Words of Wisdom as Klari begins her 3rd Yr as a Longhorn!

My klari left to begin her junior year in college the other day. As you can see by my “other day” comment she left with no fanfare, no major production, no one even shed a tear – not even me. She just packed up her car and left while I was at work with a promise to call when she got there. Reality is that she’s got this.. If anyone should be giving/getting advice here it’s her to me but my opportunity to share my famous (only to me) Words of Wisdom are just too important (again, only to me) to pass up so I will not let that happen… no way, not on my watch.

Therefore, in my usual fashion, here are my (not so famous but I mean every word of it) Words of Wisdom for the Klare Bear as she embarks upon her 3rd year as a Longhorn, living in Austin (near 6th street) while she’s only months away from turning 21.😬❤️❤️

So here goes:

1. It’s the beginning of the end.

I don’t mean to place pressure, but it is, sort of, the beginning of the end so you kinda sorta have to figure out what you want to do with your life. And when I say “kinda sorta”– I mean it. You don’t have to know EXACTLY what you want to do FOREVER but it’s time to start having some serious conversations about it. And while you know I am always here to talk I also know how “judgey” you accuse me of being, so I get it if you choose someone else to talk to. As long as you are talking it out, I don’t care with who. I mean, the fact that I spent 16 hours in labor giving you life isn’t that big of a deal and I will only cry for a little while…

If you do choose to talk to someone who isn’t me but instead with someone who seems to have it all together and has every day planned out from here to eternity; I totally get it. But keep one thing in mind; that doesn’t have to be you. (Actually, I hope it isn’t.) There are very few people that actually know EXACLTY what they want to do with the REST OF THEIR LIVES – and I mean VERY FEW – so don’t panic. You still have time. And trust me when I tell you that you are not alone in this. LOTS of people in your situation are right there with you so don’t be scared or even disappointed but instead try somehting just a little bit crazy, something out of the box. Remember what I tell you; finding out what you don’t want is never a waste of time as it only brings you one step closer to figuring out what you DO want.

2. Sh$t’s about to get REAL.

Your courses are only going to get harder but also, a lot more interesting….but harder. So start that work earlier, stay ahead of the game and you will be so much better off and a lot less stressed. This is the year that you will probably start seeing a lot more writing and research of concepts, which means there is probably no wrong answer. BUT, this type of work will require you to actually dig deep into, not your brain, but your soul. And you, my baby, have one of the purest souls I know. Use it. Write about your visions and your interpretations. This is UT for goodness sake; use some of that weird stuff they so openly embrace and pour everything you have into it. I assure you; you will not go wrong with this approach. And if you do, you call your mama and I will go talk to that professor and show him how wrong he/she is! Unless he’s the hot one in which case, just nod and agree.. By this point, your professors have one job, aside from teaching the topic, of course, but mainly it’s to weed out the ones who can’t hang. And while I think you can totally hang, I suggest staying on top of things as much as you can.. I mean, why take chances? Unless of course, matty is on campus in which case you drop everything and run to find him. I really do not need to elaborate any further on this one.

3. The whole world does not rest on your shoulders.

There will be days it feels like it does but trust me when I tell you it does not. You are responsible for being your best you, that’s it. Study, try and learn something cool, and have fun. Everything will eventually fall into place, It always does… and that plastic surgeon route is ALWAYS an option (zero pressure on my end – though I did give you life and sacrificed A LOT of purses to make sure you had the latest and greatest laptop and everything else you needed.. just sayin’).

4. Don’t forget that your life isn’t confined to school.

Use this year to discover what you love. Not just academically or professionally but personally too… In a few months you will be turning 21 and a whole other world is going to open up (did someone say Vegas?). So if hanging out in your apt in sweatpants is more enjoyable than actually GOING OUT then you keep hanging in them.. But do, at least TRY to go outside of your comfort zone a few times this year and find out what it really is that you find joy in doing.. you never know, it might be something you never even saw coming.

Bottom line; you have already completed TWO WHOLE YEARS! And while this one might be a little different, it’s also going to be one of the greatest! Make the most of it. Learn from the mistakes, recalibrate when necessary, and move on. One foot in front of the other.. just like I taught you.

