Resolution Check-in: Month 9

Officially three quarters of the way through the year, and it’s that time of month for my resolution check in. As I review these I am not connecting with most of these as much as I was at the beginning of the year. I don’t know if it is because September seemed to fly by, or because what seemed important at the beginning at the year just isn’t anymore. How time changes things.

But either way, here is an update on how everything stands.

to train for a marathon:  As most of you know, this didn’t happen this year, due to  an injury, but I plan to complete one in 2017 with my eye on the Wineglass Marathon or Empire State Marathon- Has anyone run either on of those? I have those in mind because they are close by and they are in the fall. Plus I want to run a bigger race, and risk the chance of getting closed out of registration, in order to have good crowds and race support through the whole course.

to find my true purpose in my career– As I mentioned last month, I am currently exploring what it means to be a fitness coach. It may not be the true purpose of my career, but it’s a least a step closer to maybe finding out what I do or don’t want to do. I am not as overwhelmed as I was at the beginning of September, but I am giving it at least a few months to figure out if this is something I will want to do long-term.

As I mentioned previously, I am also participating in a Professional Development Leadership program for the next 6 months, and I really enjoyed the team building retreat we had a few weeks ago. It reminded me that I have leadership skills that are maybe being suppressed a little, so it’s up to me to find a way to showcase them.

to treat others better and think before I speak– I had a bad moment a few weeks ago at a family event, and for personal reasons and with the person involved I don’t want to go into too much detail because it’s not something that should be shared with the world, but the jist of the situation was that I didn’t give something a chance when someone offered to help me. I was critical from the beginning, sharing my dissatisfaction, judgment and impatience along the way. What I didn’t think about was how the other person maybe was reminded of how they used to help me with the task when I was a child and helping me in the present day could have brought up those (hopefully) positive memories.  Of course once the task was complete I was more satisfied than I initially thought I would be, but if I had just kept my mouth shut and given them and it a chance, then it could have been a really enjoyable bonding experience, instead of an embarrassing, immature moment for me. Even though we all have these moments, it still doesn’t make it right, and yes, I did apologize.

to do things outside my comfort zone– I did a couple of things regarding this: 1) I did my first Facebook Live in my Fitness Challenge Group 2) I registered for a Cross Country Race Series that will last through October & November. Since I haven’t run Cross Country since middle school, and just run road races, this was good for me. But it ensures that I will run at least once and week and will provide me with an opportunity to test my hips in race conditions. 3) I applied for the Women’s Running Cover Runner Story, which I figured it was highly I would get selected, but the questionnaire was short, so I sent it in 4) At the leadership retreat, I tried to strike up more conversations vs just sitting in silence and waiting for someone to speak with me.

Read 25 books in 2016– No progress with this, I am still in the middle of the book I started in August (The Ramblers) but it is an intention of mine to finish it this month. With only 3 months left, and only 15 soon to be 16 books complete, it seems unlikely that I will reach my 25 book goal. Next year, if I make/share resolutions, it will be something a little more realistic like 1 book a month vs 2.

to reduce clutter in my life- This progress has slowed some, but I do have to admit that I am not missing anything that I reduce earlier in the year (cancelling magazine subscriptions, donating clothes, etc). The one ‘thing’ I did this month was clean off the top of my bedside table that was PILED with books I wanted to read, or books half started, but had yet to finish. Instead of 6-8 books, I have 1 book (my current read), plus 2 journals that I track weekly quotes I share, and the other one is a notebook where I write special memories I have with my nieces and nephews. Clearing off that space is MUCH nicer to look at and I am not reminded daily of all the books I need to get to.

to reduce excuses and procrastination– Well the fact that I am writing this 2 days after the end of September just goes to show that I haven’t been doing well with this. When I actually just took the time to write this it took me less than a half hour, I just needed to focus on it. So although the reduction of procrastination as been going well, I have been reducing excuses when it comes to working out, as I am getting up early to do so because I have my swim coaching commitment after work.

That wraps up September. Thanks for reading!

What can you do for the next 3 months to end 2016 on a good note?

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Motivation: Half Marathon Training Week 4

The best motivation to keep running, is the feeling you get after finishing a run. The satisfaction of knowing you were brave enough to start and strong enough to finish will leave you wanting more.

