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.



Thursday, December 03, 2015

seven...

My sweet boy,
As I sit here hours before your seventh birthday while you are fast asleep, I'm at a loss of what to say. These birthday posts get harder for me each year. There is so much I want to say but I just can't seem to find the words. You have grown and changed so much this past year. You have found a love of wrestling that quite honestly surprised me. I wasn't sure how you would like it, but you took to it so quickly and are always eager to learn. It definitely helped that you have some amazing young men that took you under their wing and have treated you like a little brother. Nothing makes a mom happier than for her child to have good kids as role models and you certainly have that. I feel like wrestling has taught you so much already, hard work, dedication, and teamwork, not to mention being a good sportsman. You had some amazing successes this year but you also had to learn to deal with disappointment, and while that was tough to see...you handled it all so well. You amaze me every single day. Beyond wrestling, you had so much fun playing baseball, soccer and football this year.  It always makes me smile at how you seem to be one of the smallest kids out there but you always play with so much heart. Your smile is contagious and you always seem to know when I need a hug or sweet word from you. You have the biggest heart my boy, and you are such a good friend. I know I'm just rambling at this point...so I'll just end this year's letter by saying...I am so so proud of you my sweet boy. You are the kindest, sweetest, most fun-loving kid I have ever met and I love you so very much. I hope you have the best 7th birthday and I can't wait to see what the next year brings for you.
Love you always and forever!
Love,
Mommy

Sunday, August 02, 2015

the big 1-0

My sweet girl,
I'm having such a hard time writing this birthday letter. Ten, it just seems like it deserves some great and wise words of wisdom, and words are failing me. You know me though, I couldn't let this birthday pass without at least trying to put something together.

This last year has been so crazy busy, I can't believe we're here again. With soccer, basketball, softball and swimming you've kept us running like crazy, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

You love to be involved in all of the sports, and you are discovering your love for pitching. You work so hard at everything you do and we are so so proud of you for that. I love that you are willing to try new things, even if they are hard, and continue to work and get better at a skill even when met with bumps along the road.

You love to cheer on your brother (even when his wrestling meets do go a little long). It is so sweet to see your relationship with Bryce grow, you are his biggest fan and his protector but he is also the person that can push your buttons the fastest, just as a sibling should. During the school year and wrestling season on Mondays when you had to do high/low when it was a wrestling weekend you almost always said your high for the weekend was Bryce winning a tournament or just watching him wrestle in general. That speaks volumes about your love of family and your giant heart.

You've continued to do so well at school, but probably the best thing I heard all year was when your teacher told us at parent teacher conferences what she witnessed at recess one day. She said there was a child sitting all alone at recess and you walked up and started talking to/playing with this child. She was so proud and said that as a teacher all the academic achievements pale in comparison to that. I blinked back the tears and looked over at you and you just kind of shrugged your shoulders like it was no big deal...why wouldn't you go talk to/play with someone who was alone. Your teacher said we should be proud of the young lady you are. She is so right....and we are so so proud of the girl you are and the young lady you are becoming.

You are a beautiful girl with an even more beautiful heart, and that radiates through in everything you do. Now, don't get me wrong you aren't all sunshine and roses, but the good days far outweigh the bad. :)

Ten years ago today you made me a mom, it is the hardest and most rewarding thing I've ever done (and will continue to do). I love you with everything I have and you make my world so much brighter just by being in it.

I love you sweet girl! I hope you have a wonderful day today and  year ahead.

Happy 10th Birthday!
love always,
mama


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

six candles on the cake...

My sweet, sweet Bryce,
SIX?!?! How can this be? How can this be your 6th birthday already? It has gone by so fast buddy. I'm not ready for you to be such a big kid. This year has been quite a big one for you so far. Lots of changes, but like always you have just rolled with the punches. Kindergarten is in full swing and you are loving every minute. It was so fun going on your field trip with you this fall and watching you with your friends. I love getting a little glimpse into your everyday. You are starting to read a lot now and you are so good at sounding out words and I love when you read to me. My favorite book to read with you is Pete the Cat and his White Shoes, we always end up laughing when we read that one. You also started soccer this year which of course you loved, and my absolute favorite thing about soccer...watching you cheer on your teammates. You were always the one yelling the loudest encouraging your teammates and cheering the biggest when your team would score, it didn't matter if you weren't the one who scored you were just genuinely happy for your team. It definitely made my heart happy to see you be such a good teammate. Right now you are in the middle of wrestling, which no surprise here...you love. You are pretty good considering you're just learning about the sport and Daddy and I are learning right along with you. I will admit I get pretty nervous watching you. But, I know you will be fine and as long as you're having fun then that is all that matters.
So many changes this year little one, but all for the good. You are such a sweet boy with a huge heart, the most infectious smile and a giggle that you can't help but laugh with. You are a refreshing ray of sunshine and I love you more than you could possibly know.
love always,
mama