Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Officially a Teen

Oh, Sister. YOU HAVE ARRIVED. Officially a teenager.


There we go.

Sweet girl, you have been speeding towards teen status for the past 364 days and finally your day has come. It's not always the easiest being the baby of your grade is it? Add a little insult to injury but your middle-child and baby-of-their-families parents were September birthdays and the oldest of the school friends. We totally just DON'T GET IT. Just remember, when all those buddies are 40-years-old with all saggy, tired skinned-- you will still be dwelling in an incredibly youthful decade of good skin. Get on with yo bad self.

It would seem that this was the year of the selfie. Don't get me wrong, there were other years of selfies but this was definitely the biggest year of the selfie. Happy selfies, backwards peace sign selfies, the kissy selfies, the frowny selfies and much to your Dad's tummy rumblings--- the mildly sexy selfies. Oye.

We continue to be clueless in all things life but at least you will keep us aware with softer and kinder words. The hormonal surges are there but there is a little glow at the end of the tunnel. We are going to make it... just in time for your brother to derail us straight through the boy version of puberty. Oh parenting. It is a shitshow the best.

All kidding aside, you sure are incredible. Your witty sense of humor, endless creativity and not to mention the fiercest love for her siblings there ever was. Anyone mess with your people and they will be due a visit by the meanest, scrawniest avenger they ever did see. They will rue the day, that's certain. Small and spicy, our diva since day one.

This year, you pushed your boundaries of comfortability. You bravely initiated some space in your life to love on children that have come from such harder environments. You heart was such a gift for those children. You came how raw and vulnerable and forever changed. My wish for you is a lifetime of that feeling. This world needs so much love and you have the most beautiful lot to give.

This is our last little bit in the awkwardness of middle school. Ha. High school is on the horizon and it just about makes my heart stop. This ride just seems to keep gaining speed. Thanks for granting me grace while I struggle to keep up with the newness of TikTok and catching the Woah...with the memes, the vines, the very sad and very quiet musings of Billie Eilish. You trust me enough to share you crazy world with me and I hope it is that way for always.

Here's to you birthday babe. 13 years as Mom and I wouldn't trade a day.

Love you so!

Molly's 13th Video from Julie May on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

High Five, Annie May.

Birthday Babe,

With all the words to ever before cross my mind, I find myself completely inept in capturing down the essence of you. See, you are like this magical, little, burst of light that somehow discovered me and holds closely to my heart. To share you with the world is to lose a little bit of light for me. Most days, I know that is the right thing to do but sometimes, selfishly, I just want to snuggle in a bit longer and barricade the world from you. My creative muse, my silly companion and my last buddy home.

Until now, sweet love.

This year marks the start of an incredible journey for us both. For the first time in always, we will come to navigate the majority of our waking hours apart. Each day, I'm confident will be more wondrous and exciting for you... but oh, how I will miss you!

This year has marked the passing into bigger kid world. Gone are the baby toys, the everyday nap schedule, the sippy cups and a need to be picked up and held all day. Our adventures now greet us on the trails, in parks and trying to chase after those ever-enticing big siblings. More days than not, I want to shout out to the world to slow down... to give me some time to soak it up so I don't forget it all. You see, we have had so much fun this year. There have been ballet days, disney movie marathons, playdates with buddies, carpools, PreK, becoming an amazon alexa expert, alllll the costumes, the bravery (ziplines & waterslides!!), the sassiness... THE OPINIONS. I have loved it all. Well... most of it. Minus that whole trip to the ER business. Oh, sis,  your ability to stay calm in crisis, to breathe away the pain and inability to see, was the most beautiful display of bravery I ever did see. To quote the firefighter, "Who is this unicorn?" My love, that is you. A bright and shiny unicorn that the world just knew we needed to meet.

Five whole years of you in our lives and not a day goes by that I don't thank the heavens and earth for you.

Happy Birthday, Annabel Jane. Excited for this next twirl around the sun.


**Volume up for birthday video!!**

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Lulu's gr8.

Lucy girl,

My goodness, you are the easiest kid to love! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't stop what I am doing and giggle a little inside about something silly you said or incredible thing you did without even taking note at the awesomeness of it all. My love, you are the QUEEN of badassery. I am quite confident that there is very little that you cannot do and every day I become more and more grateful at how unaware you still are of that. I mean, how does one parent the teenage version of the Queen of badassary? I am a little frightened to find out.

