January 04, 2014
When I first found out that we were pregnant, and expecting our first babies, I will admit that although I first prayed that you would be healthy, I also prayed that my twin babies would be girls.
"Oh please let me have twin girls." "Twin girls would just be the best!"
And, God gave me twin girls!
Even though I may jokingly say, "What was I thinking when I prayed for girls!?" I love, love, LOVE the fact that I was blessed with both of you.
Every dress. Every Shriek of "OH MY GOD! A Spider!!!" Every tear. Every broken heart. Every girl moment.
Every. Single. Moment. I am thankful for you both.
With your 16th birthday literally right around the corner, I have been thinking. A lot. I have been thinking about when you girls were born, when you were learning to walk and talk. I have been thinking about all the milestones that have passed, and even still all the milestones you still have to go.
So this year, I wanted to give you something in which wasn't bought. Something that you carry with you. Always. This list will be printed out for each of you. I want you to keep it with you, where ever you go, so when you need to, you can pull it out, and read them over and over.
101 Lessons for my Daughters
1. Take every opportunity to travel.
2. There is no such thing as too far to travel for a great hamburger.
3. Make time for road trips.
4. Get lost on purpose.
5. Breathe deeply, at least once every day.
6. Write out a bucket list, and keep it in your pocket. Add to it often, and make sure to check items off when you have done them!
7. Dream big. Even the "too big" dreams sometimes come to fruition. It just may take a little more hard work.
8. Learn to sew.
9. Learn the basic general maintenance of car care.
10. Learn to cook.
11. Learn to eat out by yourself.
12. Learn to go to the movie theater by yourself.
13. Learn a second language, and use it often.
14. Learn to iron. ( As you may have guessed it, this one came from your father!)
15. Learn the art of persuasion.
16. Learn the difference between a lie and a fib.
17. Learn to laugh at yourself.
18. Learn to invest your money. Your goal should be to have your money work for you, not the other way around.
19. Learn to meditate, and do it often.
20. Learn how to be patient.
21. Never underestimate a good long hot shower.
22. Learn that life does in fact have "Do-Overs". While you can't "do-over" everything, just remember that you can "do-over" career choices, boyfriend choices, lipstick choices, etc.
23. Don't stay in a bad job. I'm not saying don't work, I know we all need money, we have all had those horrible jobs that we would rather forget about, what I am saying is there is no rule that says you have to stay in a bad job. Do something, and make a change. Get out there and network.
24. Before you want to post something on one of your dozens of different social media accounts. Ask yourself this question... "Would my grandmother be horrified, embarrassed, or shocked if I posted this?" I, of all people, know that even though times have changed, and it is a completely different world from what it was 50 years ago... Your grandparents era had the best morals, hands down, and that never changes!
25. Always say "I love you" to those you love.
26. Make the time for friends and family. You never know when you're going to lose someone you love, and you'll be able to smile when you say, "I'm glad I took the time".
27. Make time for yourself. It will do wonders for your ego as well as for your health.
28. Never wait too long to apologize. While we're at it. Learn that there is 3 parts to a sincere apology. Randy Pausch wrote the book "The Last Lecture", and taught me the proper way to apologize, and it truly speaks volumes. First, "What I did was wrong", Secondly, "I feel badly I hurt you", and lastly, "How do I make you feel better."
29. Be sincere. In everything you say or do.
30. Remember that what you put out in the world, will come back to you ten fold. "What goes around, comes around."
31. Start traditions when your own children are young.
32. Carry on traditions we did with you, with your own children.
33. Perform in public at least once in your life.
34. Overcome the fear of public speaking. I swear I think we are all born with this fear, some just learn to overcome that fear quickly, and still others never overcome it. Be one of the people that overcome it quickly.
35. Love with your whole heart. Your. Whole. heart. You'll know you did when you can forgive an unforgiving act.
36. Sing loudly.
37. Exercise every week.
38. Never neglect your eyes. You only get a single pair, and those are meant to last you a lifetime.
39. While we're at it, Never neglect your teeth, You get 2 sets of those, but your 16 now, and you're down to your last set.
