Letters

I love your hard work.

Dear Landon,

I love your hard work.  You are one of the hardest working little boys I know. You’re always quick to help mom or dad without complaint.  If the playroom needs a cleaning or if the dishwasher needs to be unloaded, you jump right on it.

I love the example you’re setting for your brother and others with how hard you try.  When it comes to sports, you spend hours each week outside of practice working on your dribbling, catching, rebounding, and swing.  At home, you’re on top of it with your homework.  You love getting better and working hard to do it.

Too often, kids get blasted for having bad attitudes or a lack of work ethic.  But not you.  You pride yourself on earning chore stickers each day. You love the accomplishment of rocking out your reading assignment or nailing your sight words lists.

You’re the best little assistant – running errands, helping with chores, doing house projects and more.

I hope you never lose your desire to work hard and be better.  It’s going to serve you so well when you become the man of your own house one day.  I love the energy you bring to our family and your hard work makes me want to work hard, too.

I love you baby boy.  (times a million bajillion).

Love,
Mom

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I love your confidence.

Dear Brooks,

I love your confidence.  You show me every day that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does – you’re ok doing it your way.  It doesn’t matter if other kids are all inside coloring – if you want to run circles outside, you’ll do it.  It doesn’t matter if they are dressed differently – you’ll wear slippers to school if you want.  It doesn’t matter if I tell you that your sentence doesn’t make sense, you’re running with it.  And if there is a chance to stand up in front of the group and give your opinion, you’ll do it.

You don’t get swayed when the big kids come and tell you you’re too little to play, you think you fit right in. You don’t care that you haven’t mastered a sports skill yet, you still think you’re the bees knees out there.  You know who you are, what you want and what you care about.  And I love that.  I see other kids getting swayed by what other people say or do and I love that you follow your heart.

I wish I could have 1/20th of the confidence you portray every day.  Thanks for the example my sweet boy!

Love you (times a million bajillion),

Mom

Dear Future Wives of my Sons

A letter to my future daughter-in-laws on their wedding day.

Dear Future Mrs. Dean,

First off, welcome to the family. I know we’re a wild bunch, a little bit quirky, but if you’ve stolen my son’s heart, I know you have a little quirky in you too.

As you prepare to walk down the aisle, I want you to know a few things:

  1. The man who stands at the end of the aisle will be the same tomorrow as he is today.  He is flawed.  Marriage won’t change his habits or preferences.  Love it or hate it, it’s likely here to stay.  Too often, we go into marriage thinking it will be dreamy or easy.  While wedding prep feels hard, the hard part is the work you have to put in each day to be the best half you can be for your mate.
  2. The man you chose is a great man.  And he needs to hear it, often.  His dad and I have been working on building him up for the past 20-30 years and it’s up to you to continue the tradition.  He needs to know you respect him, you love him, you have his back and you can’t wait to walk through each stage of life with him.  Remind him of this daily.
  3. Pick your fights.  This took a long time for me to learn, and frankly I’m still learning it.  Some things aren’t worth getting into it over.  The fact he likes wearing socks with sandals or “forgets” to put clothes in the hamper are small things.  Don’t let the 10% of things that drive you crazy take away from the 90% of him that is awesome.
  4. Have fun.  Take date nights away.  Eat ice cream for dinner, just because.  Make a bucket list together.  Too often work, life, relationships and parenting takes over and we forget about the carefree fun we had when it was just dating.  Try to remember to just have fun sometimes.  Break out of the daily routine and mix it up.
  5. I’m sorry for my part.  Nature vs. nurture.   Nature: Some of your husband’s crazy is just passed genetically thru DNA.  Good and bad came along.  Nurture: I also know that we made plenty of mistakes raising these boys.  Patience, time management, competitiveness, and more.  We probably pushed too hard in some areas and not enough in others.  So I apologize now for the flaws we’ve created.

Your marriage is going to be what you make it – what you put into it.  Garbage in, garbage out.  Awesome in, awesome out.

Make sure God has a high place in your marriage.  You’ll turn to Him more than you expect on this journey.  Love each other fiercely and choose each other first always.  Before kids.  Before your parents.  Before hobbies.  Before friends.

The walk down the aisle today is so symbolic. You’ll head down by yourselves and then after you say “I do” you’ll walk the path together.  Hand in hand.  You against the world.

Welcome new Mrs. Dean!

Love,
Your ‘favorite’ MIL

Dear Brooks

Dear Brooks,

I cannot believe how much your personality has changed in the past few months.  It’s like you truly went from toddler to little boy. You’ve started to become more independent and also more confident in your opinions.  You can argue your point well and I’m so proud of how smart and sweet you are.

You’ve been in snuggle mode lately and I love it.  I love that sometimes you just want your momma close. I love that you sneak in and sleep with me in the mornings.  I love that you ask for more time at tuck in.  I love that you are doing a great job at school and I love watching you enjoy your friends.

You are a special boy.  You are sensitive and sweet and while you have a tough exterior you’re like a soft puddle in the middle.  I hope this never changes. I hope you can confidently wear your heart on your sleeve even when other boys or society tells you to man up and be tough.  I love your compassion and sweet spirit.  When someone is hurting or upset, you are quick to resolve it – whether it be to share something you have, to give a hug or to make others aware so they can help.

