Category Archives: Rachel

Happy 6th Birthday, Rachel!

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Rachel,

Today we celebrated your 6th birthday! I found myself at different points during the day thinking back to the day you were born and every time I found myself amazed at how quickly time has gone by.  You are, without a doubt, everything we could ever ask for and more.  You are kind, sweet, smart, funny and driven! You love to learn new things and are always, always, always asking questions.  I know that drive to learn will take you far in life.  You are thoughtful and giving, but also shy in certain situations.  I am so thankful that you have a heart that sees the best in people at all times.  You wonder about injustices in a way that makes me wonder about them too in a deeper sort of way.

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This year you held a lemonade stand to benefit our local blessing box that offers food to people who need it.  You came up with this idea all on your own one day after we had dropped off food at the box.  You asked why we took food there and I explained to you that sometimes people just don’t have enough food to eat.  We had a long conversation, in an age appropriate way, about why that might be and what kinds of things can happen in life to make it so that someone doesn’t have enough food.  What I’ll never forget from that conversation is how your mind was processing through the fact that some people’s basic needs are not met and you were “with-it” enough to know that you could help.  When you asked to have a lemonade stand to help I felt such immense pride knowing that you “got” the gist of the conversation.  You knew that it didn’t so much matter the “how’s” or the “why’s” of  what lead people to struggle, all that mattered was that you had the power to help make things a little better.  Taking initiative is such an important step in life, Rachel.  I know that you will go far if you always listen to your heart and look for ways to show people what God’s love is like.  IMG_2627IMG_0104

You raised nearly $100 from your lemonade stand and we filled up an entire grocery cart full of items to put in the blessing box! Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too small to do anything to help! You can do anything you set your mind to.

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This year you started school and boy are we ever proud of you! The first day of school I thought there might be tears getting on the bus, but you hopped on that bus so fast and sat down in your seat to wave good-bye and before I even knew it the bus was headed up the street to take you to school.  You are reading and writing like nobody’s business these days.  We find little post-it notes of yours around the house everywhere.

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Still one of your favorite things is playing with Jake and playing on the beach.  Here you both are chasing the birds at the beach.  I’m amazed at how you always see the good in people, even when your brother can be a little bit, um, punchy–shall we say? He can be a handful, but he is A TON of fun! You always tell people that he’s “just a teensy bit wild!”

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Of course, since it’s Christmas time I have noticed that you have not waivered from your viewpoint of his standing on the “Nice List.”  “OF COURSE he’s on the nice list,” you always say.  You are the absolute best big sister.  Sometimes you even help me put Jake to sleep by rubbing his back.  He loves you so much too!

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Rachel, we thank God for you every day.  We know that you are bound to do great things in this world and we can’t wait to see what amazing things are in store for you.  You told me earlier that you think you were put on earth to “help people,” and I don’t mean to sound corny here but it makes me misty-eyed because I feel like you really get what life is all about.  Thank you for reminding us that we are called to love and serve in any way we can, even if (and especially when) we don’t understand.

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Happy 6th Birthday, sweet Rachel! I love you to the moon and back and forever and always.  You are everything we hoped and prayed you would be and more.

I love you.

Love,

Mommy

Happy 5th Birthday, Rachel!

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My sweet Rachel,

Happy 5th Birthday!  It’s hard to believe that five years has flown by in the blink of an eye! It seems like just yesterday that we found out we were pregnant with you and now here we are–5 years later. Wow! 5 years of sharing our lives with you and you sharing your life with us.  Five years of snuggles and hugs and love.  You, my dear one, are the embodiment of the innocence of childhood. You are tenderhearted and thoughtful.  The way you talk to people and interact with those around you makes them feel like you really “see” them for who they are.  Several of your teachers and many of our friends have told us how special you are, and that they feel like when you talk to them, you are really talking to them and seeing them for who they are.  That is uncommon, especially for someone so young.

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Yesterday when you woke up on your birthday, there was snow on the ground! How exciting! You were so happy to see snow and patiently asked if we could go for a walk in it.  Out on our walk you told me that you thought it was really nice that God gave you snow on your birthday, and that “he must really, really know what my heart really wants.” Often times you’ll say things like this that makes me pause and reflect on what is happening in my life.  Jesus tells us we should be more like the children, and you remind me of that verse often just by being you.  You are sweet, sensitive and kind, and open and accepting.  You don’t notice if anyone is different, and in fact, you know that we are all different–and that is ok with you! You are patient and eager to learn.  You see the best in people and hope for the best in situations.  You trust and just know that everything is always going to be ok.  You might not think that a 5 year old could have all of these qualities, but you are proof that that is not true!img_2483

Out of all of your special qualities, I feel like you need to know how much I love watching you grow into your role as a sister. You are an amazing big sister.  You are so patient and kind to Jake each and every day.  He is a big huge ball of energy and often times we tell you that he is still learning how to behave, but you always take it in stride.  Thank you for being such a wonderful big sister and taking it upon yourself to try to encourage Jake by showing him “how to be good” (you have always been a pleaser!), you make us proud every day!

