|26 in the Mix|

As I am approaching my 26th birthday tomorrow, I looked back on pictures of birthdays past. As I looked through the memories, I can remember lessons I learned during those stages of life. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time!

Lesson #1: To get the ideal birthday picture, position yourself smack dab in the middle of a group and then prop your leg up for good measure.
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Lesson #2: When planning a party, matching visors are a necessity.

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Lesson #3: When choosing a party outfit, a vest is always clutch.

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Lesson #4: Keep friends who agree to dress up with you and go out in public.

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Lesson #5: There are places that always feel like home and people feel like family. Go there often.

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Lesson #6: Learn to listen and value what your friends say.

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Lesson #7: Eat cake the size of your face.

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Lesson #8: Don’t start going to the tanning bed… Ever.
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Lesson #8: Find friends that love you in your mess not just your best.

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P.S. As I look back on birthdays from the past, I am keenly aware at how graciously my dad didn’t just share his day.. He gave it up completely! Thank you dad. I’m sorry you had lambchop themed birthday parties to celebrate your day too! I am so thankful to share Oct 4th with you!

Emerson Grey- |Year One|

It is hard to believe a full year has passed since this sweet boy was born. I have loved every minute being this little guy’s aunt. He has brought so much joy to our lives- it is hard to remember what life was like before Emerson. After hearing I was going to be an aunt, and then hearing I would have a nephew and his name would be Emerson… I wanted to find a verse to pray over him throughout his life. The name Emerson means words like {strong, brave, courageous, powerful}. The verse below couldn’t have fit more perfect. 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:9
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Emerson- 

Happy Birthday sweet baby boy! I love being your Aunt… your only Aunt 🙂 Its a guaranteed favorite!! You have changed our family for the better and we couldn’t love you more. I pray you know Jesus at a young age and grow up to be a man that loves Him and knows He is with you wherever you go. I can’t wait to watch you grow up and give your mom trouble every now and then!! You are blessed with parents and a family that love you. Can’t wait to celebrate your first birthday soon. Love you E! 

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Ole (young) Pop!

For the past 25 years, October 4th has never been”my” day… it’s always “our day”. I love this day. Almost as much as I love my dad. 

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Let me tell you…

My dad is gentle but the strongest man I know. The smartest person, but in the most approachable way and constantly teaching me something new. The corniest and most clever man I have ever met. And a heart of gold that never stops loving his family.

I am grateful and so proud of the work he is doing overseas not only to protect us but to make a difference. He shows me how to push myself and never stop learning by doing the same thing himself. I can’t wait for the day when his feet are on American soil again but until then I am thankful for the work he is doing. Knowing that men like my dad are out there doing every thing they can to make our world a better and safer place, brings me comfort.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for my dad. Being apart on our birthday is never easy, but I know that we would both rather be together! 

A glimpse into who my dad is: 

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Throwback of one of my favorite pictures!

 

 

 

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Thank you for sharing your life of adventure!
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Love this goofy man!

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Dad, 

Words can’t come even close to tell you how much I love, respect, and admire you. I am truly blessed to be your daughter and so thankful to share our birthday together! I wish I could be with you today, but can’t wait for our delayed celebration in a few weeks 🙂 . Thank you for being my dad and loving me unconditionally. Happy Birthday ya old man!! I love you!

-jillybug