Since Zoe's birthday just passed I thought I would share her letter with everyone and also include the letters I wrote for Dominic and McKenna this past year. Keep in mind that Dominic and McKenna's were both written before McKenna passed away and Zoe's is after.
HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY ZOE!!!
I can’t believe you are already 1!!! I feel like you have been so small for so long and then a month before your birthday you just started looking/acting like a 1 year old. You showed no signs of walking and honestly not that much talking but then BAM!!! All of sudden you decided to be one and now you are walking everywhere, saying “bye, bye” with a little wave, “DaDa” and even “MaMa”. Sometimes I swear I hear you say “All done” when you’re eating and one time out of the blue you said “HI” to me in the car. It’s adorable but please feel free to slow down at any time, I wouldn't mind at all.
Well so far you are my “chilliest” baby. Your low maintenance and never really demand attention on yourself. I think in many ways you understand that you are the 3rd child and that mommy has her hands full. You just play quietly by yourself, usually you are trying to eat whatever is closest to you. Everything goes in your mouth. (Yes, you are a little tubby baby and I love it!) You have BLUEST eyes out of all of us. McKenna has hazel eyes like me but yours are just pure blue, they are so beautiful. I’m not sure who you got those from since daddy’s eyes are brown but they are gorgeous on you.
You are the first baby to actually look like me. Dominic kind of looks like me, McKenna is a clone of daddy, and you are my little twinsie. You have a little round face and big round eyes. I was a tubby baby too. Third times the charm I guess. You actually remind me a lot of Dominic when he was a baby, you have a lot of the same qualities, your both not so much into the cuddling as you are talking or being talked too (Kenna was the cuddler). You love when people talk to you, you don’t have to be held, you just have to be talked too. Anyone talking in your direction puts a big smile on your face.
Your easy going and easy to make laugh. You love to be tickled, explore inside drawers, and crawl into the dishwasher. You especially love to play with Duke (our new Husky we got a few months ago). He wasn’t very fond of you at first (because your version of “petting” = smacking him in the face) but luckily he is patient and is coming around to you. It helps that you are always willing to give him your food, he likes that a lot. Every morning when I get you up he runs in their and lays next to you while I change your diaper and then scoots closer and closer to you till he is almost sitting on top of you and you think it is sooooo funny.
Dominic and you have a great relationship. If I tell him to go play with you that means for the next 30 minutes he is going to make silly faces, loud noises, and have you chase things around the house. You both love bath time. We have a giant tub in our bedroom and you guys will play in there forever. Dominic is ALWAYS trying to scare you. You have grown so accustomed to him running around corners and yelling that it does not phase you at all anymore and it DRIVES HIM CRAZY! No matter how many times I tell him it’s not nice to scare you, he still tries but luckily you are clever and don’t fall for his tricks anymore. You walked to him for the first time 2 weeks ago, I got it on video, it melted his heart and I have never seen him more proud of his little sister.
You and McKenna got along really great. She loved you very much and still loves you. She loved to hold you, she was very protective of you and always wanted it to be her turn to hold you. She like to feed you the bottle even though she would get distracted while doing it and end up just rubbing milk all over your face. She would try to put you in her little baby stroller, brush your hair and teeth. She would lay on the ground next to you and play. She liked a lot of your toys (because they are dolls and she loves dolls), she would claim them as her own and try to pass you off with a big kid toy that you had no interest in (Although you didn't care at all because you were just a tiny baby and could care less about toys). She would sing songs to you when you were sad, she would try to get inside of the swing with you and sometimes she would try to get in it when you weren't in there. She LOVED your walker. Since you weren't big enough for it yet she would get in there ALL THE TIME and run around the house. She was so petite that she could get away with it. I figured if you watched your big sister do it maybe you would want to do it too.
You guys would have been best friends. You are a little over a year apart. You always point at her picture and say “Who’s dat” that is your favorite game. We play this every day. You love to point at things but especially pictures and hear me say the names of our family members. You are always trying to eat the “Kenna Bear” teddy bear we had made for her. Even though it is high up on a shelf you always want me to pick you up and you point at it over and over again and yell at me till I hand it to you. Sometimes I think it is your way of giving her kisses. You’re so young but maybe you miss her too. I hope you know she will always be your big sister, she will always be there for you, and she already has. A week ago we got in a car accident and I know without a doubt that your sister was there protecting you from any harm. She loves her little Zoe and she misses you very much. I know you will have no memories of her as you grow but I wanted you to know that you both had a very special bond and one day when we are all together in heaven you will remember it and you will feel your sister’s love for you once again.
