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/Letters to My Children 2015/ August

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Dear Emma,

Summer break with you sure flew by this year! Even though it’s only 2 weeks, we always pack so much fun into that short time together. From the backyard to the creamery and many adventures in between, we spent our days being silly and carefree. I think my favorite day was when you and Jonah turned a simple art project into a full on body painting extravaganza. I hope I never forget the sound of your laughter as I hosed you off afterward. :)

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As you head back to school this week, I want you to know how very proud of you I am. You have one of the kindest, most thoughtful hearts I’ve ever known, and that’s no more apparent than in your love for Jonah. It’s his first week at your school, and while you’re very excited that he’s finally in the same school as you, he’s naturally having a lot of anxiety as he adjusts to new people and new routines. I can’t even tell you how proud it made me to hear from his teacher that you went over to his room yesterday to help him feel better, and that his special treat after nap was to go see his big sister. It was your first day back, too, and you had every right to want to spend it playing with your friends. But instead you were there for your little brother when he needed you. That’s a big job you took on, and you did it with the grace and generosity of someone well beyond your 4 years. They say our children are our greatest teachers, and you my girl make me certain that’s true.

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Love,

Mama

I’m joined in this letter writing project by some very talented photographers. I encourage you to head over to Melissa’s blog to read her letter, then follow the links until you land back here!

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/10 on 10/ August 2015

I actually had a totally different 10 on 10 planned for this month… but at the 11th hour, this happened. :)

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Now head on over to Jodie’s blog to see her 10 for August!

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/Letters to My Children 2015/ July

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Dear Jonah,

If you have a season, it is most certainly Summer. You have been living it up the past couple of months, taking in all that Summer has to offer. We kicked off July at the cabin, where you loved playing in the water, palling around with your big sister, and generally being a messy, adventurous boy.

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Summer wouldn’t be summer without lots of water play, and you are definitely a water baby. You and Emma love when we chase you around the backyard squirting you with the hose. It’s in those laughter-filled moments that time seems to stop and the afternoons feel like they could go on forever. But looking at these photos of you, I know time is moving way faster than I’d like. You’re far more boy than baby these days and I’m coming around to being okay with that. Slowly.   2015-07-24_0005 2015-07-24_0006

Summer coming to an end means big changes for you… the biggest being that you’re starting at your sister’s Montessori school. I’m both excited and nervous for you. I know you’ll thrive in that school, but I also know you’ll be confused at first and missing your beloved daycare provider. It’ll be hard on all of us, but I promise to be there with extra uppies and snuggles when you need them. And when all else fails, we just may have to bring in the big guns – a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles. :)2015-07-24_0007

Love you, buddy…

Mama

Head on over to my talented friend Ally’s blog to read her July letter…

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/10 on 10/ July 2015

Another great 4th of July at the cabin! The highlight of the weekend was Emma finally fishing on her own (she’s been building up to it for the past two summers). She was fearless, persistent, and hilarious. She named each worm, named each fish, and comforted the fish as Jared removed the hook. She probably caught 10 fish all on her own by the time the weekend was over, and was so thrilled to be a “real fishergirl!” :)

/1/ Taking this big sister thing to a new level

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/2/ Perfectly capable of doing it on his own2015-07-09_0002

/3/ My favorite old door in all the land2015-07-09_0003

/5/ Got a bite!2015-07-09_0004

/6/ Back to wandering2015-07-09_0005

/7/ Time to cool down2015-07-09_0006

/8/ I believe this one was “Slimy Joe”2015-07-09_0007

/9/ Reel ’em in!2015-07-09_0009

/10/ My guys <32015-07-09_0010

Please head over to Dominique’s blog to check out her incredible 10 on 10!

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/Letters to My Children 2015/ June

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Dear Emma,

Happy 4th Birthday, my sweet girl. People have been assuming you’re 5 for a while now, so it’s about time you finally turned 4! That assumption mostly comes from the fact that you’re so tall for your age (91st percentile!), but also from your independence and maturity. It’s been awesome to watch you blossom into this sweet, thoughtful, silly, creative little girl over the past year. It’s like we can see the older you taking shape right before our eyes.

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Don’t get me wrong – you still have your toddler moments! Those moments can serve as (sometimes much needed) reminders that you’ve only just turned 4… there’s so much you’re still figuring out. You’re just starting to navigate the social world – discovering both the joys and challenges of friendships. You’ve been asking hard questions about love, death, and what things mean. Daddy and I aren’t always ready to tackle these topics, but we always try to answer you with respect, empathy, and honesty.

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For your birthday this year, it felt like we celebrated all week long! We kicked things off with a princess party at the Little Gym where you celebrated with all your school friends. From the games to the Disney tunes to the Rapunzel cupcakes, you had a blast. After that, we headed home where our family was waiting to keep the celebration going. Your favorite gifts were your princess dresses and a book of Disney bedtime stories.2015-06-24_0006 2015-06-24_0007

For your actual birthday, I took the day off of work so we could hang out. It started with you finally getting your big present from me and Daddy – a new dress up cart! We built it from scratch just for you, and I even spray painted knobs bright pink for you to hang your bracelets and necklaces. If someone had told me when you were a baby that 4 short years later I’d be immersed in all things princess I would have told them they were crazy. But what can I say? It makes you so happy, and I’m learning to embrace the fact that our house is permanently covered in glitter.

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Before meeting up with Nana, we stopped at the Frederick Rescue Mission to drop off the Backpack Drive donations you collected at your birthday party. Daddy and I were so very proud of you for thinking of others on your big day. One of the things that makes you so unique and wonderful is how innately thoughtful you are. You are always thinking of others’ needs and feelings, even if it’s something small like sharing with Jonah or bringing me an ice pack if I stub my toe. Daddy and I are hoping to teach you different ways you can use that gift to help others, because the world so desperately needs more people like you.
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After that, we met up with Nana at Build A Bear where you – of course – built an Elsa bear. It even sings “Let It Go” which Daddy and I are super thrilled about. 😉 We capped off the day with a family dinner at your favorite restaurant, Cafe Bueno. All in all, a perfect day and a great way to kick off age 4. As much as you want to skip ahead to being 5 like your older friends, I know this year will be filled with wonderful discoveries, important lessons learned, and happy, carefree times with family and friends.

Love,

Mama

Please head over to Ally’s blog to read her letter, then continue around the circle until you land back here!

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