Inside looking out

Last year I wrote a blog about being in the outside looking in.

There are a lot of the story that are exactly the same. It was rainy and gloomy and dark last year too.  I worked later then I should have so was rushing and late…just like last year. The gathering was a pre-meet swim team dinner…just like last year. I didn’t prepare and didn’t have my Pinterest inspired dessert-AGAIN THIS YEAR. Some day I’ll actually make something I pin. I swear I will.

But this year there is part of the story that is different. This year I wasn’t on the outside looking wistfully in. Not this year. This year I was inside. This year I was part of the party.

It wasn’t my party but I was a part of it. I was a part of something instead of just looking in and wishing I was part of it. What a difference.

The distance between the sidewalk looking in and the kitchen where I stood tonight is miles and miles and miles. It took me a year to make the trip. But I made it. With the help of a friend. But I made it.

To someone comfortable in their own skin this probably seems like no big deal. To an introvert who is socially awkward at a very bad time in life…well…it’s a very big deal. I always want to be part of things but never quite know how to go about being included. When I am included I typically feel awkward and out of place. I don’t like being on the outside and I don’t know what to do on the inside.

Not tonight.

Tonight I just felt thankful. Thankful that I was inside and not outside looking in. Thankful to be a part of things and not just wishing I was a part of something. Thankful to have a friend that just naturally made me feel welcome and a part of it all.

She is all that I am not. She’s the me I want to be-outgoing, vivacious, a natural leader….she makes everyone feel comfortable and included without any effort at all. She’s a natural hostess. Hosting a dinner for 20+ swimmers on super short notice didn’t rattle her. That’s her. She’s intelligent and I’ve told her on more than 1 occasion that I am not smart enough to be her friend. I mean it but she laughs each time I say it. She brought me inside tonight without making it a big deal. And I am grateful.

I promised myself a new story this year. Tonight my story got a new chapter. Tonight I got to be in the inside looking out. It’s a much nicer view.  Continue reading

Just be held

I have started this no less than 5 times. I can’t get it right. So I am going to quit trying to get it right and concentrate on getting it out. 

An upside of my past year and a half is a new found focus on faith. I’ve always been spiritual though not religious. I try to live an honest life where I do what’s right. I teach honesty. I love my babies. I try and show them that they are loved. I take care of them. I try and llewrn from my mistakes. I am trying to be less judgemental.  And I am trying to learn faith. 

Faith is not easy. And it’s personal. And I am not quite ready to talk about it because it’s too new. But it’s important so I am going to try. 

I’ve prayed a lot for strength. I’ve prayed for help and I’ve prayed for understanding. I’ve prayed for wisdoms and patience and guidance. I have prayed because I am lost and I’ve prayed to let go of control so I could let it be what it will be. I’ve prayed for clarity. 

Faith is not easy. 

I’ve tried to be thankful for what I have and not focused on what I don’t have. I’ve made it a habit to find the good in everything. I’ve worked hard and believed that was enough.

But I am tired. Last week I allowed myself to give up control for 10 seconds and cried–a hard nasty cry where I said, aloud, “why??? What am I not doing? What do you want from me???” Because a “broken” daughter, ends that weren’t meeting and a resurgence of a stress level from 2 years ago were all returning–at the same time—and I was empty. But I only had 10 minutes. So I cried and railed and then sucked it up and got about doing what I do. 

But I couldn’t shake it. That “ugh”. It wasn’t the “broken child” or the increasing money demands…those were things and I can handle things. I am/was tired. I just wanted to be able to, for a few minutes, say “I am overwhelmed” and have someplace safe to lay my head or my burden-even for just a minute. That’s what’s hardest. The aloneness. The handling of it all without having anyone to say, “I got this one,” to a decision….any decision. Being a single mom means every decison from what’s for dinner to how to put a broken child back together is made solo. Alone. It means questioning every decison is done-alone. It means the burdens are all mine to carry. And when they get to heavy….well….you give yourself 10 minutes to fall apart and then you pick them back up and keep trucking. 

I kept trucking because that’s what I do. I kept praying because that’s what I am trying to learn to do. I kept doing the right thing because that’s what you are supposed to do. I kept working. I kept believing. Not because I had reason to but because to quit believing just isn’t an option.   And I believe in what’s right even if I know better then to believe in fair. 

But the burdens are heavy. 

And then, at the Dentist of all places, I heard a song. It was a heavy day in a heavy week but I was finding a reason to be proud because  I was changing my story from “once was my anniversary” sad to a celebratory “finishing the surgery”. I was wrapping up one of my burdens. I was lightening my own load. 

