Happy Birthday To You, Mini!

Side by side Or miles apart,

 A daughter like you,

 Is always close to the heart.



 Today is Mini’s 14TH Birthday! This is the first time she’s not been with us on her birthday, snivel… I’ll make it but it’s VERY strange! She’s growing up. She had the opportunity to spend 3 fun filled action packed days at Disneyland with a good friend and her family. Of course we let her go have such a wonderful time with great people! We had her birthday dinner and will cut cake when she gets back so as to extend the festivities. Doesn’t mean that today there isn’t a small hole in my heart that misses her and hopes that she’s thrilled beyond belief!

Keeping with my tradition of sharing a bit about my monkey’s on their birthdays… I’m going a different direction. Teens are funny to share about and I certainly don’t need to step on any cute toes so here goes!

Dear Mini Bear,

After a short 6 hours natural labor, I was handed a sweet little person in a pink blanket, that would change my entire world. As I looked down at you I thought, “Oh No! She’s so perfect. I’m not worthy of such a gift.” Like the Grinch, My heart exploded and grew larger than I believed possible! My inner Mama Lion became a part of me that day as did the ability to cry over commercials. I didn’t need to be perfect for the world, I just needed to be perfect for you. You taught me that I was exactly enough even before you could hold your own head up.

Tripping through the last 14 years in my mind, floods my heart with so many memories, making it hard to focus through the laughter and tears that fight their way out simultaneously. A High School Freshman next year!?!?!? Blows my mind! How did we get here already? There are so many opportunities that are exciting and a little bit scary that will find you in the next few years. Remember who you are and you will find the right path for YOU.

The Ham in the sandwich of our family!


You have the funniest personality! Never afraid of who’s watching, as long as your intended target gets a laugh. A fearless quality that I admire much. You certainly keep everyone around you entertained! Living with you is like living in an SNL skit… I wouldn’t change a thing! You have such a silly sense of humor and are so quick with the one liners. We may have to work on the appropriate button but you are a riot! 😉

It is difficult to navigate the teen years for everyone. THAT’s the big secret… everyone who has been a kid had to struggle through it and it can be wonderful and awful at the same time. It’s not easy to grow, change and find your way in this world. Remember always that as you struggle, so do others. Best to be open to good inclusive friendships with a variety of beautiful people. Those who cast a wide net will always have people to share their highs and lows. Don’t let your friends choose you. Be kind to all but choose only those that build you up and encourage you to succeed in your life. You know the difference, you’ll feel it.

Don’t be in a hurry to grow up all the way and keep your old parents in the loop. Of course we would like nothing more than to be your friend, rather than annoying parents. We see how many talents you have and it’s our job to help you to become the woman you desire to be. Someday you will hold your children and understand that we loved you SO much that  we choose to parent you. May not be a blast today but investing in our children is most important to us. YOU ARE WORTH IT! We’re never going away. Your stuck with us and we love you more than you could ever begin to imagine! If you share when a problem it is small, we can help to guide you through and make it better. If you wait until it’s a 3 alarm fire all we can do it be there with you as you take life’s lumps.

Life is unpredictable. We’ll always be here to laugh and point when necessary 😉 but also to keep you together and get you through when you hit a rough patch. We talk about strength in family all the time. Today as your little sister ruined your something or your brother is nagging you, please keep in mind that someday the foundation we have built here as a family, will be the tools that holds you together. Family means no one gets left behind. We gifted you an amazing group of people to drive you crazy today but tomorrow you will be grateful for the tight bond you share.

When you were little, you would cautiously watch, then didn’t hesitate to jump right in and give it a shot! It’s been such an amazing ride watching you grow into a beautiful young lady! It feels like yesterday that you were running round the beach picking up seashells in pigtails. Nature has always been your favorite playground. It’s funny to see you do many of the same things now, half grown. 🙂 You hold a unique position in our family. As the oldest, there many bonuses but also many drawback as well. We understand your frustrations and deeply appreciate when you pitch in and set the example. Guinea Pig kid, you get the best and worst of your parents but I respect your willingness to always head to a compromise with us.

Such a combination of girly and outdoorsy. Your sweet and sour but ALWAYS a blessing to your family. Making good choices and we see your continued efforts in the areas you’ve struggled in. It make us so proud to see you push, rise and educate yourself. Education is very important. You are so gifted and can truly do anything you wish to in this world as long as you put all of you into it. You have the tools, now go into this world and be the very best Marin you can be. When you fall short, tomorrow is a new day to try again. We are very proud of who you are and who you choose to be. Not so much your room, but I’m sure you’ll be cleaning it when you get back… hint, hint! Keep doing your best work. Work hard and it will pay of for years to come. Only you will ever truly know when you did not give something your best and it’s our hope that you will see that and make the changes that help you to achieve your best next time.

Mini- 14 months old


 I blinked and she went from an Itty Bitty Mini to…

Mini’s 8th grade picture


 the beautiful young lady inside and out, that makes us so proud!

Where ever you go in this world kiddo, as your dreams take flight, know that we believe 100% in you. We will always find a way to get to you when you need us at a moments notice. Never out of sight, out of mind because your a huge chunk of my heart that will forever walk outside my body. When they placed you in my arms, I feared that I’d never be able to let you go. Still don’t love it but I know you are a a trust worthy young woman and have so much to give to this world. I thank you for being my daughter. I’d thank you more to not roll your eyes at me but I understand.  🙂 Thank you for allowing me room to grow and accepting that your parents are flawed good humans too. I love listening when you crawl onto the end of the bed and pour it all out to us. You are everything I could have ever dreamed or wished for. I am so blessed to be called Mother by such amazing people! 

On this day 14 years ago, my world changed for the better. I hope you have a wonderful time at Disneyland and can’t wait to hear all about it! We’re missing you on your special day but are thrilled that you made the right choice for you! Life is all about making choices. Good or bad, you’ll always have your family’s unconditional love and support behind you!

Remember who you are ALWAYS,

Mom xoxo


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