Double Digits

Dear Natalie,

Today you are TEN!  Double digits are a big deal! 

I know I tell you all the time that you are my baby, but the truth is you are not little anymore.  You no longer need help getting dressed, or washing your hair.  You wear deodorant (what?) and can make your own breakfast and school lunch.   

On the other hand, I am glad you still let me hold your hand in public, snuggle with you at home, and kiss your nose.  I love the young woman you are becoming!  Being around you is always joyful and has a calming effect on me.  As I always tell you, “You are my medicine”.

This year there have been some firsts for you:

You made the choice to be baptized and committed yourself to Jesus.  This decision made all of us very happy.

You went to Summer Camp for the first time and loved the experience.

You participated in your first Triathlon

You hiked the Grand Canyon with Daddy and Grandma.  I am so proud of you.  That is a big accomplishment!

You started clarinet lessons at school and are progressing very well.

Some things have stayed the same:

You are still a “Daddy’s Girl”

You love fashion and putting outfits together

You read all the time

You love Star Wars and Comics

You still sleep with your stuffed animals

You absolutely love your kitties and they love you

You still like to play video games and watch TV a little bit too much

As you leave your single digit years behind, my simple wish for you is that you stay in a relationship with Jesus Christ and let him be your guide when you are making choices in your life. 


I also pray that our relationship lasts a lifetime, that through our ups and downs you always remember I am in your corner, cheering for you, ready to help when you need me and ready to rejoice in your accomplishments.

I love you to the moon and back "baby"!



Ready, Set, Don't Go

“We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.”  Rainer Marie Rilker.

My sixteen-year-old daughter left on Wednesday on a mission trip to Nicaragua.  Today I have been reflecting on the subject of motherhood – perhaps because I know she is doing –just fine- without me.  Being a mother is hard. You experience such a wide range of emotions – triumphs and disappointments.  Just when you think you have your life balanced and it is going to be smooth sailing you find yourself in the midst of stormy seas again.  I am having a hard time just standing back and letting her start to break away from me.  It is a concept that goes against my motherly instinct of keeping them close to me.

As she was growing up I've always told her she can be anything she sets her mind to.  I wanted to make sure I wasn't transferring to her my fears of this "big bad world". Actually, I had to push her a little to go on this trip.  I encouraged her to take risks but it was all under my watchful eye.

However, now that she is starting to spread her wings and want to start carving her own path, I'm not sure I like it.  It is beautiful to see the wonderful young woman she is turning out to be.  I'm happy that she starting to feel more confident and happy away from me.  But I'm experiencing many contradicting feelings - happy and sad.  Beautiful, but oh so terrifying!

Last night Natalie and I decided to sleep in Kaitlin's room because we missed her so much.  Natalie was watching an episode of Hannah Montana on Netflix and it was about this subject of letting your kids start to fly on their own.  I'm not a big fan of Hannah Montana, but I have to admit I got watery eyes when Miley's dad started singing to her the song "Ready, Set, Don't Go".

"She's gotta do what she's gotta do
And I've gotta like it or not

She's got dreams too big for this town

And she needs to give 'em a shot

Whatever they are...

... I painted this big ol' smile on my face
To hide my broken heart
If only she knew...

...She's waitin' on my blessings 'fore she hits that open road
Baby get ready, get set, don't go.

There is this quote that I think sums up our job as parents:

I'm finding that giving them roots is much easier than giving them wings.


Last day of Fourth Grade

Natalie, this is your last day of Fourth Grade.  Our mornings are always so hectic trying to get out the door on time, but when I drop you off we always say "I love you" to each other and blow a kiss before you start your school day.

This morning you woke up so early, and had so much energy.  We butted heads about your playing piano at 6am  but you were so sweet and patient with me my mood quickly improved.  You happily posed for these silly pictures your mom wanted to take and even agreed to change your shirt so I could get my "after" shot.

I am very proud of the young lady you are becoming.  You are very smart and oh so sweet.  You are growing up much too quickly.  In just a few months we will be celebrating your 10th birthday.  I can't wait to see what the next ten years of your life are like being your mom.

You make me so happy!  I love you to the moon and back!



A Valentine's Day Celebration

Since the girls had no school on Monday, I decided to take the day off work and put together a little party for some of Natalie's friends.  It worked out well because I got all the decorations on the sale after the holiday.

The kids decorated cookies, made a candle and played a game of Valentine's Bingo.  It was short and sweet and they all seemed to enjoy it.

Hope you had a great Valentine's Day!


Cake for Breakfast: My Baby Turns 9

My little Natalie turns 9 today!  I can't believe it!  I was looking at some of her baby pictures last night, and just couldn't believe how much her baby days are a blur to me.  In some ways it seems it was just yesterday she was born in other ways I can't remember life without her.

Natalie is a beautiful, charismatic and "sparkly" little girl who is growing up in front of my eyes.  She is loving and caring and funny and just a joy to be around.  Of course, she also has her "spicy" moments but even those are fun to deal with.

At nine years old Natalie:

Is 4 feet 9 inches Tall
Weights around 64 pounds
Enjoys playing piano
Loves all types of comics
Has a special love for Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang
Reads, reads, reads all the time
Is a daddy's girl
Still sleeps with mom and dad most nights
Is a little fashionista
Is a TV junkie
Has gotten into Star Wars thanks to her dad
Loves Legos and Playmobile toys

Happy 9th Birthday to the best little daughter a mother could wish for!