As of today, Katrina is a teenager.
In some ways, her teenager-ness is easy to believe. She wants to check her email regularly to email silliness to friends. Finally getting to join Facebook was probably the thing she was most looking forward to about her birthday. She's as tall as Beth. The clothes she chooses are decidedly more grown up than they were a year or two ago.
She's not your stereotypical obnoxious teenager, though. She loves her brothers. She isn't bratty or argumentative or self-absorbed. She remains one of the sweetest, most generous, and kindest people i know. We absolutely hit the jackpot when we got this girl as our daughter.
My favorite thing about my kids getting older is getting to have conversations with them, and Katrina is such a fun person to talk to. She's smart and thoughtful and can completely make me laugh. She's cares deeply about relationships, and she goes out of her way to build and maintain her relationships with everyone she loves, from friends to siblings to me and Juanito. I don't think she even realizes that she's doing it, but she is just amazingly talented at knowing exactly how other people best relate. She plays games with Zane, cuddles and talks with me, makes crazy movies with Houston, emails with friends, leaves little notes for people, makes or buys little presents for friends at school. She lets me do a photo shoot of her for her birthday every year without complaining even once. If i weren't already her mom, i would absolutely want to be Katrina's friend.
Thirteen years is a long time. It's a lot of growing and changing. And in the past thirteen years, Katrina has obviously changed a ton. She's no longer wearing diapers, for one thing. But i can look at pictures and remember what she was like already when she was really little - two and three - and say that her personality? It hasn't changed. She's been awesome all along.
More birthday pictures are here.