wishes for my sister

Bailee Madison & Nieces, Riley and Evie - That Cozy Life

Wishes for my sister

and my girls.. and myself.. and you! ;) 

My baby sister officially became an adult over the weekend. <insert confetti emoji and that one smiley with the streams of tears>  For some of you, it might be a "I can't believe she's already 18.. I feel like I watched her grow up." For those of you who know her, it might be 'Is she only 18?' because this girl has had a maturity about her - an old soul, as some have called it- since she was itty bitty. But for me- it feels like both of those things + every other emo feeling you could possibly think of. And then sprinkle on an insane amount of gratitude for her precious life + some sads because 'they grow up too fast' and that's me in a big old puddle of feelings. Sounds fun, right? I know, I'm exhausted. Ha!

In all seriousness, though, there is something about 18 that feels very big. Yes, we're still here to guide her and love on her and help her make decisions, but it's just that. We're helping her now. She is on her way to becoming an independent adult out in the world- this complicated world, and my goodness do I want so many things for her. I have some big mom-like feelings about her safety, for sure- (please be smarter than I was)- and a whole lot of big sister feelings, too, because with 13 years of official adulting under my belt, I have learned a thing or two. So, my sweet Bailee girl.. 

My wish for you [& my girls & for every person reading this] is that you.. 

  • Be kind to yourself. You are a work in progress, my love. There will be growing pains, no doubt. You'll make mistakes and you'll look in the mirror at times and not like yourself so much. BUT in those moments, try to look at yourself through the eyes of those who love you. And if that seems hard, try this: channel how you would want Riley or Evie to look at themselves. Would you ever want them to focus on an imperfection? Beat themselves up for a mistake or a missed opportunity? Me neither. So try it! It works and I do it just about daily.  
  • Fill your heart with gratitude. As long as you have breath in your lungs, you have something to be grateful for. Perspective is everything and your thoughts are important. Protect them.
  • Trust your gut. But, also know that you might be wrong. So Part B of this: Be quick to listen and slow to speak. I have never regretted taking a moment to listen or taking time to think before I spoke. On the contrary, I can think of about 100 things I wish I hadn't said just off the top of my head. So my advice: breathe & say a prayer before you say what you mean. Ask for peace if you find yourself operating out of fear, compassion and forgiveness when you are hurt. In the end, everything will be okay and you'll be proud of yourself for the way you handled it.. + bonus; you'll be building character. 
  • Know that you. are. enough. You are enough. This business will tell you that you are only as good as your next job. That is a lie. Your next job has absolutely nothing to do with your value. Your value is not in anything you do, because you are eternally loved. Read that again. ;)
  • Find joy in the journey.. Joy in the 'you' and the 'now.' Before you know it, my love- (and Lord willing if it's still what you want ;)- you will have a family. And you will be wonderful. And you will be a mess. All at the same time! And I will be there to remind you that I was wonderful and I was a mess and that's all part of it. And then I'll tell your hubby that the hormones will not always be so cray cray and hold your crying baby for you. Ha! But until then, enjoy you. You will never get this time back again. It is lonely, at times.. I remember that like it was yesterday. Perhaps I was sitting in my college apartment and you are sitting in a hotel room wherever set is, but loneliness is loneliness and it can be brutal. Embrace it. Don't fear that feeling. What you learn about yourself in the quiet will serve you for the rest of your life. Also, on that note, sleep in while you can. I miss sleeping in. ;)
  • Keep sharing your gift with the world. I've watched you touch lives and mend souls and I cannot wait to look on as you keep doing 'you.' You have a voice that needs to be heard, so keep speaking. But also, remember to take care of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Fall in love with taking care of yourself- mind, body and spirit. The better you know yourself, the better you will be able to take care of yourself.. the better you take care of yourself, the more you will have to give. It comes back full circle. Feel free to remind me of this one often. ;)
  • And last, but most certainly not least, I want you- deep down in your soul- to have the knowledge that you are never alone. We have you, always. But far more importantly, God has you, my girl. He will have you in the highs and in the lows, in the beautiful victories and in the soul shattering defeats. He will have you when your heart is broken. And when you don't feel that He has you, search for Him. He can stand up to any of your questions & doubts, so don't be afraid to go there. It will be in those moments that you will learn the most about Him and about yourself.

So happy happy 18th, my Bailee girl. I am proud of you. I am proud of your beautiful heart and soul. I'm proud to be your big sister and so insanely grateful my girls have you. And one day, 13 years from now, you will tell my Riley girl all of this & more. You will tell her how her Aunt B loves her and how she has the world at her fingertips and how she will never be alone because God has her. And, if it's possible, I will love you even more then. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you in your 'adult years.' I adore you.

here are a few of my fave sis & Aunt b Moments.. so much love. 


Ps- That whole 'be smarter than I was' thing. Please please please. If you need a list of things I did that you shouldn't, I will totally make one!! That's what sisters are for, yes? It's just not going on the internet. Ha! ;) I love you!!! <3