You’re going to get through it and, no matter what you do, it’s actually really hard to screw up your life COMPLETELY. I do believe I am living proof of this.

At the end of the day, mom and dad could not be more proud of you. You keep doing you… in whatever makes you happy – even ugly sweatpants.

Love you to the moon and back, my love! And Hook em’!

Advertisements

Twenty Five! You are TWENTY FIVE YEARS OLD!.​

Twenty Five! You are TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD! Your dad and I were “children” ourselves when you were born, or at least we felt like it.

The day you were born was probably the scariest day of our lives. Parenthood started by me climbing out the window of your tia Minnie’s house. That, alone, should have been a clue as to the adventure that we were about to go on. One that continues until this very day.

We didn’t have a clue what we were doing, but there you were, eight pounds, eight ounces, and, probably the prettiest baby in the nursery (and I’m not just saying that because I’m your mother, it was true). We held you, we fed you, we slept at the foot of your bassinet until that thing could no longer hold you and fell so we had no choice but to put you in a crib that was on the other side of the room. You would think we had put you in another house the way your dad was carrying on, constantly getting up to check on you.. We weren’t perfect parents, not by a long shot, but we loved you as much as any two people could love another little soul. While we know we made a FEW mistakes, we’d like to think we did a pretty good job. Here you stand before us; one of the most strong-willed, compassionate, intelligent men I have ever known.
And yeah, you may be an adult already but there are still some things you need to know; so here goes: MOM’S WORDS OF WISDOM ON YOUR 25th BIRTHDAY

Everyone needs friends.

I get that you are an independent soul and prefer to have your time to do whatever you want, when you want- EVERYONE needs to have a small, handful of friends they can count on. Find that tribe.. and don’t ever let them go.

Write down your thoughts.

I know you think that we have ZERO things in common but we are much more alike than either one of us cares to admit. So I’m telling you now; write something every day. Even if it’s just what you did that day, write it down. Fears, song lyrics that struck a chord, things that made you smile, random thoughts that popped into your head out of nowhere – write them down. Look back on your notes every now and then and relish in the memory. You are going to have to just trust me on this one..

Family is important.

It still amazes me how different the three of you are from each other. As an only child, I didn’t really understand the dynamics between siblings until I had you guys. As much as I would love to say that we have raised all of you the same, who are we kidding? Not even close… But that’s only because each of you are your own unique person. We’re actually quite proud of your differences, knowing that each of you has a quality unlike the others, but at the end of the day, we are all FAMILY and being a family is so important. So as crazy as we may make you know that we are the only people that’ll support you no matter what. No matter how far away we are, how busy we may be, we, your family will always love you..
And even if you don’t agree that Michael Keaton was the best batman around, I still love you with all of my heart and I always will – whether you like it or not.

Your life is what you make of it.

Last, but not least, this is YOUR life, so make of it what you want! Be a lawyer, be a plumber, own a comic book store – doesn’t matter as long as you are happy with it. There is only one stipulation; if you’re gonna own a comic book store, it HAS to be as cool as the one in the Big Bang Theory, otherwise, be a lawyer.

I hope your day continues to be a great one and I hope your love of pancakes never, ever goes away!

Happy Happy Birthday, Derek. We Love you to the moon and back!

Holy Crap! You’re TWENTY!

Holy crap! YOU ARE TWENTY YEARS OLD! How did that happen? WHEN did it happen? Wasn’t it just the other day we were getting you ready for your first dance recital?

 

You have always been more mature and wiser than your years so there isn’t a whole lot for me to tell you. If I remember correctly, at this time I was telling the boys not to get too ahead of themselves, to slow down and enjoy the view, not to drink too much; you know, typical college student stuff. But that isn’t you at all. A part of me thanks GOD every single day for this and the other part wonders where the heck you came from because that clearly isn’t anything you learned from me or dad.

And yes, I desperately tried to refrain from sharing my annual Words of Wisdom but I failed miserably so the tradition continues…

MOM’S WORDS OF WISDOM ON YOUR 20TH BIRTHDAY

*Quality over quantity

Just like your brother you are so blessed to have a great group of friends that have been there through it all. Cherish them, love them, tolerate the growing pains you may all be suffering and get through them together; just like you have gotten through everything else.

