Dear Jilliann,

I can’t believe how fast the last thirteen years have flown by.  Thirteen years ago you blessed me and made me a mom.

You are officially a teenager.  Someone pinch because it just doesn’t feel real.  Welcome to your challenging teenage years.  You will have many obstacles coming your way and although life is hard and being a teenager will throw challenges your way, I hope your strength and courage navigate you to always be true to yourself.

I want you to know that every second, every minute and every hour of every day I whole-heartedly cherish all that you are.   At times, I see glimpses of the young lady you will become and my heart beats wildly with pride.

You have such compassion for the marginalized.  You love everyone for who they are without judgement.  That is such an amazing trait — don’t ever lose that.

Be proud of yourself, boo!  Never stop learning and always enjoy your accomplishments whether they are big or small. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will. Show the world what you’ve got to offer because it’s a heck of a lot!  I hope you never stop smiling!  A smile is a woman’s best asset.  I promise you this.

Happy 13th Birthday, My Sweet Jilliann!  I hope you never forget that I’m your biggest fan and will always be here to cheer you on.

I love you to the universe and back!