And then she was 10


Dear Sidney,

Today you turn 10. You hit the double digits!

You will celebrate by eating Krispy Kreme with your classmates and having dinner out tonight with your sisters, dad and I. You must wait until Monday evening for your true birthday celebration at the barn with your riding friends. Given the opportunity to do anything for your big day this year, that is all you wanted, a night with your horses.

It seems like yesterday I watched you hop on a pony for your first lesson and here you are today a veteran show rider and horse enthusiast.

Now is the part of your annual birthday letter where I start to wax melancholy about how time has flown. As I type I can almost hear you –“Mom I’m not going anywhere. I’m just turning 10.”  Given your intolerance for my weepyness I will just skip right through the trip down memory lane and head to the meat of it.

Sidney you are one amazing young lady.

Your smile lights up a room.

Your passion for your friends and your ponies fills my heart with such joy.

Your work ethic is incredible.

What other 9-year-old would come home from the first day of fifth grade only to sit down at her computer and “work ahead” because she did not feel “challenged” by the day’s activities?

I love watching the person you are becoming;

the young woman you are turning into.

You my love are everything good and perfect in this world.

You are strong.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

I feel so privileged for the front row seat I’ve been granted to watch your glorious life unfold.

I hope I can always be a rock for you, the steady hand you need to guide you on this journey.

No doubt your tenth year will be amazing.

Happy Birthday Sidney Reagan.

You are my heart set free.


Your one and only Momma

P.S. This one makes me think of us and the next stage of our relationship.






Moments from a Life- movements through a week

A week in the life of Ellery Jane.

There were trips to the zoo riding camels and merry go rounds.


There were sisters to chase at the park, climbing mountains on our own.


There were nerves over first ballet classes. “Will they like me?”


And there were friends popping up at unexpected times. An impromptu ice cream date after sister’s dance class.


To live each day through the lens of a three-year old is to truly experience life.

New experiences and new challenges.

Moments of indecision and question.

Surprises around every corner.

And most of all joy found in each day.

For the Kids

I work at this remarkable place.

A place where kids from all over the country come to be treated by the world’s best and brightest and kindest.

A place where cutting edge research informs how those kids are cured.

A place that doesn’t take no for an answer, that continues to push the envelope on discovery.

And this year that place that saves so many played an important role in my transformation.

Work was my refuge and my friend this year. An unbelievably supportive team of coworkers helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel and knowing that there was something greater that I was working for gave me the motivation to keep running.

Everyday I walked through those hospital doors and I was given a gut check.

My problems were not that big.

My mountains not so insurmountable.

These kids have bigger hurdles.

So as I continue my quest to run through 2014, my October race will be very special.

My coworkers and I will be running the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Half Marathon and we will be raising funds for this amazing place.

I know you are asked often by friends and family to support many amazing non profits.

But if you are looking for a way to end 2014 with a philanthropic gift, I encourage you to consider this place and this race as the time to do it.

It’s for the kids.





For Cara

Dear Cara,

Hi! It’s your Aunt H writing you. You know the baby hog? The one who doesn’t want to ever put you down? The momma to your three crazy cousins?????

You have a big weekend coming up. You will be baptized on Sunday and I am feeling extra grateful that I get to be a part of your special day.

I am incredibly humbled that your mom and dad asked me to help guide you in your faith journey. Because of that I wanted to write down a few words in hopes that one day when you are old enough to read and comprehend you can pull out this letter and understand how much I love you, how much this day means.

You my darling, adorable, bright eyed, rolly polly niece, are one lucky lady. You have been born to two parents who not only love you immensely, but who have the “stuff” that it takes to raise you and your brother in an exceptional environment.

You see your mom and your dad are beautiful, articulate, loving (tough as nails too), rock solid parents who have had their share of ups and downs in life. And those ups and downs are what have made them so uniquely positioned to help you move through your life.

But there will be times my sweet girl when mom and dad’s words, while well-intentioned, may not be enough.

You may turn to your Aunt H in hopes that I have the answers but only find that those answers feel like they too are failing you.

In those moments my wish for you is that you understand you are not alone.

That sometimes answers are unfolded instead of announced.

That with head bowed in prayer or eyes upwards towards the heavens the answers will come.

They may not be in the form you expected. They may not be what you wanted.

But if you sit in it. Let those moments of solitude and reflection with your God fill your soul then you will have a peace that surpasses understanding. You will be ready to receive the answers unwanted and wanted.

Sunday will be the day that you begin this process. The day your parents announce before a church full of friends and family that they and I and your other godmother want to help guide you down that path.

What I can tell you is that my relationship with our God has brought me more than any earthly relationship could. That my faith walk is one that has rewarded me in ways I find impossible to articulate.

I wish for you to experience that same level of comfort.

I love you Cara Dahlberg.

I love that I get to be a part of watching  you grow and thrive in your relationship with God.

Happy Baptism Day.


Your one and only Aunt H

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Moments from a week

A few things from our last 7 days…


Songs that make a three year old dance, when she really didn’t feel like dancing-


Articles that make you stop and think


Little girls feeling better-

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Big sisters that work to make it happen-

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Teeth that fall out at sleepovers-

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And little girls turning into big girls. Saying goodbye for 6 days as they leave on a grand adventure-

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Happy Weekend!