Archives for May 2015

A letter to my daughter on her thirteenth birthday

My sweet Princess,

The other day, I stood in the card aisle of the grocery store, scanning possible birthday cards to give you – as I picked up cards and read them, I could feel my eyes welling up with tears. What on earth is wrong with me? Why are your birthdays getting harder for me? I love seeing how you change each year, I am so excited for each year in front of you – but oh this is feeling old, sweet girl.

Time is moving so quickly.

When I went to your parent teacher conferences this year, several of your teachers told me such wonderful things about you. Your science teacher, your social studies teacher, math – and all of them echoed the sentiment that has rattled in my head for quite some time: “I am so excited to see what she will become. She can be anything.”

(No pressure.)

So while I am a bit emotional about your birthday, I hope you know just how much I am enjoying see you be who you are.

When it comes to gymnastics, you are a hard worker. Even after all these years, to watch you when you compete is a joy. You exude this confidence and charisma – particularly when you do your floor routine. You are so fun to watch. When  you master a new stunt, your excitement and your pride – it’s contagious. I don’t know how you do the things you do. A balance beam is only a few inches wide – I tried last year to stand on the beam. I was terrified. On that beam, I realized not only how narrow it is but how high up it is – and you, YOU are jumping, cartwheeling, executing turns, and moving from one end to another with this ease. It’s so hard and yet when you are up there on the balance beam – it looks effortless. I am in awe. Always.

You are a lovely soul.

You are kind. Everyone tells me how kind you are.

Your sense of humor is beyond your years and often the snark level matches my own and you are dry and you are witty and oh god sometimes you crack me up. I got a blister on my foot the other day – I went walking in flip flops – two miles in flip flops, even the good ones, is not a great idea. The next day, i was complaining of the pain and you said to me, “Yeah, I had a feeling that wouldn’t turn out that well.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I replied.

“Because I realized that sometimes it’s better to keep my opinion to myself,” you said. “I just haven’t exactly got it figured out when those times are.”

I don’t know. It made me laugh.

When you had to do a social studies project about Grand Rapids – you messaged me and told me that you’d arranged to interview several people – could I drive you to these interviews? You had sent such professional, self-assured emails to these people, asking for their time, for their insight – and they did – they gave you their time. I couldn’t believe your initiative. Your drive. It is a common theme – I am not sure I was as focused as you when I was your age.

I barely remember thirteen.

It was the year my family moved to Michigan. Eight grade. I had bangs. I moved here and I felt like I was a fish out of water.

I don’t know what this year holds for you. I know that thirteen years ago tonight, I was in a hospital waiting to meet you. I had been so ready to meet you for so long. When I found out I was having a girl, I knew right away what your name would be – and I had, for months, been driving to and from work, having conversations with you – just to hear your name  in the air. You were born at 9:03 p.m. and you are still my night owl. (Oh, how I hate to wake you up in the morning. It’s neither easy nor fun!)

And tonight, I’ll be watching your school choir perform and you’ll be singing a solo and oh, to think about it, I get the kind of goosebumps that make my scalp tingle.

Your texts are some of my favorite to get. I like when you heart my pictures on Instagram.

You steal my Chucks and my turquoise pants.

You are vibrant. Emotional. Sassy. Prone to hangry-provoked tears. Loving.

(Lest you go getting a big head, I will say that sometimes you and your sister argue and it drives me absolutely BONKERS. I thought y’all were supposed to be best friends. Ah, maybe someday.)



And eight grade next year.

It really does fly. Oh, how it flies.

I’m not perfect, far from it – but I think we’re doing okay. Because even those moments – those trying moments – I look at you and I look at your sister and I can’t believe how blessed I am, how amazing you both are.

And today, I celebrate you – it’s your birthday. Thirteen years ago today I saw your face for the first time and it’s still one of my favorite faces on the planet.

I love you with my whole heart and I’m so very lucky to be your mom.



Thursday Ten: It’s been like watching paint dry edition

1. The week before a three day holiday weekend – that’s just about the longest week ever, isn’t it? I feel like i have so much to do and yet I’m struggling to get things done – I’m hopeful that tomorrow is an easy day and that the three days of rest will allow me to hit a mental re-set button.

2. Sometimes I see things that bring me joy.
349 | 365 - May 20, 2015

3. And we’re in the homestretch of the school year – seems like the never ending stream of field trips and school events will go on and on and on. Of course, this is not my first rodeo – I know that it ends. I know soon we’ll be elbow deep in summer ready for school to begin again. But for now, this end of the school year business is for the birds.

4. The Princess has a migraine tonight and I feel badly for her because I know how miserable she must feel. On the other hand, I’m grateful that at nearly 13 years old, she’s old enough now to make it to the bathroom before she throws up.

5. Those are the major milestones, right? Earlier tonight, I was realizing that the first big “wow, she’s growing up” milestone is when your kids no longer need you to help them eat their ice cream before it drips out of the cone. I noticed this as Pumpkin was eating a scoop of mint chip. Without needing my help.

