happy birthday, jenna.

Look at this happy girl! This photo is a more than a few months old, from the Spring, so you've changed a bit since then, but it captures your spirit so perfectly.
While your little hands still feel so tiny in mine, I see very clearly how much growth comes between age two and three. Your baby features have faded away, making room for longer legs, beautiful, wavy hair and eyes that look more and more like your big sister. In fact, most days, people ask me if you are twins, which gives me all the feels.

Like most three year olds with big sisters, your language has exploded. You ask good questions, and you looks us in the eye when you do. We talk about all sorts of things, but mostly, about what we're doing after breakfast, or after the park or after your nap and most importantly, what's for dessert after dinner. There is always so much we are always looking forward to. And even with your newfound vocabulary, let's hold onto 'hang-a-burger' - said in your thickest East Coast accent - for your favorite 'hamburger.' I hope we never forget this one.

Another Jenna'ism that we especially love is your care and keep for babies, real and pretend. When a baby is near, you are not far behind. While your older sister is off solving pretend world problems, you can be found tucking a little one in blankets, or warming up a bottle or singing a happy tune to calm a sleepless baby doll.

Even with your recent maturity, which feels like it appeared overnight, you manage to remind me that you're still my baby. I'll never turn down the chance to rock you in my arms, push you in the stroller, tickle you for a deep belly laugh, sing you to sleep or wrap you up like a little burrito. It is in those moments and because of your sister and you that I find myself slowing down more, discovering joy in  what most would call ordinary moments and am humbled with gratitude when I take the time to really recognize them as extraordinary.

Your sweet little singing voice that hums to the beats that seem to dance whimsically through your only head, creative dance moves, laser focus with legos, cheerful play with your sister - intermingled with bouts of WWE-like moves - all bring such happiness to our family. Your smile, though. It's magic. It's just about my favorite thing in all the world.
I love you, sweet Jenna Bean. Happy third birthday.

Photos by the gifted Siri Berting