Dance Recital 2018

Well, hallelujah hallelujah, dance is officially over for the school year!

After 8 months of getting the girls’ classes straight, washing and drying leotards/tights/pants each week, primping hair, and a lot of driving to rehearsals, we have made it to the big day!  YAHOO!!  (Recital, like Memorial Day weekend, gives me the feels to kick off Summer …for me anyways.)

The school put on quite the performance this year, it was fun from the first dance to the last.  And my girls did a wonderful job with their peers in “Game On”.  Games was this year’s theme.  My oldest daughter performed Capture the Flag (ballet), and my youngest Family Feud (jazz funk) and Memory (ballet)..some pretty great games.  There were so many special dances this performance, and I wish I could share them all with you.  Each game was matched with a song that was of that game, like “Twister” was danced to “Twist and Shout”.  So many clever matches.  They even put on a verse from Hamilton as an interpretation of Call of Duty..so good!!  These kids worked so hard, and it showed!  GREAT JOB, TDS!!!

I always get super emotional during recital.  I don’t know if are catching on to my theme of crying yet, but apparently I cry a lot and tell you guys.  SMH.  It’s just so emotional for me to sit through these productions at times.  Watching all the tiny little preschoolers perform at the start, bumbling and forgetting their positions..just at that sweet age my girls started dance.  Then the trotting, voluptuous, high schoolers dancing perfectly poised in such complicated numbers, who my girls will one day become.  It just gets me at times. These girls are growing up way too fast, and it’s freaking me out!!  I got them dressed today and was like, “I have a twelve-year-old?”.  Like when did that happen?!?!

But it did.  I have a preteen!!

After the performance, we treated everyone to pizza, which was fun, and now I am here at home doing laundry with a house of preteens (niece included) ripping up the place and hollering craziness.  Which I love.

oxoxox

Here are some fun pics of the day.

 

Mother’s Day 2018

First…

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL OF THE MOMS OUT THERE!

💕

Kicked off Mother’s Day Friday after work with my sister and Mom. It was a little chilly Friday, but sunny. When I arrived to my sister’s there was a lot of commotion going on in the streets. The town was on lockdown, lots of cops on the street and helicopters flying around.  Apparently, a strange man was seen wandering the woods near the local elementary school threatening to have a fire arm. It was creepy to feel some crazy person on the loose but within a half hour the lockdown was called off as they got the man.

We had a great time chatting, laughing and enjoyed some pizza before we exchanged all the cards and gifts, and the kids starting a fire to make s’mores!!  They made me feel so special. And I hope I did the same for them. It was a great way to end a long week, though the week wasn’t over..the kids had school Saturday!  Yes, school on a Saturday! It was the last weekend to make up for some snow days that infringed the calendar year. Phew!

💕

Saturday, after the kids got out of school, we got together with our friends for some Chinese and scorpion bowls, my favorite. Afterwards we finished the night at our bffs playing games.

I was actually pretty proud of myself Saturday, because I didn’t eat any Chinese food, got maki rolls/sushi and stuck with only eating that. I have started a challenge this month to be mindful about eating; without feeling deprived I started to control portions, eat less carbohydrates and ramp up my workouts. So far it has paid off because I have lost 8lbs and I am still motivated. Feeling great in your skin is a wonderful feeling.

I love black and blue.. OOTD: INC pants and J CREW Tulle Tshirt

💕

Today I gave myself a day off from the challenge to just be a total pig. As you know, it is Mother’s Day and I have been too accountable eating and just needed a day to eat steak n’ drink. Haha.

I woke up to cloudy skies, but that didn’t matter much since the girls came into the room acting super sweet. Lots of hugs and kisses in bed. They were so excited to start our day. Coffee was being made while my baby girl was showing me a PowerPoint she made for me. It was a slew of slides saying she loved me and why, and embedded with my favorite Mickey Mouse shorts. Haha. She knows me so well. Then they got me to sit at the table so they could present their gifts. First was my baby girl, who made some impressive cards. Then my oldest gave me her cards, who totally made me cry with her thoughtful words and a wooden structure that wrote out ‘love’. Melted me completely. Then my husband handed me coffee and gave me all his cards and gifts, he always spoils me too much. I really felt so loved, and of course, I cried. Like a lot. Even when I went to go get ready for the day.

