Thursday, August 21, 2014

15 Things I Love About Gracie

Today wraps up my Birthday tributes to my children (can't do for one and not the others) in honor of Gracie's 15th Birthday here are 15 reasons why I love very much!

I really miss the days gone by of ballet, klip klop shoes, fixing your hair, holding your sweet hand, that raspy little voice that is long gone, American Girl dolls and hearing your feet pad down the hall to my room bu...t I am so thankful for the beautiful, sweet, compassionate young woman that you have bloomed into and I certainly can't wait to see where your passionate heart leads you.

1. You are my one and only girl. I can honestly without a doubt say you are my favorite girl...and I am so thankful God choose me to be your momma.

2. When I look into your blue eyes they mirror my heart, soul and my own eyes. We are so much alike...your dad doesn't think that is always a good thing. I think it's perfect unless we are arguing...the battle to get that last word is very difficult with you.

3. I am so proud of your for your God, family and friends speaks through your actions. Your heart is the window to your soul, leave it wide open for the world to see...

4. Your love for children. It has always amazed me that from such a young age someone could have such a deep love for babies and were born with a natural instinct to mother and care for others (you are welcome) and I know that whatever you do in your life it will involve children...even if it involves finding that "rich husband and being a stay at home mom". lol...

5. I love your strong willed personality. Some may question this but let me tell you something...this girl can outlast anyone when she is determined to do something or not. This honestly drove me crazy when you were a toddler and one day when I was very frustrated with you your dad said, "dealing with her like that is like dealing with you on a daily basis". I got over it and decided to embrace and love it...after all a woman should always have a strong mind!!

6. I love your summer freckles. I know you haven't always loved them and there are too many to count like we used to but they are beautiful and when they become more prominent in the summer it takes me back and jars my memory of my little girl toddling around with big blue eyes ready to take the world by storm...they are sweet, mischievous, youthful and beautiful.

7. Your enthusiasm over something you are passionate about. I admit it took us some time to accept the fact that you preferred not to play sports (if you change your mind we are behind you 100%) and realize that your passion lied elsewhere. Every summer you put your entire heart into the Summer Enrichment Program and this is what we call "your sport". It astounds me how much you give of yourself to SEP, the children and your classroom. Never stop being passionate about anything that takes up so much room in your heart. We will always be here cheering you on no matter what you are doing...Go Gracie!

8. Your love for God and family. You are quiet about your feelings and faith but it is evident in everything you do...except when you are fighting with your brother's...Always lean on your faith, it will carry you through anything this life throws at you...that and your strong will.

9. Your independence...shew are you independent. From the time you started walking it was your way or no way (see #5). It used to drive me crazy, sometimes it still does, but I realize now that I am so thankful that I could turn you out into this world right now and know that you would be perfectly fine and not have to depend on anyone...I am not turning you loose anytime soon so stop smiling. A woman should always be able to take care of herself and girl you have nailed it at the ripe old age of 15! The question is can you teach your brother before we drop him off at college?

10. I love your beauty...always remember beauty is only skin deep and people can see right through a beautiful face if there isn't beauty in their heart. Sometimes I don't think you know how beautiful you are and that is the best kind of beautiful. Keep wearing that smile that radiates from your starts there.

11. I love that you always make your family feel special on their birthday's or other special days...we love and appreciate all you do for us. Again it was that motherly instinct you were born with...some day far from now you are going to be the most amazing mother...ever.

12. I love that children are drawn to you. Going out in public and seeing children you have taught at SEP smile, wave or give you hugs really melts my heart...but I am amazed when children who don't even know you are attracted to you and smile and wave...your personality and smile is a child magnet and it makes me so very proud you are my daughter.

13. I love that you don't need attention or praise when you do for do things out of love and not for reward or praise. Even when it goes unnoticed I am so proud of you...always.

14. I love your laugh especially your belly is so contagious and it warms my heart, there is nothing sweeter to my ears.

15. Lastly...I love you for being you, my one and only girl, for all of the things I mentioned above and for everything I didn't. You aren't perfect (none of us are) but you love and give of yourself perfectly and I am so proud of you...I will always be so proud of you and cheering for you no matter what "sport" you decide to play in this crazy life. You are beautiful, faithful, full of life, full of love and full of passion...that itself will take you far on this roller coaster of life.