*Self-care is key

Always make time for yourself. You can’t take care of all of your very important school obligations if you don’t take care of yourself first. This will apply when you get a job, have a husband and a house to run, have kids…. Whatever stage you may be in life ALWAYS make sure you leave a little “me time” in there and don’t EVER feel bad about it. EVER.

*Counting calories isn’t worth it

Being healthy is important but counting calories is just a waste of time and energy. Try and eat right, stay active, and you will be fine.. you managed to get through your first year and a half of college without adding an ounce; I think you’re safe..

*Makeup isn’t always necessary, but sometimes it is

You are beautiful inside and out (of course, I’m your mother so I’m sorta biased but whatever, it counts). You don’t always have to wear a ton of makeup. It’s ok to be natural.. SOMETIMES! There are times when you do. When you feel your best, you reflect the very best. Just make sure you take care of your skin.. don’t wait till your 40’s to figure that out like I did.

*Take risks

We never regret the risks we take, only the ones we didn’t. Sure, it could turn out to be a mistake of ginormous proportions, but oh well… life will go on… I promise.

*Follow your passions

You’re going to be in the workforce for quite a while so find something you’re passionate about. Go into a field you love no matter what the pay is. If you enjoy what you do, money won’t matter. I still believe you would LOVE the world of plastic surgery – just saying.

*Be open minded

We live in a diverse, ever-changing, always evolving world. Be open-minded about everything. Learn as much as you can from the people around you, especially the ones who think differently than you do. Appreciate the differences, don’t judge them.

*Pay attention to the political issues

Please don’t become one of those people who can speak of nothing other than politics but pay enough attention to the issues so that if/when you enter into that sort of conversation, you give an educated, well-informed opinion. And if you should come across someone who’s opinions are in complete contrast to yours (and you will) don’t be ugly about it… listen to their views, try and understand where they may be coming from, stand your ground, and vote your conscience. You don’t always have to agree with everyone’s opinions in order to remain friends but you do have to respect them.

While we may not be there to celebrate with you physically, know that our hearts are with you every second of every day; especially today.

Have an amazing day, my baby! Mom and Dad love you to the moon and back!

Words of Wisdom for Dylan’s 23rd Birthday

For the last several years I have provided my children my “words of wisdom” on every birthday, a tradition I promised them I would stop. All I can say is; “I tried.”

Dylan, 23 years old – I can’t even believe it. It seems like just yesterday we were sitting in your very messy room learning our colors. Luckily, you learned them because, here you are, a college graduate – about to enter “the real world”.

In my usual fashion, there are just a couple things I think you should know as you do so:

* Friends will come and friends will go.

You have been blessed to still have your oldest friends around. Cherish that; remind yourself often what a blessing that truly is. But don’t forget to make some room for new people along the way. Everyone comes into your life for one reason or another, being a real adult is, not only identifying the reason but figuring out which ones to walk away from.

* Always say yes to dessert

If I need to explain this to you then I clearly have not done my job as a parent.

* Who you were in high school isn’t really all that important

When I was in high school, I was told often to appreciate it because “those are the best years of your life” – and if I remember correctly, I told you the exact same thing. But let me tell you – that is SO NOT TRUE … the best year is the one you are in RIGHT NOW, and the one after that, and the one after that.. see where I am going with this?

* Others’ opinions of you don’t matter

Remember that Dr. Seuss quote; “those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter” … well, Dr. Seuss is a freaking genius.

* Get off your phone

It’s ok to look up every now and then… that thing isn’t going anywhere… at least that’s what I’ve heard… (I need to work on this one too).

* Travel, travel, travel

The saying goes “when you’re young you have the time and energy to travel, but not enough money, and then when you get older you have enough money and time, but not enough energy” – so travel as often as you can while you still have that adventurous spirit and unlimited energy in you. The money will figure itself out… (it’s called points – use them!)

