Happy Eleven, 1-1, 11!

Dear Addikins -

Today is the first day of what I consider the “start of the slide into teenagerdom.” When you are just 10, still in elementary school, it kinda feels like you are just “a big kid.” A larger version of the toddler, or little kid, you used to be. But today marks that magical day when you hit tweendom…definitely not just a “big kid” and oh so dangerously close to being a teenager. And frankly, I’m just not really sure how I feel about this development yet.

DSC_7260But then I watch you as you fit in so perfectly with Em and her friends, your seamless introduction to middle school, and this new found confidence that you seem to ooze, and I know…you are ready. And it helps my heart limp along just a little, knowing that this is how it should be. This is you stretching your wings and figuring out who you are going to be. DSC_7277

This past year I think has been one of the biggest developmental years for you. You have literally blossomed right under our noses. From sprouting a few inches to finally making it on pointe, it has been an amazing year watching you grow into a beautiful, confident young lady.

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And I so admire your tenacity and determination. When you make up your mind to do something…you charge full steam ahead. It doesn’t always work out the way you’d like, but I hope you never lose that sense of adventure and willingness to just try. DSC_7245

I think the coolest thing about parenting is seeing mundane, everyday things through your kids’ eyes, and watching the world through you the past 11 years, Addikins? That has been a true gift and an incredibly fun journey so far. I can’t wait to see what the next steps in your adventure will bring.

Happy, happy Birthday, sweet Rosey Toes.
We love you with all our hearts.
Love,
Mama, Daddy & Gracie

And now we have a teenager…

Dear Gracie Girl,

I kinda can’t believe that it is true, but it is indeed official. You are a bona fide teenager as of today. Yet I’m still trying to figure out how we got from this sweet little girl…

Success!

…to this all grown up teenager.

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As much as I will always think of you as that little girl of mine, it has become very apparent to me this past year that you are anything but a little girl any longer.

Right before my eyes you have grown into this beautiful, confident, kind and caring young lady.

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I’m constantly in awe of you, Gracie Girl. Just when I think I have you figured out, you go and do something totally out of the “Emma-norm” and completely surprise me. And I’m (not-so-secretly) so very happy to have such a talented and creative daughter.

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From being the best Big Sister…IMG_1909

 

To being an all-around good and dependable friend…

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I think it is safe to say you are destined for very great things. And I’m so privileged to be around to witness them.

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You add so much laughter, fun, and joy to our family and I’m thankful every single day for you and your great love.

May your teen years be a breeze. Happy 13th Birthday, my sweet, sweet little girl.

Love You Always,
Mama

Double Digits…All the fingers…Finally.

Dear Addison Rose,

Oh, Rosie Toes. The day is finally here. You leave the single digit ages behind, and embark on the new adventure of double digit-dom. Finally. Waiting to turn 10, when nearly all of your friends have already had their double digit birthdays – well, that has truly been an exercise in patience, hasn’t it my sweet, impatient one?

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Along with a lot of waiting, this long year has brought so many great changes for you. I watched you a few weeks ago as you were so frightened and on the verge of giving up. After you worked through all of your “I can’t do its,” you climbed to the top of a 40-foot tree and then precariously balanced and walked a tightrope wire between two trees. FORTY-feet above the ground. Slowly I could see your fear growing into persistence as you learned that you may be small, but you are definitely mighty. DSC_3856

And your confidence has grown by leaps and bounds this past year. I loved getting to the ballet studio early and peeking in the window to watch you demonstrate a dance combination to the class. And I loved standing in the wings with you backstage watching you while you clasped hands with your friends and anxiously awaited your cue to go on stage. Really I just love any moment when I can sit back and watch the complete joy on your face while you dance or express yourself creatively.

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And of course, your love for all animals is still so strong and has led you to becoming a full-on, completely dedicated vegetarian this past summer. (I really should’ve seen that one coming.) Once you make your mind up about something, there really is no going back.

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This past year might have seemed like an eternity to you, but you managed to pack a lot in, Addikins. And it is all working for you, kiddo. Keep on, keeping on.

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We love the strong, funny, creative, and beautiful girl you are growing into. May your next year be just as amazing.

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl.
I couldn’t possibly love you more,
Mommy

Happy 12, Gracie Girl!

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Dear Gracie Girl,

Wow, it has been a bit of a rollercoaster of a year now, hasn’t it? Sometimes I wonder how in the world you can be turning 12, while at the same time thinking “huh, you are only 12?!” It has been a hard year for me now that you are an “almost teenager” and a full-on middle schooler. I’m trying desperately to walk that fine line between letting you go – an independent little birdie stretching your wings, and pulling you back onto my lap – keeping you safely tucked into our little nest.

So, I think I have been doing fairly well, refraining from posting stories and/or embarrassing anecdotes here on the ‘ol blog. But just for a moment, on today…your 12th birthday, I think I should be allowed to gush about my girl for maybe a minute or two? So hold back your “Moooommm’s!” and your eye-rolling and let me just say this, real quick.