And I heard it, JUST BE HELD by Casting Crowns. 


I didn’t know a song could offer comfort. But it did. It has. It reminds me what I need to do–surrender snd letting go—and a promise of being held. I am so tired of fighting-even the song says that- and I want to learn to give up control. I do. I want to find comfort and feel like I am being held. I also want something-anything-to come without a fight. I don’t want to fight for everything. I want right to be right without a fight. But I can’t control that. 

Tonight I got home, late at almost 8:30. My big girl had been home alone most of the day sick with horrible female pains. My baby girl with her ever present hurting tummy and her ever present bad days was running around crazy. My dinner, white rice, was getting cold and I did my mommy duties. I was tired and weary and was desperately in need of a sounding board. I’d made a decison to do something that was either brazen and bold or stupid and I wished, desperately, for someone to talk to about it. But my little ones didn’t care about the chance I took. They wouldn’t even understand. They just needed money in their lunch accounts, to know how often you could take pamprin and to ask for gas money. 

And so I went about my night feeling sad and weary and wistful. I didn’t actively wish for someone that I could say,”…so I decided to do this day…” Because to do so would be wasteful. I went through the motions of my night physically while mentally replaying scenario after scenario in my mind. 

“Mama, I dot your phone,” my girl giggled when I spied her, on the potty. Sure enough. There was my phone. Her  fat little fingers were busy swiping away. I turned to give her some privacy but she stopped me. “Wait mama!” She was busy swiping and pressing buttons. “I don-nah do sum-fin for you.” Right then and there the strands to Just be Held played. “I know it’s your favorite.” 

And so it played. My song. My anthem. 


It was a reminder. Meant to reassure me? I don’t know. Meant to give me confidence in my decison. I don’t know. A reminder to keep believing-certainly. A means to comfort…I think so. 

So tonight I am getting it out. It probably makes little sense. But both the faith and the weariness are part of my new story. Today, good or bad, will be part of my story. So I am telling it. 


10/26 was my wedding anniversary. 

10/24, today, is the 1st anniversary of my 2nd divorce. 

It is what it is. And it is 365 days. That’s it. There are years that 365 held the happiest days I’ve had and there are years, like this one, that held some of the darkest. Both lasted 365 days. I’ve celebrated happy anniversaries-usually around this time of year-surrounded by fall colors, brisk air, pumpkins and delectable pumpkin spice. This year I’ll recognize an anniversary-surrounded by fall colors, cool, brisk air, pumpkins and delectable pumpkin spice. 

This year I bought a pumpkin and a mum. This year I didn’t run from the fall. I didn’t look at everything as reminding me of where I was then  I am just trying to fall back in love with my favorite season. 365 days helped me to be able to do that I guess. 

If I am changing my story I can’t re-read the same chapter over and over (I read that on Pinterest so it must be right) so this blog isn’t about the pain of today or the sadness of the date. Instead it’s about the 365 days today represents. 

In 365 days:

  • I’ve hosted a party at my little home. 
  • I’ve been on a date.
  • I’ve taken back a name I love.
  • I’ve almost completed a task to correct something that reminded me everyday of betrayal. Ironically my next to last dentist trip is Monday. I’ll really have my smile back on a day I didn’t expect to smile much.
  • I’ve rebuilt my playlist on my phone. Who knew you needed a pre-nup for i-tunes???
  • I’ve learned to accept help (sorta).
  • I’ve traveled with my bigs which is oh-so-important to me.
  • I’ve got a tee-niney savings account again. 
  • I’ve made my fall soup recipes which I couldn’t do last year. Stupid…I know…but the strangest things bring back the hardest memories.
  • I’ve checked “divorced” on forms without crying. 
  • I’ve made it through an entire Adele song without sobbing. Victory. 
  • I’ve thrown away scrapbooks and handmade memory albums–not out of anger–but out of quiet resolve.
  • I’ve grown out my hair. I’ve grown out my girth too but that’s not exactly something to be proud of. 
  • I’ve been to swim meets and softball games abs school functions alone and have managed to clap and cheer without spending too much time pondering in the empty seat beside me. 
  • I’ve made decisions on my own
  • I’ve created a home for my loves. 
  • I’ve found a faith-a stronger faith-that I’ve worked on every day. 
  • I’ve seen a snake in my house, hosted a garage sale by myself and have moved 2 couches-just me and my son and I’ve plunged a toliet. Significant-yes because as a single lady the first time you encounter what used to be his job you feel helpless and alone until you get ‘Er done and then you feel victorious!
  • I’ve taught my son to drive. 
  • I’ve bought my son a suit.
  • I’ve taught my son how to be a good date. Me. I did that.
  • I’ve heard news about my baby girl that was hard but I am going to get her help. I wanted to lean on someone for that but there was no one to lean on. And that’s okay. 
  • I’ve not let it go but I’ve put parts of it away. Maybe the next 365 days the let it go will be easier. (Crap-now I’ve got that song ringing in my ears!)
  • I’ve practiced softball with my big girl despite being athletically challenged. 
  • I’ve made my own coffee. 

