Today is my birthday. I love birthdays. Mostly because the day is all about me. You can call me selfish, but I think everyone should have an all-about-them day at least once a year, and to be honest you've really been eating them up lately.
I wanted to make a list of 32 things about me in order to commemorate turning 32.
But I was afraid you would find that boring.
And you would talk about how boring it was.
And wonder why your mom chose such a boring topic on such an important all-about-me day.
So I'm presenting you with a gift. It is still a list 32 spaces long. But it is a list of people I admire/am inspired by/and love. With each person is just one thing I admire about them...a way they have enriched my life. It was a hard list to make. One that took me days, because I have more than 32 people that I find irresistible. It's a list that you should pay attention to. These are people you should pay attention to. These are the people I want you to surround your lives with, and love, and soak in their greatness.
- Your Cece...my mother. She taught me to love the sometimes unloved.
- Your Grandpa...my dad. He taught me how to be generous with the resources I have.
- Your Dad. He teaches me ever day how to love another entirely. And then he reteaches me the next day.
- Your Nana....my mother-in-law. She taught me the importance of love language. You're very lucky, because her's is gift-giving.
- Your Papa....my father-in-law. He taught me to use the gift of time for others.
- My friend Dawn D. Who showed me the power of strength and selflessness.
- My college professor. Who taught me that I could be an artist.
- My friend Stephanie. Who taught me how to teach with my heart....how to do most things with my heart.
- The volunteer Kathleen. Who laughs openly and freely.
- Your Auntie Audra. Who will dance if there is music.
- Your great-aunts Brenda and Rita. Who fought cancer...and won.
- Your Uncle Isaac. Who is level-headed and so smart. Always ask him for financial and professional advice.
- My new friend Emily. Who shows me how to openly give love to others that surround me.
- Your Auntie Heidi. Who has turned a passion into a career.
- My oldest friend, Tiffani. Who is fostering children as we speak. Some that she knows she can't keep, but gives so much love to just the same.
- Miles' foster mother. Who loved him before I could...unconditionally, and with no reward in the end.
- Your Uncle Collin. Who taught me what it meant to truly respect and show respect to another..
- My friend Courtney. Who shows me what it is to love mothering, and to also love leaving the kids behind for drinks with the girls.
- Your great-aunt Marsha. Who taught me how to laugh at myself.
- Miles' birth mother. Who had the strength to make the hardest decision of her life for the sake of a tiny little baby.
- My dear friend Becky R. Who shows me what it is like to be humble and kind.
- Your Aunt Carrie. Who has a genuinely kind heart, and is never malicious.
- My old principal. Who was a "yes" person, and taught me the importance of having a "yes" person in control.
- Your four great-grandparents. Who taught me that serving others is worth doing.
- Your Aunt Amy. Who showed me how to raise boys.
- My friend Becky B. Who taught me how to relax and let kids be kids.
- My friend Rachel M. Who taught me how to find humor in just about anything.
- Your auntie Penner. Who shows me what common sensibility looks like.
- Your auntie Kimbo. Who sends out the best and most thoughtful homemade cards.
- My friend Dawn C. Who taught me the importance of a loyal friend.
- Your brother Liam. Who finds the humor in absolutely every situation. I hope you find a way to use this to your advantage as you grow and love. I hope you use it to build others up instead of tearing them down. This skill can lead you to do great things. And I hope you use it to the best of your ability.
- Your brother Miles. Who has the strongest will I know. I hope you know the strength of it, and use it to do great things. Things that change the world. I hope you don't accept no from the "no" people you meet, and I hope you become a "yes" person. Because you can do anything.
I'll love you forever,