Looking though birthday video pictures of the last year, I narrowed it down to 97 pictures of you. NINETY SEVEN, you little ham. Honestly, I think you had an animal or a baby in your hand in about 76 of them. The rest you were doing something insane and bendy with your body, singing full volume or dressed up in some ridiculous getup. That file of pictures couldn't ring truer of your personality... you live big and love even bigger. Animals and people alike are never a stranger-- only your future friend.

I wish I could tell you that I had all the secrets to navigate those big feelings and the perfect trick to help you keep your volume control in check, but alas, I have never known another you and I am completely learning on the fly. Siblings get snarky with you and you love them even harder. Animals run away from you and so you tame them into submission. Some say go big or go home... you say go big AND go home. You go to our LUCY LOUD home. How empty we would be without you!

You live the entire rainbow, Lulu and the magic just transcends off you to anyone fortunate enough to stand in your glow. It is the most beautiful sight I ever did see. I will forever be chasing your light.

Little and wise. Flexible yet stubborn. Laughter through tears. You hug both ends of the spectrum and just smoosh it all together in a way that only Lucy May can do. You are the muse to our world.

And so to the greatness of eight. Let's go!

*Turn up music!!

Lucy's GR8. from Julie May on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The GOAT is 11.

Birthday Boy.

I wish I could capture down all the ways you have completely made me erupt in to laughter this year through some sarcastic meme, witty comeback or downright outlandish idea. I swear I absolutely never know what's to follow the daily "Hey Mom..." and I completely hope it stays this way forever. This world is brimming over with big feelings...seismic shifts....chaotic holdings and it is important work to belong with someone that finds your laughter. How many can claim that special person as their only son? You capture my heart with laughter, kid and in this lifetime, there is no greater gift to offer your Mom.

It has been incredible to watch you transition from a quirky little kid to this inquisitive, dreamy-eyed, wonder of a tween. Still a little disregulated with your very big feelings, but there's been so much progress. How quickly you emote it all... and even faster you forgive. We could all stand to be a bit more like you.

This year there were bedtime podcasts, yelp reviews of your sister, a newfound passion for art, bike rides with buddies in the neighborhood and all those dang fortnite dances. You learned that what gets written on text, can't be so easily undone and jokes about religion or politics are much better recieved in smaller crowds. Important life lessons. There were third time runs for class leadership and third time recoveries from that loss. To quote you, "Well losing the election stinks but, at least I introduced so many people to Napolean Dynamite." I mean... Napolean Dynamite is a MUCH COOLER claim to fame.

This next year you will embark on Middle School. Our quirky soul in a sea of so many more kids. It is a season that is marked for many with insecurities and I am hopeful that you hold close how beautiful it is to be unique. You can bet your bunnies I will be reminding you of this any and every chance I get. I have no doubt that you will keep us laughing, redirecting and trying to keep up with your endless knowledge bank every step of the way.

You are my MOST favorite son and every day I thank God that he felt I was cool enough to be your Mom.

Here's to a year of all that and more...

***crank up that volume!***

Gabe's 11! from Julie May on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Our first, last year of tween


You started this year so wide-eyed, anxious and weary of all the changes to come in middle school. Undoubtedly, your rookie parents seemed to have all the wrong words of comfort. We are still learning. To make matters worse, your class schedule was the total opposite of friends that represented the safety of home. So in true Molly May style, you complained about it immensely at home, panicked you would anxiously barf on the bus--- and then all by yourself--- you navigated the hallways of towering teens, introduced yourself to new friends, became involved in school activities and absolutely rocked your first year. I think you be quoted as saying "Middle School is sooooooooo much better than elementary school" --- which speaks volumes because your elementary school is mostly made of magic.

It isn't always easy being the oldest child of a family. Having to pave the way and trudge the unknown. Even your own Mom and Dad never had to forge that path as tweens. We see this and couldn't be more proud of your strength and bravery. This year, especially, you had some pretty big moments of hard. It isn't easy to be a kid in a world of social media, unsettling government leadership and the prevalence of gun violence within schools.  You have had to face dynamics that simply didn't exist in my childhood. Lock downs, student outcries, written statements and walkouts... the reality of our world has forced you to grow up at an unfair rate and yet through all of it, you have displayed nothing short of dignity, grace and a healthy balance of whimsy.

