Dear Luke, 

You are the one who made me a mother 6 years ago today. I can say with complete honesty, it is my favorite job and greatest adventure. 

Now, where do I begin with you? 

Luke, you are a very very special child. Of course, all mothers think that about their children…but there is something truly unique about you. There is not a jealous bone in your body. Sure, you rival with your sister as siblings tend to do, but at the end of the day you just want to make her happy. Sometimes you get in trouble for doing something for her, it makes you cry and you’ll say to me: “Mommy, I was just trying to make Eden happy.” You would fall on a sword for her and it makes my mama heart melt. 

You don’t like being the center of attention, but oftentimes you are. You are loud, and hilarious. The imaginary games you come up with amaze me. You and your siblings have a basement full of toys, but you’d rather create a scavenger hunt for your brother and sister or battle it out on a board game. Gosh, do you L O V E board games. 

Speaking of games, sports are your passion. Since this letter is a way to brag on you, son… you’re pretty darn good at them too. You started hockey this year. Your favorite sports are still golf, baseball, hockey and soccer, but if we’re being completely honest there isn’t a sport you don’t enjoy. 

Some mornings you wake up before me and rewatch Alabama football games or the Golf Channel. You love Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar. Matt gave you a high-five once… you like to remind us of this fun fact often. 

Luke, you are smart. You learned to read this year in Kindergarten, and you have mastered math. You are obsessed with math. If I’m being completely honest here, I don’t enjoy math so you are going to need to be patient with me. You like to tell me 43+2 is 45, but also 44+1 is 45 and also 40+5 is 45. It amazes you that so many numbers can have the same solution. Santa brought you an additional and subtraction calculator for Christmas, you take it everywhere with you. 

Luke, you love learning about the human body. You had a hospital stay at Nationwide Children’s earlier this fall for your respiratory issues, and actually really enjoyed your stay. You asked the doctors and nurses 5,938 questions and wanted to absorb every single moment there. You recently hit your hand on the table by accident and said to me: “Mommy, did you know that I just hit my hand and I could see the blue blood in my veins? It’s actually always red, but it looks blue. Did you know the blood is working hard to circulate back to my heart.” My jaw dropped, you want to become a doctor at Children’s Hospital and I don’t doubt you for one second. 

Luke, you are so caring and inclusive of your friends. Your teacher shared a story with me this school year that made me cry. At the end of the day you like to have the class sit in a circle to play “rock, paper, scissors” once you lose you like to pick a friend who is being a good listener. This child is usually one who hasn’t been included in many activities for the day. It’s important to you that everyone is included. You are extremely sensitive to that.

We watched Prancer this holiday season. A simple 80s flick about a girl and Santa’s reindeer. You came over to me and told me you wanted to shut the movie off. I asked why? You told me you didn’t like the way the little girl was disrespecting her father. As I mentioned… extremely sensitive.  

Luke, you love to make people laugh. You adore your sister and brother. You love listening to music and dancing. You love Star Wars and LEGOs. You love the Columbus Blue Jackets. You love learning about geography and historical figures. You love eating at Bibibop and you think the Rusty Bucket is the nicest restaurant in the world.

I can’t believe you are 6, but I also love that you are 6. You are learning and growing and becoming such a wonderful young man. I could sit here and write a complete novel with stories and accomplishments, but I know it would continue to embarrass you. 

Luke, you are the greatest leader and set such a remarkable example for your siblings. You make us so proud. You make us so happy. You made us a mommy & daddy, and for that we are forever grateful. 

Happy 6th Birthday, Luke Myers.

Love, 

Mom

My dearest Eden,

Today you are 4 years old. You are everything I could have ever wanted in a little girl and so much more.

The other evening you asked me something that stopped me in my tracks. You said, “Mommy, when I grow up can we hang out?” I replied, “Of course! We already do.” You responded, “Yeah, but when I grow up, what will you call me?” I didn’t understand where you were going with this, so I simply said, “Eden. I will call you Eden.” You said, “No! I want you to call me your best friend.”

And I melted.

Eden, you have grown up so much this year. You faced new adventures and tackled them all with enthusiasm and grace. This year you started weekly swim lessons which you still look forward to. You also took a full year of ballet/tap, and even though you were the tiniest dancer you were so focused on your instructor. You are determined to star in the Nutcracker one day. You also started preschool this year. You never cried one time, I can’t even say the same for your older brother! You looked forward to school and were sad when it ended for the summer.

Eden, you have the most fiery spirit. You dance to the beat of your own drum and you don’t care who knows. You will not be a follower. I can already tell that at the young age of 4. You were born to be a leader, yet you will still look to your older brother for direction.

You are my middle child and my only girl and I simply adore you. I love you to your core. Your sassy attitude, your wit, and your free spirit. You love to sing, you love to color, you love to act out movie scenes. Eden, you are a performer through and through.