Daddy and I are so proud of you. You are such an amazingly happy child. You hardly ever cry, you go to bed easily, you trust people. You just reach out your arms to anyone who is close by and let them hold you. You are a joyful spirit and help everyone to feel loved. You bring happiness into others’ lives with your smile and laughter. I know that the Lord has given you this bright personality for a reason. I am so blessed to have such happy children, I know that all of you will be great examples for others as you grow. This world can be so negative and depressing sometimes but your energy will give hope to others. They will feel your sweet spirit and they will see that not everything is sad, that there is much happiness in the world and through you others will be reminded of what true joy feels like.
Our Heavenly Father loves you so much. He and McKenna will be watching you closely as you continue to grow. He will always be with you to help you in your journey through this life. He will always be close by and ready to catch you anytime you may fall. I have watched you and one thing I have noticed is that you are a “people watcher” you like to observe the actions of others. This is a great quality because it means that you are able to see others instead of always focusing on yourself. It tells me that you will be someone who looks to serve others when you see they are struggling. I hope that daddy and I are able to set a good example for you but remember that even if we mess up, you have a Father in Heaven who is perfect. He will never let you down, He will never lead you astray, He will always be there to help and even though you cannot see Him you will be able to find His light inside of others. Look for that light while you are watching others and know that everyone has a light inside of them no matter how imperfect they are, help them, love them, and be there for them just like the Lord is always there for you.
I love you very much Zo Zo, you are an amazing, beautiful, courageous daughter and you bring me happiness every single day. My life would not be the same without you in it. My days would not be so bright, my heart wouldn’t have as much joy. You are an example to me even at the young age of one. You keep me young and hopeful. I adore you angel and I love you more then anyone ever will.
HAPPY 6TH BIRTHDAY DOMINIC!!!
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT YOU ARE SIX!!! STOP GROWING UP STOP GROWING UP STOP STOP STOP!!! I cannot believe you are so old! You are already in kindergarten! You know how to do so much! What happened to the cute little chubby baby boy I once had who needed me for everything? Who is this giant man who can take care of himself and looks all grown up! I don’t like it one bit, just shrink back down and let me keep you forever.
Well I am going to brag about you and tell you how smart you are. You LOVE school, you look forward to going every day, you lecture me on doing your homework every day, anything that you can read you will read. Whether it’s a billboard outside, my notes from school, or a random book you found you are going to read it and force me to read it with you. We took you to the llibrary and let you pick out a couple of books you liked and we have been working on those. I am so impressed with your desire to learn. You are always playing math games. Constantly asking me “what’s ___ + _____ equal mom?” Luckily you are still little and ask me questions I actually know the answers too because honestly I am terrible at math and I’m sure you will discover that quickly once you get to multiplication. I love that you love to learn, I don’t care if you are the smartest kid in the classroom or not, I think a desire to want to learn things is even better than already knowing everything. It means that you never want to stop growing, you see the beauty in all the world and want to understand it more. That is a great quality.
You are an amazing first born child, you are such a great example to your little sisters. Every day after school I have a set of chores for you to do: unload the dishwasher, wipe down all the tables, and pick up your room. You do it every day with no problems. I am not even there to remind you to do it (your Aunt Bia watches you till I get home from school) and she says that you just do it and you never fight with her about it. How awesome is that!!! You know how to do everything by yourself. You tie your own shoes, make your own bed, help get McKenna ready in the mornings, and your even learning how to change Zoe’s diapers now! I am so BLESSED to have a great helper like you around, what would I do without you?
I am so proud of you and how mature you are. Sometimes I feel like I am talking to a 10 year old and not a 6 year old. You just have such a great understanding for everything. Not just school and chores but real life problems and spiritual things. You have a great understanding of the Gospel. You read your scriptures every night and remind dad and I to read them with you. You say the sweetest prayers and always pray that “everyone will have fun” in whatever they are doing. When we read the scriptures you don’t just sit there and zone out, you interrupt us and make sure that we answer all of your questions till you understand. I love that! It helps me to make sure I know what I am talking about and have a better understanding for myself. You willingly wear ties to church and have asked me several times to buy you some more, you like to dress up and look like dad on Sunday’s as much as possible. You make him so proud.
Like I said before you are a great big brother. McKenna and Zoe adore you. You and McKenna are especially close. Every day you both go and play outside together on the trampoline, run around in the backyard, play in the water hose. You have so much fun together and I love to watch you both play. You are always keeping a close eye on both your sisters and making sure they are safe. I know they look up to you and will always see you as a great example. You have a wonderful love for them and are always so patient. You try to teach McKenna how to play board games with you (even though she has no understanding of it and ends up making a giant mess in the end), you are willing to watch the shows they like on TV even if you have watched the same movie a 1000 times, and you clean up there messes over and over again. You are really great about including McKenna in whatever you do. Both of our neighbors are close to your age and always want you to go over to their house to play but you tell them that they have to stay over at our house so that McKenna can play with everyone too. I know that she loves to play with all of you and it makes her little heart so happy to be with her big brother.