I love you much Gracie ...and never forget you will always be my girl and my sunshine on cloudy days.

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18 Things I love about Brian

My heart is full and a little achy today as my first born, Brian, turns 18.

18 things I love most about you...and a little advice as you transition into adulthood.

1. You were the first to open my heart, mind and soul to a love that I never knew existed or that I knew I was capable of giving. Thank you for teaching me so many life lessons and giving me unconditional love even when I didn't deserve it.

2. Your manners...they are the best. My heart beams when I hear you say yes sir or yes maam without being prompted. *Being an "adult" is not a time to forget them...people will always remember good manners and think you have great parents. ; )

3. Gratitude. When you were little and we would do special things you would be so excited and always say, "thank you, this is the best day ever". I would often ask you when you were little what your best day ever was and it was always the day I bribed you to take a nap with chocolate chip cookies...when you woke up a plate of homemade cookies were laying beside you waiting. That day taught me that it's the simple moments that often make the biggest impact. *Always express gratitude to those you love.

4. I love your soulful eyes, they are the eyes of an old soul and tell your story. *Always remember to look into the eyes when someone is speaking to you, they deserve your attention even if your mind is somewhere else.

5. The way you tell me you love me and give me a hug before leaving the house.
*Never stop doing this...with me or your future is the simplest way to let someone know how much you love them and to brighten their morning.

6. When you come through the front door and run down the steps yelling, "mom". I am going to miss that so much when you go to college... *Always greet the person who is waiting for you to get home with enthusiasm and love.

7. I love the way you play with your little brothers and how your relationship with your sister has changed from little sister to friend and confidant. You are their hero, playmate and friend. *Always make time for them and never stop growing your relationship. They love you and are so proud to call you their big brother. They will be the only family you have one them well.

8. Your big heart. *Trust your heart, keep it open...your mind will argue with itself but the heart feels what the mind can't.

9. Your desire to make everyone happy. You always know how to make me smile and I love you so much for making my days brighter. *You are so much like me and unfortunately it is impossible to make everyone happy...learn this now but never stop trying.

10. Intellectuality. I love your brilliant mind. *Always use this to your advantage but never use it to take advantage.

11. I love how you love music and love to sing. I can still sing every single Barney song word for word. *Music helps heal the soul and will be a gateway to many memories. Never stop singing or dancing, it's good for the soul.

12. Your hugs. They have saved me more than once. *Never underestimate the power of a hug no matter how old you are.

13. Respect. You have always been so respectful and this one is a big deal for me. Thank you. *Never lose your sense of respect for others and most importantly yourself.

13. Your beautiful gapped tooth smile. This smile has been stealing hearts for eighteen years. *Never underestimate the power of how a smile can make someone feel.

14. Sensitivity. One of my favorite things about you is your sensitive side. I love how you tear up when you watch Toy Story 3. *Never be afraid to show emotion, it is unhealthy to keep it bottled up.

15. The way you love traditions. *Like your mama you love traditions and this is what makes memories and life so special. I hope you always think of me when you intertwine old traditions with new ones.

16. Forgiveness. This is a hard one and one you know well. I am proud of your forgiving heart. *Forgiveness is for your own healing, be quick to forgive it's good for your well being.

17. Sense of humor. If people have never seen this side of you they are missing are witty and quick to the punch and often leave me without a come back, which is difficult. *Never stop making people laugh.

18. Goodnight...I love you telling me goodnight and that you love me. *This will be the most difficult when I have to text you goodnight but no matter the miles between us I hope you always know how very much you are loved, how very much you are missed, how proud we are of you and that you will always be able to come home no matter how old you are.

Happy 18th. Today I am letting go of your hand but I will always keep a tight grip on our love and memories. Your future is amazing. And as kind, be a good friend, make good decisions and use good manners.
I love you always...Mom.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Six things I love about Grady...

I should have known better than to start "birthday tributes" after one of my children has already celebrated a birthday so to nip any other conversations about whom I love most here are six things I love most about my Grady Mac...(his birthday was three weeks ago).

