Here’s What I Want You to Know….A Letter to My Daughter

Dear Sweet Girl,

You will be 5 in just a few short days! The time goes by so fast (and slow simultaneously) I know that I’m going to blink and you are going to be asking me for the car keys. *Shudder* While it may be awhile for some of these, there are some nuggets of wisdom I would like to pass on to you. Life stuff, girl stuff, love stuff – a bunch of stuff. Growing up is hard. Here is my advice for just some of it…

Make up

Right now you are far more interested in dirt, keeping up with your brother and showing me how strong you are. You are starting to express yourself in more sparkles, pink, tutus, and purple. There will no doubt come a day when you want to wear makeup to go along with your creative outfits. Understand that no matter what other people do, when it comes to make up – do your own thing. Less is more. Trust me. Unless you are in the school play on a stage, you don’t have to cake it on. Use make up to enhance, not mask.  You are beautiful just as you are. You don’t need makeup before you engage the world. Even if I wasn’t your mother, I would think you are beautiful without it. Seriously. As cliche as it sounds, true beauty will shine outward from within. Make up doesn’t make you. You make you.

Watch this (when you are old enough to handle a sprinkling of language):


Find something that you love and do it. Regularly. I don’t care if you don’t like the same things I do. You’re you. Find what you are passionate about. Soccer? Gymnastics? Yoga? Softball? Do what you love, not what you think your father or I want you to do. Finish what you start. If you decide you want to run track, but decide you don’t like it after 3 days – sorry. You need to finish that season. You don’t have to do it again, but we finish what we start. Even when it’s hard. Sometimes it takes a while to fall in love with an activity.

Those Girls

You know the ones. The girls that are always perfectly put together, they have the greatest style that appears effortless.  Their lives seem amazing compared to yours. Trust me, that’s not the case. They have their own insecurities, worries and problems just like everyone else. Don’t try so hard to be cool that you stop being yourself. Popularity wanes. It’s fickle. If you have to compromise what you believe is right to gain approval – they aren’t worth it. They aren’t worth YOU.

Listen to this song:


Like me, you are a deep feeler. Things affect you. There is nothing wrong with that. If you need a good cry to feel better – do it. Tears are cathartic. Have your moment. It is far easier to cry when you need to, than to bottle up your feelings and not deal with stuff. Even when it’s painful. The only way is through the pain. Learn to sit in the uncomfortable. It will be okay.

Significant Others

They say that 90% of your happiness or misery is a result of who you choose to spend your life with. I agree. You can go through the roughest of times, but clinging to each other while life is chaotic can be what gets you through to calmer waters. You may not be besties with your spouse, but you should like them as people. You should want to spend time with them, even if you aren’t doing anything special. The romance and infatuation of the beginning of any relationship will fade over time. When the adrenaline of falling in love subsides, be sure there is a relationship to nurture when that happens.

Choose someone who treats you the way you deserve to be treated. Do not stand for anything less. Like Maya Angelou says, “When people show you who they are believe them; the first time.”

Look for someone who makes you laugh. Laughter will see you through all kinds of things.

Don’t buy into the lie that you have to be with someone to “be complete”. No one will complete you. You complete you. There is no one true soul mate. There are people with whom you will be more compatible than others. When you choose someone – choose that person over and over again every day. Love is a verb.


If you choose to have kids, you’ll have so many ideas of what you want to do and how you’ll do things. Things you swear you’d NEVER do, things that you think you would ALWAYS do. Be wary of the always and never statements. I’ve found I’ve had to eat my words on more than one occasion for all the times I swore “I would never….”. Trust your instincts, even if it doesn’t feel like you have them. You do.

You will make mistakes. Lots of them. You are not perfect. I am not perfect. No parent is perfect. It’s okay. When you mess up, ‘fess up. Apologize. Make it right.

Listen to your children. Hear them. Don’t be so busy that you miss them growing up. You will have far more distractions than I did growing up. I feel like it will be even more challenging for your children to keep the distractions at bay long enough to grasp the really good things in life. I will not tell you to “enjoy every moment”, because truthfully, some moments just bite. They do. But you will get through them. Your kids will grow you in all sorts of ways you never thought possible. And you will know the meaning of unconditional love. You’ll think you know before, but when you hold that child, your child in your arms – you will feel the depth of love that you have never felt before.


Not until you’re 18. Don’t get one just because. The longer you wait the better. Make it mean something.


When people ask you what you want to be when you grow up, think in your mind, “What do I want to do?” Your occupation is not who you are. It doesn’t define you. When trying to figure out what you want to do for work, ask yourself the following:

What am I passionate about?