They always know how to make me feel so good. 🙂 I really got lucky here with these three.

My husband took us to a new favorite location, the Ledger Restaurant in Salem, MA. We had been to this place for a party two month ago and loved it. Today did not disappoint. They offered a three course fixed menu, which actually rocked. We started off with side cars, because it is our cocktail of choice. I love me a side car. Mmmmmhm mm. I love em. My husband got the same appetizer, asparagus w a soft egg over grits and hollandaise sauce, which was to die for. The girls ordered off the kids menu, mac n cheese and pan seared salmon. Then for our main I got the steak and he got the scallops, and I have to say I was way happier than I thought I would be. Every bite was delicious. Then we finished the meal off with a large homemade yodel and ‘donuts and coffee’, and the girls meals came with a homemade cookie (which was warm and delicious). The yodel was so good but the donuts were amazing!! Ahhh maaayyy zinnng.

 

 

As we left the restaurant the skies opened to sunshine, and the city of Salem was vibrant with lots of families and people walking around.  We took some time to run errands then ended up back at home where our friend stopped by for a bit.  Once they left we started off on our evening plans..  watching a movie and relaxing before the week starts.

It was a great weekend, lots of love here, and I hope all of you had a lot of fun, too!

xoxox

 

Walt Disney World April 20- Day 5

I am pretty sad this is already at day 5, I have been having such a fun time going over all the details and pictures!!

Day 5

Disney Park: Hollywood Studios (open till 9PM)

This day we started off by packing so Bell Services could transfer our luggages to a new resort!   The first part of this trip has been at the Bay Lake Tower resort and we were moving to the Saratoga Springs Resort.  We, ourselves, were going to eat some breakfast at the quick service inside the Contemporary Resort then head straight over to Hollywood Studios.

Before leaving on this trip, we had planned to meet up with a local family we heard was also going to be in Disney during the same week. We tried to make a FP together or two. Then more plans were made when we landed in Orlando with an old high school friend,too!  Great day ahead. 🙂

We ended up having some spectacular weather this trip, and today was no exception.  It was 84F, but it was dry and breezy.  A perfect day, truly.  When we got to the park we had good fun talking with the Disney photographer on Sunset Blvd, who was a retiree from Maine, and a sweet sweet man.  I loved his ‘dad jokes’, like not knowing how to use iPhones so when he gave me mine back he told me that most of the guests he deals with go home with selfies of him.  hahah None on my phone though, I kinda wish I did!!

From the entrance, we contacted our hometown friends to let them know we made it to the park, and we made plans to meet up after they got off Toy Story Mania..which was at an hour wait at that moment. So we got ourselves to our first FP for Star Tours at 11:35AM.  I am not sure if you guys are noticing, I didn’t make one FP for before 10:30AM, not a one!  We enjoy not having to run out extremely early on our days off.  Our every day is getting up before 6AM, so when we go away we try not to do that much unless it’s absolutely necessary.

From Star Tours we took a quick jump to Muppet Vision, which is always a good time in the AC!  I grew up watching The Muppets, and I can’t ever skip this attraction.. like ever.  At about this time, our friends messaged us saying they were outside of Ariel to meet up, so we quickly made our way there.  We had such a great time greeting one another, these friends have been over for parties, they are just so funny and a nice group of people.  Their youngest daughter is besties with our oldest daughter, so they were so excited to finally see each other since they text all day as they don’t go to the same Middle School.  They try to hang out as much as possible after school, but without being at the same school it’s just not the same.  This crew was super hot by this time so we took a walk onto Star Wars Launch Bay to watch a quick video.  Then we parted ways so they could eat lunch at their reservations and hit up their FP, we made plans to meet up for our last FP for Tower of Terror at 4:50PM that we booked together.  So we went to get in line to meet Chewbacca as they went on their way to eat.