In 365 days I’ve just lived a life. I don’t want to give today more power than it deserves but in this new life of mine today plays a significant part. So I will tip my head to acknowledge today and what it is. But I will, I hope, give this day so more power than to be what it is…just another day. 


Fixing what’s broken 

“She seems a little lost…broken…” I didn’t hear much after that. The word broken echoed through my head so loudly that it drowned out the rest of the words. Of all the words I could have heard to describe my girl the one used was broken. 

Broken. My daughter is broken. 

Not acclimating. Socially awkward. Struggling. Can’t sit still. Not reading appropriately.  Wants to do right-sometimes. Sassy, bossy, combative yet sweet, eager and yearning…. Can’t get it together…but sad when she fails…it’s like a little tornado is in her head…The list goes on. And on.

But I only hear broken. 

The frustrations at school yield poor reports. Poor academic reports and poor conduct reports. The poor academics mean we work a little extra. Poor conduct  means punishments. Popping doesn’t work. Reasoning doesn’t either. Taking away screens has no effect. No bed snacks gets a little attention but not for long. Time out-she won’t stay. I physically can’t keep her there. We’ve even written sorry letters to our teacher. Nothing. 

The only thing that seems to hold any weight is taking away her cuddle time. It’s been weeks since my girl has been allowed to climb into my lap and snuggle at night. I should be rejoicing that she’s sleeping in her own bed. But I can’t because she’s been banished there because she can’t listen at school. My broken girl. Am I breaking her even more trying to fix her?

She’s broken.

Every day I pray aloud all the way to daycare pickup,”please-please-please-please,” hoping against hope for a smile when I see her little round squishy face. The minute she sees me I know. No smile. Day after day I see her see me. She looks up without a smile and I know. I don’t have to see her folder anymore to know. The slumped shoulders means a think about it day or worse a parent contact day.  Either of those equals her being in trouble. Each time I ask,”why???” In varying tones and volumes. No matter how I ask she answers,”I no listen today.” Some days my additional question of “why?” is met with attitude and lip and eye rolls. Other days her answer of,”I no no,” comes with a quivering chin and big alligator tears threatening to spill out of those big brown eyes. 

I am frustrated and overwrought and at a loss so I usually meet her response-whichever way it goes-a notch higher. She gives me attitude-I respond in kind. She tears up-I cry. 

She’s broken. I guess I am too. 

We come home and it’s worse. She pitches fits and acts out. She’s frustrated. So I am. She can’t tell me what’s wrong so I don’t know what to fix. She’s broken and I don’t even know what to fix. 

She’s angry. So am I. Maybe she is angry at me…I am angry at her. I am also angry at me. I am her mom. It’s my job to fix things but I am out of my league. I am at a loss. I am lost. And she has a right to be angry at me for that. 

She’s sad. So I am. I am sad at her and for her.  Maybe my sad broke her? That thought makes me infinitely sadder. 

Is she acting up? Acting out in need of something I am not giving her? Is she not capable? Is she missing something? Is there something I can do-something I haven’t done?  Is she spoiled? Too much attention? Not enough? Did her pitiful little start in life foreshadow this? When they looked at me and said,”just take her home and love her. There may be developmental delays…” Is this it??  

But there weren’t any. At 12 weeks she opened her eyes and was awake and fine and the trauma of those first 12 weeks faded like the remanents of a bad dream when the first rays of morning touch your face. Poof. Gone. She walked and talked and ran. 

Sure–She’s shy and introverted and attached. Has been all her life. But she’s gotten better. She’s branching out-inching out of her cocoon. I thought she was a butterfly. Then I heard she was broken and now I see her emerging from this cocoon of hers with broken wings. Emerging but unable to fly. 