I hope you had a great week since my last post. My week started off a little frustrating when it came to this blog as I made some steps to transition this blog to a new domain name under WordPress. I have sure learned a lot from the process but should be good to go for the future. It was just a pain!

Anyway, Monday was good when it came to my running. It was a nice enough day out to run outside even though it was slightly windy. But I reminded myself that I may not have ‘perfect’ weather on a race day, so why not conquer that and feel comfortable in that weather now. Even though I recently purchased a new GPS watch (Garmin Forerunner 230), I didn’t have it in my hands yet, so I tracked my tempo run by running on a track and taking a lap time. I surprised myself with being able to keep the goal pace (8:30ish mile =2:07 or less per lap) as that was the first time I ran a tempo run outside vs a treadmill. I ran 2.5 miles. I felt SO PROUD of myself when I finished my run that I almost danced my way up the steps back into the locker room… yes I know I am a dork! But it gave me hope that I could do well on the half marathon! It also gave me motivation to keep going on the training plan I’ve made.

After the run I did wonder why I would even need a GPS watch since the stop watch worked fine but I know it’s much easier to track training when everything in one place, plus I won’t always be running on a track!  But I know the GPS watch will be worthwhile investment.

Tuesday I woke up before work and completed the runner specific body weight exercises. It only take about 20 minutes. Nothing really exciting there!

Wednesday morning I ran before work on the treadmill.It was Interval day and I started at 7.6 speed then increased by .1 speed each round, doing 7.9 twice, once at 8.0, and decided to get one more interval in and went 8.1 (7:24 speed) for the first time. I did end up using my watch to track my run for my first test run, it was cool to see what happens during runs- such as giving me my miles splits. I think I pushed my speed a little took much because my ankle has been a little sore since, so I have had to break out the ice.

Thursday I was a little distracted in the morning as it was my parent’s 32nd Anniversary so I used my time before work to find a good quote and posted a throwback picture on social media. It was nice to just have some time to relax since I have had something going on every night for the last 2 weeks (I coached swimming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week). So I planned to workout after work, but that didn’t happen as I actually cooked a decent dinner vs leftovers, so it became my rest day.

Friday morning I did the same workout as Tuesday except I added a set of pull-ups, which I have been slacking on in recent weeks.

Saturday was my long run day- 7 miles. I was excited to really use my new watch. I completed the run on a path walking path because it flat, vs the rolling hills around my apartment. Thankfully even though my ankle was a little sore after the run on Wednesday, it doesn’t hurt to walk or run on it so the run went pretty good. The 7 miles seemed to go pretty fast because I kept getting distracted looking at my watch checking my speed. It was interested to compare my pace to how it felt to run… I felt like I was running a lot faster than my watch was telling me, so its going to be a learning curve. I finished the run with an average 9:14 pace, which I was satisfied with.

After my run, I was in a car for 2 hours traveling to celebrate my Grandmothers 80th birthday. Almost all of my Dads side of the family was there -aunts, uncles, and all of my cousins, we were just missing 2 of my brothers. As I was talking with some of my cousins whom I haven’t seen in a while, I realized how nice it is that we are all able to come together for one person to celebrate and enjoy each others company. Not to be a downer, but I realized I have yet to have an event -large birthday party, engagement, wedding, shower, etc where everyone comes just for me. I am looking forward to that overwhelming love and gratitude that comes with being the ‘guest of honor’. I am also at the point in my life as my grandparents get higher in age that it’s even more important for family to get together as often as possible to celebrate life greatest moments and milestones and create these fun memories. The party was a success.

In other news this week, I am still plugging away at 4 different books; The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry- which I am trying to finish by the end of this weekend, Running for Women- which I haven’t made much progress on in the last 2 weeks, 7 Steps of Closure – my fiction/chick lit book that entertains me during my lunch hour, and Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria- a book that I am reading for a diversity discussion being held at my workplace. I also found some great articles I wanted to share; 7 Spiritual laws of Success and how to apply them and how to live a Year of Fear.

I hope you have a great week, I know I am looking forward to my 4 day weekend next week! What do you have to look forward to this week? What helps to keep you motivated?

 

Embrace the Effortless

It’s late on a Friday night as I write this, so I am going to try to make it quick, but even as I write that I know that won’t happen because my stories always turn out much longer than they need to be!