Well, we stood there for a quick minute then changed minds. The girls really wanted an ice cream, so we decided to break from the line to go get an ice cream.   While we were eating the ice cream, we made our plans before meeting up with our friends again.  We got back to meeting Chewbacca since the line was at under 10 minutes.  What a fun character meet up.  This costume was super impressive, and the CM in there did a top notch job interacting with my family.  We laughed a lot… and he loved my Starbucks pin in my ears. 🙂  I only shared one photo cause my bruises in the other family photos were kind of sickeningly gross, even for me who had them! haha

Our next FP was for Indiana Jones, which our girls had never experienced last time we visited four years ago as it was under renovation. I forgot about how well choreographed this show was, and all the fire and action!  The girls really enjoyed the show, and the tricks of all the stuntmen/women.  And the Mickey Mouse face shaped pretzel they ate during the show, as well.

Once we hit the sunshine, we took our chances at waiting for Toy Story Mania.  They weren’t processing FP for this ride while it’s been under construction, and the time for Stand By was 50 minutes.  First, on the way, the girls wanted to check out the Walt Presents museum; so we decided to make a quick trip of it before we got in line for TSM.  Glad to say that we didn’t wait more than 49 minutes.  hahaha  I am jk, it was more like 35 minutes, the longest we have waited in a line on any trip!, but we spent the time in line playing games, snapping and just enjoying the breezes.

The entrance was sweet. All the new graphics, and imagery.  Since we are all big Pixar fans, we enjoyed the revamp going up to Andy’s room. From Toy Story Mania we got ourselves up Sunset Blvd for our meet up with our friends to ride Tower of Terror.  They were leaving this day so basically after Tower of Terror they had a short time to make it to the airport.  The best part of this was that both moms of the families opted out of the ride, which gave the kids an extra FP each to ride it again…and for us, margaritas and sunshine.  Which was a perfect way to spend time.  The people watching in Disney is absolutely entertaining and not to be missed.  The things I had seen this trip, like the bald man sitting in front of us during the Star Wars Launch Bay film with HIS full face – mustache and sunglasses- tattooed on the back of his head, were memorable.  That must’ve hurt, that’s all I am saying about it.

Ok, so sadly, after Tower of Terror, we walked towards our dinner reservations and had to say goodbye to our friends. 😦  We all had a fun time together, but sad it had to be cut short… I am looking forward to our hang out this Saturday though!

Our dinner reservations were to a place we had taken our kids last trip, and they DID remember, 50’s Prime Time.  Why did my kids remember this place?  Well, it was the first restaurant we let them have a milk shake with dinner and there was a TV at the table. (We don’t have TV in the kitchen, cause I don’t allow it.  I don’t allow it many parts of the house actually. Especially NOT their bedrooms. I grew up with one in my room, and well, I don’t want that for them.)  This restaurant is such a fun experience for all of us.   We had a crazy waitress, who cracked us up the entire meal with her indifference and jokes.  She would call the girls to the kitchen entrance to grab things, which confused them, and threw straws at them when they got drinks, which sounds horrible but it was funny.

We sat at a cute corner dinette set with a vintage TV just like the 1950’s.  My husband and I both got the fried chicken, and the girls meatloaf. They, of course, got milkshakes, my husband a cocktail that lit up and I got a glass of NZ sauvignon blanc.  My fav wine.  I can’t believe it, but I ate my entire dish of chicken.  Something I rarely do!

I think my favorite part of the meal was, aside from the insanely good fried chicken, was talking about our family during this time. Because my parents didn’t grow up in America during the 50s, my stories of my parents past during the 50’s are totally different than what my in-laws had experienced. That quintessential modern era Americana.  So we got to talk to the girls in good detail all about the fun things my husband learned from Grammy and Grampy about this era and what we know of it.  They were so into the conversation with so many questions and comments.

