Monday, December 03, 2018

The Big 1-0

Dear Bryce,
As I sit here writing this in the hours before you turn 10, I am at a loss. How in the world did this happen so fast? It has been incredible to watch you grow and change into this independent, stubborn, loving boy (young man? what do I even call you now?) Your life centers around all things sports. When you're involved in something you jump in with both feet and immerse yourself in whatever you are doing. Always striving to be better than the day before, understanding that nothing is going to come easy, it only comes with hard work, determination and the drive to never give up. You make friends where ever you go. I'm pretty sure in every wrestling tournament you've been to you come away with at least one new friend and the next time you see them, you'll be at their mat cheering them on. You learned from a very young age that there is so much more to sports than winning and losing and it does my heart good to see you carry that with you as you grow (it is something that many adults have yet to learn). Now, that isn't to say you don't like to win or don't want to win, you absolutely do, but I really feel like you embody the saying "I never lose, I either win or I learn".  I  hope this 10th year brings you all the love, joy, laughter you deserve. You are the bright spot in every day and you are loved beyond measure. Happy 10th Birthday, Bryce. Hope it is the best day ever!
Love Always,
Mom


Thursday, August 02, 2018

its official...we have a teenager...

My Sweet B,
How in the world are you 13 today?  It just doesn't seem possible that you are officially a teenager, and yet when I look back you've pretty much been a teenager since you were two. You. my sweet girl, always keep me guessing...I never quite know what is going to come out of your mouth, sometimes it is wise and thought provoking, but more likely than not it is some goofy off the wall comment, that makes you giggle. You never take yourself too seriously, you are quick to laugh at your mistakes and make fun of yourself, but you have a strong work ethic and can buckle down and get stuff done when you need to. I have watched you become a strong athlete and a valuable teammate this year. You are there to pick up your teammates when they are down, and in return they are there for you in the same way. It has always been my philosophy that you get what you give in terms of friendship, and judging by the incredible people you have surrounding you, I think you're doing pretty darn well kid, keep loving fiercely, your heart is one of the most beautiful things about you. You are thoughtful and kind beyond your years and in between the fights with your brother. the rolling eyes and the goofy giggles I catch glimpses of the woman you are becoming, and it makes my heart happy. Watching you grow into a strong, confident, kind and loving young lady is one of the greatest joys of my life. You keep doing  you kid, because you is pretty amazing. 
Happy 13th my beautiful. sweet Brianna. May this year be the best year yet, I'm so glad I'm along for the ride.
Love always,
Mom


Sunday, December 03, 2017

nine...

Whew! What a busy day/weekend. The fact that I'm just sitting down to write your birthday letter at 9:30pm is just a small indication of how crazy it has been...well that and I just seem to find myself at a loss for words. When I look at you I still see that tiny peanut that couldn't wait another 4 weeks until his due date, that entered the world in his own time and on his own plan, which is pretty much the way you still operate. This last year has been so fun watching you grow and discover things you love. You had such a fun season of baseball and enjoyed spending time with all your teammates, they are such a great group of boys and I hope you continue to have such wonderful friends surrounding you. Your love of football grew leaps and bounds with your first year playing tackle. You are the smallest one out there, but you have a ton of heart and put your all into every minute you were out there playing. You had another successful soccer season, coming up just short in the championship game in a shootout. And of course wrestling is in full swing again....which you still love so much. You put so much time and work in and are trying to be a good role model for the younger kids. This season is starting out a little slow and I can see the frustration and disappointment, but you are using that to drive you to get better. You watch your videos and ask your coaches to help you figure out what you can do better. You make us so proud buddy. Just keep being the amazing kid you are. I can't wait to see what this year brings. I hope you had a great day...Dad and I love you so very much.
Happy Birthday Buddy!
Love always,
Mom


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

twelve...

Dear Brianna,
You'd think after 11 letters, the 12th one would be a piece of cake!  Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case as I sit here the night before you turn 12. At this time 12 years ago, I had no idea how my world would change in less than 24 hours. You surprised me then, by making your appearance 4 weeks early and you have continued to surprise me every day of these last 12 years. You my sweet girl are one of a kind. I'm pretty sure you giggle 20 hours out of the day, you are constantly laughing (a lot of the time at yourself)almost to the point of making us crazy! In all honesty, your laugh is one of my favorite sounds in the world. You love your friends and family fiercely and you put your heart into everything you do. You are stubborn, gosh are you stubborn (You get that from your dad😊) You will argue about everything, convinced  you are right, and even when you discover you are in fact wrong, you continue to state your case passionately, not wanting to give anyone (especially your brother) the satisfaction of proving you wrong. You bring so much joy to our lives and watching you grow up and become this amazingly confident, strong young women is one of the best things in my life. Twelve years ago tonight I had no idea how my life was about to change, I can honestly say, from the bottom of my heart...it is absolutely more amazing then I ever could have imagined. Keep being the beautiful person you are my sweet girl, never let anyone dull your sparkle. You are amazing exactly the way you are.
Happy 12th Birthday my sweet girl. I love you more than you could possibly imagine.
Love always,
Mom


Saturday, December 03, 2016

eight...

