Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy 15th Birthday Natalie

Dear Natalie,
Wow, 15 years!  Halfway to 30!  Have I reminded you of that fact enough today?  Don't worry, one day you'll get to do the same to your kids.  Just like Grandma did to me.

This has been a great year, don't you think?  You have really grown and come out of your shell.  You were so nervous about high school, but it turned out to be pretty amazing and I love seeing you try some new things.  Keep spreading your wings.  As much as you might want to stay little forever, I probably want it even more.  Shocking as that may be to you it's true.

The thing is you have to grow up and be on your own.  Don't worry, it won't be so bad.  You have a really good head on your shoulders so I do see good things for you.  But you have to be willing to get out there and try.  Don't worry so much about messing up.  It's going to happen and Daddy and I will be here for you always.

So go out into the world, have fun with your friends, and laugh a lot.  Make lots of memories, but do it while keeping your nose clean.

And in case you are wondering, I really enjoy our dates to Moe's this year.  It has been a lot of fun.  I know you would agree.  Happy 15th birthday to you my first born!  I love you very very much.

Love always,

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happy 12th Birthday Kaitlyn

Dear Kaitlyn,
So this is your last year being a "kid".  Next year you will be a teenager!  I'm not even sure if you're excited about that or not.  Truth be told, I'm not.

As we have been approaching your birthday I have been thinking, where has the time gone?  It just seems to be going by so fast.  I am so happy with the choices you have made so far with your life though.  I think you might be one of the bravest kids I know.

I know it was hard for you to leave behind your friends this year to go to a school that is so far away from home.  And you so easily could have just given me this one year and not really put any effort into actually liking it, but instead you have made the most of it.  You instantly made new friends while maintaining your old friendships.  You have gotten up before the sunrise every day without fail to get on that bus and make that long ride to school.  Leaving before everyone and getting home later than everyone.

It's such a long day, but you have embraced it and you are doing what it is that you always do.  Impressing everyone you meet with your work ethic, grit, and determination.  Not to mention your extremely generous heart.

Sometimes I wonder if I can ever teach you anything more.  You have taught me so much about life and how to just roll with the punches and never give up.

There is still something I can teach you and remind you of all the time though.  That generous heart of yours, protect it!  Keep giving it out to people freely, but do be careful.  Don't give away so much that you lose yourself.  By this I mean, don't be so eager to please everyone that you forget to take care of you.  I always tell everyone how much like me Natalie is, but one area that you are like me is that need to please everyone.  And I'm here to tell you it comes at a price.  So put yourself first sometimes, don't be afraid to tell people no if you need to.  Especially if it's something you know would be the wrong thing to do.  If someone really is your friend and truly loves you, then they'll love you even if you tell them no to something.  So don't forget that.

Keep on smiling, I love seeing your beautiful smiley face.  I hope your last year as an official "big kid" is a great one!  I love you, happy birthday!