1. You are loved.
2. You are enough. Just as you are.
3. As much as we (your parents) love you and try to show unconditional love, God loves you infinitely more.
4. God has an amazing plan for you. It will not always be clear or easy, but it will be fulfilling and meaningful.
5. God never leaves us, even when we leave God.
6. Failure is a necessary part of learning.
7. Admitting failure is a great act of courage and maturity.
8. Forgiveness not only restores relationships, but also heals your own heart.
9. Be you. Always you.
10. Be open to listening to and learning from others. Be respectful of their perspective and experiences.
11. See God in everyone, and show God's love to everyone.
12. Everyone is important. Everyone matters.
13. The things I try so hard to teach and instill in you are the things I've learned the hard way.
14. I want so badly to protect you from pain, but I won't always be able to. But hopefully my love and God's love will get you through.
15. Faith, hope, and love remain...and the greatest of these is love.
16. Do as I say, not as I do (but know that I'm trying to be better, and expect more of you and myself)
17. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
18. Love the strengths and talents you were given...not the ones that other people possess.
19. Use your gifts to serve others with humility.
20. Some things will come easy to you, and some will require some work. Both are important.
21. Gratitude is one of the biggest secrets of happiness.
22. We have enough. More than enough. We are abundantly blessed.
23. Because we have been blessed, it's our responsibility to share with others.
24. The grass is not always greener on the other side. If it appears that way, remember it's because of all the crap that fertilizes it.
25. If you want me to be sweet, patient, non-yelling Mommy, please listen to me the first time.
26. Taking care of our bodies is important. You come from parents that love to sleep and eat (and exercise occasionally). These things are good for you, too.
27. It's okay to be angry. It's not okay to hurt others in your anger. Sometimes you need time by yourself to write, cry, scream, read, or think. Sometimes your parents need this, too. Then we can come back together, talk, and apologize if we need to.
28. Your sibling is your best friend (on good days) and will be your family and partner forever in navigating our family life. Stick together and support one another. You will need each other when it's time to care for your aging parents.
29. Everyone wants to be liked, but even more important is being able to like yourself. Don't do anything you would regret to become part of a group.
30. "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always; As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
31. To seek God in everything and to find the spiritual and sacred in all of life.
32. To laugh and not take everything so seriously (wait, this is what you are teaching me).
33. The difference between playfulness and hurtful teasing.
34. Taking your time and doing something right the first time saves time and frustration later.
35. You are so beautiful. Yet what is on the outside is not nearly as precious as what's on the inside.
36. Don't allow others' judgement of your appearance to affect how you view yourself. That is their issue, not yours.
37. Don't fall into the trap of labeling things by gender. There aren't "boy" or "girl" colors or behaviors. We all have a mix of feminine and masculine and this is a gift.
38. Remember all of our inside jokes and the stories we tell and retell about your babyhood. These are our family memories and what binds us together. "Da-woo."
39. I don't have all the answers, but I'll do my best to figure them out together with you.
40. Always keep learning. That's what makes life interesting.
41. Don't take your life for granted. Be grateful for every day, everything you have.
42. Give generously.
43. Receive graciously when you need it.
44. Use your nice words. You'll get what you want a lot sooner.
45. Think before you speak.
46. Always come talk to me when something is bothering you. We might not always have the same opinion or go about things the same way, but I always want the best for you and will try to be open to understanding your individual needs.
47. Open your eyes and your heart to see the beauty in the world and in your lives. You are so full of joy over the simple things now, and I pray that lasts forever. Sometimes adults have to work harder at what comes more naturally to you. Take the time to savor the beauty and know that's one of the greatest ways of connecting to God.
48. Don't believe what the commercials, ads, and TV try to tell/sell you.
49. There are finer varieties of music than the kiddie music we keep on repeat these days. Let us show you other options (please).
50. You have changed me for the better. I couldn't be happier because of all the joy you bring me. Thank you for teaching me about love every day. Let's keep learning together always.