You are my big helper, especially with Zoe. You help me feed her bottles, sing her songs, and get her dressed. You double check the diaper bag and make sure she has everything she needs in it. You and McKenna both go into full panic if she starts crying. You both yell at me to help her until she calms down. I think it’s very sweet you both don’t like to see your little baby sister get upset, not even for a second. You love to help dad cook, vacuum, and try to be a little handy dandy man too. You love to work with tools and try to figure out how to fix things. Your mind is always tinkering away.
You use to be such a momma’s boy but lately you have become daddy’s shadow. You love to play fight (ALL THE TIME), play video games together, watch batman, read comic books, race, swim, camping, hiking, and the list goes on and on. You and dad are a lot alike, you both love sarcasm and both like to have the last word. I laugh so hard when dad gets frustrated with you because I know it’s driving him crazy that he is arguing with a tiny version of himself. I mean, you will always be a momma’s boy (that’s not an option) but I guess I will have to learn to share you with daddy too.
In a few months you will be legally adopted and OFFICIALLY a Bundy boy. The whole family is SO EXCITED! You can’t wait! In fact you are not waiting, you have already told everyone your name is Bundy, you sign all of your homework as Bundy and correct anyone who calls you Potter. We have been waiting for this day a very long time and we can’t wait to finally all be sealed in the Temple together. I know it will be a very VERY special day for all of us. I know how happy your sisters will be to know that we will be a family for all eternity. I can’t wait to see my whole little family in the temple all together. I know I will be in tears of gratitude the whole day, I have never wanted anything more in my life then this. I really can’t imagine ever asking for anything ever again. The Lord has truly blessed me.
Dominic, you are my right hand man, whenever I need you, you are always there. You are so strong, I have never seen a 6 year old with your strength physically and mentally. You are my first born, my only boy, my heart and soul. I would be incomplete without you or any of your siblings. I love being a mom and you were the first one to call me that, I have learned so much from you and honestly you have made my job very easy. You are the leader of your siblings, they will all turn to you and look to you for advice about life, love, truth, the gospel, relationships, family, and everything else under the sun. It gives me great peace to know that you are the one they will look up to because when I look at you I see a great leader, I see a boy who will one day become an amazing man. You are smart, strong, and compassionate. All the trials you have seen at such a young age will make you a great friend to others, you will always be able to relate to people, no matter where they come from and you will always be able to lead them in the right direction. I have no fears of you leading your siblings, I have 100% confidence that you will always try your best to help them no matter what. You have always been this way, I never had to teach you that.
I am so proud of you son, my love for you can send me to tears in a second. There is no love greater then a mother’s love and there is no better feeling as a mother then to feel her children’s love in return. You have always shown me such great love, you have always been so kind and sweet, you have always been a great example to me. I learn so much from all of my children, I would not be who I am today if it wasn't for all of you. My heart is full every day because of you 3. You all make me so happy, I never knew true happiness till I became a mother. Daddy and I adore you, we look forward to watching you grow (all though I know dad is not looking forward to you being taller than him at the age of 12 because it looks like you will be at the rate you are growing). We love to see you learning and developing new skills, we love to see your interest and your creativity. We will always support you no matter what you do. We are here for you no matter what you do. We will always love you no matter what happens in this life.
Thank you for always being so amazing, for your silly jokes, and your happy personality. Thank you for always helping me and taking on so much responsibility at such a young age. Thank you for being a good example to your sisters and to us. Thank you for your willingness to learn and try harder. Thank you for the joy that you bring this family. We are all so blessed to have you in our lives. I know our Savior feels the same way. I know He sent you to this family specifically so that we could witness all the amazing things you will do in your life. I know He is proud of you and loves you more than this whole family does combined. I know He would move mountains, part the Red Seas, and walk on water for you if He needed too.
I know that the faith you have in Him will help you in your future, you will perform miracles in other people’s lives and in your own families someday because of it. You will be a great leader too many, not just your sisters and your family, wherever you go, people will follow. They will listen to you, they will want your advice and your wisdom. Always turn to the Lord during those times, He will help you and them better than anyone else ever could. He will always be there when you need Him, in your darkest hour, in your loneliest moment He will be the whisper in your ear and the beating in your heart. He will be your leader when you forget how to lead, He is the only person you will always need to follow. Let him lead you, guide you, and protect you like you will do for so many.
