Melanie Jeanne

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I cannot believe it and I am more than a little sentimental. My sweet girl, my little miracle, my Doodle – you are 10!!!!

What an incredible age to be. On the cusp of your teen years, but still left with so much innocence. You are the light of my life and the apple of my eye. Another trip around the sun and you are turning so much more into who you are meant to be. For the past year you have truly blossomed. You have become more wise, more empathetic, more full of wonderment and more of a homebody and family focused young lady. You are a wonderfully wild, free, and independent personality.

Yes, you continue to test me to my very core, in ways that teach me how much I need to grow. Grow in patience and tolerance to other personality types and traits. You are also the mirror held to my face. The mirror that shows me just how much love I possess.

You are love. You are light. You are independence. You are fierce loyalty. You are confidence. You are innocence. You are creativity. You are kindness. You are thoughtful. You are wickedly wild. You are energy. You are feisty. You are intolerant. You are short fused. You are empathetic. You are cuddly. You are thinking. You are feeling. You are imaginative. You are opinionated. You are curious. You are YOU…

This year I have gotten a glimpse into how we will navigate your teen years, the way we will interact and the challenges we may face. I believe this is going to be a beautiful, love filled, challenging ride. You my precious girl are fierce in your beliefs and desires. You balk at bedtimes. You push back on homework and chores. Frankly, if it doesn’t spark joy within you, you’d just rather not. I love that about you. I want that to stay part of the core of who you are and who you become. But, boy oh boy does it pose challenges for us in the mean time.

You are also the most compassionate person I know. Thinking of others before yourself almost always. Creating, creating, creating. Imagining, dancing and singing through your life. I wish I could bottle your energy and use it daily. I wish I could dance half as good as you. I wish I could find joy in the little things like you do. I love your contentedness and your ease at being around us. You my Doodle are the bees knees.

This past year you grew in so many ways. School became easier. Friendships gained strength. Sports became passions. Family held their place at the top of your list. Crafts and creativity became more and more important to you. I love that you are a whole and wonderful human being. Food is still a bit of a challenge in our world, yet you grew in many ways. You now sometimes try new things you are uncertain of and make a decision based on taste and texture. You have expanded what you request quite a bit. And you are more open to more balanced meals more often. Chocolate, cheese, and all things bread are still numero uno in your world… Someday I’m praying salmon and salad become interesting to you.

This year you had many wonderful experiences too… We took our first mommy/Doodle trip together and honestly it was a highlight of my year. I think you loved it too. We traveled to California and went to the F.R.I.E.N.D.S 25 year anniversary “Friendsgiving” at Universal Studios. We then drove to Disneyland and blitzed that beautiful park while decorated for Christmas, you even fell in love with roller coasters. We spent a weekend just you and me and it was oh so lovely. Where will we go this coming year, what will we do? My absolute favorite thing about you, aside for your beautiful heart and soul, is your interest in traveling to learn. You want to see and experience the world in a way that teaches you more.

And, finally, because writing about you while talking to you feels sort of weird, I want to say this…


You are the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me. You are literally my heart beating outside of my chest. I love you beyond measure and more than you will ever know. You bring a light and love into our family that is incredible and unique. You are sweet to your core, mischievous through and through, quick witted beyond belief and all around an incredible girl. I love watching you lost in being you. The glimpses of future you I get are beautiful and delightful. The moments when innocence shines through are heartwarming and moments I want to bottle up. I wish I could slow time to spend more time with you in each of your growth phases. We have our moments, sometimes we bicker a lot (poor James), sometimes we don’t get along at all, sometimes you’d rather I disappear, but always always always we love one another deeply. Your little hand fits in mine in a way I never want to forget. You still have little girl hands and feet and little girl cheeks and emotions. Yet, there is so much of you that is growing into maturity too. You get people, you get emotions and you get showing up. You love “popular” fashion, you love make-up and you love taking time and care to get ready. I love watching you become a young woman who cares for her personal self. More than anything, I love your love for your family. Your forgiving heart. Actually, your heart is one that really doesn’t seem to carry hurt, grudges or grievances. You love each of us for exactly who we are with no conditions attached. You, my sweet girl are teaching me how to love better, love deeper, love more honestly, and love just because I love.