I LOVE THESE TWO KIDS!  They are so inquisitive and smart, and beautiful.  That’s a bonus.  🙂

While finishing dinner, I got a message from my friends from our second meet up of the day! Our plan was to get together after dinner to see Fantasmic and maybe the Star Wars show.  Before getting to the arena, we grabbed a cider and wine, and set up the girls with their light up garb.  Our friends got to the seats first, saved us a bench.  We were about 8 rows from the show, and my kids were really excited.  We had met up with these friends a few times during our trips to Orlando before, last was in 2016 when we took a trip to Universal after a Caribbean cruise out of Ft Lauderdale.  They have a young daughter, but she was so little last time that she basically stayed in her carriage. My kids didn’t get to play with her much, plus another two sets of friends were with us at that time too, which both had children their age keeping them busy, it was a lot of people.

It also meant that I got reacquainted with her this night, too.  From the second the word hello fell from my lips, she was enchanted. (little girls seem to like me, idk why. haha)  And when I told her that my baby girl had the same name as she did, well, that was it, they were besties all night. I gave her some light up necklaces to match my kids, and well, she was all into being my bestie, too. She sat on my lap then my daughter’s, stood next to me, next to her, narrated the show, told me who her favorite characters are and cracked us all up dancing and singing.

We followed Fantasmic with watching the Star Wars fireworks show, Galactic Nights, together.  We stood to the right within the plaza.  We really enjoyed the theatrics and pyrotechnics of the show, it was quite thrilling actually.  The feel of the fire shots that they let out towards the end was blasting us all with so much heat, I felt happy (on the account that I love hot weather!).

We said our goodbyes then hopped on the bus to go over to our new resort..Saratoga Springs!  We were all excited to check it out, and sleep!  Ok, I was excited to sleep, I was wiped!

We checked in, grabbed our luggage and were driven to our room.  All in the dark, so we had no clue what anything looked like. We were in building 65 on the second floor.  The room was way bigger than at the Bay Lake Tower.  The layout was different, too. Like, the bathroom sink was unattached, and bonus they had a large entrance to the room.  We had a pretty great day at Hollywood Studios, loved seeing all our friends!

We Are Back!!

Hello WordPress friends!

We are back from…WALT DISNEY WORLD! Wooo! But, really, womp! We had such a great trip that we are all bummed about it being over and back to work and school. Ok, tears wiped, but yeah, Disney has definitely changed some since we were there last; which was four years ago, when our kids were 6yo & 8yo! And I was 3…7. Huh, not as cool to think about that. Haha. But. This trip was all kinds of awesome, as our past Disney trips have been, but Idk, I think this is our favorite Disney trip of them all.

A lot of why I am feeling like this has to do with our girls’ ages. They are at such a great age for all the parks, never missing a beat walking miles a day and still a great age for those family magical moments.

Another major part of this trip’s success was the weather! We left home Monday the 16th with chilly rain and arrived to Orlando to a stretch of 9 days of sunny, breezy, 84F-87F. WOOOTOTHEHOOOO!! I never felt happier to be in FL than this week. We couldn’t of been luckier. Actually, now that I think of it, we were lucky this whole trip together… We got to sleep in some, enjoy a lot of pool time, scored the best additional fast passes each day, Magic Hours were truly magical, the park/resort buses always showed up when we walked to the gate number, when it was supposed to rain we got clouds or a drizzle while we were inside/on a ride, the girls rode EVERYTHING without a fear…it all just really worked out!

Considering before we left how I was a wreck from a car accident. I didn’t really share this with many folks because it was just a lot for me to go through. But yeah, Thursday the 12th, 4 days before our trip, I went to treat myself to a coffee only to be struck by a speeding car that cut me off turning out of nowhere. (notice this one is heart shaped?)

