Happy third birthday, Brady Ley.

Dear Brady,

You’re three years old today. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around it, really. Because just yesterday you were taking your first little wobbly step. You were saying Mommy instead of Mama. You were saying your first word. And now. Now, sweet boy, you are a little boy. No longer a baby and only a toddler for just a little while longer, you are so strong. You are smart and sweet and silly and full of personality. You’ve grown, little man, from Mommy’s precious baby into Mommy’s big boy. I don’t really know what to say of all this love in my heart for you. Other than it brings me to tears to try and write.

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I want you to always know how much you are wanted. How much you are cherished and valued. You are so important, sweet B. You are so worthy of a life lived to its fullest every single second that God grants you. And naturally tears are streaming down my face, just like every year when I write these letters to you, but that’s just the outpouring of a grateful heart. Your daddy and I dreamed of you for a long time and it will never sink in just how lucky we were for God to tap our shoulders to be your parents.

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This year, you’ve done so many new things. You started “school” at Mrs. Evelyn’s house with your three buddies. You travelled thousands of miles back and forth to Nana and Pop Pop’s house in Pensacola.

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You learned how to cheer Mommy up when she went through a hard time after we lost our sweet Briggs and your Daddy’s Daddy went to heaven. Speaking of heaven, we talked a lot about it this year. And you asked a lot of questions about a lot of important things. You are so smart sweet boy.

One of my favorite memories from this year was when we travelled to Flights of Fantasy with Daddy and Meemaw. This little bitty airplane was about to take off and had to rev up his engine down a really long runway. It was loud and windy and everyone was cheering on the little plane. I was video-taping your reaction to seeing this cool airplane when you suddenly cheered, “GO GO GO AIRPLANE! YOU CAN DO IT!” I thought my heart might explode. All you wanted was to cheer that little airplane on. Oh sweet boy. Never, ever lose that heart of yours.

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My prayer for you is that you would always have that need to LOVE on other people. Give it away, B, and it will come back to you in a million ways. If you’re ever confused and don’t know the answer to a situation… just love on people. That’s always the right answer. Never doubt that.

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I love being your Mama more than anything in the world. My favorite time of day is at bedtime after Daddy brushes your teeth… I lay down with you for a few minutes and we say prayers together. You say you’re grateful for your tool bench and your stuffed dog, Taco.

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And sometimes, like tonight (its almost as if you knew my heart needed extra love today) you ask me to marry you. Or you tell me how much you love when Daddy swings you from your feet in the living room. :) I love those little moments of honesty, buddy. They fill my heart to its brim. This little family of ours is so special.

I love you forever, my three year old. Happy, happy birthday to you.

With all my heart,

Mommy

Happy first birthday.

Happy second birthday.

Images by Michael Newman Photography (farm images) & Allie McWhinney Photography (neighborhood & home images)

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  1. Kristi commented:

    Em–I just read through all 3 of B’s birthdays and his birth story. Happy chin quiver :) What a blessing this little boy has been and so fun watching him grow! Thank you for the example of patience, His never-ended grace, and motherhood. I pray for that time when Luke and I become parents, and hope to recap and recount these moments each year.

  2. Kyla F commented:

    Happy birthday to little Mr. Brady Ley! Reading your words to him inspired me for the day when I will hopefully marry and have children of my own. I love your advice for him to love on other people, as that is such a beautiful and pure way to shine God’s love each day. I will say a prayer for your little man today that God will fill his heart with love and a desire to serve others as he continues to grow. Way to go to you both for raising him with important values and experiences, too! :)

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