Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy 18th Birthday

Dear Natalie,

What can I say to you that I haven't said? I can't believe you're 18. I look at you everyday and am simply amazed at the young woman you have become. And sometimes I swear it happened when I blinked. You are such a smart and beautiful young woman with a really great head on your shoulders. And I know this year hasn't been easy and you think I don't trust you to make the right choices, but I do. I just worry. And I'm your mom so that's allowed.

I am so proud of you. I admire how much you are loving being with the Kindergartners at school and helping out in that class. I love watching you with your brother and sisters, most of the time. You are a great big sister and a great role model to younger children. That in and of itself is plenty to be proud of, but along with all of that you have always maintained a family first attitude. I know that's why it has been so hard for you to choose the right college. I'm sure you'll do what's right for you though and whatever choice you make I will support you, I just want you to make a choice.

This has been a crazy whirlwind year in so many ways. So many changes for you, but it's all part of growing up. The best is yet to come and I hope you embrace the rest of the changes that are on the horizon for you. I love you. Happy birthday!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Happy 15th Birthday

Dear Kaitlyn,

Happy birthday, you're halfway to 30, or a quarter of the way to 60. I know you have been excitedly anticipating me declaring that you made it to halfway to 30. So there it is kiddo.

This year has been full of changes for you. You're really maturing and coming into your own and I love watching you do what you do. You are fearless and I'm always in awe of you. I'm enjoying this ride we're on together and watching you as you plan your future and make hard choices seemingly easily. It's not easy to abandon something you dreamed of for so long and try something that you never even imagined it was for you. I think I was more nervous about this decision than you were though. You have taken it and run with it and you're doing great. I really look forward to seeing all the things that you do.

If I had one piece of advice for you it would be don't be so hard on yourself. You sometimes can be your toughest critic. You have skills and people recognize that. Believe that they are right and keep showing your naysayers what you got. Because when you put your mind to something you will always shock and amaze people. You do for me all the time. I'm so proud of you.

I hope 15 is a great year for you. I'm looking forward to our day together of ear piercing, haircuts, lunch, and painting. Happy 15th birthday Kaitlyn. I love you.