* Learn how to cook

Yes, I know I only know how to make a handful of dishes, no need to remind me, but this is EXACTLY why I tell you this.. Trust me, you don’t want to have to eat frozen dinners and canned ravioli the rest of your life. You should at least know the basics, but feel free to explore the cooking world, there’s so much to learn and Pinterest makes it look so easy!
BTW: I am willing to be a taste tester any time… all you gotta do is call. I can be there in 5 hours or less.

* Changing your mind is acceptable

From something as small as the shoes you want to wear or the movie you want to watch to something as important as the career you choose to follow; whatever it is, changing your mind is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged. Try it all – then decide – and then decide again if you feel the need.

* Don’t get too distracted.

Watch the video; you’ll see what I am talking about…

*You’re still our baby; I don’t care how old you are or you THINK you are; you are and will always be my baby – and there is NOTHING you can do about it.

I hope you had an AMAZING day… remember that we love you to the moon and back!

Words of Wisdom as you prepare for your 2nd year as a Longhorn

So this is it…. Year two… feels like just yesterday I was dropping you off at Pre-K…. I can see the excitement and anticipation on your face (and don’t think that look of frustration hasn’t gone unnoticed either). I’m sure you can see the pain in mine; but what you can’t see is the swelling of pride in my heart as I look at the amazing young woman you have become.

I know the last thing in the world you want to hear right now is yet more advice from a woman who’s been offering it your ENTIRE life. But if there is anything I have ever taught you is that you are to never, ever stop learning and that all it really is.. is advice. You don’t have to take it – though keep in mind I will “gently remind” you that I told you so..

So in my usual fashion; here goes; Words of Wisdom as you prepare for your 2nd year as a Longhorn:

You are officially moved in to your new “big girl” apartment; all ready to learn new things (like how to cook) know that not all of the lessons are going to be good ones. I do believe this world is a good and beautiful place but there are places and situations that are not. Be attentive to your surroundings but don’t let it get so overwhelming it affects you to your core. Be vigilant, but not paranoid. Try never to get so wound up in what “could happen” that you fail to see the beauty that’s all around you.

The same goes for people. When you meet someone new, make sure you look them in the eye. Remember to never judge someone based on appearances. The true measure of a person is taken over time and should be based more on their actions rather than their appearance or words. We all say stupid things on bad days; words hurt but actions leave scars…. Keep that in mind.

Our hope is that you’ll come across more kindness and compassion than anything else. We pray that you’ll surround yourself with people who bring out the best in each other, who support each other, who lift each other up.. But should you come across people that don’t fall in that category, just turn around and walk away. It sounds simple, but trust me, it’s not. It could be one of the hardest things you may ever have to do.

Your dad and I have done our best to teach you how to be strong, to know who you are and never doubt yourself. Stand firm in what you know is right, even if you find yourself standing alone.

Lastly, remember that life is meant to be lived. Yes, you are here for a purpose and that is school but part of getting a proper education is learning to LIVE. So whenever you see the possibility for adventure – take it! You only get one chance at this – make it count..

That’s it! You got this; I am sure of it. But if you need me; this week’s 5-hour mad dash to you should prove that I will be here – all you have to do is call. OR text. Snap. Tweet… smoke signals..

Love you to the moon and back, my baby! Hook em!

👨‍🎓Words of Wisdom as Dylan becomes a College Graduate

While it would probably be enough to just say “good luck” and “We love you,’ that’s not all there is to say- Not by a long shot- so before you cross that tassel over to the other side here goes:IMG_2696

First, Congratulations!

Ignore my (moms) crying and the zillion pictures I’ll be making you take. In fact, forget everyone and everything and make this moment about nothing other than you. Accept every hug and kiss from the grandmas. Take your victory lap. Jump in that river. This is one of those “big moments” we told you about. Soak in every second of it.

Keep moving.

Take your moment then move on. Now is the first time, but certainly not the last one, that you’ll learn that life just keeps moving. Hold your head up high, keep looking straight ahead, then take that next step. The truth is that we all worry about what’s supposed to come next. Everyday heroes put one foot in front of the other and just do it. You can too.

Take care of yourself.