He slammed right into me, so hard that he knocked me/my car a few hundred feet. Thankfully, my car didn’t hit anyone or anything as it was thrust into a parking lot (and I had no clue what had occurred till I felt glass in my mouth and smelled burned rubber). I walked away from the crash with some wild bruising and bruised ribs, a tiny scrape and aches from impact but ALIVE. A ton of wonderful people came to my rescue and defense, witnessing the other driver’s reckless behavior on the road. My car was deemed totaled so we grabbed a rental last night to take us home from the airport. This is depressing me because I didn’t need this, I mean, who does, but now I have the expense of finding a new car.

So ….I am taking a new car and how well this trip went as my guardian angel’s way of saying everything is ok. Brighter horizons ahead. Because every time we talked to either insurance company or I felt down because of all my noticeable bruises while in bathing suits, shorts or tank tops, I saw hearts. It’s a weird thing that happens to me, I literally see heart shapes, and in Disney it was kinda crazy how many we all saw. 🙂

OK, so I am going to draft out my day to day posts and photos over the week between work and stuff. Keep an eye out!

Annnd, is that rain I hear outside!? Yup it is… welcome home.

Hope you all missed me! Hah oxox

My favorite poem

Hey guys!

So, Maya Angelou would have been 90yo today. I have always revered Maya Angelou. Her story..her history. Her dance. Her talent. Her perspective. Her rhythm. Her voice.

Because of her, as a teen, I started drafting poetry. I saw her on a TV show once, and I was captivated. How she carried herself with so much strength, poise and grace. Her voice, so deep yet so gentle. Her words so direct but not offensive.

I had never seen anyone like her on TV before.

As a teen, I would keep a small notebook that I wrote in, which I tucked under my pillow every night. It was my special writing place, where I could share my secrets, dreams, draft poems or scribble, or whatever I felt at the moment. Most times poems ran out of me; those that were savagely romantic or the few that were passionately sad. Also, depending on whatever I felt at the moment.

Being a teenage girl was tragic. Haha.

But, Maya Angelou. When I went to ‘google’ how to make Turkish Delights (yup), I saw the Google Doodle of Maya Angelou’s birthday and there scrolled my favorite poem. Still I Rise.

The first time I had heard this poem at school, it woke me up inside. I carried it with me all through time, because its message was just so perfect. For me as a woman. For me as a human. For me just because. I then read it to my daughters when we talked about the meaning of equality two years ago. Again, it burned me inside. And, of course, I cried reading her impactful words to them. They cried hearing her impactful words from me. Seeing it today brought me to re-read it, look her up on YouTube to listen to her speak it… and cry, of course.

I hope you all know this poem, and at the very least some parts by heart. I mean, this poem is everything inspiring. Everything empowering and just everything.

Happy Birthday to the great Maya Angelou.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Easter 2018

Hey Everyone!

Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua!  Hope those of you that celebrated today had a wonderful day.

It was a great day.  We spent the morning drinking coffee as the kids were opening their baskets. Man, do I love that my husband now drinks coffee, mostly, that he makes me coffee at home.  This has been a big dream of mine, having a coffee brought right to me with a smile. My dreams are not that big I guess.  (Backstory–He wasn’t a big coffee drinker before he got me a Nespresso machine last year. Now it’s a daily thing….so TY Nespresso!)

This was the first Easter that the kids knew about “the Easter Bunny”.  Bittersweet to think back to those days when we laid out carrots and lettuce together waiting on the furry guy to show up…now there’s no carrots or lettuce and I am not furry.  Well, not THAT furry. I wish they stayed younger a little while longer.  I almost have a teenager at home, six months to go till the big 13 here.  OHMYGOD

So, back to today.  After baskets and breakfast, we got dolled up in our Sunday best to hit up mass locally.  THE PLACE WAS PACKED!  I reminded myself to get there a half hour early to park and find a seat, and I am so glad I did.  The seating within ten minutes of us getting there was gone and standing room only from entrance down each aisle.  Insane.

Have I mentioned that I love my church here?  The congregation is wonderful, reminds me of Immaculate Conception in Malden, where I was a member till I moved up north.  This church itself is beautiful, aesthetically, but today they had the most modern bouquets adorning the altar.  They had big blooms of white flowers with yellow sprigs of forsythia, just so pretty I couldn’t help but maneuver myself to look at them the whole mass.  I should really find out who the florist was for those.