As I write I am also catching up on shows from this week and it includes Grease:Live. Did anyone else watch? What did you think? My review is that is was the best “Live” show that has been produced (others being Sound of Music & Peter Pan) and although there were times that I thought ‘they said this line wrong’, or ‘that’s not what happened’, it was enjoyable. So kudos to Fox.

For my weekly fitness recap, I started my week by getting a new toy… a FitBit, so that has been interesting to see how much I am really moving (and sleeping) each day.  I was able to get 3 days of running in this week of 3-4 miles each. Monday was on the treadmill, doing intervals of .5 miles at 7.1 speed, then .10 mile at 4.2 speed. Wednesday it was SOO nice out (50 degrees.. in February.. in NY), I just couldn’t pass up the chance to run outside. Plus one of my resolutions is ‘no excuses’, so I headed outside because thankfully I had something other than shorts and tank tops in my gym bag. I started off slow but steady, running 2.5 miles on a track but steady but around mile 3 I felt really good and felt like I could keep going for a few more miles. However, I reminded myself that it’s better to end a run early than go too far and risk injury due to overuse. “Accept the days when running seems impossible, embrace the days when running seems effortless”, that day was definitely an effortless day! Even though I was not as fast as on the treadmill, I knew I needed a steady run after interval running on the treadmill the last few times I have run. My ankle felt great during the run but was sore after, so I had to ice it. That night I realized that this may just have to be my routine for a while (run then ice at night), and I am ok with that as long as I can get the miles in since I only have 85 days until my half marathon. I also ran today (Friday), it was a little colder than Wednesday (only 30 degrees), but I was better prepared this time and had my underarmour packed. The track wasn’t available, so I ended up running loops on the hills around the campus that I work at. It does feel good to be running more often and see my body get back into running shape. This weekend I plan on really figuring out my training plan for my half and then subsequent marathon in the fall. Any advice?

Other than fitness this week, I made some progress on my other resolutions on stepping outside my comfort zone, but you will have to wait until the end of February to read about it just in case it doesn’t turn out well!

As the clock turns to midnight, I know it’s time to wrap things up and go to bed.

Thank you for reading & have a great weekend!

 

Fitness Friday: Christmas Edition

First thing first on this weekly Friday post…. Merry Christmas (if you celebrate).

As I wrote about a few weeks ago my Christmas Traditions start on Christmas Eve- dinner with my parents, church, watching It’s a Wonderful Life. Christmas morning is opening presents and breakfast with my parents, than Christmas night is spent celebrating my nephews birthday. I still have 2 more days of family get togethers, but its weird that it hasn’t felt like Christmas. I blame the weather since it’s been in the 50s and 60s in upstate NY for the majority of December. I have gone through the motions of getting & wrapping gifts, listening to Christmas music, but it’s not the same when there isn’t a white Christmas. It also different as my youngest brother is serving in the Army and hasn’t been home for Christmas in 3 years. It’s weird to write about how much I want all of my brothers to be around seeing as my brothers would often tease me relentlessly when I was younger, leave me out of things, and were just being brothers who didn’t want anything to do with their sister. But when it comes down to it, all of my brothers make my family whole, and with one of them away for the holidays the puzzle is missing a piece. If all goes as planned, the puzzle will be complete next year.

As for a more personal side versus general family dynamics, Christmas may be losing its spirit to me some because I am getting older and do not have children of my own to watch their faces light up when they see ‘Santa’ came and they receive something they have asked for. I received great practical gifts this year, so I have nothing to complain about on that aspect, but the one thing I would like to receive between now and next Christmas would be a relationship. I haven’t talked about my relationship status much here, but I have been single for over 3 years, and being completely honest, seeing all of my brothers in a relationship makes me want to be in one as well. Everyone tells me it will come in time, when I am least expecting it, etc and some days I am ok with waiting, and other days I can’t help but wonder when or if it will happen. I see my brothers have children, and I know that someday I want some of my own. I see the companionship and friendship my brothers have with their significant others and I can’t help but want that too. So that is my Christmas wish for 2016….all I can do is wait and hope.

On another note….back to my regularly scheduled post about fitness related topics.

