My oldest is a confident and compassionate human being. She surprises me by knowing clearly what she likes and dislikes and doesn't hesitate to voice her opinion. More often than not, she considers the feelings of others and forms friendships with ease. This year, as she handed me her "small" invite list for her birthday (of over thirty people), I was pleasantly surprised to hear her explain why each friend was important enough to her to be on the list.
I've always noticed how much Nike is like her daddy. She takes life in stride and thoroughly enjoys its little moments. This year, I noticed that she actually has a few similarities to her mom as well. Besides being a people person, she gets her hopes up high which leaves her easily disappointed. Nikelle is actually a fairly talented little writer. I enjoyed watching her formulate her written reports for school this year as well as her fun little short stories such as "The Ballerina, the Bruiser, and the Bully" AKA "Nikelle, Jaycie and Andelise".
There have been many cherished moments shared between Nikelle and her daddy this year. Doing church set-up was probably the most memorable for them. Every Sunday morning possible, Nikelle assisted Rod in preparation of communion. What a cool opportunity for them to serve God together! There are also the little moments of Rod driving Nikelle down the street to the bus stop on his way to work each morning. With summertime being in full gear, Nikelle is intentional about waking up early enough in the morning to get her goodbye hug and kiss from her daddy. We learned through tears and sobs that waving goodbye out the window is simply not good enough for this daddy's girl. Thankfully, her daddy's soft spot in his heart for his little girl (and the fact that he had only just left minutes before) resulted in his turning around and coming home for that much desired morning hug and goodbye kiss.
It has been so neat to watch Nikelle process her decisions this year or even watch her face as she comes to an understanding while we explain why we do or do not do something. Nikelle is learning to make her decisions based on what God says and we pray she continues in her desire to make her choices based out of love for Him.
"Nel" (as her baby sister nicknamed her) is an avid reader. It is so encouraging to find her reading a "chapter book" just for fun. Her art work is actually quite impressive, especially the cartoons she draws with instructions from the internet.
The role of "big sister" is one of the best parts of her character to see in action. She is an amazing big sister! When she received her first "ZhuZhu pet" from her friend for her birthday, she did not even hesitate to allow her little sister to play with it first. Nikelle even slipped up the next day when she said, "Jay, let's go play with your ZhuZhu pet - I mean our ZhuZhu pet." Sharing just seems to come naturally to her. She is more than happy to help with her baby sister when asked as she entertains her by dancing with her, pretending to be a horsie for her to ride on or just simply helping her out of her crib.
I am thankful to have a daughter with such a tender heart. With her in my life, I am a better version of myself. It is exciting to think about her future. As she allows her heart to remain moldable in God's hands, I believe He will use her in a powerful way for Him. Eight years ago, this world became a better place because God gave us Nikelle Evadne Carlson.
Nike, remember, you are victorious in Him. Nikelle Evadne, remain faithful to him until death. Nikelle Evadne Carlson, while you represent your family (as a "son of Carl"), you are even more so a representative of the family of God. Live life intentionally, my daughter. We love you!