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For your birthday this year we took another trip to the American Girl store and let you pick out an outfit for Polka Dot, your favorite Bitty Baby.  You take Polka Dot with you everywhere and I have a feeling that Polka Dot is going to be around for a long time to come.  I love seeing glimpses of the Mommy I hope you will become some day when you play with Polka Dot.  You are so, so sweet with babies–real or not!

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One thing  is for sure, my girl.  Your Daddy, Jakie and I are so very lucky and blessed to have you as a part of our lives.  You might feel like we are teaching you and helping you grow into a better person, but in truth you are the one who is teaching us and helping us to become better people too.  Thank you for showing us that there is living proof that goodness and kindness can prevail in this world.  The world is a better and brighter place with you in it.

 

I love you forever, to the moon and back until the end of time.

 

Love always,

Mommy

xoxox

A Weekend to Remember

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The weekend before your fourth birthday was a fun one! We celebrated your birthday with a party at Monkey Joes! You loved bouncing around on the different bounce houses, as long as they did not include a slide! You said that you felt like the slides were just a little bit too high for you and that you would just rather jump than slide.  Go right ahead, little girlie, jump until your heart’s content!

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We had pizza and cake and icecream and tons of fun with all of your friends and family that came to celebrate with you!

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The next day we traveled to the American Girl store where, after much deliberation, you picked out your first doll, Jessie.  We had lunch at the cafe together where they even had a special seat for Jessie so she could join us for lunch too! Later in the day, we visited the Disney store where you were given an extra special gift from Mickey Mouse himself–what a treat! You enjoyed your special message from Mickey and have worn your pin with pride almost every day since then.

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We had so much fun celebrating YOU and your birthday together. We are so thankful for the day you were born–since then our lives have never been the same! 🙂 We love you so very much!

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I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,

Mommy

xoxo

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Happy 4th Birthday, Rachel!

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Rachelturns4-9Happy birthday to my sweet girl who is as quick to crack a smile as she is to crack a joke! You are the perfect mixture of all that is silly and sweet, and serious and sensitive all rolled into one! You love horses and dolls and playing with your brother.  If you had it your way, you would eat grilled cheese for dinner every night of the week.  You love to swim and be in the water, but are not too sure about actually going under the water.  You make friends every where we go.  You are outgoing and determined, yet shy and uncertain at the same time.  To put it quite simply, sweet girl, you are everything we hoped you would be–and more! Rachelturns4-4

This year you asked if you could help make your birthday cake.  What started out as you helping quickly turned in to you wanting to do every single step on your own which eventually led to one perfectly imperfect cake.  Yes, the one side is lopsided and the icing isn’t the smoothest.  And yes, we almost used an entire container of sprinkles on the cake, but you love it and are so proud of your creation.  It may not be picture perfect, but to you it is–and that is all that matters! Rogue sprinkles and globs of icing in random spots just add to the sweetness of your first cake baking experience.  When I look at your cake picture it makes me smile because I know it was all you…

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Happy birthday, Rachel! You sure are the best early Christmas present we have ever been given! Thank you for making me a Mommy–it has been the greatest experience of my life!

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Moments after Rachel was born. And so the journey begins…

I love you more than you could ever know.

To the moon and back.

Love always,
Mommy

xoxoxo

Reflections on Love {Part 2}

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Happy Valentine’s Day to my sweet little valentines who mean more to me than anyone else in this entire world! I hope you always know how much you are loved, not just by me, but by the One who made you! You were created in His image and likeness, and I believe wholeheartedly that we are here on this earth to spread His love to others in any way we can! You can read a little bit more about my thoughts on what love is here. 🙂

jake valentines day 2015One of the best parts about being your mom is that I get to watch your life grow and change right in front of my very eyes.  I know that you were created for a purpose and that your life has meaning to it, and I can’t wait to watch you both grow.  One thing that I wonder about is how you will react to the world’s expectations of you when you are a young adult.  I hope that the values that I am trying to instill in you today will carry over into your experiences as you try to make sense of this big ol’ world around you.

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I wonder, if by the time you feel the desire to have a significant other, will you still value yourself if you do not find someone in the time frame you were hoping to? Will you still stay true and steadfast to your core beliefs–both personal and spiritual? Will you know that your life’s worth, and who you are as a person, is not measured as “successful” by the ability (or inability) of someone else to love you? If the answer to these questions is “yes!” then I will feel as if I have done my job successfully in preparing you for the inevitable disappointment of a failed relationship or in the longing of a new relationship.