This year is a whole new adventure. One that holds the promise of braces, cheerleading, theatrical performances, new crushes, old friends, new friends and all the awkwardness endowed to life as a seventh grader.  I am confident you will further grow our ever-expanding repertoire of middle school nuances and phrasing that now includes: shipping, lit, bruh, basic, fortnite dances, vines, memes, youtubers and allll the slime my Tupperware could handle. We will fumble in our phrasing, embarrass you relentlessly and always go out of our way to love on you in public. I promise we will cheer faaaar too loudly for you at football games, giggle at your ridiculous love of mascara and sigh through the wonky evolutions your curly( and now slightly green/blue hair) will endure.

I am sure we will seem silly, annoying, too strict and too cautious, and always clueless. We will continue to not care about the "but all my friends" and "I really want" and "everyone else" and it will be exasperating and comforting at the same time. Because in this next year of you, we will continue to be here too. To show up, to laugh with you, to encourage, to mentor, to console, to cherish and to love you. Especially on the harder days.

 Every year, you grow us that much more as a Mom and Dad and every year we couldn't be more thankful.

Love you, sweet birthday girl.

*****turn up the volume*****

Molly's 12th! from Julie May on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The fourth is four.

Hey, hey birthday babe...

Rockin' the big O-4.

I can already tell it is going to be such a magical year.


Oh sweet, Nanner-pajamers. There was maybe never a more magical unicorn of a kid. I asked you this week what you wanted for your birthday and you leaned in super close, put your nose smooshed against my cheek and whispered, "Hmm. How bout' some fun?"

I mean. DONE. 

Quite honestly, you could have asked for the moon and I would have gone over and beyond to capture our moon and all those others that circle Saturn or Jupiter or somewhere else really far away. 

In pressing you a little further for some birthday wishes you followed with "Ooooh. A walk for Rosie and maybe a new leash." You make the best, best friend. I am sure if Rosie George could walk you on her birthday she totally would. I mean TOTALLY.

I guess what I mean to say is that twos are supposed to be tough and three's typically reign in drama but sister, these days are breezy and the sunshine has just continued to warm up my heart EVERY DANG DAY. You might be made of mostly magic, or maybe after all these years I FINALLY FIGURED OUT PARENTING... or maybe (read: probably) we really are just better together. Magical, face-smooshing, birthday wishing for dog walks and some fun kinds of better together.

You are a golden light in my soul, little miss and I am excited for all the bits of joy to come. Last year of preschool, first year of tap/ballet with buddies, two days a week of you and me time before the chaos of life in the big school sets in. 

This magical life of loving you. Such a blessing. Happy birthday, lady sprite. 


*****Turn up the volume*****

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Lucky number seven!

Hey there, birthday sparkler! Seven sure looks mighty bright and shiny!

Kiddo! What a year! I know that time moves quickly in the eyes of every parent but this is one of those years when I look back, I find myself SHOCKED at the amount of growth that has occurred. You entered this year still very little to me. I had to watch you in a pool, help tie those shoe laces and occasionally help you with just surviving day to day... okay, rarely. You were pretty much ready to take on the world straight out out of the womb. Ha!

But to look at you now, all beautiful seven years of you, I have to look really hard to see the little kid. Like really hard. Now, I see before me is this confident, bright, beautiful, passionate girl who rocks it EACH and EVERY day and just leaves us all gaping in the dust of your wake. 

My love, you've got magic in your soul.

If I were ever to live a day in the life of any of my children, I would 100% choose yours. I am fairly confident I would experience every color of the rainbow three times over, all before noon. You are tenderhearted, quick to love and even quicker to forgive. You have a mighty passion for music, the GREATEST difficulty with goodbyes and there wasn't a furry friend on this planet that you couldn't coax in to loving you back. It is the most exhausting and adorable goodness about you. Don't ever change. 

I have absolutely no doubt that this year will be crazy full of adventure. I will undoubtedly hear a million more homemade songs, you will tear through at least 15 more packs of computer paper, rip clear through the knees of seven pairs of jeans and I am assured to find at least a dozen handfuls of outside living in your bed. 

My wild and brave spirit. The world is beyond blessed to stand in the warmth of your glow.

Happiest of birthdays,

****turn up the music!****

Lucy's 7!! from Julie May on Vimeo.