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Liliana’s Twelfth Birthday Letter

Dear Liliana,

On Thursday you turned twelve years old. Twelve! Weren’t you just born yesterday?

You are a unique person, Lily. You are one-of-a-kind. I have never met anyone quite like you.

You are wise. You think things through, you have great insight, and you have sound judgement. Keep this up and you’ll do well in life.

You are ambitious. You have goals. Nothing stands in your way once you put your mind to it. You like doing well in school so you work hard and it shows. You get great grades and it’s because you work for them. Your class doesn’t listen at all to your teacher but he can depend on you to be the cooperative one. I’m proud of you for this.

You have a great sense of humour. You take being roasted so well and you dish it out even better. A few years ago you made a word puzzle in school with words that describe you. You wrote “werdo” instead of “weirdo.” So, we always call you “werdo.” You take it well and yell at us, “IT WAS A MISTAKE!” You make us laugh so much. You and your dad especially like to get into it, followed by a whole lot of laughter.

You are stubborn. This can be a good thing. You have morals and you stick to them no matter what anyone else says. You don’t let anyone change your mind on what you know is right. You don’t let anyone change who you are. Keep this up your whole life, ok?

You see the good in everything. Sometimes things suck but you take it all in stride. You find something positive and you focus on it instead of wallowing in the bad.

You love to dance. You’re good at it, too! This past fall you moved into a higher level and at first you found it difficult because nobody got your sense of humour and you wanted it to be fun and not so serious. You’ve fit into the class now though and you really enjoy it.

You are a voracious reader. You especially like to read Warriors books. You have so many of them and you’ve read them all dozens of times. Whenever we go to the library, you’re always taking them out. You’re also a big fan of graphic novels. You can devour a book in one sitting. You and your brother read every morning on the way to school and every evening when I pick you up. If it’s dark, you ask for the light to be turned on so you can see your book as we drive.

You love watching wrestling. You and your dad and your brother watch it together and enjoy it very much. A couple months ago you and your dad went to the Road to Wrestlemania or something like that. You loved it! You got a t-shirt, an auto-graphed poster, and and an experience you’ll hang on to for a long time.

Right now you’re jumping on the trampoline with your brother and your friends Julia and Layla. You had a sleepover last night and we watched Avengers: Endgame. You’re quite enjoying your time. After that we’re heading out for lunch, just me and you, and then to the rocks and gems show. You absolutely love rocks and gems. You get them for gifts and you search for them when we go out. You study them and you know them all by name.

I’m looking forward to spending this next year with you. I’m so glad I get to be your mum. You are a blessing to us and our life would be so boring without you.

Happy birthday, my dear.

Love,
Mum

Categories: Birthday Letters
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Preston’s Eighth Birthday Letter

Dear Preston,

Today you turn eight years old. You and I were quite sad last night, on your last night being seven. I think we’ve grieved every year on the eve of your birthday, saying goodbye to another year. I’m so proud of you, though, and all that you have accomplished this past year.

Last June you went on your first plane ride. You were so excited! And you did so well. You and Lily were so well-behaved while we were travelling, I’m so thankful for that. I knew you would be though, you’re always up for an adventure.

In September you started grade two, and you were kind of disappointed that you had Mrs. L again in a split 1/2 class. Not because you didn’t like her, you love her as a teacher, but because you felt like you were doing grade one again. She had big plans for you though, being a leader in your class and being a good example for the grade ones. And she’s so proud of how you are doing! You challenge yourself in your work and you help your classmates when they are struggling.

We went snow shoeing for the first time this past winter and as much as you weren’t a fan when we started, you quickly got used to it and had so much fun. It was super cold and I was so grateful for your positive attitude. I’m already looking forward to next winter when we can do it again. I usually dislike winter, but we were outside so much this past year that I was quite happy with it. You love being outside, and that makes me love it too.