Gracie, I just look at you every day and am pretty much in awe of this young lady standing in front of me (and yes, I might not have to look down any longer, but I’m still not quite looking UP at you…yet.). You are pretty much the daughter that any parent could ever hope to raise. You are loving and kind, smart and funny, beautiful inside and out. And I’m pretty sure you will never know the full extent of how proud of you we are, but I hope you do know how very much we love you and hope that your 12th year is your best yet!

#endproudmamarant

Ok, I’m done. I promise to not embarrass you any more. For another year at least.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl.
Love you,
Mama

 

Golden Birthday!

Dear Addison Rose,

We just landed from our impromptu birthday/tag-along-with Daddy Orlando trip and I tucked you in as an 8-year old for the very last time. You could barely keep your eyes open as we exchanged our “I love yous” and behind your exhausted eyelids you smiled and said, “best. birthday. ever.”

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It was indeed a very special weekend. As you told us many times over the course of last year, you only get ONE golden birthday. You are turning 9 on 09-09 tomorrow and I’m so happy that it was everything you had hoped it would be.

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I may have to argue with you, though. I would have to say the best. birthday. ever. (at least for me) was your actual birthday. That day (early morning!) they put you into my arms and you made me a Momma for a second time; that day you became the most doted on little sister around; that day the last piece of our family puzzle fell into place…that was the best. birthday. ever.

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I can’t in a million years imagine life without you, Rosie Toes. Your extreme delight in the mundane constantly makes us all stop and appreciate the little things. Your enthusiasm and competitive spirit pushes us all just a little bit further. And your empathetic and beautiful heart fills us all up with love over and over, day after day.

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Your being born was the best birthday gift our family could ever receive, Addikins. Wishing you many more best. birthdays. ever.

Love you with all of our hearts!
-Mommy, Daddy & Gracie (& Cooper & Pepper & Jack!)

Summer’s gone…

…and I didn’t get nearly as caught up with all my postings, as I had hoped.

Disappointing on one hand, but brilliant on the other because that just means there wasn’t a lot of time for working, projects and all of that boring stuff. We did find plenty of time for some pretty fun stuff, though. I just threw it all into a movie so we could remember our Summer 2014 of fun…especially when we are knee-deep in the thick of school and work in a few weeks.

 

Summer 2014 from carrie voris on Vimeo.

Get ready…

…now I’m going to frantically try to recap the last month of school and both months of vacation! Get ready for an onslaught of photos, videos, and me trying to remember what the heck had us so very busy that I couldn’t even scribble down a few blog posts.

So, here’s the girls’ end-of-year piano recital. We are definitely making progress if you watch the one from last year, and they have far surpassed my piano pecking. I think they still both like taking lessons…I really like sitting and listening to the lessons, so we’ll keep it up even though Em is going to stick with viola for next year’s music elective in school, too.

Enjoy…

 

em piano from carrie voris on Vimeo.

addie piano from carrie voris on Vimeo.

Worst Blogger Ever.

Jamie told me the other night that he doesn’t think I even qualify as a blogger any more since it seems I am unable to put up any sort of blog post any more. I’m currently downloading 2 months worth of end-of-year activities in the form of photos and videos.

Wow. We were crazy busy and fit a lot into the end of the school year.

I think we need a vacation…and…happy news for us, we leave tomorrow morning for Hawaii. We are spending two whole weeks on a family vacation and it really could not have come at a better time. We are all a little fried and desperately in need of some rest and relaxation.

So, I will be back. And there will be lots of updates, photos, videos and stories. And maybe, just maybe,  I can earn my blogger title back.

11.

Dear Gracie Girl.

Oh, my Peanut. Today you turn 11. I’m not quite sure why, but this year seems so much harder to accept than last year when you hit those double digits.

Maybe it is because last year you were our sweet little girl…DSC_0472

…and now all we see is this crazy beautiful young lady.DSC_6004

Or maybe it is because if you keep sprouting you are going to be the tallest tree in our family. I used to carry you everywhere and now if I tried to give you a piggyback ride, your long legs would probably drag on the floor.

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I remember when you were born and Daddy and I would just sit and stare at you for hours. We couldn’t believe that you were ours and we marveled how every little piece of you was so, so perfect. My favorite bits of you were your fingers and your toes. I couldn’t get enough of them. And now…you don’t have enough of them. You happily told me last night, “After tomorrow I can’t hold up how old I am on my fingers, Mama, I’ll have to just hold a one and a one.”

One and a one. 1-1. 11.
Even if you live to be 111 – it will never be enough of you, Gracie Girl. You are one of the greatest loves of my life, sweet girl. And I hope you have the best year yet.

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Happy Birthday, Gracie!
Love,
Mama