Dear Bryce,
Oh my sweet boy, how is it that today you are turning eight? This year has flown by at such a crazy pace. It seems like each year these letters get a little bit harder, I have so much I want to tell you but I can't seem to find the words. I hope it is because I tell you every day how much I love you and how proud I am of you, but in reality I think it is more because I am in awe of the person you are becoming. Life is busy running from place to place, spending more time in school gyms, baseball diamonds, soccer and football fields than I ever dreamed possible, but let me let you in on a little secret...there is absolutely no place in this world I'd rather be than sitting in the stands watching you play. Your love of everything life has to offer is infectious. You just love life and all the little things it provides and it does my heart so good to see your joy. You've had some disappointments this year, things didn't always go the way you wanted on the mat or field, but you held your head high, talked about what happened and tried to take away some good and learn from each disappointment. I know a lot of adults that can't do that (your mom included). Hold onto that. Keep learning from your losses and disappointments, use it to keep you driven and passionate. You know no matter what you do or where you go, whether you win or lose, dad and I will always be right there, cheering you on. We are your biggest fans and we are so excited to see what this next year has in store. Happy Birthday to you my sweet Bryce. May all your dreams come true.

Love always,
Mommy



Tuesday, August 02, 2016

eleven...

Can I just say, I'm in complete denial that you are eleven years old? When did that happen? One day you are this chubby little toddler who is making faces at me and I turn around and now you are this beautiful young lady who, well...is still making faces at me. 

This year has been one of growth for you. You are discovering that hard work pays off. Watching you put in the work pitching this year has brought us so much pride. Not because you struck every batter out (although you did get quite a few of them) but because you worked hard and were constantly trying to better yourself and most of all, you were always striving to be a good teammate. 

You have a huge heart and never want to see anyone left out or unhappy. There are so many things I love about you sweetie, but your big heart is one of my favorites. I hope you continue to love unconditionally and to put your whole heart into everything you do. I hope you never lose your confidence and that you always stay true to who you are. You are off to a great start sweetie. 

Watching you grow over the last eleven years has been one of the greatest joys of my life, and I truly cannot wait to see where you go from here. Happy Birthday my sweet girl. I love you more than you could possibly know and I am so proud of  you.
Love always,
mommy

Monday, July 18, 2016

16 days...

16 days...that is how long it has been since I saw her smile, gave her a kiss and told her I'd see her soon. 16 days...it might as well be 16,000. It feels like so long, and yet I know it isn't. I never would have dreamed that would be the last time I would see her and talk to her. 11 days...that is how long it has been since I got the call, the one I replay in my mind, still hoping and praying it was a bad dream, and yet I know it wasn't. 11 days later and I'm still processing, still wondering how life goes on without her. I only saw her about once a week and I didn't call her even close to as much as I should have, but I always knew she'd be there with a kind word and a smile when I needed her. She was such a staple in my life, it just doesn't even make sense to me that she is no longer physically here.
She was the sweetest lady, and she loved so fiercely. She had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the room. I am one of her 20 grandchildren, and lord knows there was room enough in her heart for all of us, she loved us all so very much and it was evident in everything that she did.
I told mom when we were talking about grandma moving into assisted living (which she wasn't entirely happy about) that I didn't care where grandma lived, I just wanted her to be here...I wasn't ready for her to be gone and neither were my kids. Less than 2 weeks later, she was gone...let me tell you, I wasn't any more ready.
I realize I'm luckier than most (even the majority of my cousins), she got to see me graduate high school and college, attended my wedding and was there to meet my children days after they were born. My children have been blessed with the time and ability to develop a loving and everlasting relationship with her, but it isn't enough. I wanted more time. More time to chat and laugh and shop and tell her I love her. I know that is selfish, because she had been in pain and missed Grandpa so much, but the world down here isn't as bright without her in it.
I'm so afraid of forgetting the sound of her voice and her laugh, afraid that the memories will fade, afraid of the day when it won't hurt as much, because I don't want to get used to life without her, even though I know I have to.
If I had one last chance to talk to her...I would say this...
Thank you! Thank you for showing me what love is, that marriage is hard work but can be as fun in the 50th year as it is in the 1st. That whether you have 1 child or 8 and 1 grandchild or 20 that there is always room in your heart for them all. That you don't have to be born into a family to be a part of the family...that there is always enough love. Thank you for teaching me compassion and understanding, but also to stand up for myself. Thank you for loving me. You are my role model in so many ways, there really are not enough words to say how much you mean to me and how deeply you will be missed.  I only hope that I can be half the mom, sister, friend, and someday grandma and great-grandma you have been. You have some big shoes to fill, but I will spend my life trying to make you proud.
I will miss you all the days of my life. Until we meet again one day, rest in peace in the loving arms of the man you have long been missing. (Give him a hug for me while you're at it!) I will love you forever.