She's six.

A huge piece of my heart has been walking around on Earth for six years. I can't really fathom how the days seem so long, but years fly by.

She's truly the best person I know. She's so beautiful inside and out, which we've known all along. This year in Kindergarten we were aware that other people could see it to when she received a couple of awards for being kind, a sweet friend and a leader in the classroom. We are so proud of her.

SIX things about McKinlee I never want to forget:

1. She's told me that when she's a mom, she wants to have twin girls and she would name them Eleanor & Darcy. I have NO idea where this came from, but I love that she's already dreaming of being a mom someday!

2. She loves her brother. Don't get me wrong, they fight all. the. time. However, the times she wakes up first and goes to pick him up out of bed while he's still half asleep and carries him into the living room, puts him on the couch, covers him up and turns on Paw Patrol, melts me into a puddle.

3. Makeup. She's obsessed. I told her she isn't allowed to wear makeup until she's 13, so she pouts, huffs & puffs, and says "I can't wait to be 13." She's such a girly girl and loves all things nail polish, dresses that twirl and posing for pictures. Mothering a daughter is about to get real, real.

4. I've dreamed of these days since we found out we would have a daughter. Days filled with small talk, girl secrets, couch cuddles, hearing about her day, the boys that she has crushes on (as we hear dad yelling "NOPE!" from the background), feeling left-out at recess, how someone hurt her feelings. These are the formative years that I will develop a trust that will slowly lead us into her teenage years. I try to be so patient and willing to listen, when she's ready to talk, even when it's in the craziness of trying to get dinner ready, go through backpacks, and keep Carter alive (cause boys!).

5. She loves anything artsy and loves that she knows how to write now. She writes us letters & cards all the time. She wrote me a note yesterday, and signed it "yor dodr" (your daughter), I die. She's the sweetest.

6. She loves her daddy. I tear up when I think about their relationship. I love him with all my heart and I can't reasonably explain her loving a man one day, who isn't the epitome of him. He loves her hard, they go on dates, probably more than we do, and she loves it. I'm so thankful for a husband/dad who's teaching her what real love should feel like. It's not a transaction, you don't have to earn it, you just have it. When I pray for her husband, I pray that he's just like Justin.

Happy Birthday, sweet baby! We love you so much!