I am so proud of you handsome, you are so strong. Happy 6th birthday!
(I guess some things never change)
HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY KENNA BEAR!!!
OHHHH why are you 2 already??? Can’t you just stay 1 and tiny forever??? You are too stinking cute and I don’t want to see you grow. I wish all my babies could stay small forever. Well I guess not because then I wouldn't get to see all the amazing things you have accomplished in the last year. Now you have learned a TON this year, where to begin is the real question! Lets see…
You are in daycare called “Star Montessori” this is an advanced school that starts teaching education young. They are really amazing and one of the best schools in the area. You originally were in the 2 year old class (like all the other 2 years old) but after 2 weeks of being in there they decided to jump you all the way to the 3 year old class! (You actually skipped a whole class because they have a 2 ½ year old class too!) I was so surprised when they told me they were bumping you up a whole year that the teachers thought I was unhappy about it but of course I wasn't, I couldn't be more proud! I always knew you were one smart cookie!
I asked them why they were moving you up so quickly and to a class a year older then you and they said simply because you were “bored” in there. You learned the morning routine, the letters, songs, games, all in 2 weeks and you just didn't seemed challenged anymore so you started to harass the other kids and not pay attention to the teachers. Now that news did not surprise me at all, I have seen this little power move of yours first hand and let’s just say you are really good at what you do. So now you are in the 3 year old class and you love it. You are super chatty! You can talk very well for a 2 year old (this was the other reason they decided to move you up). I think it’s because Dominic is such a talker that you learned it from him and wanted your voice to be heard too.
You are my “wild thing”, you are a dare devil and still very mischievous. You wait for no one to help you out, and want to do everything yourself. Anything from turning the light on in a room (you will drag a chair all the way from the kitchen, turn the light on and drag the chair all the way back) to brushing your own hair and teeth. We fight over your hair the most. Every day we are not allowed to leave the house unless there is a bow in your hair (your rule) but the thing is you NEVER want the bow I pick (the one that matches) you always want some crazy one! I always try to do some reverse psychology on you but it never works. Sometimes I will think I have won and a few moments later you will come around the corner with the bow I put in your hair and then the one you wanted on top of that one! So I gave up with that, now I just let you wear whatever bow your little heart desires, even if you do look crazy, I now find the mismatch bow to be very cute and very you!
You hate when I brush your teeth. It is a wrestling match, seriously. I have never had to fight a child so hard to let me brush their teeth. I try to work it where you get to brush your teeth first (which is adorable but definitely not saving you from cavities) and then say it’s my turn. But your little independent self can’t stand that so the fight is on. I have to hold your head and wrap you up with an anaconda grip just to get the tooth brush in your mouth. It doesn't help that I end up laughing the whole time because it’s just too funny how difficult it is to brush such a tiny little girls teeth.
We have moved into a new home. You and Zoe “share” a room. Not really though because you are a little night owl. Dominic has always fallen asleep 8 o clock on the dot. Not you! I put you to bed at 8 and I hear you talk to yourself, sing, play, until about 10 and then you finally fall asleep. You have always been that way, so Zoe can’t sleep with you because I already can tell what kind of big sister you will be. The one who keeps her little sister up all night so they can play game after game. You love our new home so much! Mainly because your room is super pink! (Yes, your favorite color by far is pink, I tried to get it to be purple like me but that never happened) Your most favorite part of the house is the backyard. YOU LOVE PLAYING OUTSIDE!!! You love it so much, you have to do it every day. Whether it’s freezing, raining, or miserably hot you are going outside no matter what. We have a trampoline that you love you to jump on too.
You are just like your dad when it comes to clothes. If it was up to you, you would wear shorts and a t-shirt every day. Whenever you want to go play outside and it’s FREEZING we fight over putting jackets, hats, socks, and shoes on. Even then, I lose this battle too because after 30 minutes of you being out there, most of that has already come off but that one I haven’t let go of only because I don’t want you to get sick, so every half hour we are at war with the clothes. You do have a very strong attachment to a little pink poncho, you wear it every single day (hot or cold) but it really doesn't keep you warm so that doesn't do me much good when trying to find compromises (but you do look adorable in it).
