Dear Signa,

Today is your 7th birthday. Only the sixth time we’ve officially celebrated the day you came into this world. Or, more truthfully, were dragged, pulled and coerced into this world. So officially, the sixth time we have celebrated, but you know that we really celebrate you EVERY day.

You continue to be a beautiful person on the inside and out. We are so thankful for every single thing about you. I love that you are part Daddy (you are artistic, you are happy, you are easy-going, you are beautiful) and part me (you are anal-retentive, detail-oriented and you love lists… hey wait… maybe you are more Daddy, as these things are not necessarily good things…).

You are a good friend, a good sister and a good daughter. You are so sweet to the pets, wiping the dog’s eyes in the mornings, taking pictures of the cat with you when you travel. All these things mean that you are a good person with a good heart and no amount of teaching can MAKE someone be these things; they are things that just ARE. And you ARE these things.

We are proud of how much fun you have at all the things you do. You try everything with excitement and joy and never, ever stop smiling. Kids pick up on that and question “Why are you always smiling.” They do this because they aren’t used to seeing it. They aren’t used to seeing pure joy, like we are. It makes us smile too. Every day.

You still do and say funny things, but it’s changing now to where the things you do and say are more brilliant than funny. Sometimes your brilliance and goodness catch us off guard and we can’t help but wonder how you can be only six (now seven) and know and understand these things so naturally. You are amazing at how quickly you learn and how much you retain. You are actually amazing at just about everything.

I’ve written a birthday letter to you every year and every year I just go on and on about you. I don’t even have to try at this, Signa. It comes naturally and flows out, as you really truly are an amazing person. And you bring us more joy and happiness than you can ever understand.

Momma and Daddy
For the first time ever, Signa spent the night away from us. It was with Gramma, so we knew it would be okay, but we were traumatized and missed her like crazy!

She and Gramma had made a list of the things to do together over the past few months (yes, months) and as I was unpacking her things, I found it, but it's marked up:

Signa and Gramma's Weekend

Go to Signa's soccer game (then there is a check mark that looks more like a backward "L" so I know Signa did it)
Have a picnic on the porch/PJ Fluff & Banana (check/backward L)
Go to the park (check/backward L)
Go to the duck pond (check/backward L)
Go to the Palo Alto Airport for "Airport Day" (check/backward L)
Go to two pet stores (check/backward L)
Go to the mall/Build-a-Bear (check/backward L- an owl named Lulu)
Have pizza for dinner (check/backward L)
Go to Cold Stone for ice cream (check/backward L)
Watch the movie Coraline (check/backward L)

Have pancakes for breakfast (check/backward L)
Bake cookies (check/backward L)
Do art project (no check)
Go visit Auntie Karen (check/backward L)
Go visit Austin's house (check/backward L)
Go visit Momma and Daddy (check/backward L)

And then in Signa's writing: "The End (check/backward L)"

It’s been so long since I’ve written on Mascot Manor, that my fingers are all rusty. I’m going to shake them off and try to get back on track here.

To start, let me tell you about the kids’ activities. Will just finished up a month of gymnastics every Saturday. He loved it and did great with listening and following directions, but the music petrified him and he would refuse to do the prancing that the little ones all did. By the fifth class, he was finally prancing gingerly. Signa is taking karate (called Kempo or Kenpo- I still haven’t figured out how it’s really pronounced). She is to an orange belt now and it’s fun to watch her in class, as she is completely focused and serious about it.

Which is very different from how she plays soccer. In the one game (of 2) that I’ve watched, she played only hard enough to not get in trouble. When the ball came anywhere near her, she quickly moved away enough so that someone else could step in. She didn’t hustle or hurry down the field and generally looked uncomfortable and like she hated every hot moment. But after? “That was so fun! I love soccer!”

Whatever. We will let her do her own thing.

She is also in an art class once a week and does AMAZING work and then a physics/art history class once a week. One week will be physics and the next will be art history. (Home)School officially starts next Tuesday for us, but we sort of never stop some of it. Just don’t tell Signa…

We just finished our move and even though we’d been in the new house unofficially for a few weeks, the final drive home from old house to new was traumatic for me. I sobbed all the way, despite the hollering from the backseat, "Momma, your crying is NOT awesome! Why are you crying? Why is Momma crying- it's not fun!"

So all my old neighbors? If you try to drop from my world, just remember that I know where you live.