You love to spend time with me in the kitchen helping me cook. You also like to hang out in the bathroom while I get ready. You are always grabbing a pen and paper to sit next to me in my office while I work. You tell me I’m pretty and smell nice. You love to whisper, “Mommy, it’s just the girls now.” I’m your girl and you’re mine and that will never change.

Eden, I wish I could stop time. I wish I could sneak into your bedroom and sleep next to you every night. You sleep so peacefully. I wish I could take you on a vacation, just me and you. I don’t even care where we go, I just love spending time with you.

I’m sorry you have to share my attention with your brothers. Your brothers are so wonderful to you. I wished more than anything growing up I had siblings, I hope you always look at them as blessings.

Eden, today you turn 4 years old and while you are growing up so fast, you are also still so little. May you always be little and brave. May you always be kind. May you always be fiery. May you always be unafraid to speak your mind. May you always laugh. May you always whisper “it’s just the girls now.” And may you always feel the fierce love of your mommy.

Love always,

Mama

Happy Birthday, Eden

Today you are 4!!!!

Happy Birthday, Eden

Ballerina cake for the birthday girl.

Happy Birthday, Eden

You love to fish, but you don’t take the fish off the hook.

You are a tiny dancer.

You are a tiny dancer.

Happy Birthday, Eden

You love Disney World!

Happy Birthday, Eden

Little cowgirl.

Happy Birthday, Eden

You are a star!

From the deepest, darkest corners of our home is where my anxiety lives. From the depths of our disorganized, disastrous basement, pantry and closets… you’ll find my blood pressure rises to a boil.

CLUTTER.

I know I’m not alone here. For me, it’s an everyday annoyance. I realize I have 3 small children, and the clutter will probably never completely leave, but I decided earlier this year to start doing something about it. I believe if there is something in your life that nags at you, gives you an anxiety or drives your stress level to the red zone it’s time for a change.

Now, this isn’t going to be a quick fix. I really wish it was, I think we all wish we could snap our fingers and the clutter would disappear. While I can’t promise magic, I can promise a few simple steps I’ve discovered that helps me with decluttering.

  1. Have a plan – You’ll read a lot of articles that say, ‘Don’t plan to declutter, just start!’ While that’s solid advice, I find that having some sort of plan in place…even if it’s a simple one, helps me tremendously. When you make a plan, be sure to set some goals. My personal goals over the next several weeks are to have my kitchen, clothes closets, and toy area of our basement organized and free from clutter. I realize these are some pretty lofty goals for a busy mom of three messy children, but it’s a start!
  2. Start Small – It’s so easy to look at a room and feel your blood pressure rise. For example, our kitchen. While it looks clean on the outside, behind our cabinet doors is an abundance of unnecessary pots, pans, utensils, coffee mugs, plates, etc. I decided to start with our cup cabinet — I then moved on to where our coffee mugs are housed. I then decided to tackle our pantry. Setting a goal to hit one area per week.
  3. Clutter Before You Declutter – Say, what?!? Seems counterintuitive, but hear me out. Clear off a clean area of your home. If you’re working on decluttering the kitchen pantry, clean off your counters. Then remove everything from the pantry and lay it out on the counter. Every last box of cereal and canned good. Then start pitching things. Keep only what you will use, throw out what has expired and donate what is unopened to a local food pantry. This concept will help you visualize a “clean slate” as you figure out where everything goes. Everything should have a place.
  4. Ask yourself the tough questions – Whether you are a sentimental sap, or a purging queen…be ready to ask yourself some serious questions when decluttering. Here are some example questions I use:
  • Have I used this item in the past year, 6 months, etc.?
  • If I was out shopping, would I spend money on this?
  • Do I already own something similar?
  • Am I holding onto this for sentimental reasons?
  • Will I think about this item tomorrow?

Honestly, sometimes I clean an area and stuff everything in garage bags and wait it out for a couple days. If there was something I decided was a donation item, but I am already missing, it’s very simple to go back into the garage and save the treasured item. This is rare, but it has happened to me before!

5. Be Patient, and get ready to declutter again – Decluttering your life won’t happen overnight. I feel as though I’ve been taking baby steps over the last 6 months. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And here’s the crappy part…but you will have to do it again….and again….and again. That’s just the reality of life, especially with kids! More stuff comes into your lives, kids grow out of clothes, birthdays happen…ugh!

One final piece of advice, go for the areas that annoy you the most. For me, my closet was a thorn in my side. Because no one ever saw my closet, it started to get out of control with clothes thrown everywhere. A few weeks ago, I had had enough and decided to clean it out. I can’t tell you how refreshed I feel and going into my bathroom/closet area keeps my blood pressure at bay. Ha!

Baby steps. Just remember, decluttering doesn’t happen overnight.

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