As I mentioned last week, I am recovering from a sprained ankle. It is doing MUCH better, still not 100%, but I am walking on it fairly normal now with occasional stiffness. My workouts this week were still mostly upper body. Since I am not the greatest of coming up with workout routines on my own I decided to start Jillian Michaels Body Revolution back at week 1 with the idea that it wouldn’t be as difficult as week 11, and I would improvise as necessary if it bothered my ankle. It was surprising how much I was able to do, I only ended up having to slow down or skip some cardio intervals, and I couldn’t quite flex my ankle for lunges but I worked out all but one day this week and I was able to get into a pool this week. I did some ‘aqua jogging’ it felt good to feel like I was running, even though it is definitely more difficult in the water! I figured the water would be good therapy for my ankle, and it was until the end when I forgot about my ankle and went to kick for momentum and tweaked my ankle a bit… oops! So I had to ice my ankle  for longer than I had the last few days. Thankfully the next morning my ankle felt better, but I have decided to keep my ankle wrapped for at least a few more days to make sure it heals as best it can because I do not want to re-injure it and have it impact my 2016 running goals.

As I reflect back on my year I haven’t decided whether to continue with the fitness fridays, though it has kept my on track to write at least 1 post a week,but with my domain name expiring in less than 60 days I need to decide whether to continue with my blog. I feel confident in saying that I know of a handful of people who enjoy reading my blog, but I wonder if there may be a more efficient way to share my life with my ‘biggest fans’. I would appreciate any feedback from you.

“Take chances, take a lot of them. Because honestly, no matter where you end up and with whom, it always ends up just the way it should be. Your mistakes make you who you are. You learn and grow with each choice you make. Everything is worth it. Say how you feel, always. Be you, and be OK with that”

Christmas Traditions

It is December already, which means many holidays to celebrate. I celebrate Christmas and as a way to help me write more, I came across some daily writing prompts and this month they focus on Traditions. I know realistically I won’t be able to post daily so I am going to combine a couple prompts every few days.

Tradition is defined as “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way or “ a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way”

What traditions do you look forward to at the end of the year?

Christmas Eve and Christmas morning have the most traditions for me. Growing up I remember going to mass on Christmas Eve, not midnight mass, having pasta for dinner. Starting when I was about 9 my parents allowed us to open one gift that had arrived early from a relative or a gift from one of my siblings (which we would get from the dollar store thanks to my Dad). Then we set out the milk, cookies and a note to Santa, and I believe my Dad would read us ‘The Night Before Christmas’ and were off to bed.

The next morning it was a competition to see who would wake up the earliest to sneak downstairs and see all the presents that had arrived. My brothers and I would usually wake up around 5, but were only allowed to open our stockings until our parents woke up. Sometimes our excitement and chatter would wake them up a lot earlier than they liked! Christmas morning also included my mom making a nice big breakfast that varied to be served either before or after presents depending on how hungry we were.

Speaking of presents, since there are 6 people in my immediate family, we would take turns opening gifts in the order of oldest to youngest or vice versa. This allowed us to take our time with gift giving and enabled us to see what each other received. Plus we were able to see the reactions when someone opened the gift from each other. After we opened gifts the afternoon was always spent lounging around, playing with our new toys or video games or watching our new movies. Then we would have a nice Christmas dinner.

Since my brothers and I have all moved out of our parents house, our tradition is a little different now especially because 2 of my brothers do not live close by and my 3rd brother has his own family to create memories with. Now, I usually host my parents on Christmas Eve for pasta, then we go to mass together. On Christmas morning I will go to my parents house and exchange gifts with them and have breakfast, then we will go to my brother’s house for dinner and to celebrate my nephew’s birthday. Christmas is so much more exciting to see the joy it brings to a young child. My oldest brother will come home either the weekend before or after Christmas to exchange gifts, and my youngest brother is currently serving in the Army so this will be his 4th Christmas away from home. I am looking forward to next year when we will all be together again.

These traditions help to know what is going on when trying to coordinate various Christmas events and activities with extended family members. The time I spend with family is something I value more with each year and am glad I still live close to my parents so I don’t have to stress about traveling.
If you have children, what traditions are you trying to instill in them? If you don’t have children, what is a tradition someone passed along to you?

I don’t have children, just nieces and a nephew, but a tradition that I value is spending time with those who mean the most to you and remembering what Christmas is really about-giving and faith. I feel that is the core of what has been passed down to me. Even though I am not always very good at going to Church throughout the year, I always make a point of going for Christmas along with set out my Nativity scene.