6. Finally was able to put a dent in cleaning the playroom with Pumpkin this evening. Oh my gosh, what a mess that room is. She even let me throw some things away. The clutter, oh my gosh, the clutter. I’m glad to feel like it’s coming around a bit.

7. So, in exactly one week, The Princess will be 13. It’s… sobering, somehow. That means I’ve lived in this house 13 years. It means my daughter is a teenager. It means that there’s really only five years until she’s an adult, goes to college. And… where did the time go?

8. My Facebook feed tonight is filled with friends with graduating seniors tonight – so at least I’m not there yet.

9. I went to the library, checked out a bunch of books and… haven’t spent any time reading again. (Common themes are common, are they not?)

10. Ah tomorrow, let’s hope it flies. Mama needs a three day weekend.

Thursday Ten: Watching Greys Anatomy Reruns on Netflix edition

1. I know there was some wicked big stuff happening on Grey’s in the past few weeks but I haven’t watched it live in several years. I’m only on season seven so whatever it is that Shonda Rimes did that pissed off so many people (and trust, I KNOW WHAT SHE DID because hello, people, y’all spoiled it like two seconds after it happened) doesn’t really impact me yet because I’m only on season seven and I have a lot more people for her to kill off first before I catch up.

2. After a rather dismal few StitchFix boxes, I came home today to one that was pretty much knocked outta the park. Only one piece that didn’t entirely fit, and it may work with a cami underneath and if not? I have a kiddo who will LOVE that shirt because it’s chevron and chevron is her favorite.

3. Also, her birthday is two weeks from today and she’ll be 13 and so, early birthday gift?

4. I don’t like jelly. I ended up describing peanut butter yesterday as being a “lone wolf.” Peanut butter doesn’t need jelly. PEANUT BUTTER NEEDS NOTHING. You can quote me on that.

5. Yes. I amuse myself.

6. Listening to All Songs Considered on our way to Chicago last week, Chris and I heard The Staves “No Me No You No More.” And I immediately downloaded and have been listening to it ever since. Beautiful harmonies. Calming.

View on YouTube

7. In and out of Chicago in 24 hours last weekend. Not something I’d recommend but we were pretty happy to celebrate the wedding of some friends and road trippin’ with Chris is always fun (even though – poor guy – I slept most of the way back because I wanted to leave early so I could spend Mother’s Day with my daughters).

8. We tried Uber for the first time while in Chicago so that was pretty interesting. How country bumpkin of me is it to describe Uber as “interesting”? But… it was. I mean, cabs in general kinda squick me out and I’m always relatively certain that cab drivers never passed drivers training so I felt no more or less safe in an Uber. Comfier than vinyl cab seats.

9. I had a really good day today. In a sea of days that have been more than a little tough, today was a good day. Acknowledge. Smile. And strive for more of them.

10. Tomorrow’s Friday. This is the kid’s last FULL week of school for this year. There’s a weekend coming. How are YOU? Good, right?
343 | 365 - May 13, 2015

Thursday Ten: A Little Bit of Rain, A Little Bit of Sun edition

1. What a difference a day makes. Rain. Sun. Closed. Open. It’s been a roller coaster lately and, y’know, I guess that’s just the way it goes sometimes. But sometimes you just want to say, “Hey Universe? Easy there, now. Just… slow…your…roll.”
335 | 365 - May 5, 2015 336 | 365 - May 6, 2015

2. Work has been completely busy lately – I make progress and then… I’m still left with a full to do list. The days generally zip by, though, which is a very good thing.

3. “Mom, you’re so lucky to get to write all day!” said Pumpkin the other day. Sigh. I guess it’s hard for kiddos to realize that writing all day is different when writing all day is writing web content about things like updating your operating system and making sure your browser is up to date.

4. Took The Princess for a manicure the other day. Made an appointment for 6:30. Didn’t end up getting in until 7. A bridal party was taking over the whole place – and as soon as they walked out, the woman doing my nails said disgustedly, “They had a 5:30 appointment. They showed up at 6.” Why don’t people realize how rude it is to be late like that and how it’s a domino effect that doesn’t just impact YOU but the other people after you. Pffft. Rude bride lady.

5. We had two days of spring and now it’s nearly 80 degrees. Gah. Pure michigan.

6. What a week for birthdays! Happy birthday to Chris and to my dog – who share a birthday. One of them was five years old this week. One of them…is a little bit older.

7. Book club was at the local Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo – and whoohoo $2.99 margaritas. I only drank half of one – basically because my margaritas are way better. Also? I didn’t feel wasteful because y’know, $2,99 margarita.

8. I need to get more sleep. I keep meaning to go to bed earlier and then I look up and it’s midnight and hey self, you were supposed to be sleeping by now.

9. My oven has decided to stop working so that’s something new and exciting that’s happened. Seriously, after being in this house for 13 years, I’m afraid that all my appliances are going to start dying all at once. And that would NOT be a good thing.

10. I have a fridge full of leftovers. I don’t eat leftovers. I need to not save every darn thing every time. I can’t even remember when I made some of this stuff?