I pray that you continue to love learning about Jesus.  That the magical stories of the bible get rooted deep in your heart and serve as a compass in your life.

Mostly, I just love you.  I love that you’re so different from me (and my personality) and that we’re learning each day new and better ways to communicate with each other.

I love my sweet boy.

Mom

I’m the mom of a 5-year-old.

I’m the mom of a 5-year-old.

That sentence is crazy to me – a five year old. Where has the time gone? How do I already have a child who will be starting kindergarten in a matter of months?  How am I nearly a third of the way into my parenting duties?

It’s seemed long. It’s seemed short.  It’s been easy.  It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  It’s made me laugh. It’s brought tears.

Yes, this little guy made me a mom and I know that he and his brother will be my greatest accomplishment… and my greatest failure.  I already hear myself in my head – “what if I’d…”  “why didn’t I…” when it comes to my parenting choices. I am so proud of how my boys are doing and the men they are becoming – despite the fact their mother is a little crazy. And I know that I’ll second guess myself – thinking of the ways that I could have done my part better.

But that’s the beauty of this whole thing, of being a parent.  It’s the ability to trust that God is doing even more in them than I’ll ever be able to. It’s a matter of shrugging off the voices that say, “Ginger, you’re not doing enough.” and knowing that they are really already doing great.  It’s knowing that it’s ok if it’s messy and hard because the most beautiful things come when you work the hardest.  And this role as a mom is just that.

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Landon,
Until you have your own baby one day, it will be hard for you to understand how much I love you.  I am head over heels for you.  You are so loving, fun, hardworking, responsible, silly, smart and thoughtful.

You do and say things that make my heart flutter each day.  An “I love you mom” out-of-the-blue.  The way you still nestle your hand right in mind when we are out running errands.  The stories that you tell during tuck in time. Times you help your brother so he can also feel the high of success.  The sweet, innocence of your dinnertime prayers.

Five years has flown by too quickly but I cannot wait to see what the next years hold for you. I am so proud to be your mom and I am so thankful that “God put you in the right family”.

Happy birthday big boy!  I love you times a million bajillion.

Love,
Mom

Dear Landon

Dear Landon,

You are amazing.  Your dad and I say it every day.  You are a parents dream.  Easygoing, fun-loving, up for anything, a hardworker, helpful and more.

I love watching the brother you’re becoming.  I know it isn’t always easiest to be the oldest.  There are a lot of expectations in your position. You have to pave the way and set a good example.  You are often going to be the first to face new milestones and show your brother how it’s done.  I love the way you are so protective of your brother. And the way you build him up and praise him so often.  I am so proud of your heart and the way you care about Brooks being successful when he tries new things.

Bubba, you are also our guinea pig – and you handle it well.  We try new parenting techniques on you (all the time), trying to figure out what works and how we can instill good values while giving you the freedom and independence to forge your own path.  It’s a line we’re constantly muddying as we don’t know what we’re doing! As a result, we make a ton of mistakes and I know I’ll be apologizing for them even into your teenage years.

You are quick to apologize, even quicker to forgive and always up for a snuggle or hug.  I pray that those are traits you carry with you into old age.  An “I’m sorry”, “I forgive you” or “I love you” are small sentences that pack a big punch.

I am so proud of the boy you are and the man you’ll be.

I love you times a million bajillion-

Mom

 

 

Dear Husband

Dear Husband,

I know I don’t write you many long notes or cards. Yes, you get them on your birthday and our anniversary, but through the rest of the year, you deserve them, too. More than the quick affirmation I tuck into your wallet or leave on your sink.  More than the short thanks I muddle as you drift off to sleep. You deserve regular reminders of the huge role you play in my life and as head of our family.

As I look back on the highs and lows of the last year, I am so thankful for you.  For your steadiness and calm in my chaos.  Long ago, I doubted that a relationship between our two personalities could work. I didn’t see the fit – but God had bigger and better plans.  He knew I needed someone who could speak calmness into me when my mind spins rapidfire. He knew I’d need someone who could just hold and hug me when I hit a lull in life. He knew I’d need a husband who could handle my pace and quirks. He knew I needed the guy who is soft yet tough, compassionate yet driven.

I’m always amazed at all you can do.  Not that you naturally know everything, but that you are a hardworking, self-taught man (thank you YouTube)!  Whether it’s furthering your career, fixing our cars/house/toys, setting up technology – you are always growing and developing. This is so great for our boys to see, that hard work is worth it!

Thank you for bringing so much fun to our house. For being the lion to our boys. For packing endless lunches and more trips to school than I can count. Thank you for remembering the little things and supporting me in the big things.  Thank you for being the nurturing, cuddly, loving one.  Sometimes I’m so focused on being efficient, I forget to live in the little moments that you live in.  Thanks for dreaming big dreams with me in our bed at night. And for setting a great example for Brooks and Landon.

I think 2015 could be our best year yet – with new work challenges, a brand new kindergartener, the start of sports and plans for some great vacations spent together.  I’m so blessed to have you as my partner-in-crime as we conquer everything.  I hope that in 50 years we are still having just as much fun, laughing as hard and loving even more than we do now. With you in your walker (because with your knees a walker is a given:) ) and me by your side (talking about what would make our meal better)!

Love,
Esposa