YOU, my sweet ones, are worth the wait in any relationship.  Hold strong to your worth and know that you are a prize.  You are so loved already by so many people around you.  No matter what happens, your life has a purpose and your life has meaning.  Do not let others make you feel lesser or that you are not worthy according to society’s standards (those standards are bizarre and unrealistic most of the time anyway).  The only standard that really matters is His, and He loves you more than you could ever know.  Think about that for a minute or two, reflect on that…..Know that love.  Feel that love.  Share that love with others. You are worth it.rachel valentines day 20152

I  love you to the moon and back.

Love,

Mommy

I love you so…

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Rachel,

After story time one evening, I carried you over to your bed and we talked about your day and laughed while I tickled you in such a way that you could barely catch your breath.  “I love you so much!” I told you before leaving your room; it’s always the last thing I want you to hear from me before you close your little eyes and drift off to sleep for the night.

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“I love you so peanut butter and jelly!” you said in a fit of giggles as I kissed you goodnight and tucked you in to bed.  In your silliness and sweetness I couldn’t help but feel a lump catch in my throat because I knew what you meant.  I knew that was your way of telling me that you loved me as much as one of your favorite things in this world–peanut butter and jelly! It was your way of saying “I love you to the moon and back!” and your way of saying “I love you so much!” Only it was more meaningful than any of those because you put your feelings in to your own words.  I was reminded in that moment that you are growing up so quickly and it seemed like just yesterday that you were six months old and learning how to crawl and now here you are joking with me and telling me that you love me, more than just an “I love you too!” Time is flying by, little one…

In all the silliness, I know there was great truth behind what you were saying.  You made the word “love” make sense in your own special way, in an endearingly sweet way that only a three year old can.  Trust me, if your Daddy ever told me he loved me “so beer,” I would not be sharing the same sentiment about it.  🙂

I love your spunk! Here you are trying your absolute best to wink at me! :)

I love your spunk! Here you are trying your absolute best to wink at me! 🙂

“I love you so (insert favorite thing here)!” has become a sort of common expression in our house these days.  If we have pizza for dinner, you can bet someone will say “I really love pizza.  Rachel, I love you so pizza!” or if we are watching Frozen (for the 40,000th time) that day, it’s “I love you so Frozen!”

Our first secret code. How exciting and terribly sweet that it relates to love and spreading happiness to those around us.

After all, I love you so Rachel and Jake!

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Love always,

Mommy

xoxo

Happy 3rd Birthday, Rachel!

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Sweet Rachel,

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Happy 3rd birthday to you, little lady! You are, without a doubt, a mover and a shaker these days! You love to sing (at the top of your lungs!) and dance and twirl until your heart’s content.  You love to build and paint and draw and imagine.  You are quite intuitive for being so young and often come over to check on me just to make sure I’m ok.  You love your dolls (especially “Polka Dot Baby” who you named after the type of nighgown she wore), and you love being outside.  You are loving, you are kind and you are special.  You have an amazing gift, my Rachel dear.  You have the gift of being able to make others smile.  Everywhere we go, people stop to talk to you.  Time and time again I watch these new found friends leave with smiles on their faces after spending a few minutes with you.  I hope you are always such a people person and that you always know that you have the ability to make the world a better and happier place just by being you!

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For your birthday this year, your Daddy and Jakie and I decided to get you your favorite horsey that we have been “visiting” at Target since the summer.  Literally every trip we have taken to Target since June has included a trip down aisle E5 to visit your favorite horse.  When it came time for your birthday could we really ever get you anything else instead? You spent all day loving on this horse–petting it, washing it, brushing it’s hair, cleaning the saddle and just snuggling it in general.  You told me that you “wuv dat horse SOOO much!” By the end of the day, you had decided to name your horse “Hershey.” You are quite the proud owner.

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You are a Daddy’s girl through and through.  This year when we asked you what you wanted on your cake and suggested that you pick one of your favorite things (Minnie Mouse, Frozen characters, princesses, etc.) you immediately said you wanted to have Daddy on your cake! In the weeks leading up to your birthday we reminded you again that you could have any cake you wanted for your birthday and you still were insistent that you had to have a cake with your Daddy on it. Then you’d say so sweetly “But Mommy, Daddy is my favorite fing!” (fing=”thing” in toddler talk) that we just couldn’t say no! “The Daddy Cake” might just be one of my sweetest memories of you yet.  You sure do love him, and he loves you too, little one.

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We love you so much, Rachel.  More than words in this blog post could ever even begin to describe.  I remember the night you were born when Daddy had fallen asleep and it was just you and I snuggling together on my hospital bed.  I remember holding you in my arms and realizing that everything in my life changed in just a matter of a few short hours.  The old me was replaced by a “new” me–a better me.  A “me” that was made to be your mommy–and to be here for you.  Always.

Moments after Rachel was born. And so the journey begins...

I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,

Mommy

xoxoxo