To my precious Turner Cole,
Wow! You’re 4 years old today! The past year has been a lot of fun because you absolutely loved to PLAY. As soon as we walked in the door each afternoon after school, you always asked if we could go upstairs to play with your toys right away. Your imagination has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year, and you’ve really learned to play independently. I think some of that is because you discovered the world of YouTube and could watch video after video of people unboxing and playing with toys. (You called it watching your “games.”)
Your favorite toys to play with this year were Legos and superheroes, especially Batman. At some point during the year, you asked us to buy you the “bad guy” toys. When we asked why you wanted bad guys, you said it was because the superheroes needed someone to fight! We bought you a whole lot of bad guys and you were so thrilled.
Even though you liked to play with toys inside, one of your favorite things to do during the summertime was play in the water. We went to so many splash pads, pools, and water parks this year! We even bought a temporary pool for the backyard so that you could play in the water at home. You and Ally had a lot of fun in there! Even though it wasn’t a big pool, you wanted to put our full-sized inflatable water toys in there, so we did! You jumped in with no fear and had a blast. Daddy also cut a baseball diamond into our backyard for you to learn to play t-ball. You hit the ball so hard on your second try! We spent time as a family going for walks on a trail near our house. You really enjoyed being outside.
We traveled a few times with you this year. First, you and I flew to Mississippi in February to surprise Papa for his 70th birthday party. He was so happy to see us, and it was the best surprise ever! You and daddy had a “boys’ weekend” in May when I went out of town. You got to go to Legoland! In August, we all took a road trip to Mississippi. We saw so many of our family and friends during that trip and had lots of fun experiences. We went to the Mississippi Children’s Museum and a Mississippi Braves baseball game. You got to see all of your cousins at a cookout at Granny’s house, and we even spent a day at Geyser Falls water park. You did such a great job being in the car for so long!
A few weeks later, we loaded up the car again and drove to Broken Bow, Oklahoma for a Labor Day getaway. You thought the cabin we stayed at was so cool! You were even more excited to have your own Murphy bed. Your favorite part of our cabin BY FAR, was the hot tub on the back porch. We put your puddle jumper on you and you “swam” in that hot tub so many times! Daddy and I almost considered buying a hot tub for our backyard since you loved it so much! During this trip, you went canoeing and played putt-putt golf for the first time.
Our biggest/best trip of the year was when we all went to Disney World! Turner, you had so much fun! I know you probably won’t remember much of it, but as your mommy, I will never forget the look on your face when you met the characters and rode the rides. Your favorite thing to do was ride the roller coasters and meet characters. You even got to dance with Minnie Mouse! Your daddy and I hope to take you back to Disney World very soon!
There are so many other memories I have about you from the past year. You went through a phase where you did not like bedtime AT ALL. Even though you would promise daddy and me that you weren’t going to “take a fit,” (your words) there were some nights that I had to pray louder than you were screaming to get us through the bedtime fight. You sure put your daddy and me to the test! But once you did settle down at bedtime (ALWAYS with a snack and a drink), you would lay there in the dark and ask us some of the most thoughtful questions. Many times you would ask about Jesus and Heaven. You would tell me all about your day at school and talk until you fell asleep. I enjoyed those quiet times with you.
Turner, your daddy and I are so proud of you. You have learned to write your name by yourself and have even memorized my phone number this year. I see you becoming more and more independent every day. Even though I’m proud of how smart and capable you are, part of my mommy heart still wants you to stay little for just a while longer. I’ve made you promise to keep giving me “big boy hugs” (complete with your running start) every day forever, so I’m going to hold you to that promise as long as I can. I love you, sweet Turner. Keep shining brightly.
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