking about, and Mason said it was a secret. Hannah Kate will do anything her brother asks her to. She will keep his secrets. Those two don't particularly like it when the other isn't here. Hannah Kate is also the mediator between her brother and little sister. She is definitely the voice of calm.
Within the haven of our walls, Hannah Kate is loud! Yes, she is! She dances and sings constantly. She laughs deeply. She jokes and teases and makes silly faces. She will still let me put big bows in her hair when we go somewhere, but she always wears her hair down when we are at home. She loves to play outside. Her favorite color is turquoise (notice her tennis shoes). She loves helping me in the kitchen. She eats broccoli and Brussels sprouts and carrots and strawberries and all the really healthy, yummy things. But her most favorite is spaghetti and meatballs. But you know what she doesn't like? Blue jeans. Yes. She refuses to wear denim! I mean, that will totally bring her to tears. I am not at all kidding. I tried last year, and I found out very quickly it wasn't worth it. But do you know how hard it is to dress and almost 9-year old in play clothes during the cooler months when she won't wear jeans? I mean, Ellie is so cute in those little cotton dresses and tunics and leggings, but it gets a lot harder the bigger they get. I have to be honest though. She probably gets it from me. I have only one pair of jeans in my closet.
It is an honor and a JOY to be this girl's Momma! Really and truly, she has been my encouragement and my strength during the hardest of days. She has picked me up so many times. She makes being a Momma so easy! She amazes me every single day. I have to admit that I am just so excited to watch her grow up into a young lady. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has big plans for this girl, and I just can't wait to see it and be a small part of it. I can only give Him the praise and the glory for who she is and for what He has already done in and through her. She tells me all the time that she loves me more. I can never convince her otherwise. But on the day she becomes a Momma (if that's God's plan for her life), she'll finally understand and know that's not true at all. I love her more!