How can I use what I’m passionate about to help others?

Is there a way to make a living doing this?

What you think you want to do at 18 will undoubtedly be different than 28. And perhaps even 38. Your interests will change. What ever lights your fire and sparks your passion may change. That’s okay. Most likely there will be a common thread among your interests. Be enthusiastic, optimistic and courageous. If it’s a little scary – that’s often a good sign. Whatever you choose – when you do it, it shouldn’t feel like work. It’s a livelihood.

I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you!

I love you and always will.

Happy (almost) 5th Birthday!


Happy Birthday Hannah

Oh happy Hannah!image
How lovely you are
With your silly smile and goofy grin
You make everyone join on in!

You are turning 4 today,
So excited are you
Surprises are what you’ve wished for
And that I think we can do!

“Let’s play family!” is your daily request
(You could play it all and every day!)
“Alright, I’ll do my best!”imgsvr.ashx
Is what I always say

I love the way you snuggle in
And love to be held
Not only in my arms
But in my heart as well

Your sparkly eyes they dance
As they look expectantly up at mine
With your excited wide grin, you pull me in
Every single time!

I love to watch you laugh and play
You’ll forever be my baby girl
No matter how old you are or where you go
You’ll always be my world

Christmas 2011

Looking back, I remember
when they brought you up to me
Rarely do we imagine as parents
how it’s really going to be

Life with you is so much better
than anything we could dream
You make us laugh, and charm us all
I’m sure everyone would agree

We wish you the happiest of days,
today especially
Let the fun of 4 begin
And never let it end!

We love you Hannah!

Happy, happy birthday sweetheart!


We love our dawgies!
We love our dawgies!
Outfit complete!
Outfit complete!
First Fish!
First Fish!
Hawaiian girl!
Hawaiian girl!
Ready to swim!! Well, almost...
Ready to swim!! Well, almost…
Cards, anyone?!
Cards, anyone?!
Crazy things!
Crazy things!

Tomorrow You Are Three!

Hannah is three?! Wowee!

How in the world can that be!?


Weren’t you just added to our family?

My the time it really does go so quickly!

Growing up so fast into such a ‘lil lady

No longer my squishy little baby.


You crawled, walked, played and more,

Living in our paradise out by the shore

Wowee!!! Jacob is 3!!!


Washington soon was calling us back

I think the change gave you a heart attack!


Quite the difference –  rain from the sun

But you never let it stop you from having all kinds of fun!


We planted a garden and watched it grow

Strawberries and corn to harvest and show



Spending the summer here without your father

We kept ourselves busy, you, me and your brother


Speaking of siblings, I think it’s safe to say

You adore “your Jacob”, playing together all day

Board games, the swings, it makes no difference to you

Playing chase, hide-and-seek, it’s what you love to do!


Your sweet face is endearing, infectious your smile,

Charming us all with your own sense of “style”!


Your giggles and laughs, they are so sweet

Engaging everyone you meet!




You’re “I think I can” will take you far

So proud of what you can do – you know you’re a star!



Loving and kind, and oh so playful

We are so thankful for you, our beautiful angel.



Be who you are and you’ll never miss

Blow out your candles and make your wish




We love you sweet Hannah, tomorrow you are three,

We love you so much,


Your Jacob, your Daddy, and Me

Hannah Is 2!!

Hannah turned 2 today!!!! We started the day by making cupcakes! My helpers were ready to go and in great moods!!


 We did spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!


 I just love their little smiles and laughs! We had such great fun and they laughed hilariously as I made faces at them and jumped around like a lunatic to get these adorable shots! I would gladly make a fool of myself to make them smile. I love them so much.


 I cherish the looks like this when they giggle with each other! LOVE!
Later Jake needed to “fix” my vacuum with his tools! He did a great job!
A bit of the decorations! We blew up 12 balloons – and all 12 were popped within an hour!


 Dog pile on Auntie!!!!


 Yummy bbq dinner with family! We did grilled corn on the cob, burgers, hot dogs and melon!! SO yummy!


 While we miss Eric so much (and important days like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are so hard to be apart)  having family around definitely makes it bearable!)
 I love watching my kids get loved on by our family!



 Opening presents!


Sweet sweet girl!
And I couldn’t help but add this one of the kids’ cousins! We got fake mustaches for the goodie bags and they were a huge hit!! Love it!
We had a great day celebrating our little girl’s second birthday!
Happy Birthday sweet Hannah! We love you so much!
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