You are so kind. Even when someone is mean to you, you look for ways to be kind to them. You sure love your big sister Lily and try to cheer her up when she’s down. You always look for ways to help her and make her day better. You offer to clean her room with her and share your treats with her. You are also very thoughtful and like to make people happy.

You love spending time with your family. You enjoy playing Minecraft with Lily, especially when she lets you play it in her room, and you really enjoyed it when Kaylie was home over Christmas. The three of you spent a lot of time on the couch together creating worlds! You also love it when we play games on Sunday afternoons. You’re up for anything as long as we’re spending time together.

You sure miss your sister Kaylie. You’re often in tears because you miss her a lot. I’m so glad you love your sisters so much. They’re blessed to have a brother like you.

You and your dad love to spend time together. You wrestle, watch wrestling (Ricochet is your favourite), play hockey, and read Hardy Boys books (something he was very excited to start with you). He sure loves you, and spending time with you is always the highlight to his day. Your dad teaches you Sunday school and leads your group at Tidal Wave. You’re great at looking up Bible verses in Sunday school, and you also love doing it when you and your dad do your devotions at home at night. You’re going to miss him next year when you move up to the grade three class.

You see the best in everything. There have been some things over the last year that have kind of sucked, but you’ve found the bright spots in them. At Halloween we weren’t sure whether or not we were going to be able to get you the costume you wanted. You made do with what you had and you were completely content with it. I was so proud of you. We worked hard though to get you the costume you wanted and goodness, the smile on your face when we gave it to you made it so worth it. You were so excited, and so thankful!

In the next few months you’re going to finish grade two and head to camp for the first time. I’m looking forward to hearing about what God does for you during your time there. Camp was my favourite part of every summer when I was a kid and I’m so excited for you to experience it. It’ll be your first time away from your family, but I know you’ll do great!

You always make sure I sing Love You Forever to you every night when you’re asleep, but tonight you asked me to sing Happy Birthday to you instead. You bet I will. Anything for you.

You’re an amazing kid, Presto, and I’m thankful every day for you. Your dad and I are so proud of the person you are becoming and are so excited to get to see what this year will bring for you.

I hope this day is a great day for you. I made cupcakes for your class as you requested, and I’m taking you out to lunch! I love spending time with you.

Happy eighth birthday, Mr. Wilson.

Love,
Mum

Categories: Birthday Letters
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Grace in Small Things: 1.21.19

Elan created Grace in Small Things many years ago, but since I have been barely blogging, I have not participated in quite some time. But, she just put out a podcast, reading her most recent one. I gotta say, hearing her read her blog posts is quite wonderful. You should listen. She also inspired me to get back into it.

I miss when I used to write on this website multiple times weekly. How did I have so much to say? Maybe it was because my kids were little and when I had little kids I had more to write about? I don’t know. Somehow I lost my way, and I’m quite sure social media had a huge part in that. Pre-social media internet was much more fun. I’m kind of envious of those who have kept their blogs up all these years. There’s a rhythm to it, and if you lose that rhythm, it’s hard to get it back.

So I’m going to try to do this more often. I can’t commit to often, because I’ve blogged so sporadically over the last few years, but saying more often means more often than never. Here goes. Five small things.

1. A new podcast. I listen to podcasts all day at work. Sometimes I don’t pay good enough attention to them because I’m concentrating on my tasks, but usually I can work and listen at the same time. My recent favourites have been Bear Brook, Heaven’s Gate, and The First Degree.

2. Pizza. I click some buttons on my phone and and 45 minutes later pizza arrives at my door. Magical.

3. An amateurly-painted mug. I told the kids we’d go pottery painting over Christmas break and so we did. Lily painted a cat, Preston painted a car, and I painted this mug. I love it.

4. A quiet night at home. They don’t happen very often, so I treasure them when they do. If I can walk in the door from work, put on sweats, and not have to take them off till bed time, it’s a good day. I get to be at home tonight, and I’m quite enjoying it.

