Sunday, May 31, 2015

It's a Big Day in our House

It's a big day in our household.

So much of the last few weeks and days have been spent working on putting together a graduation party for Nathan.

Today may look like a big graduation party. But tucked inside of that party is the major event of the day:  WE HAVE ANOTHER TEENAGER!
(and it's my baby)
(and I might be a bit sentimental about this, shocking...I know)

Danielle is 13.
She has spent the last 61 days warning reminding me of the countdown until her impending day of becoming a teenager.

And I have spent each one of those days warning reminding her of how she is still and always will be my baby. If there was I way I could put a stop to all of this time and growing up thing, I would.

But try as I might, I haven't figured out how make time stop. Haven't even figured out how to slow it down.

Dear Tookie,

I know you are growing up, and apparently this has to happen. I like the parts of this where you are doing your own laundry and shopping for some of your own things, and making some of your own meals. Even having your own tube of clearasil on the bathroom shelf is kind of a significant milestone.

But I miss the parts of tucking you in earlier than I go to bed, snuggling with a book, a prayer and a song, and even all the Disney Channel theme songs that would get stuck in my head.

I miss the days where you believed me when I said that your teeth would fall out if you skipped one night of brushing, or that if you crossed your eyes, they would freeze that way.

Ahhhh, the good-ole-days.

Actually every day with you in it is a good day.

Happy 13th To You!
I am so proud of you.
I am so proud to be your mama.
I love your sweet spirit, your quickness to forgive and your willingness to lend a hand.
Keep working hard and trying new things.

My best advice for your teenage years is this:
Keep God first
and always remember that quality chocolate will never do you wrong.

I may not have figured out how to slow time down, but I can freeze moments of it. This one is for you, my teenage-baby-girl:

love, mama

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dear Wildcat,

I'm having trouble sleeping tonight.

Tonight you are a Wildcat. But by this time tomorrow, you will be a Bulldog.

Tomorrow you graduate.

By every measure of the school and state
and even above and beyond both of those,
you meet and exceed the requirements set that say you are a graduate of high school.


I knew this would happen.

Somehow, when you were born and I started to feed you, something inside of me said that you would grow up, drive cars, date girls, excel in school and move on. Great. So feeding you seems to be where I went wrong.....

....if keeping you close was what the goal was.


I guess I knew from even before you were born that I would have to give you away.

You know the story of before you were born. How I thought I was losing you. How I promised to give you to God if He would please let me keep you.

He did. And you entered the world at a whopping 10 1/2 pounds.

thanks God. Not exactly what I meant but, cool. Way unforgettable. Love how you work in those ways....

So since you were such a giant when you were born, it turned out that the doctors were concerned with your brain and your collar bone. One was broken during the whole entrance in to the world. The other was deprived of oxygen for longer than they thought would render you as "normal."

So you are my miracle.

And just so you know, "normal" is a setting in the dryer.

You have been defying "normal settings" ever since....well, before you were born.

And you have been doing this as a Durant Wildcat.

I know you have been moving on and doing extremely great things both in and outside of Durant. Some of those things have been recognized. For example, I can't fall asleep tonight without mentioning how you were named the National Youth Leader of the Year, or that you were one of eleven students in the state that served as a page for the Iowa Senate. Just of those two things, you were ONE in the nation and ONE of ELEVEN in the state. 

Whether recognized locally or not, I think these are truly amazing.

When we wake up tomorrow, you will be preparing to address your classmates as a Wildcat. And when the ceremony is over, you will be a Bulldog.

I don't know what to say.  Other than this:

I am so proud of you.
I am proud of all you have accomplished
And all you have had to overcome.
I am proud of your drive.
Of your willingness to find a new dream
When the one you had was taken away.
I am proud of your dedication to your team,
and to your class.
I am proud of your dedication to the community
And to our State and Country. 
I am proud of your dedication and drive to take the next steps
to follow your dreams
believing that no matter the cost, 
that God has placed a dream on your heart
and you are going after it....
....even without certainty.

So mostly,
I am proud of your 

Because that is what you are operating on right now.
If I can give you any advice it would be this:

God has brought you this far,
You will face more obstacles.
But I don't think He would place these dreams on your heart 
only to let you down now. 

Honor God.
Live Your Dream.
and always know that there is someone on this side of heaven who believes in you.

Love, Mama