10 things I would wish for you during this 10th year of your life…
– I would wish for you to maintain your passion for activity and creativity. There is nothing more incredible than that feeling of being lost in a moment while being fully engaged in sport, art, craft, or imagination. Nothing compares to being fully present and joy filled.
– I would wish for you a focus on education. I get that school is not always your favorite place to be and sometimes learning is hard, but when you truly put your mind to learning and understanding something the self esteem that comes from getting it right is incomparable. Take time to focus and ask for help when needed because your education is the most important job you have as a kiddo.
– I would wish for you to find passions in life. Things and activities that light your happy on fire. Things that take you away from technology and draw you into real life living, real life play and even real life make believe.
– I would wish for you the courage to take on new things and new adventures. Your personality is bright, bold and beautiful. In many settings outside of our home I see your interest in participating and your fear of taking that chance. Take the chance, failure is a good thing and we will always be here to support you.
– I would wish for you to read more and tech less. In reading comes imagination, in imagination comes adventure, in adventure comes creativity, in creativity comes living. There is a joy in escaping to different worlds and far off places while reading. Sometimes it’s great to get lost while still being safe and sound.
– I would wish for you more independence. I love our bond and our connection. I love that we are so close and you feel so safe near James and I that you want to be near us often. As a mom, I don’t want you to grow up, but as a mom I cannot wait to see you soar. In gaining independence you will grow your wings. I never want you to feel held back or held down. You, my beautiful creature, are meant to fly.
– I would wish for you goofy friendships and exciting adventures. You will only be little for a little while longer. Beat to your own drum. Be wild and free in play and activity. Fully enjoy being little. Play with dolls more, play board games more, make up games with friends, chase imaginary friends… be wild, young and free for as long as you are able.
– I would wish for you integrity and character. You are growing up now. No longer a little girl, not yet a young lady. You are in the in between. Right now you get to start deciding who you will become. Become a young lady who wholly knows herself and her beliefs. Become a young lady who stands on the right side of taking care of others. Become a young lady you cares for herself as much as others. Become a young lady you would want to hang around.
– I would wish for you more fun and more memories. They say that one should collect memories and moments, not things. Doodle bug, start collecting memories. Of all the toys you’ve ever had, you’ve never remembered them quite like a trip we took, an experience you had, a moment you explored or a memory you made. Things can bring us joy, they can entertain and add interest to our lives, but memories and moments will be what you take with you as you grow. This year make more moments into memories.
– I would wish for you a love from your family and friends that is all accepting, safe, and consistent. You are wonderfully and beautifully made and every single inch of you is exactly who you are meant to be. I love the whole entire being of you. I want you to not only know, but also feel this love, this acceptance and have the knowledge that how you show up in this family is perfect just as you are.

Baby girl, I love you completely. Shine my love, shine bright.

Love Always –


20 Questions with Doodle Birthday Edition

  1. What are your favorites (color, food, holiday, book, toy, song)?
    – blue
    – donuts & pizza
    – my birthday
    – Smile, but I want to start Harry Potter and I think that might be my favorite after I read it
    – my iPod
    – Little Do You Know
  2. If you could travel anywhere, where would you travel? Why?
    I would like to go to Mount Rushmore and see other monuments of presidents.
  3. What was the best part about being nine?
    Getting a new puppy.
  4. What is the best part about turning ten so far?
    The best part is that I am going into double digits and our whole family will be double digits then.
  5. What do you think you want to be when you grow up? Why?
    I want to be an architect because I play Lego all the time with James and we like building things together.
  6. What is your favorite thing about our family?
    My favorite thing about my family is that we are all nice to each other unless we are in fights, but we still love each other even if we are in a fight.
  7. What is your favorite activity?
    My favorite activity is soccer or playing with my dogs.
  8. What do you love most about summer?
    That we get to go in the pool, that there is no school, that I get to play with my dogs a lot more and that I get to hang out with my family too.
  9. What is something you are great at?
    I am not great at soccer, but I am good and I like it. It is the same with crafts too.
  10. What is something you want to become better at?
    I want to be better at kicking the ball in soccer and not being afraid of it. So I can actually play the game better. I would like to be a little bit better at writing in school.
  11. What makes a good friend?
    A good friendship is being nice to each other and being honest.
  12. What did you learn this past year that you loved learning?
    I loved learning to play baseball with my dad in the backyard because it’s fun and I maybe want to play softball in high school.
  13. What are you looking forward to learning this coming school year?
    I hope to learn a little bit more about writing.
  14. What do you want to try this year that you have never done before?
    I would like to try trying new foods.
  15. What do you dream about?
    I dream about becoming an architect and a good artist.
  16. What quality do you like most about yourself?
    The quality that I like most about myself is being an artist and trying my hardest to get things right. Because being an artist can make me more creative and make my writing more creative and I want it to do that.
  17. What do you love about yourself?
    I love that I am creative in my mind.
  18. What are you grateful for?
    I am grateful for my family, my puppies, and all of the things that I can do with my family because sometimes we aren’t able to be together.
  19. What three words would you use to describe yourself?
    Creative. Smart. Grateful.
  20. What are three goals you have for this coming year of your life?
    1) Trying harder in school.
    2) Being with my family more and not on technology.
    3) Sleeping in my own bedroom.

Doodle’s Birthday Blog Posts:
n i n e
e i g h t
s e v e n
s i x
f i v e
f o u r & four for four
t h r e e
t w o
o n e

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