My sweet hearted girl has been described as she meanest sweet child you’ll ever meet. More and more I see her angry and mean and mad and bad. Did the sweet side break too? Other times I hear her say to me,”I do better mama so I can sleep wiff you. Damorrow a better day mama. I be blue tomorrow,” and then I get a tight, squishy hug and gives me hope. 

But then the morning starts comes and it starts all over. The ugliness and the anger and the fits. Unless it’s Friday and the football players are there–it’s a battle. No-it’s a war. And I am not winning. 

Life is slamming me from all sides. I can’t get a deep breath. I am trying to find a fix.  I am a fixer. But I don’t know how. 

What was I thinking? 

I spend a lot of my life muttering ‘what the hell was I thinking?’

Tonight is no different. Earlier this year I was determined to change my story. With that in mind I decided to forgo my fear of playing hostess and offered to host a homecoming dinner for my fella and his gal. I also offered to any other couple he wanted to have. 

My offer was selfish in part-I like my fella and his gal. I want them around. Now that dude is driving he’s starting to understand that the right to do so cost money. Thought hosting the dinner would help him. Plus, I want him to feel welcome in having company at his house.  I like having him around and I would much rather have him here then parts unknown. 

My adversion to having company is multi-faceted. A-I am awful at housework. Really awful. B-we live like sardines in budget size can. C-I am not a natural hostess. D-my ideas are always waaaayyyyy cooler than my realities. E-I can’t cook. 

But hey…changing my story–right. 

So we are hosting a homecoming dinner. In my mind it’s going to be awesome. A quaint bistro setting on our back deck. We’ve got white Christmas lights to decorate the railings. I’ve got a handmade bunting leftover from a birthday party to make it festive. I picture soft music playing. My vision included table cloths (borrowed) and fresh flowers. Words like quaint, romantic, quirky, whimsical and special dance in my head. 

Uh…yeah…enter reality. 

To get to said back-deck bistro the jauntily dressed couples have to actually come inside and right over a  serving platter size stain where the dog chewed and tried to bury my daughters softball eye black. What the hell was she thinking leaving tang out???  

Even my decorate to hide flaws style of design can’t hide the armless couch from yet another bad-dog-decision. There are 4 what the hell was I thinking moments right there! Even if I could hide the lack of arm cushions-which I gallantly try and do with pillows–the massive amounts of stuffing spilling from that back of the couch would still scream look here! 

Luckily it’s only 3 steps to cross the room. They have to walk in a single file line in order to fit. I’ll have Colton do something to distract them so it will be okay. 

I decided to take stock of what I had. It didn’t take long. To my absolute horror I don’t have 6 matching glasses. Not even 6 matching jelly jars.  I don’t even have 6 matching plastic cups! There aren’t even 6 that resemble each other well enough for me to pretend I planned it that way. Marshalls here I came. 

Next-Silverware! Forget about it. Dinner plates. Puh-Leeze. What the hell was I thinking in hosting a dinner party when the only thing that matches in this house are the 6 ikea plastic child’s plates?????? 

Before I worked myself to a tizzy I thought I’d go outside and hang some lights. Thought creating the ambience would re-ignite my passion for creating a dream-like night. 

Realty stiles again. Right upside my head. The Curtain rod snaps from where my precious spawn open the back door while the laundry doors are open. It’s bent the rod to the point of no return. I mark that to fix later. Out to the soon-to-be-back-deck bistro I go. And it’s pitch black despite the light switch being on. Oh well. Lights…I am using lights anyway…the overhead wasn’t going to be used anyway. I decide the close the door leading into the garage while I am out here since I obviously won’t be decorating in the dark. 

Before I can get there something brushes my leg and I scream and jump in panic. It’s the bush. The overpowering, out of control bush that is now poking through the railings. Well hell-that’s gotta go. Guess who doesn’t have any clippers? I blink back tears. No time for a pity party…I’ve got another party to worry about.

I make my way to at least close the garage door and…nope. The door no longer fits the door jam. No matter how hard I slammed. And I tried multiple times just to be sure. 

What the hell was I thinking????

Right now I am thinking to pull this off I am going to have to pull myself together and make this happen. My fella is starting his story and if I want to be a heroine in his tale I have to make sure I give him a night to remember. Matching glasses or no. 

My Mini Me


the good, the bad and the ugly

My girl. 13.  You are my mini me (insert eye roll here) and we share more than our Hayes eyes or the color of our hair (the original color of my hair). We think alike. We act alike and we attack life alike. I hope you’ll learn some things that I learned the hard way. 

