A Big Day

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When he started school six short years ago, I could not have imagined how quickly that time would fly.

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Sean and I have, luckily, always been very aware of time.  We listened to all of the people who told us to enjoy every moment because it would pass in the blink of an eye.

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I can honestly say that I have always tried really hard to live in the moment and enjoy each stage as a gift.

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1st Grade,

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2nd Grade

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3rd Grade,

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4th Grade,

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and 5th Grade.

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They were all amazing stages of development.  We were blessed with wonderful teachers, who are still a major part of Gabriel’s life.

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On the day that he graduated, we went around the school making sure that he had his picture taken with all of his teachers.

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That morning, I choked up, as the littles and I prayed together on the way to school.  Gabriel reached over and took my hand.  He knew that the day would be hard for me.

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What I did not know, though, was that, while my heart was heavy as we walked through the school doors that morning. it would be filled with so much pride, joy, and peace when we walked back through the same doors that afternoon.

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Gabriel is an amazing child.

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He lives his life with integrity,

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and joy.

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While I am nervous and anxious about middle school, he is the one who has calmed my fears because he is excited about the new chapter in his life.  If he remains the person who he is today, the person who he has become over the past 11 amazing years, I know that he will do amazing things in middle school, just as he did in elementary school.

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He fills my heart with pride every single day, and I am so lucky to be his mom.

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Elementary graduation was one, of many, milestones that Gabriel has reached.  We look so forward to standing beside him and cheering him on as he continues to reach so many more.

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Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day was perfectly perfect.

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All I ask for every year is to be at home with my family and not cook a single meal.

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While I love to cook, having a whole day off from determining meals, cooking, and cleaning the kitchen are aways a big treat.

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Of course, I love the cards and letters of love that the littles always make me.  The things that they write always make me smile because I know that their words come from their hearts.

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We stayed at home, together, as a family, in our pajamas all day long, and it was perfect.

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The Big 40!

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Last year, when I celebrated my 39th birthday, I began the count-down until my 40th birthday.  It was something that I had been looking forward to for so long because it seemed like a great number to me.  My 30’s had helped shaped me into the person who I am today.  I had Gabriel when I was 29, Ethan when I was 30, and Summer when I was 33.  Being a wife and mom were the two things that I had always wanted most in the world, and my 30’s had solidified both of those roles for me.

Moving into my 40’s seemed like a right of passage.  I could not have been more excited for my special day, and it proved to be everything that I hoped it would be.

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The celebration started with a birthday dinner at my sister’s house on the Saturday before my actual birthday. She knows that birthdays deserve at least a week of celebration, and she also knows how to spoil her little sister, who she was so happy would be joining the 40 club with her.

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On the day of my actual birthday, my real sister, Darla, and my the-only-thing-missing-is-blood sister, Kim, decorated my classroom for me with balloons, streamers, and signs.  I smiled so much that it brought tears to my eyes.  When the students arrived, they were thrilled to see all of the decorations!

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As a team, we almost always eat lunch together.  Darla surprised me by hosting a lunch for all of us, and my mentor made a delicious cake.  To say that I was overwhelmed and so incredibly happy would just be an understatement.  We had the best lunch.  I had the BEST day!

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The celebrating did not stop there, though. After school, Sean brought me balloons, a cookie cake, and presents.  We went out to dinner as a family, and then we returned home for cake and presents.  It was such a fantastic evening with my family, the people who have been so integral in shaping me into the person who I am today.

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Was my 40th birthday everything that I had hoped and dreamed it would be?  Actually….it was even better!  It was honestly my favorite birthday yet.  I am at the point in my life where I realize that age is just a number, beauty is inside and out, and words are meant to be helpful, encouraging, and kind.  I am more confident as a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, and a friend. I love with every ounce of my being, and I make sure that the people around me know how I feel about them.  39 was a rough year for me in some ways – all of my littles were in school, Summer was so sick for so long and had to endure many procedures and an extensive surgery, I did not get the teaching job that I felt was meant to be mine, our sweet dog died, and I was a little lost when it came to knowing what my next steps in my professional life should/would be.  However, right before my 40th birthday, everything started falling into place, and I think that it started foreshadowing what my 40’s will be for me. So far, I love what I see!

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Thank you to my husband, children, sister, mom, dad, family, and team for making the big 40 so incredibly special.  I love you all!