Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Our first, last year of tween


Molly,

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.
Mom

*****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.


Yeeeeeeesssss!!

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. 

Love,
Mommy 

*****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,
Mom

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

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Double Digits!

Hey kid.

It would seem I went and blinked and suddenly, this happened.


Chronic dry-eye be damned, I shan't be doing that again.

A week ago, you fell asleep on top of your Dad during Ghostbusters wearing a Chewbacca onesie with your fat little hand all smooshed up against your face and I swear for like two seconds, it was like looking at a mammoth version of your 1-month-old, Baby Gabey self. It was pretty much my favorite moment of the year. Same snuggled tummy sleeper with your puppy paws and round ole' rump launched proudly in the air just a-sleepin' through all the excitement on top of your favorite guy in the world. All these years later and in that moment, it was as if nothing had changed. Such a treat for my heart.

Oh, buddy. What a year! All things Minecraft have merged in to the land of YouTube and Roblox, your friends and you are now developing ferocious appetites, your room is starting to smell like if feet and farts were to have a baby, you proudly take off with your sister on bikes with gears, through the neighborhood and you proclaimed that you have "finally become an expert at defensive soccer." Finally. Big changes.

Some things still remain the same though. You can't for the life of you remember to put your clothes in the hamper and leave it two feet away from there at all times. Many times, we are still often left looking for one shoe as we frantically need to be somewhere and you always seem to remember exactly where it is as we are about to pull away and leave you for dead. You still have the craziest palate of any human I have ever met and your insatiable curiosity continues to both get you in trouble and/or completely leave us dumbfounded on a daily basis. So many sentences start with, "Hey Mom, did you know..." and yet I can never ever predict what is about to come out next. NEVER. EVER. PREDICT. IT. A couple weeks or so ago, you had to know how many stars were falling from the sky at the exact minute you were born and if that had anything to do with the number of earthquakes that would happen in the world that year. I just walked out of the room because, Son... I HAVE NO FREAKIN' IDEA and quite frankly, Mom has run out of responses to some of these questions.

10 years, Son.

Your quirkiness, comedic timing and gorgeous little dimple light up my heart in more ways than you could ever imagine. A decade with you... what a dream come true.

Love you so.
Mom

**** turn up the music and enjoy!

Double Digits. from Julie May on Vimeo.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Three Hands Old.


Molly,

Height: 55 inches (28%)
Weight: 64.2 lbs (9%)

I can't help but smile at knowing that as I am typing this in the wee hours of the morning, anxiously awaiting your birthday... that eleven years ago to the moment, I was doing the exact same thing. Kid, eleven years later and I'd give up all my sleep just to see your sweet face.

This year brought us bunches and bunches of hormones, feelings. Many days, I wasn't quite certain you would live to see your eleventh birthday. But look at you... you lived. Woot. See, it seems I still have quite a bit to learn as Mom and I'm most definitely not always right. You so kindly commented at bedtime that you weren't even certain I was excited to celebrate you in the morning... and I forced a smile and told you I needed to hug you on your last night as a ten-year-old. Smother it with love, kid. I may make a million and twelve mistakes over the course of your lifetime... but this sassy, opinionated tween reminds me so very much at times as the sassy, froed-out, two-year-old wagging a teensy finger my way from so long ago and I know this game. Smother it with love. Your hair care has greatly improved but the feelings are just as big and spiky. Thanks for sticking with some old tricks... Mama needed a win.

One week from today you will leave the safety of being straight down the street in the adorable, safe world of elementary school and hop on a bus to go somewhere that I can't get to in 2 minutes. I won't know these teachers or these new families right away. You'll meet people that challenge your conviction of self, that grow your empathy and change your life. It is going to be an entire big year of something new. I promise to let you get on that bus come Tuesday. I'll excitedly wait in the window as your bus approaches home and you can bet your bunnies I'll have at least a dozen, annoying questions the second you walk in. In the years to come,  I'll say all the wrong things and definitely "know nothing".You, see...I did it to Nonnie too. Turns out growing pains the people you love best. This is my uncharted territory too... My biggest baby turns eleven today and so does this Mom. Keep giving me that grace, sister and we will figure it out together. We always have.