When I do have children I imagine new traditions will form, whether its reading ‘The Night Before Christmas” or maybe “A Christmas Carol”, making Christmas cookies, driving around to see Christmas lights or decorating the Christmas Tree as a family, but I also plan to continue the traditions above as much as I can.

 

I’d love to hear from you……What are some of your traditions?

Hellos & Goodbyes

I want to be your favorite hello & your hardest goodbye

I am not even sure where to start with this post, but I knew I needed to write it to help me process the sorrow and joy 24 hours in life can bring.

I will start with the sadder part.Last week, a dear friend and former coworker of mine, I’ll call her Momma L, passed away.. It all started a little over a month ago when Momma L had back surgery, which turned into her getting pneumonia which in turn lead the doctors to discovering her breast cancer that she had been in remission for a few years had come back with vengeance and she was only given a few weeks to live.

I met Momma L 6 years ago when I started my job with local county government. She was the payroll/secretary for the entire building, but worked on my floor. When I started working there it took a while to find my ‘lunch routine’ but as time went on I ended up in the lunchroom at the same time as Momma L, along with 2 other women Momma M & Momma D, so that became my ‘lunch group’. The 4 of us shared stories of our families and got to know each others lives outside of work. I soon started considering these 3 women my ‘2nd moms’, and they saw me as another daughter, or daughter they never had. They saw me cry, they shared in my laughter and over the next 2 years I work in that department, and even when I transferred to a different department in the county they looked out for me both personally and professionally. In April 2015, when I accepted a new job and would be leaving a county position for good, my ‘moms’ along with a coworker I viewed as an older sister, took me out to lunch to wish me luck. I took a picture with my ‘family’, something I now treasure even more now that Momma L has passed away.

I found out about Momma L’s diagnosis from Momma D, over Labor Day weekend, and although this was sad to hear, knowing her daughter was supposed to get married the following weekend made it even sadder. Her daughter ended up getting married in the hospital Labor Day weekend. Momma L passed on the morning of September 15, 2 months after her 53rd birthday. Her Birthday was also the last time I talked with her (via email) as I wished her a Happy Birthday, I will save that email forever, which may seem menial, but its the last thing I have from her.

When Momma L was given only a few weeks left to live, Momma D told me Momma L’s family didn’t share with her the diagnosis and limited visitors as not to make her suspicious. It was hard at first for me to understand and accept this because I wanted Momma L to know how much she meant to me. I wanted to have a chance to say goodbye to her. But Momma D told me Momma L did not look like I remembered her and it would be best for me to remember her as she was, plus she was on so many painkillers to be made comfortable that she wouldn’t have known I was there anyway. This helped me to accept that I will have to wait to tell her goodbye. When I first found out Momma L had passed away I did not cry right away as I was just waiting for the phone call telling me she had. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I let my emotions sink in and I cried thinking about how Momma L is gone and I cried when I looked at the 1 picture I have with her, realizing that is the only picture I have with her. Momma L affected so many lives both at work and outside of work that it made me wonder if I am being the best person I can be to feel like I am doing the same.

Her calling hours were a few days later, after her passing and on my way there I tried to think of words I would say to her husband and 2 children to comfort them, but at the same time share with them the positive impact Momma L had on my life. When I arrived at the funeral home where the seats were full, and there were several picture boards of Momma L. I looked at her life in review, then knelt by the casket to say my goodbye. I gave my condolences to her family, struggling to find the words, but hoped I got across how much Momma L meant to me. As I left I realized Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. With that in mind, I will keep Momma L alive in my memories.

If you are brave enough to say goodbye, the world will reward you will a new hello.

Within 24 hours of saying goodbye to this wonderful person, my emotions switched gears as I prepared to say hello to my two beautiful nieces for the first time! It was a last-minute trip home for my sister-in-law and 4 month old nieces who live across the country and my sister-in-law and I discussed plans to pull off a surprise for my parents. When I found out the girls were coming home I started counting down the hours! Living so close to my nephew I have been anxious to form the same relationship with my nieces, so I couldn’t wait to hold them and not just soak in pictures.I also had a hard time not saying anything when my mom would talk about how it would be a while before my nephew would meet his cousins. I knew how happy it would make my mom to see her granddaughters so I kept the secret.