5. Leftovers. I love cooking, but I don’t love trying to get it on the table on time. I like to take my time when cooking. Our evenings are usually quite busy, so getting dinner on the table before everyone goes their separate ways is difficult. But having a home-made meal ready-made is quite fabulous. Tonight we’re having leftover chili, much to Preston’s chagrin and everyone else’s delight.

That’s it. Maybe I’ll do another one of these next week, maybe I’ll do another one in six months. Time will tell. Until next time.

Categories: GiST
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Seventeen

Dear Kaylie,

Today you turn 17 years old. Seriously. I know I say this every year, but I really cannot believe it. Slow down, kid!

You have grown into a beautiful, confident, independent woman. I’m so proud of you and so glad I get to be your mum.

You’ve had your struggles in the last few years but I’ve watched you fight and battle against them. I know you’ve got it in you to overcome your hurdles, you just need to know that you can. But you can, my dear. With help, I know you can. You’re strong, Kaylie.

You love music. You love to listen to it, you love to play it, and you love to sing it. You got a ukulele a few months back and you’ve been quickly learning it. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it so much. You have also been singing with the worship team at church and goodness, you blow me away with your voice.

You can finish a whole pizza in one sitting. It’s impressive, really, how much you can eat and stay so slim. Enjoy it while it lasts!

I’ve finally given in and let you watch a few shows with me I’ve been holding out on thus far. One of them is The Bachelor. Right now we’re in the middle of Becca’s season of the Bachelorette and I’m totally Team Garrett. I know you miss Leo, but you’ll get over him, I promise.

The other show we’ve started together is Friends. I love that you now get the references when Dad and I quote them to each other. “FINE BY ME!”

I’ve been trying to teach you all the things you need to know when you’re all grown up. Like grocery shopping and cooking and budgeting your money. I probably should have started a while ago so you could have more practice before you leave us, but here we are. Doing it now. Better late than never, right?

I don’t know what the future holds for you, but I know whatever it is you’ll tackle it with all you’ve got.

I hope your 18th year is full of joy and laughter, and that you find moments of peace.

Love,
Mama

Categories: Birthday Letters
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Eleven

Dear Liliana,

Today you turn eleven years old. Eleven! I can’t believe it.

You are a unique individual, my dear. There is no one quite like you on this planet.

You have so many words. I had no idea one person could have so much to say! I love listening to you talk though, never worry about talking too much with me.

You have your dad’s sense of humour. This drives your sister nuts but makes your dad laugh!

You love to dance. You get frustrated that you are not coordinated enough to do gymnastics moves with the other girls at school but you can dance like the best of them. I love watching you dance your heart out! You had a competition two weeks ago and you have another one this weekend. You love to perform!

You do really well in school. You’re reading and spelling above a grade 8 level and you like to ace all your tests. You got what you called a bad mark on a social studies test a few weeks back and you were quite upset. Just do your best, my dear. That’s all we ask for! I love that you like to excel though, you have a great work ethic!

You are an adventurous eater! You spent many years with a very limited palate, but now you’ll eat almost anything. One of your favourite foods is broccoli. I’m surprised you’re not green yet!

You’re getting a bike for your birthday. You got to pick it out on Saturday. You were a little disappointed that it was not a surprise on your birthday, but I needed to make sure you got one that fit you properly and I wanted to make sure you liked the colour. And technically it was a surprise because you didn’t know before we arrived at the store that you were getting it!

You and I headed out for lunch today for some, as you call it, Mom-and-Lily Time. There was a little sign by the pick-up counter that said something like if it’s your birthday, let us know and we’ll give you a treat. I let them know that it was your birthday. They then put a candle in a brownie, lit it, and the whole staff sang to you. You were pretty happy.

I’m so proud of you, Lily. You are kind and generous and you genuinely care about people. You are growing into a fine lady.

I love you, kid.

Love,
Mama

Categories: Birthday Letters
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