Notes for my babies,

No matter how old you are, your opinions and your feelings will always matter. Especially to me.

Meeting your dad is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Give to others but do not forget about your needs. Taking care of you is essential for taking care of others.

In relation to that last one, a friend of mine just told me this quote, "Don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm."

Heart break is the fucking worst.

Falling in love after heartbreak is the fucking best.

Drink the wine. Have fun. Life is for enjoying.

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Remember that your words carry weight. What you say to people can truly hurt them and stay with them. Don't take that lightly. Being kind is always better than being a bully or getting a laugh at another's expense. Stand up for yourself and stand up for others when they need you.

Lead with empathy for others. You never know what someone is suffering, even if they are the most annoying, hateful troll on the planet.

I keep trying to remind myself of that last one when it comes to Donald Trump but here's another life lesson kiddos.. sometimes, some people just plain ole suck. If they're mean-spirited, they're not worthy of your time.

Check in on your people. Write cards. Leave voicemails.

Say I'm sorry, and mean it.

Say I love you, and mean it.

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If you ever do something bad, just remember that your mom and dad probably did worst. Like when your mom tried to throw a high school party when her parents were out of town and totally got busted mid-swig of Captain Morgans. Or when your dad dislocated his wrist after narrowly running a dirt bike into a cow. Heh, Montana. And then ignored his injury for over a year like a total man-baby. I won't even delve into my college memories... yet. Shit happens. Accidents happen. We make mistakes. Sometimes, we make bad decisions. It'll be okay, I promise we won't kill you or punish you for life. I will probably give you my very judgy "mom eyebrows".. you already know what those look like.

Trust the journey, even if you have no flippin' clue where it's taking you.

Don't pressure yourself to find one path in a career or work. If you feel drawn to something, go. Learn all you can, soak it all in. Don't let the narrow and small minds of society box you in.

When you're first starting out, don't forget that your talents are valuable and worthy of compensation. But always remember to keep growing and working hard with an open mind. Your teachers are all around you.

Cook with your family and save the recipes. They will warm you from the inside out on sad and hard days.

A good night's sleep is sometimes the only answer after a really shitty day. Most of the time, problems will seem much, much smaller with a new dawn.

Anxiety feels a bit like dying. Just.. keep.. breathing. And go outside for a walk. Nature is the ultimate healer.

For my daughters, never be afraid to stop something you don't feel comfortable with. Whether you're with your partner, someone new or a complete stranger, saying no is always your right. Scream it if you have to. Don't shame yourself, no matter what. You did nothing wrong. I repeat, you did nothing wrong.

For my son, respecting women is one of the most important character traits you can learn. Learn it early. Ignore the sexist and hateful language of your male peers. Better yet, teach them a thing or two about being a whole and confident man. If you need a role model, look to your dad. He has always been my biggest champion and supporter.

Learn to appreciate your flaws because we're full of them.

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Love is all of the clichés you will ever hear. It's butterflies in your belly and the most exciting times of your life. Marriage and life-long-partnership is also all the clichés you will ever hear. It will not always feel like the most exciting times of your life. It's not always deep or passionate. Sometimes it's just farting in front of one another and arguing over the fastest route to the grocery store. It takes work. Your own personal work within yourself, and work between you and your partner. But it's some of the most worthy work you'll ever, ever do.

Having you, raising you, learning with you, just being around you, is the most magical experience of my life.

Your dad and I love you, no matter what. No. Matter. What.

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Hadley, you are and always have been the sweetest and kindest soul. You are the friendliest gal, always including everyone and helping others around you. Your joy is infectious. Your positive approach to all that you do is inspiring. You changed our lives in the best way possible, and I will be forever grateful for you and your spirit.

Nora, you are so strong, so smart and so full of personality. You have driven me bonkers and made me cry with laughter from the very beginning. Your smirk is all-knowing and your laughter fills us up. You love so hard. You hug with everything you have. It feels so special to be your mother.

Beau, jury is still out on you buddy. God speed because we are a bunch of weirdos.

All of my love,

Mom