Please know, despite the bickering and the fights that I am exhorbinently proud of you. You amaze and delight me and I am thankful to be your mom. 

It’s a big birthday. There are things I want you to know:

  • You are so beautiful. I hope you’ll recognize that one day. 
  • I also hope you will realize that far more importantly than your outside beauty is how beautiful you are on the inside. 
  • There is a vulnerability that most people don’t get to see in you. It’s endearing and I am honored to know that part of you. Keep that part of your protected so you don’t lose it.
  • Zinging wit and sarcastic humor…wonder where you get that? Understand not everyone will “get” you and be okay with that fact.
  • I love that you have so many friends from so many parts of your life. Keep interesting friends around you always.   
  • It makes me proud when you stand ready to protect the underdog. You are strong and when you use that strength in a positive way it’s unstoppable. 
  • Foster that creative spark. You are meant to create things. 
  • Your personality will make you a leader or will brand you as a disruptor. Lead. 
  • Boys will like you. When they do remain steadfast in your beliefs and don’t settle for anything less than what you want. The right boy will love all there is to love about you. 
  • Don’t be intimidated by the “popular” ones. Ever. Ever. Ever. 
  • Your baby sister is learning how to be a lady, a friend and a helper from you. Make sure you always show her what you want her to know.  

    always looking up

  • Stay adventurous my love. 
  • Stay bold. Be bold in all you do.
  • She who speaks last doesn’t always win. 
  • You don’t have to fight for attention. The better attention comes when you aren’t fighting from it. 
  • Make yourself be tidier. 
  • Keep writing. Write even if no one is reading. 
  • I love your spunk. Most of the time.
  • In kindergarten they told me “…with Kinsley’s brutal honesty we’ve learned not to ask if we don’t really want to know”. Stay honest but learn when and how to use it. Honest is an admirable trait. Hurting someone’s feelings and then claiming you are just being honest isn’t the best use of that trait. Be careful. 
  •  It’s not what you say but how you say it that matters. Read that again. And again. Now one more time. 
  • I love your sweet manners in public. Keep using them. 
  • Be independent but learn it doesn’t make you weak to ask for help.  
  • Being a good sport is more important than winning. Keep your heart in the game. Keep believing that you can and I know you will. Never stop hustling. Remain coachable. Think TEAM over me. Always play for and as part of the team.  
  • It’s not easy and it takes practice but there is truth to the old adage-you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. Learn what that means.
  • Stay out of drama. 
  • Your brother loves you. When you learn what honey vs vinegar means you will understand this better. 
  • You push me to being a better person and a better mom. I don’t always rise to the occasion and for that I am sorry. 
  • I love our girl time!  
  • Stay you. Don’t let this world or our circumstances change you. You are fierce and spunky and a force all your own. Please stay that way. 

13–you will feel grown but there is so much left for you to learn and do. Don’t rush growing up. Don’t miss anything these days ahead of you has to offer because you are looking ahead. Savor each day and make it your own. 

Happy day to you my sweet, feisty mini-me. 


Waving bye-bye 

“Every man needs a good watch,” said you this summer. Your best friend’s big brother, a man you admire, said as much to you so you took the words to heart. You took your own money and bought a watch.

You’ve been prepping to be a man for a long, long time and the watch was a visible reminder that, in your own mind, you were almost there. We bought you a suit last weekend because I believe every man needs a good suit. And as hard as it is I see you turning into a man. 


Tomorrow you turn 16. A man. To me you will remain a little boy…but you know that.  
As it is my job to help make you into the man you want to be; every year I give you advice in the form of a birthday letter. I’ve struggled with this one a lot. As hard as I try all I can picture is you jumping in a car and waving bye-bye as you head into the great big world. 


Waving bye-bye

But I can’t let you go without reminding you:

  • With this freedom you are anticipating comes responsibilities. Don’t forget that every time you get into a car you feel free and I feel afraid. Calling before you leave and once you arrive isn’t a silly request; it’s a demand.
  • Family first. You’ll be able to go and do more than before, you’ll be expected to work to support this new freedom of yours but never, ever forget that your 3 biggest fans, the 3 first loves in your life, are at home missing you. Make time for us. You are your sisters HERO. Take time for them. They look up to you. They look to you to as the example of what they will seek in a boy to like. Set a good example. Invest time in them.  
  • Open car doors even if you do get mocked for being old-fashioned. Open doors and let ladies enter first. Shake hands with men. Greet adults first when you walk into any room. Say please and thank you. Say bless you and you are welcome. Thank people who help you and look for ways to help others. Manners matter.
  • Stand up for those that can’t stand up for themselves… even if you are afraid.  
  • Defend yourself but do so with honor and not in fury. Walk away if the fight isn’t worth it. The stronger man isn’t the one swinging…sometimes the stronger man is the one walking away.  
  • Speak the truth. You won’t always be liked for the truth but you will be respected and you will be trusted and that is far more important than saying what others want to hear.  
  • Drive with care and attention—not to get ATTENTION. ALWAYS. When you drive you are responsible for your life and those in the cars around you. It’s not to be taken lightly. Ever.
  • Be you. Be authentic. The right people will like you and those that aren’t meant to be in your life…won’t. And that is okay.
  • Pray. Pray when you are thankful, pray when you are afraid, pray when you are uncertain and pray when you are happy.  
  • Always have an emergency $20 tucked into the back of your wallet.
  • Keep a clean car. I don’t see this happening as I haven’t set a very good example but as the saying goes do as I say, not as I do.  
  • Save ½ of what you make. Please. Please. Please. Make that a habit with your very first paycheck. You will never regret it but I promise you that you will regret NOT doing it.
  • You will work for the rest of your life. You will only be in high school 3 more years. Don’t sacrifice the high school experience for a bigger check. There is no shame in continuing to ride with your Mama or taking the bus. You don’t get to go back and re-live these days.
  • I’ve always told you that a good man does the right thing even when no one is watching. Practice what I preach.  
  •  Be a gentleman first, last and always. In any situation ask, “what would my grandpa do?” you’ll never go wrong using him as your compass.
  • Find something you are passionate about and learn to make money at it. Find work that is meaningful to you and it won’t feel like a job. Start thinking of that now.  
  • Pick up a book every once in a while.
  • Always be mindful that you treat a girl with respect. Remember that you are creating memories for her that will last a lifetime. Make each moment special.  
  • It’s a privilege to drive and that privilege can and will be revoked at any time if you aren’t respectful, careful and mindful.
  • You will feel like a grown up but you aren’t yet. Keep learning. Keep growing. Don’t get too big for those britches.
  • Don’t waste time and energy wishing for things you can’t change. Don’t wish to be taller. You can’t do anything about that. If you wish to be stronger…THAT you can control.  
  • If you want something work for it. If you are unhappy about something, change it. If you are fearful of something-confront it. Don’t stand on the sidelines of life whining…be a doer.  
  •  Before you are old, like me, drive across the country. Take a long, slow jaunt thru the United States and see what there is to see. I always thought I would do that with you but that just hasn’t worked out. I hope you will do it for yourself.
  • Help others.
  • Learn to argue and quit giving in and giving up. You have a lifetime of string females in your life.
  • Write thank you notes. It’s a lost art but it matters. 
  • Study abroad if you get the chance.
  • Go to the beach-alone-one winter. Trust me.
  • Learn to listen…really listen when others speak.
  • Learn to be romantic.
  • Work as a camp counselor at a summer camp.
  • Learn to live a little outside your comfort zone.
  • Eat better. Eat something green every once in awhile. 
  • Don’t be so impatient to make your own stories that you forget to listen to the stories that your grandparents tell you. 

The other night in the car you asked if I was proud of you. I told you that I was and asked what you thought I was most proud of…you seem surprised when your answers didn’t match. I am certainly proud of your accomplishments. But the things I am proudest of are the little things that have molded you into the man you are becoming.  

  • I am proud that you asked for help when you were struggling with concentration. Learning to ask for help when you need it is an important skill.  
  • I am proud of the devotion you show to your little sister. Every morning, without fail, you find her and hug her and snuggle with her if you can. I see you being patient with her. I see you taking care of her. I see you being her role model, her mentor and her protective and it makes me proud.
  • I see and am proud of your efforts. School isn’t easy for you but you’ve stayed the course and have made it work.
  • I am proud of you when adults compliment your manners.
  • I am proud of you for the sweet heart of yours.

I am proud of you for too many reasons to list here. You, my Colton Henry Evans, stole my heart 16 years ago. You had a smile that was all mine and I still melt when I see it. You, along with your sisters, are the best part of me. You are why I do everything that I do. You are the best of me. You inspire me to do more, dream bigger and to be happy. You make me happy. You make me complete. 

Go out and conquer your dreams my little fella. I’ll be here behind you all the way. 

Happy day to you on the anniversary of the day that’s brought me more joy than I thought possible. 




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