Take care of yourself, your stuff, and especially, those you love. A good life is yours for the taking; just remember everything and everyone will need a little of your attention every now and then. Don’t ever get so busy making a living that you forget to have a life.

Hold your fire.

People, things, and even circumstances may be fully deserving of the full power of your fire. Hold it when you can. Count to ten, go for a drive, take a walk…Do whatever you have to do to find a peaceful but workable solution. The world needs more lovers, not fighters.

We’ve ALWAYS got your back.

You are never alone in this world. You’re lucky to have a safety net knit tightly of good friends and family who are all ready to be there when you need them. Let that love carry you in weak moments. And when you get a chance, do the same for someone else.

Dream big.

And I mean really, really big, but also live every day with a spirit of wonder and brave resolve too. A lot of adulthood is not so much an exciting new road but a familiar, well-worn path. Marvel at the simple joys and brace yourself for the sad, scary things that can, and will, pop up along the way. Have faith in yourself and in God and, I promise, everything will fall into place. Eventually.

Be there.

Celebrate others successes and ease the burden of their failures. Make them laugh and sit with them when they are sad. Go to boring parties, lame weddings, and uncomfortable dinner parties because someone asked you to be there for them. You’ll be amazed at the joy you’ll find from doing the thing you really didn’t want to do.

Love is all you need.

You will have a lot of choices to make the next few days, months, and years. It can all seem a little overwhelming. Let The Beatles provide a little clarity in the chaos: “all you need is love”. If you have it, give it. Plain and simple. Then you won’t just have a blessed life, you will be a blessing to others as well.

You look so handsome.

Seriously. Yes, I know I’m biased but I’m your mother and I’m allowed to be.

You have no idea what it’s like to watch someone grow up before your eyes but I hope you get that privilege.

We are so unbelievably proud of the young man you have become inside and out. And you look great in that cap and gown too. Like for real: you are rocking it.

We love you.
Truly, honestly, deeply. This day. Every day. Forever. Take that knowledge with you into a brave new world.

The best is yet to come, my baby. Keep shooting for those stars.

Love, Mom and Dad

Words of Wisdom to my 24 year old son

sh05
24 years old! How did this happen? Just the other day your dad and I were out buying you a Emmitt Smith jersey just praying you’d be a boy.. and now you are a MAN.
In moms usual fashion – I HAVE to give you my Words of Wisdom – although you have always marched to the beat of your own drum, I CANT let this opportunity go by.. so here goes..
 IMG_7056

Follow your muse…

even if it doesn’t seem practical to any of us… life isn’t supposed to be “practical”, it’s supposed to be LIVED. But keep SOME sense of reality in your mind. You do need to eat.

Follow your heart…

People will always try to tell you what you should do with your life; Yes, we all know I am guilty of that too. Sometimes it’s based on what we wish we could have done, sometimes it’s based on what we did do, and sometimes we simply want to live vicariously through you, but ALL of it comes from what we want FOR you and I promise that it is ALWAYS done out of love. But remember that you’re the one who will have to live with those decisions, so if you are being pushed to go to, say law school, for example, when all you really want to do is play that guitar of yours, then do it. (I promise I will only cry for a little while.) Bottom line, listen to your heart. It ALWAYS knows best.

IMG_0801

Earn a decent living…

Making lots of money isn’t the point, but neither is it evil.

It would be wonderful if money solved everything, but all it takes is a quick look at the news feeds to see that those who ‘have everything’ also have whole worlds of trouble that you don’t. Follow your dreams and don’t be a slave to the dollar, but also don’t let yourself stay poor. We can’t afford to support your spending habits much longer…. dad and I have dreams too!

thumb_IMG_5336_1024

Never stop dreaming…

Continue to have those outrageous dreams of yours but be prepared to put in the work. You’ll be amazed at what comes true when you do.

IMG_4505

Expect to fail…

Failure is not fatal. Learn the lessons, then get back up and try again. Whatever you do, don’t give up. It’s a waste of energy.

You are unique and have your own gifts to offer the world. Be you… YOU are the one we love and we love you just the way you are…

Wishing you an AMAZING Birthday and loving you to the moon and back!

