My Heart 🧡

My sweet sweet Christopher, today you turned 13! 13! A teenager! My mind can’t believe it.

My mind is full of things to say, but if I wrote for a million years I still wouldn’t be able to get the right words to express the amount of love I have for you. For days I’ve thought of what I was going to write, but now that it’s time nothing seems right. You truly are my heart outside my body.

I hope your day was absolutely amazing. I hope it was beyond anything you could imagine. I hope you were surrounded by love and happiness. As you fall asleep tonight I hope you know I love you and I haven’t forgotten you.

Happy happy birthday 🎉

Happy 14th Birthday Lucas

Today we celebrate you. The awesome person you are and the amazing man you will become.

In my heart you are still and probably always will be my “little man”. It’s so hard to think of you as a 14 year old.

I put an eyeball sticker in my planner to mark this day (though I’d know what day it was without the reminder). The sticker instantly reminded me of the one that you used to have on Mrs. Kathy’s ceiling. The one I now have in a jar.

Enjoy being 14. Don’t wish to be an adult just yet. Even when you are an adult I hope you will still be your silly self. Your personality shines through each picture.

I hope today was fun for you. I hope you got lots of gifts and even more love. I also hope you know I love you and I haven’t forgotten you… not even for a moment.

The Big 1-0

What do you write to a boy who you’re sure couldn’t possibly remember you, but who holds such a big piece of your heart? Nothing seems just right.

I love you Nicholas. I’ve thought about you all day today. Your silly baby laugh. Your independent determination. The adorable fashion statements you used to make. Your love for puppies. The list could go on and on.

I wonder what you are like now. I can’t believe you are already 10! I hope you had a happy birthday. I hope you felt my love and were showered by love from those closest to you.

As your head hits the pillow tonight I hope your heart is happy. I hope you dream of all the wonderful things that hitting double digits is going to bring. I hope you have the best year yet.

I love you for now, forever, and for always.

Love,

Your Mommy

You Can Be Both

“It is possible to feel both grief and gratitude simultaneously.” – Laura Anderson

I read that quote this morning and it was perfect. This year has brought so many wonderful things for me to be thankful for, but I’m still grieving all of you.

Everyday, but especially today (Thanksgiving), is a challenge to live while simultaneously feeling like my heart has been ripped out of my chest. To hope while feeling like there is none. To be in the here and now while so desperately just wanting to live in my memories.

I do it though. I get up, I smile, I pray, I end my day with my #thankful3… every single day.

I’m telling you this because it matters. It’s important. It’s important that you know there’s love. It’s important that you know there’s always hope. It’s important that you know it’s ok to have conflicting feelings.

I hope the day has brought you all joy and smiles.

Happy Thanksgiving 🍁

My Beautiful Grace

Today you turn 15. Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday you were born.

Have you ever heard the story of your name? I chose not to know if you were going to be a boy or a girl. If you were going to be a boy you would have been named Zachary or Lucas. As a girl it was Grace or Hannah. You made your debut with the cord wrapped around your neck, but doing remarkably well. So it seemed like Grace was the right name for you. All these years later I couldn’t imagine your name being anything else.

You have grown to a beautiful, kind, sweet, intelligent young lady. I am so proud to have you as my daughter.

I hope you did something fun today. I hope joy found you and that you feel my love. I hope you know you’re not forgotten and you’re extremely missed.

I love you for always.

Mommy

Happy Birthday Grace.

Sweet 16

My sweet Emily,

Today you turn 16. I can’t even believe it. I remember your birth like it was yesterday. You were so stubborn and didn’t want to come out of your comfortable home in my womb. At 42 weeks they had to evict you.

You were born so alert. You acted more like a three month old than a newborn. You were always so smart. At just a few weeks old you were holding your head up.

You were also always a mama’s girl. You wouldn’t fall asleep unless you were twirling my hair and sucking your fingers. Even as you aged you always wanted your mommy.

I miss our girl days. Our arts and crafts, baking, avocado cheese fries… and most importantly our chats. Life without you just isn’t as happy.

I pray you are doing well. I hope Covid hasn’t completely messed up your birthday. I hope your having fun and celebrating. I hope this year is filled with all the best things for you.

I know you’d never get anything I sent you so I took a Halloween picture of Bailey for you. It’s not much at all, but given the situation it’s the best I can do. I hope it makes you smile.

I love you so much my baby girl.

Love now and always,

Your Mom

As You Head Back To School

My Darlings,

Today is the first day of school for the 20/21 school year. I know things are going to be so different for you all this year. Different doesn’t have to mean bad though.

I pray you embrace the changes. Find ways to make them fun when you can. I hope you still get to see your old friends, but if they are no longer on your team I hope you make new ones. You can always stay connected with your old friends with technology.

There are going to be moments when you are frustrated; pray, cry, journal, take a walk… Try different tools till you find one that helps. Don’t feel weak because you are upset. Everyone is having those moments right now.

Stay safe. Wear your mask and stay apart when you can. Hopefully soon this will all just be a memory.

Have fun and do your best. Most importantly know that you are loved no matter what happens this year.

Love,

Your Mom