I had a little giggle that so many of the pictures in this video for the year came from YOUR phone from all those silly videos and millions of selfies you take. Your love for youtube videos, baking, music and making your own videos continues to blow me away. It is like you have all my favorites of your Dad wrapped up in your witty and glorious self. God sure knew what he was doing when he made you my first.

In it to win it, kid. Me and you.

Love you birthday babe,
Mom

****Turn up the music. It is a sweet one!****

Molly's ELEVEN! from Julie May on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Golden birthday for our golden girl.


Nanner bug.


Height: 35.5 (17%)
Weight: 26.6 (10%)
BMI- 14.84 (22%)

Today is your GOLDEN birthday! You will wake up this morning (and likely once in the night to have Mommy 'check on you in a minute'), climb in to my bed, hold my face in your hands and will tell me that you "love me so so much" with the absolute worst morning breath I have ever smelled. It will be simultaneously both so adoring and disgusting. Pretty much toddlerhood in a nutshell.

Despite terrible twos being a thing, you remain my mellow yet mischievous kid. You rarely have a single meltdown too great that you can't be talked down from it and if someone even so much as mentions the promise of a sticker, you will pretty much curb any attitude in the blink of an eye. God bless, stickers. You continue to be one of the dirtiest eaters I have ever met, always have something crunchy in your ducky-fuzz hair and can become naked faster than I can spell Mississippi. I can't tell you how many times I look over and just see a pair of peach "dinner rolls" running off in the opposite direction... usually after one of your older siblings. Instead of your "birthday suit" we just refer to it as Annie is "dressed" for the day. 

Goodness you love your big kids. You will stare out the window for them when they are gone, laugh when you see them walking home all the way down the street and become downright giddy when they invite you to play. Dog, homeless person, Army POW... you'll take on any role, just to stand as one of the gang. You've been sorted in to a HP house and had your own wand constructed before you were even truly introduced to Mickey Mouse. Naps happen in the car, on the floor, on the beach, in my arms, on a float in a natural spring... You take it all in stride, sister and never, ever complain. 

I think that it is quite possible that you love me more than anyone has ever loved me in this world. Some days, I feel the weight of that love and just want to push it aside for a break. You are quick to forgive, always ready to climb back in my lap (or uterus if I'd let you) and will never take a second to keep me guessing about how loved I am. You love with your entire self, kid and I am forever blessed to be on the receiving end of all that goodness and light. 

My life is enriched in ways I absolutely never imagined could be possible because there is an Annabel Jane May in my heart to love. Thank goodness you are mine. 

Love you, birthday girl. Here's to a fabulous year three.

Love,
Mommy.

***turn up the music for birthday video!***

Annie turns THREE. from Julie May on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A 6th birthday girl.

Oh my, Lubird.


Never before I have met another like you. You are the person that goes with all the est of our family... the silliest, the loudest, the craziest, the lovingest. I am convinced superlatives were created in the English language just to better define you. I can't tell you how many times I heard your insane laughter, or your robust vibrato or incredible energy this year and paused in awe that MY body was able to contain that force of life. You live all the colors of the rainbow, my love. How lucky am I to see a rainbow every single day!

If anyone is in need of love you are the person they need to stand next to. Kid, you just have so much love to give. Granted, sometimes you lack the self awareness to control the amount that you give at one time. I mean, death by hugging? You might get charged with this one day. Babies, toddlers, ANIMALS... they don't stand a chance with our resident Lenny.

I know there is going to come a time where the intensity of your everyday is going to push the envelope to a place that's uncomfortable. I pray daily that God continues to give me the grace and the wisdom to guide you in ways of safety and limits without killing that completely gorgeous spirit. I hope you always know the brightness you bring to my life.

I'll meet the teenage version of this fierce spirit one day... for now though, I am going to soak up the last few weeks of a baby teeth smile before all the gaps arrive, of snuggles before bed and your insane nightly antics. I'll continue to laugh at the discovery of selfies and the million of video chats you leave for me to find on my phone. I am every day thankful that I was trusted with such a precious treasure to grow.

Love you, little sparkler. Here's to a bright and shiny year six.
Mom


**** Turn up your volume. It's a good one.****

Lucy's 6th Birthday Video from Julie May on Vimeo.