After mass, we went up to the Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, NH, our second Easter.  My family and I go there often, I really like eating there.  We met up with my parents and my sister with her family, like last year.  It was a real nice time, the service was great, the food was fabulous but I also had a lot to drink, so I would’ve had fun eating anyways.  The Sicilian Spritzers are too good, which makes them go down way too easy.  I highly recommend them, and to invite me too! 😛

Then after dinner, we made a short stop at home to grab cookies, gift baskets and prosecco, then took a trip to my sisters for a little after dinner drinks and dessert.  The kids had a great time playing and they actually built a fire in the pit of my sister’s yard.  I was pretty surprised, and sorta nervous, but it was great.  We just got home after a whole day out and eating, so I am pretty tired.  Which means I am leaving my day right here and posting some pictures of the day.  I wish I took more, but this just means I had too good of a time to take them.  🙂

Hope you enjoyed your day as much as I did !!  Till next time WordPress.

 

xoxoxo

For My Girls

Dear Girls,

You have no idea quite yet how much you have changed my life. I never saw my future self when I was a young woman being a mother, and I guess it was because I never felt like I was equipped to be a life long teacher…till I met you guys. The change was pretty instantaneous, you two, from the beginning, made me feel so centered and loved, that motherhood felt natural. I mean this literally. In the hospital the morning after I gave birth to H, which was only a few hours after I had you, the nurse had that heartbeat monitor on for a while as she talked to me, checked vitals, etc, and after a bit made this sound ‘huh’. So of course, I had to ask what was wrong and what she said was by far the best words of my life. ‘Oh, nothing is wrong’, she said, ‘your heartbeat, as you’re holding your daughter, is much slower than when she is not in your arms.’

Because I loved being with you, my lovely girl. Same thing happened when I had L, except it was her face as they rested her on my chest that filled me with joy. She let out that little sigh as she looked up at me with a half smile. Like she was so happy to finally make it to meet me. 🙂 You were the ingredients I needed to feel good, literally inside.

So this post is a different one compared to the norm of birthdays or travels. This one has been a long time coming. I have had many moments when certain phrases or thoughts pop into my head and I wanted to make sure to write them down for you both; sometimes I forget them by the time I see you or I have been lucky enough to talk them through with you. Or I repeat them so you understand what I’m trying to instill. And. Though you guys know, I’d never really let a day pass without saying what is on my mind, when I remember. My intentions are so you know I love you and want to arm you with a bit of common sense information. Which can be very wordy at times. Do not laugh at your mother!

But seriously, these thoughts are like little life lessons that I know have come up or will, so here I decided to type them out… a spot where I can continue to share with you and they will never be lost.

Sooooooo,  here I go with what’s on my mind…

1a. Be happy. No matter the paths you take. No matter if you make mistakes. Remember the steps you walk are a part of your journey and history. Do not regret your steps, but use them to learn from and keep moving forward.  Mistakes are lessons learned and most likely, the ones you will remember learning most. But happiness inside comes from yourself. It’s a very conscious decision that drives inner contentment, it isn’t given. It is earned with a positive outlook, surrounding yourself with the activities and people who keep that ideal grounded. It’s like a habit of good thinking influences your life.

1b. Most people are annoyed by genuine happiness.  I never understood why, but I think it has to do with their jealousy not figuring it out themselves.  They cannot seem to figure out that it is a choice to make, like everything else in life.  It is a choice every day. Don’t be a miserable jerk like those people, because negative fulfillment is the worst feeling.  Every day is a true gift to be alive, so, as long as you realize that you can wake up everyday feeling happy, which means you can make any path to further contentment/happiness.

2. Beauty you are born with and beauty you manifest inside are different things. What I mean is you or others can’t help how you are born.. your eyes, lips, body, skin, being tall/short, or other features you are born with, are out of your control. Never just think that a handsome face equals a good person. It does not. A beautiful person has inner wisdom, life knowledge or talents that they use for the good in this world; they are soulful, passionate, selfless, respectful (and most importantly respected). Seeing through the mask of outer beauty is tough, but seeing the soul of a good person within is not if you look correctly. Just know the difference.

