Dear Daughter

Dear Little Girl,

It’s hard to believe that soon we will get to meet you. We’ve gotten to see you on many ultrasounds, and I’m always in awe seeing a glimpse of the complexity of your design by God. You are beautiful! I’ll never forget this journey we have had so far together. While in ways, the pregnancy itself has been similar to your siblings, there are things that have been strikingly different. Physically, the first two trimesters were cake. I’ve never had more energy and drive those first 28 weeks. We were part of a wedding, we went through holidays, moved to a new house, and stayed busy with your brothers. By the third trimester (which usually is fairly painless), each week got tougher. All these little girl hormones were new to me. A fourth pregnancy in six years started to take a toll, but it has been worth it. We joke that you’ve made me a balloon of 25 lbs this time. I never gained much with your brothers, but I’ve never been happier to be a growing balloon with you! While the physical is visible to those around us, the spiritual, mental, emotional are very different this time (in a good way).

Mommy Daughter Date

Dear Baby Girl,

Tonight your Grandma and I went out to dinner—a mommy daughter date. It was spur of the moment, as previous plans had changed, and your daddy insisted that I still go get dinner somewhere with a friend. He knows I thrive being around people—that I love good conversation, lots of laughs, and all the memories along the way. He also knows that as much as I love being around children, I also need time away for a bit. “Call your Mom or both parents; see what they’re up to tonight.”

Simple, grateful, & inspiring

There are some special people who have inspiring lives. When you see them, you smile. When you think of them, there’s usually a positive thought or memory. When you have a conversation with them, you are reminded of the simplicity and beauty in life. I’m grateful to have a person like this in my life, my great-aunt. My younger two kids and I visited her a week ago today. At just a couple years away from a century of life, she has a mindset, perspective, and life that I truly admire. She radiates gratitude and love to all around her, and has for as long as I can remember.

We Are Family

Family—the people you do life with. They support one another through thick and thin and who are more than just surface-level relationships. These are many of the people, (as well as others not shown), that we have done life with for at least the last 5-10 years, and some even longer. When people say it takes a village to raise a family (and it certainly does), here is part of ours.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day 2024. The first in 8 years that I haven’t been preparing for a class party as a teacher. Those years were fun, and I always enjoyed making cards for each of my students. I’m a writer, a words of affirmation person, and anytime there’s a chance to communicate care or appreciation through a card, I try to. So while it’s strange not writing cards for each kid in a class this year (but nice to not be bringing home the mass amounts of chocolate and sweets), it’s a bit more special helping my little boy prepare for his final preschool party. I saw his face light up as he signed his name on his teachers’ cards. He absolutely adores his teachers, and I love seeing how much he cares for his preschool friends. My little boys get in the habit of making cards (thank you, birthday, etc) by the time they are 3 and can hold a pencil or crayon. We all know we could save time by just buying some (I know I’m lame and have never bought boxed Valentines before), but the time to cut something out, decide what to write, etc really helps us all truly appreciate and thank that person. I loved doing this with my mom and dad when I was a child, and I love doing this with my own little boys. Both of my grandmothers and my great-aunt (who has been a third grandmother to me my whole life) did this as well. My great-aunt still hand-writes thank you cards, makes calls just to tell you she loves you, and that is inspiring to not just me, but to my children. You know why? It’s so rare anymore. Kids can pick up on genuine, unconditional love when they see it. They also remember it.

While our culture has a pretty warped view of love, this day is my reminder of God’s love for all of us. True love isn’t what society tells us it is. It’s not some feeling, but is something incredible displayed by people who have first experienced the true love of Jesus. I’m thankful for people in my life who humbly, quietly show me this each and every day. I’m thankful for the children, friends and family young and old, that God has given me to love as well.

So, whatever your thoughts are on this very commercialized “holiday”, happy Valentine’s Day. Try not to overdo it on the sugar-high, but go tell someone you are thankful for them!

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