To pull off the surprise the plan was everyone would come over to my apartments for dinner and my family members that lived close arrived at my apartment before my parents. We hid my sister-in-law and nieces in my bedroom until my parents arrived. When my mom arrived she said she had a bad day at work, and I said ‘well hopefully your day will get better’, as we waited for my dad we tried to keep the conversation going to cover the babies cries. I had thought of various scenarios on how to pull off this surprise, even losing sleep over all the little details to pull it off perfectly! When my parents were in the right spot, my nephew yelled “Surprise” and then my sister-in-law came around the corner with the girls. My mom joyfully screamed and cried, my Dad was in shock and I just took it all in, along with taking a video to send to my brother. The surprise was a success and it was so nice to have a lot of my family in one place meeting the newest members. We passed the girls around to hold, and it reminded me of when my nephew was that little, and all the memories and joy he has brought us over the last 5 years. When I finally got to hold my nieces, I loved every second of it, everything about them makes me smile and I struggle to find the words to describe what they mean to me! Those little girls have so much life ahead of them and it is wonderful to have them nearby, even if only for a week. It helped balance out a sad week to have something so wonderful to look forward to.

 

As I sit and reflect back on these events I am reminded that life has its ups and downs, even in a very short time. But the lows are what makes the highs feel so great. Treasure those most important to you, and appreciate the joys so they can help you get through sorrows.

 

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What No One Told Me About Being an Aunt

For as long as I can remember I have always liked kids. In a journal I kept in high school I wrote that one of my dreams was to be a mom. What I didn’t ever think about was what it would be like to be an Aunt. It wasn’t on my ‘ life to-do’ list, probably because it wasn’t something I could exactly control! But when I found out I was going to be an Aunt in April 2010 and then again in November 2014, I was very excited. My nephew was born in December 2010, and my twin nieces were born in May 2015. Since then I have learned a lot about being an Aunt. Most people told me it would “the best”, but until I experienced it myself could I truly appreciate and understand why. I have learned a lot about taking care of a child; prepping me some for when I have my own, so in honor of the 4+ years I have been an Aunt, I’ve come up with 4 things no one ever told me about being an aunt.

No one ever told me…..

1) That the first time I saw your face, I would truly understand what ‘love at first sight’ means.

2) How much your smile and laughter would brighten my day. There have been days where I would stop by your house unplanned, because I knew that your innocence and joy would help me to forget about ‘real life’ problems. You’d cheer me up without even trying or knowing what was wrong.

3) That being near you, playing with you, and watching you grow would confirm to me that someday I definitely want to be a mom. A mom that isn’t afraid to be silly with their child. A mom that is willing to sleep on the living room floor even if it means waking up with a sore back. A mom that will love their child unconditionally. A mom that sees opportunities to influence your life, instill values and teach you something new every day.

4) How much I would love to talk about you, as if you were my own. My phone is filled with pictures of you, and I use any excuse to show someone your latest picture or share your latest achievement.

No one told me any of this, but I am glad they didn’t. Being an Aunt is so much fun, and I feel blessed and lucky that I have this title.

 

“God knew that I loved you too much to be your friend, so he made me your Auntie”

 

To my Nephew,

From the day were born you have always made smile when I needed it most. You are funny, so smart, and adorable. I have loved being with you as you learned to walk, talk, swim, and acquire new skills. You constantly impress me with your vocabulary, curiosity, and from time to time have stumped me with your questions about the world. You have been great practice for someday/hopefully being a mom myself. I do not want to wish your youth away, but I am looking forward to making more memories with you as you get older. Although life may some day take me further away from you, I will always feel grateful that I have so many memories with you.

“Nephews are the children that we borrow, Intending not to raise but merely love, Ever watchful from our open window. Caring deeply at a slight remove. Everywhere you go, my love will follow, still part of you wherever you may live”

 

To my Twin Nieces,

Although you are a half a world away, and I haven’t met you yet, I can’t WAIT to meet you in a few months and make memories with you. I can’t wait to see you grow into beautiful girls. I can’t wait to french braid your hair like my Aunt did, or paint your nails, color pictures with you, or play in the dirt if you prefer that. I pray you will never get your heart-broken; but if/when it inevitably does, I will take you out for ice cream and share with you how a heartbreak makes you a stronger person, even though you won’t believe me. I will also share firsthand tips on how to answer the endless and typical questions everyone asks you about what it is like being a twin!

“Only an Aunt can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister and share love like a friend”