You are the best sister. You are the glue in between your siblings. Dominic loves to play with you. He loves having a little buddy to hang out with. You both go outside together every day. You take bubble baths together, swim together, and hold hands to the car or crossing the street. You have a very strong bond and I can tell you really look up to him. Don’t get me wrong, you both definitely have your typical fights, Dominic can’t stand for you to go in his new room (you use to share a room in our old house and now that he has his own room I think he will never let go). You love to sneak in his room just because you know it bothers him. You know exactly where his stickers are no matter how many times he tries to hide them from you and you place them all over your entire body which drives him crazy. You force him to watch your favorite show in the entire world with you (Barney) and then finally compromise with Batman when he has had enough (you actually like batman too). But even with the fighting, you are his protector, anytime Dominic gets in trouble you intervene in the fight. You yell back at dad and I and tell us we are “Not nice”, then you go and hug on him, scratch his back and tell him “It’s ok Dominic, its ok”. It melts my heart every time, and even though I have to keep a tough face at the moment so there is at least a little discipline in this crazy home, I love to see you stick up for your big brother.
Of course you are all over Zoe. You want to hold her 24/7. You want her in your lap at all times. You don’t even want people to touch her when she is under your watch. You try to pick her up and drag her away from everyone else, you lay down on the ground next to her and play with whatever she is playing with, you sing her songs and rub her head. You too do not appreciate sharing a room with her and have a hard time understanding why Zoe’s toys are not actually your toys. You normally end up saying “It’s not Zoe’s its mine” then slowly start walking out of the room so that I won’t try to take it away from you. You like to try and feed her bottles, the second she starts crying you go into full panic “MOM! ZOE CRYING! ZOE CRYING” Then you grab my hand and pull me closer to her to make sure I fix the problem while you gently “sshhhh” her and wait for her to stop. You are a natural protector.
My favorite quality about you is your singing. You love to sing. We sing every-single-day. We sing in the car on the way too school and we sing in the car on the way home. You have such a soft and beautiful little voice. You know almost all the words to every song (and have no problem making up the one’s you don’t know). You make your request and normally want me to sing every song with you which I love. Sometimes you don’t want me to sing so in the middle of a song you will yell loudly “SSHHHHHHHHH, IT’S MY TURN MOM, MY TURN!” It makes me laugh every-single-time (I like to keep singing just to annoy you). We sing before bed time, we sing at church, we sing, we sing, we sing and I love it. I will always enjoy singing with you and look forward to seeing you sing as you grow.
Dad’s favorite quality about you is that you are feisty but a cuddler just like him. You are his little tomboy but little princess all at the same time. You will both play fight with star wars light sabers and then the next moment be cuddly on the couch watching batman. Daddy adores you in every single way. You have melted his heart and turned him into a new man. He loves you so much. You have always been and will always be daddy’s little girl. I don’t think I have ever seen a little girl love her daddy more then you. Every day when I pick you up from school after our little hug and kiss the first words out of your mouth “Is daddy home?”. Then when we get to the house, if he is not there yet you wait outside till he comes (we both normally get home around the same time), if he is already home you run inside and into his arms right away. You make him so happy and so proud. You are his pride and joy and you will always be his precious baby girl.
McKenna, I am so proud of the amazing and beautiful little girl you have become. You are a wonderful daughter of God. I am so glad that you are my first born daughter, I have learned so much from you and I know I will continue to learn from you every single day. In the mornings on our way to school I always try to say a prayer before we leave but I usually forget, even at the young age of 2 you are always able to remember and remind me “mommy, prayer!”. I love that about you, I love that you know in your little tiny heart that prayer is important, I love that you are capable of remembering and reminding me. You have such a bright light within you. You are contagious with your laugh and smile. You have the cutest crooked grin I have ever seen. Your smiles are full, they take up your whole face to the point where you have to close your eyes. You are full of life and joy.
I know that you will help many people, that naturally protective spirit that you have will make you a great friend, sister, daughter, wife, and mother some day. Your joy will bring others to the gospel, people will see how happy you are and want to know what it is about you that makes you shine so brightly. You will be able to teach others with the intelligence that God has blessed you with and use it to help others along their way. I know the Lord is so proud of you and all that you have accomplished. I often think you must have a lot to do in this life with how young the Lord has allowed you to learn things. I really don’t know many 2 year olds as bright as you, you must have some big plans in your future.
Nevertheless, whatever you do, I will always be proud of you. I will always love you, I will always admire you and cherish you. You are my sunshine, you bring me nothing but happiness. You, your siblings, and daddy make my heart complete. I would be so lost without you all in my life. God has blessed me with a beautiful family, you are more then I deserve. Thank you for being such a great sister, thank you for being an amazing daughter, and thank you for choosing us to be a part of your family. Daddy and I are honored. We love you so much Kenna Bear, always have and always will. Happy 2nd birthday sweetheart.
Till next year,