3. Be confident. Be proud of who you are, where you come from, what you do, what you make, what you have and don’t be afraid to misstep. You are only human.  What I admire about strong people is their confidence. Their confidence in just being; their confidence in not being afraid to try in spite of making mistakes. Their confidence within. Even their resilience to be confident in times they might want to waiver. Stand tall and know yourself well enough to stand grounded.

4. Do not take each day for granted. Participate in the day. In your life. Don’t be so lazy or blue that a day withers on.  The worst things I have seen come from those sloth like people who do enough just to survive, for what?  That is no life, YOU ARE HERE TO LIVE, MY LOVES!! So live!!

5. Find passionate love.  The kind of love that utterly sweeps you off your feet. Where a kiss lifts your spirits and a look from the eyes paints your soul. The kind of love that beckons the birds and music every day. The type of love of your dreams, that brings you the respect, admiration and the complimentary companionship you deserve…and if you can make sure the person you love is also funny and handy around the house, car or yard ..that is a bonus! ;)-

6. Laugh. AT EVERYTHING. Life is too short to not enjoy it. Laughter fills the soul.  At the worst points in my life, I found that one laughable moment would get my spirits back up. Even if it was brief, it made differences I appreciated. And I swear laughter is a part of staying youthful, which is important as we age. So laugh every day…and use face cream. Jussaying. Powerful stuff there.

7. Don’t get wrapped up in what other people think of you. It is their opinion, and it shouldn’t have become common knowledge. It only matters how you know yourself. (as I always say..’screw them. They miss out on the beauty within’.)

8. Your family is the first set of people you love, learn to cope with and love you unconditionally. Never stray from one another. Don’t let moments pass by without sharing them together. Always keep an open dialogue with me and daddy. And. Especially with each other. You and your sister are a special unit, a bond no one else can understand.

9. Stop often to look up at the sky.  Take yourself outside to enjoy what this beautiful world has to offer.  Go on hikes, walk your neighborhood, drive to the beach/ocean, bike trails, visit landmarks.. even sit in the yard.  With your eyes open.  Take it all in.

10. Never stop learning.  There is one thing in this world that no one can ever take away from you.  Knowledge. It keeps us motivated.  Helps us grow as humans, and keeps us connected to the real world.  These things are key. For life. And you just don’t know who you can help with your intelligence.

11.  Stay away from others who cause drama.  People that gossip, argue over nothing or look for things to happen to them by causing conflict.  These people will cause you to lose yourself in their stupidity and you just don’t need that in your life.

12. Never work a day in your life. What I mean is have a career, trade, or job that you love, and you will never feel it is a burden. You will wake up with an eagerness and THAT is a great thing to be able to have each day.

13.  Be true to yourself. If something doesn’t feel right to do, well, just don’t do it. You don’t have to compromise yourself for other people’s ideals. Trust your instinct. Your gut will never let you down if you listen to yourself.

14.  Stay active. Not only is it great for your body but it is great for your mind. You will learn a lot about yourself when you continue to challenge yourself in this realm. Whatever the activity.  You are capable of so much and keeping an active lifestyle helps you see many of life’s challenges ahead in different ways.

15.  Or is this 14a? Anyways. When life gets you down you get up. Literally.  Sometimes the best perspective can be found when you are active. Go for a run, lift weights (highly recommend), hit the gym, hike, be in a place where you are moving your body and you will see more clearly.

OK, I think that is enough for right now.  You know there will be more. Haha.  But I hope you can hear my energy in each thought because I believe that these are important insights to repeat to oneself.

You girls are special, strong, smart, beautiful souls. Such individuals with drive, and I hope my guidance throughout your life brings out the very best in you.. you make me extremely happy and proud.

I love you more than anything in this world.

Mamma

Xoxoxo