Tuesday, January 31, 2012

32 Things for turning 32.

To my two strong, funny, brilliant boys,
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.
My list.
  1. Your Cece...my mother.  She taught me to love the sometimes unloved.
  2. Your Grandpa...my dad.  He taught me how to be generous with the resources I have.
  3. Your Dad.  He teaches me ever day how to love another entirely.  And then he reteaches me the next day.
  4. Your Nana....my mother-in-law.  She taught me the importance of love language.  You're very lucky, because her's is gift-giving.
  5. Your Papa....my father-in-law.  He taught me to use the gift of time for others.
  6. My friend Dawn D.  Who showed me the power of strength and selflessness.
  7. My college professor.  Who taught me that I could be an artist.
  8. My friend Stephanie.  Who taught me how to teach with my heart....how to do most things with my heart.
  9. The volunteer Kathleen.  Who laughs openly and freely.
  10. Your Auntie Audra.  Who will dance if there is music.
  11. Your great-aunts Brenda and Rita.  Who fought cancer...and won.
  12. Your Uncle Isaac.  Who is level-headed and so smart. Always ask him for financial and professional advice.
  13. My new friend Emily.  Who shows me how to openly give love to others that surround me.
  14. Your Auntie Heidi.  Who has turned a passion into a career.
  15. 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.
  16. Miles' foster mother.  Who loved him before I could...unconditionally, and with no reward in the end.
  17. Your Uncle Collin.  Who taught me what it meant to truly respect and show respect to another..
  18. 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.
  19. Your great-aunt Marsha.  Who taught me how to laugh at myself.
  20. Miles' birth mother.  Who had the strength to make the hardest decision of her life for the sake of a tiny little baby.
  21. My dear friend Becky R. Who shows me what it is like to be humble and kind.
  22. Your Aunt Carrie.  Who has a genuinely kind heart, and is never malicious.
  23. My old principal.  Who was a "yes" person, and taught me the importance of having a "yes" person in control.
  24. Your four great-grandparents.  Who taught me that serving others is worth doing.
  25. Your Aunt Amy.  Who showed me how to raise boys.
  26. My friend Becky B.  Who taught me how to relax and let kids be kids.
  27. My friend Rachel M. Who taught me how to find humor in just about anything.
  28. Your auntie Penner.  Who shows me what common sensibility looks like.
  29. Your auntie Kimbo.  Who sends out the best and most thoughtful homemade cards.
  30.  My friend Dawn C.  Who taught me the importance of a loyal friend.
  31. 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.
  32. 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 love you boys.  These people...this knowledge....are the most important and precious things I have.  I hope you embrace them to the fullest.

I'll love you forever,
Your mom.