40. Don't buy meaningless gifts. Always put thought into whatever it is you give. Whether you bought or made something by hand, if you put thought into it, the recipient will surely appreciate it.
41. Plant a garden. Even if you live in an apartment, I'm sure you'll have windows where you'll be able to grow something. There comes great satisfaction when you can grow your own food.
42. Listen to that inner voice when it tells you something is amiss, or just not right.
43. Eat for your health. Don't eat when your upset or bored. Practice good habits now, and they'll stay with you a lifetime.
44. Be thankful.
45. Always send thank you notes via "snail mail" for gifts received, or even for gestures made especially when it really meant something to you.
46. Remember to always say "Thank you".
47. Remember to always wash the makeup off your face every night.
48. Remember to wear sunblock. You'll be glad you did when your 70, and still have the skin of a 40 year old. Tanning is highly overrated.
49. Remember that perspective is everything. Everything you say or do has the ability to be taken out of context. It's all in one's own perspective.
50. Never ask a question with a statement. Again, this goes with #49, as it's a surefire way for it to be taken out of context.
51. Experience a play at least once in your life.
52. Volunteer to help the elderly.
53. Rescue a pet. But make sure you have the room and time for a pet first.
54. Learn your words. Always remember that there is a classy way and a trashy way to say something. Don't be trashy.
55. Speak your mind. Don't let things on your mind stay bottled up.
56. Whether or not you have children, don't ever judge another woman's parenting choices. Parenting is
probably the hardest job there is, and for the most part, we are all just trying to do the best job we can with what we have. Remember what may be right for one family, isn't necessarily right for another.
57. Learn the difference in being vulnerable and being a pushover. Vulnerability is not a bad thing. Only when we are vulnerable are we able to see strength.
58. Don't let fear make your decisions. Fear will prevent you from reaching those goals you set for yourself.
59. Don't let material items define your happiness.
60. Know your surroundings at all times.
61. Learn to lose with dignity.
62. Read, and don't ever stop reading.
63. Don't be afraid to fail.
64. Don't keep people waiting. Their time is just as important as yours, remember that, respect that.
65. Always look for the positive in everyone.
66. Make it a point to try something new every year. Whether it's Salsa dancing or skydiving, you never know when you just may find a new passion.
67. Make it a point to try new foods often.
68. Listen to the stories of your elders.
69. Don't pierce your body or stretch your earlobes.
70. If you ever think about getting a tattoo follow these two pieces of advice. a.) Draw it yourself. b.) sleep on it for a month before getting it.
71. Don't hold onto grudges.
72. Don't be too self absorbed.
73. Stand up for yourself.
74. Make a stranger smile.
75. Every once and a while, make someones day and pay for their coffee when you're in the drivethru.
76. Don't wish your days away.
77. Enjoy the present day.
78. Don't dwell on the past. You'll miss today.
79. Try hard. You may not succeed, but at least you'll have the satisfaction in knowing that you gave it 110%.
80. Listen to your parents advice. Our advice comes from our mistakes. You don't have to take our advice, but at the very least, listen to it.
81. See your favorite musician in person.
82. Don't let society, and trends define you.
83. Never stay in a bad relationship.
84. Find that person that treasures and respects you.
85. Be confident, not cocky.
86. Don't ever change because someone else wants you to, Change because you want to.
87. Take lots of photos.
88. Make sure you get in those photos too.
89. Don't miss this small moments that happen.
90. Realize that sometimes the grand moments come beautifully wrapped in small moments.
91. Remember that the secret to staying young is being able to see the wonder in everything.
92. Don't spend money you don't have.
93. Don't go crazy with credit cards. Have only one, and use it for emergencies.
94. Always put at least 15% of your paycheck into your savings.
95. Don't let birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays pass by without acknowledging them, whether they're yours or someone else's.
96. Adventure happens in your attempts. Attempt as much as you can.
97. Be the best "you". Don't try to be that person down the street. Don't try and be like the newest celebrity, just be you.
98. Don't ever stop picking up pennies on the sidewalk.
99. Write a book, or an article. It's a huge ego booster to see your name in print.
100. Create your own story. Don't let someone else do it for you.
101. Live your life following this Mantra: "I'm glad I did" instead of saying, "I wish I had".