You've been back home for just over a week now and it really seems like you're finally starting to settle back in.
It brings me so much happiness to hear your raucous, joy-filled, laughter through our home again - so much so that last night I didn't shush you at bedtime, even after the lights were out. I confess - I just giggled along with you.
We've missed you, your Daddy and I.
We love you so much.
Even when you're an absolute crazypants and run up to poke my nose at 7 in the morning before I'm even really awake.
Even when you don't want to go to the party because you're too shy.
Even when you get sassy because you'd rather do just about anything than brush your hair.
And perhaps you especially need love then.
You're going into middle school (what?!) in just a few short weeks and I'm excited and nervous and proud and all manner of emotions. I know you're getting closer and closer to the time when you may not want me around much anymore. But I also know you're going to be doing so much growing and changing and loving and triumphing and I can't wait to be right there along with you, enjoying the ride.
And just a week after that? Your Dad and I will officially be husband and wife and you will officially be my stepdaughter (although let's not pretend you haven't been all along. <3 )
I love you tremendously. I can't wait to walk through this life with you.