1. His voice...oh my goodness. It is the cutest and I can't help repeat from Garrett's post...that I love listening to his sleepy, fr...oggy voice say his prayers as he drifts off to sleep. It will melt the toughest soul.

2. His I love you's...they are sparse unlike his brother but before his eyes open in the morning he reaches for my neck and says, "I love you so much". Yes he still finds his way to my bed and I am cherishing every.single.snuggle. Don't judge.

3. His sense of humor. For those of you who know this "chump" he is a riot. Last night he asked me what it was like to live without technology or power lines when I was a kid? What the? You never know what is going to come out of his mouth and we are always on guard with hands ready to cup his tiny mouth...right Marshall Wagner?

4. He may be tiny but never underestimate his size...Brian's friends will tell you to always be on alert when Grady is near. He has perfected many wrestling moves and is not afraid of his opponent or their size. He is the perfect height for a nauseating hit...if you know what I mean. Never let your size get in the way of your dreams baby boy.

5. His big blue eyes...they are mine, they are beautiful and when I look into them I see mischief, I see love and I see a tender soul. I also see a boy who everyone loves but may have doubts about him dating their

6. Even though he is crazy wild he has such a sweet, tender soul that few may see. I am enjoying Grady bringing up the end of a long baby era for our family...we have experienced lots of firsts and lasts with our four children but with Grady each new experience with him is also a last for our family and it kind of breaks my heart...but then I remember how very blessed I am to have four children that God has trusted Steven and I to love and that is what makes my world go round. So if you see me or Steven carrying around Grady just remember he's our baby and we are holding on to all of his lasts as long as we can, tightly.

#babiesdontkeep #6

Nine things I love about Garrett...

This is a post I copied from my Facebook in honor of my son, Garrett, celebrating his ninth birthday. xo
Today is my sweet Garrett's is impossible to believe he is nine years old. In honor of Garrett's birthday below are nine things I love most about him.

1. His big heart...he wears it on his sleeve and many times brings me to my knees.

2. I love to listen to him say his prayers. That weary, sleepy voice...precious.

3. Those eyes...I've said it one hundred times they are his super ...power, they can slay...if you must say no to him you better look away, quickly.

4. The love he has for his brother's and sister. Brian is his super hero, Gracie is his second mother and Grady...well he's his chump.

5. His determination and heart when he plays sports...He gives 110% whether his team is winning by twenty or down by twenty. No matter his size he plays big. Always play big baby.

6. His sweet hands that still fit perfectly with mine...I know my hand holding days are limited but I am relishing every.single.time he puts his hand in mine.

7. He is brilliant and wise beyond his years. Sometimes he worries about things that should never creep into a nine year old mind. This is a burden that I wish I could take away...See #1.

8. Every morning the older kids count how many times he tells me, "bye, love you". It is many and I hope he always tells that special someone in his life "bye and I love you" that many times before leaving the house. I never tire of hearing it or saying it in return.

9. Your future is extraordinary. And always play big.

#babiesdontkeep #9

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sometimes you have to pause and enjoy life...

It has been awhile...actually a long while since I have updated my blog, Mother's Day to be exact. If you know me then you know I have four children that keep us busy. What is significant now is that I have a senior in high school and I have dreaded this for so long. In my last post I talked about living in the moment and that is exactly what we have been doing the last five months. We have tried to slow down and enjoy every single moment...not just with Brian but with our other three as well. We now know their sweet childhood passes entirely too quickly.

We had an awesome summer which included a trip to Amelia Island and Disney. This is the first time we have been able to take our children and it was everything I dreamed it would be (except for the car ride home). I worried Brian and Gracie wouldn't enjoy it as much since they were older but thankfully I was wrong, they even came home with Mickey ears. It was so nice to be away with just our family and enjoying one more vacation with a not quite adult son.

I am going to take a challenge of a fellow blogger to write every day for the month of October...who knows if it will happen but as I love to write and wish I had done more I am going to give it a shot. I also plan to update my blog with some fall decorations later today. I love fall and everything it, beautiful leaves, the smell of sun baked crunchy leaves, everything pumpkin, hot chocolate, sweaters, cozy fires at night with the family...I will stop here because I could keep going.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our trip.