beach photos 8this week after traveling to AZ for a whole week and spending time with family,

we came home and spent some much-needed us-time as a little family and reconnected and played at the beach. as i watched my little toddlers, i kept thinking of all of the ways that they are different, but all the ways they are so alike. i was writing a letter to them in my head and thought of our perfect sandy play date all night long and into the night.

beach photos 10i  have a list of things i wish i could tell them as teenagers or adults so they know how much this little phase of life means to us.

it can and has been so hard to raise such independent and fearless kids. they scare me daily and give me serious anxiety and panic attacks because they jump off everything and they shout to strangers everywhere and they say whatever they are thinking to anyone who will listen. but watching them play side by side and hearing them talk in the mornings, just about rips my heart out and makes me so grateful that these balls of bruised knees and personality are

dear boston nyle,

you are such a sweet little guy. i can see the light at the end of the toddler tunnel that has been the last 2 years with you around. someday, when you have toddlers, i want you to read this and laugh when i tell you that you were one of the toughest, most challenging, and most frustrating things i ever had to deal with as a mother. ok, i don’t know that yet… it could get worse. but really, you gave us hell. and finally, the little friendly kid i knew was there is coming back. we live on the 2nd floor and you love to sit outside the door and talk to yourself. you talk and talk and make up songs and sing. some days you could do this for hours. from the other side of the door where i work, i can hear you talk and greet every person or animal who walks by. “hi, i’m boston, what’s your name? do you live here? are you my neighbor? hi neighbor, i’m boston and i’m 4. my mom says i have to stay up here to be safe!” eventually, i have to poke my head out and greet said stranger so they know i am right here. i am usually wiping tears from sitting here beaming that you belong to me.

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you make friends everywhere and everyone is your friend. when we go to the park and you see strangers, you shout, “friends!” and then proceed to meet them and make them friends. i have made my own friends because of your fearlessness and friend-making skills.

you are so very smart, and it’s catching up to me. “mom, what if i clean my room, THEN can i go to Disneyland today?” you are learning to negotiate and it’s so good that i can’t always fight you about things. i have to agree with your dad that you just might need to be an attorney. so i usually agree when you have such sound arguments! your memory is pretty amazing too, especially when it comes to music. after just one listen or watch, you can practically recite an entire song from memory and you’ll sing it well! right now, your fave go-to artist is “smam smiff” {sam smith}. not at all kid-appropriate which makes it all that much funnier when you recite all the words and belt it in the car. you do help sing reesie to sleep most nights too and sing “i’m a child of God” in the sweetest voice.

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you are such a boy. while your sister is claiming all things girl, you demand superman, spiderman, and skateboards and bikes. you want to “fix” everything and get out the tools, and you want to drive cars. you know at least 5 of the car logos and shout “toyota!” and “audi!” when you see them. makes every man smile when they hear it in passing…

boston 2your grampa grapes passed last month and you were there for all of it. we watched him in his bed as he was losing energy and you went to the funeral with your dad. you were so little, but it’s affected you so much. every day since that day you have mentioned grampa in your prayers, talked about him in the car, and told me you miss him. you and he were buddies. when we were at grandma’s house where he lived, you’d sit in his room and ramble on about anything and he’d nod and agree though I’m certain he couldn’t hear a word! you and he had a connection and he loved you. you even came up with an epic song that is revived almost daily about grampa grapes and heaven… and you often sing about how you know where he is and who is there to keep him safe. it basically breaks my heart every time and reminds me to stay grounded through the hustle. i love that you know jesus and love to pray. you have such a strong loving heart and i learn from you every day.

love you buddy,


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dear reese darling,

you are the cutest little human i ever set eyes on. few have argued this point thus far, in fact. without a doubt, in your almost 2 years, i can say that you have an incredibly defined personality. you are starting to say things and communicate quite a bit, so we chat now and i’m getting to see that you will be one busy little fashionista, and potentially a shopping monster who genuinely cares for all humans. when i turn my back for a second, you load your neck with pearl necklaces. you bring me shoes all the day long and come toddling in to say, “chooze?!” with the biggest dimples and usually a sticky face {your request to have shoes put on}.  after you get dressed you pet your head and chant “pitty” until we make your hair pretty. you love to shop and say, “cute!” and “pretty” about lots of things… you picked out this swimsuit and said, “mama- dis?” it didn’t take a lot of coaxing…

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like your brother, you are almost giddy at the sight of anyone new and wave before i even notice someone is there. i often see people in the car next to me waving at you because you waved and smiled first from your seat in the back. my heart gushes every time. when we go to the office to see my seamstress, they ask you in spanish, “una besito?” and you blow them kisses on demand.  you dance and sing for almost anyone and you love a good beat. when you are sad in the car, i know what songs to play that will literally get you dancing mid-cry with huge dimples piercing your fluffy cheeks.beach photos 11

you are obsessed with your brother, and yet you don’t need to do everything he does. you definitely gravitate to baby dolls and know instinctively to pat them and say, “ok baby…” and when he is sad or hurt, you go sit next to him and pat his back and babble something something “okay?”. you also WILL NOT go to sleep without kisses from your big brother and a few songs from mom. you like to imitate sounds and songs that boss sings and ask for him if he’s not right by you. “bo-ton?” we’ve decided that the cutest thing you do, which reminds me so much of our 2nd child siblings, you MUST share with boss first. i will hand you something and you’ll say, “oh, bo-ton,” and take it to him first, before you’ll let me give you anything. though this phase is about you, you do your best, even before 2, to make it about others.

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i wish and pray nightly that this phase never ends. even though you challenge me daily with fits of unexplained screams for unknown toddler reasons, i am in love with the fun age you are.

oh that you live up to the name and remain my darling sweet reese, i love you,