Words of Wisdom for my 19 year old daughter

19! I can’t even believe it! I remember the day you were born as if it were yesterday.
IMG_7028
Labor was induced and scheduled so there are no dramatic stories to tell.. having you was fairly quick, in relation to your brothers anyway, and, sort of easy- as easy as childbirth can be …not sure but feels like that sort of set the tone for you – you’ve always been a no frills, no drama, “I got this” kinda girl. The complete opposite of me.
And while you’re probably still more mature than I am, it wouldn’t be right if I let this day start without my WORDS of WISDOM- not that you need them.. but here goes anyway..
1. Be nice. Especially when you don’t want to.
2. Watch a sun rise and set any chance you get. Then thank God for that amazing opportunity.
3. Never refuse chocolate. Ever.
4. Think BIG but always, always, always enjoy and appreciate the little things.
5. Return anything you borrow. Preferably in better condition than you got it
6. Handwritten thank you notes, birthday cards, and RSVP’s will ALWAYS be better than any text. Doesn’t matter who it is or what the occasion may be.
7. Go places you don’t want to go. Remember any moment can turn into an adventure with the right mind set.
8. Make time for friends and family – Even if it means getting up at 6 am and driving over 300 miles.
9. Use a planner, keep a journal, and WRITE THINGS DOWN. I know you’ll think you’ll remember (and knowing you, you probably will) but do it just in case.. and most importantly,
10. Don’t be afraid to stray from that planner and just go with the flow… there’s a great big world out there, sweetheart, and if any opportunity arises for you to see it- drop what you’re doing and go.
The day you were born you completed our family, you completed my heart, and you completed ME. Dad and I love you to the moon and back. And we are so, so proud to be your parents…
Now go back and read #8 and be ready. I’m on my way!

I Hope You Dance

Tomorrow is my baby’s last “official” day in high school. Of course, such a momentous day wouldn’t be complete without my usual “words of wisdom”.. so here goes…

18835858_10210097481419170_1895335489470887183_n

Life is one grand, sweet song so start the music and dance. Dance to the songs in your head, to the rhythm in your heart, and to the beat you can only feel deep down in your soul. 💃❤️💃

Always remember that although its time for me to take a few steps back and let you take the lead on this particular song, I’ll never be so far away that you can’t call me up and let me join in on a verse or two… 🎶❤️🎶

Love you to the moon and back..

#ihopeyoudance. #seniors17. #hookem

Turning 18 – WOW for my daughter

So here we are… the big “18”.. in a few short months you will be off in this big world all on your own and there is nothing I can do about it..
Your dad and I have spent many years trying really hard to instill morals and values and impart all the little bits of knowledge that we think you and your brothers will need to survive in this crazy world, and although our time here is almost up.. it’s not over yet.. so here goes.. “Moms Words of Advice On Your 18th Birthday..
IMG_3063

1. Money does not buy happiness.

As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. Your dad and I have never been blessed with an excessive amount of money but we have been blessed with so much more. We have you and your brothers and are surrounded with an enormous amount of friends and family. Don’t ever sacrifice those special relationships for money, for those relationships are priceless. I pray you are financially secure as you head out on your own. But, I promise you; all the riches of the world will not replace the love and happiness you get from living your life to the fullest surrounded with people you love. Even through the tough times, try and find the joy in people, not in possessions.

2. Trust your gut.

Pray about big decisions. Life is a journey with many forks in the road. Each and every turn is a new adventure. Be grateful for the opportunities that come your way and patient with the ones that don’t.

3. Love deeply.

If your dad and I ever wanted to show you all anything, it was how to love. I pray we have taught you that. Love with all you have. There is no greater feeling than to love and be loved.
That’s it! First and foremost, Love God, trust in yourself, and, I promise, everything else will fall into place. .. we have all the faith in the world in you..
With all I have… I love you to the moon and much further beyond..
P. S. You and your brothers will most likely never understand why I chose the lessons that I did for each and every one of you until you have your own 18, 21, & 23 year old child (Not anytime soon, I hope) . But know that your dad and I want nothing less but the very best for all of you. And that is for you each of you to be happy and loved and enjoy this journey of life. ❤️😊❤️