Sweet, sweet 16!

Dear sweet (and 16!) Addie -

I have been trying to write this letter all week and between all the stops and starts I am just finding it so difficult to wrap my head around this birthday. I know you feel like it is a FINALLY 16, but I can’t help but think it is ALREADY 16?!

This past year you have made huge leaps in practically every single way. The obvious…you have grown at least 4 inches. So yes, I’m definitely – officially – the shortest in the family and (although she claims she is still taller!) I think you might have surpassed Em, as well.

Carrie, Jamie, Emma and Addie

It has been amazing to watch your maturity grow over the past year and I am awed as you have found your voice and ability to advocate for yourself, and for what you need to thrive. And then, not only recognizing that you had to make some changes…but being brave enough to make the changes happen. Those are both skills that many 40-year old women haven’t mastered yet and you are just hitting your stride!

Carrie, Jamie, Emma and Addie

Carrie, Jamie, Emma and Addie


We already know how demanding Junior year can be having lived through it with Em, but I feeling that you are up to the challenge. You have the confidence, determination, intelligence and style to get you through it all..and if that fails…your funny, sarcastic wit will completely keep you going – and of course you will always look so stylish doing it!

Here is hoping that 16 is the best yet.
Love you with all of my heart…always!



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.”


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.


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.


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.


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!)

It’s great to be (finally!) EIGHT.

Dear Addie Rose -
Another year has passed us by and you’ve spent every minute of it trying to play “catch up.”
“When can I walk home by myself, Mama?”
“Why am I the last of all my friends to turn 8?”
“Why can’t I (insert random request here), just like Emma?”

I get that it is hard being the youngest. The last to get to do everything. And I get that all of the big kids seem to be doing things that are so much more fun and you totally want to just be in the mix.


But, baby if you could just see yourself through my eyes, for every day I have to stop and remind myself that you are my b-a-b-y. My Addikins. You just keep flying through all of your milestones…way faster than you need to, in my opinion. And I just wish you could see how much you have grown up – literally in front of us – over the past year.


I continually see a caring Addie – a sweet, cat-loving girl who cares deeply about her family and friends and is always ready to lend a helping hand, usually without being asked twice.


Most often I see that spunky little Addie – our Rosey Toes who keeps all of us laughing and can change the electricity in the room with a single joke and infectious giggle.


And always I am amazed to see a beautiful girl – the youngest love in my life who is growing up confident, smart and strong.

I know it has been a long year in your eyes, Ad…but what a difference that year makes. I can’t wait to see what this great year of eight holds for you.

Happy Birthday, sweet Addikins.
Love you with all my heart.
- Mommy

Happy 9!

Dear Emma Gracie Girl -

Happy Birthday, my sweet, sweet girl. I’ve been obsessing about this post the entire week.  I don’t want to say I’ve been dreading it, but…I’ve been dreading it. I am finding it impossible to write about everything that is floating around in my head (and in my heart) at this moment. What is tripping me up the most is the fact that you are now – NINE! Nine…one little year away from double digits. It doesn’t seem possible.

It is also near impossible to write something that I haven’t already written before. Although you are really trying new things (like volleyball!), it mostly seems that you are just getting better and better at everything you were already so very good at.


You have had a fantastic year as a third-grader, including a recent report card where you could absolutely not get any higher marks if you tried. It was perfect. You were nominated class president and I think secretly enjoyed the little bit of bossiness that it allowed you. To my delight you have taken to the piano like you were born to play, we’ve found a dance class that you really love, and you are finding your voice and place at our church. As I watch you grow, I sometimes have to pinch myself and ask “how did we get so lucky to have a gift like you?”


You continue to work on being a good friend, which I’m so thankful for. But I’m probably most grateful for your vigilance and dedication in your job as a big sister. Nothing makes my morning better than walking you and Addie to school and watching you lean over to kiss her goodbye as you say, “I’ll see you at recess. Love you.”


You are a parent’s dream, Emma Grace. I know we’ll have rough patches (heck, we have already hit a few!), and I’m sure there will be times when we are disappointed in one another, but for every tough moment we have, there are at least a thousand others where I couldn’t be more proud to have you as a daughter.


I love you, Gracie. Happy Birthday and I hope you get everything you reach for this year.


A Happy Birthday and a little bit of Crafty, too.

My little sis is one year older today! And soon she’ll be all caught up to me because I’m sticking and staying where I’m at – so I’ll see you in a few years, Meesh!

All kidding aside, we wish you a very, very happy birthday, Aunt Meesh. You are a beautiful person inside and out and I feel so blessed to be able to call you my sister, and most of all my best friend.

And since you are at Camp this week, I’m going to use your birthday gifts on our Crafty Tuesday today. If by chance you are reading this before you get to open your birthday gifts….STOP READING. Right NOW.

Okay, now that she is gone…I can let you in on quite possibly my worst, most frustrating project…ever. Grrrrr….I’m still a little steamy about the whole thing but it is wrapped up and on its’ way.

Awhile ago my sis told me she wanted a little case/cozy for her new iPad. And I happened to have this gorgeous, soft, gray sweater that I had felted. I had visions of a soft case with a pretty light blue fabric lining  and a little birdy on the outside.

Yes. And that is what it started as…and after taking it completely apart three different times, the knit became so misshapen and out-of-whack, and I eventually just worked it down too much and the whole thing became too small. It just wasn’t working. I sadly tossed it in the scrap heap, where Addie immediately rescued it as a sleeping bag for one of her stuffed cats. Meh. At least it is getting some sort of use.

It was the right idea…


So I took a new tactic. One of the books I got for Christmas has this great idea to make handbags out of placemats. I happened upon some clearance placemats at Target a few weeks ago and have been experimenting with some purses and I had an extra one…so I opened it up, added some padding to protect her new little iPad, and added some clasps.

This little piece only saw the seam ripper twice. Gah. But, I was a little happier with this one.



I also made a little bag for a friend of Michelle’s. Again, using 3 of my clearance placemats I put this together. And then put it together again. My proportions are a little off…the bag is too tall – but it is a good-sized bag.


I just don’t know what it was about this weekend, but my sewing mojo was OFF. I’m hoping that I can get it back this week since I have a whole lotta stuff to get done!

Happy, Happy, Birthday!


Today is one of our top ten favorite days of the year when we can stop and give thanks for Daddy (and Uncle Jeff!) being born. I don’t think there are enough words in the world – or that I am an eloquent enough writer – to truly do justice to my most wonderful husband. I am so in love with you, J. Thank you for being my best friend, a faithful and loving husband, a fearless and generous provider, and the absolute best father to our girls.

Hoping your day – and entire year is fantastic. Happy Birthday, love.

~your girls

Uncle Jeff – we are wishing you a very happy birthday today, too!!

*This photo was one from our session with Rose awhile back – but it is still one of my all time favorites of the girls with J.

And then you were five.

My Dear Addison Rose,

Today you turn five. At one point this summer you wailed “Mama, all of my friends are already five! When can I be five? And can I still go to kindergarten?” You have waited so very long for this day.


But for me? I think I just blinked and…poof! Five years gone in an instant.

I must say that you have used the last five years and grown into an amazing girl. You can be stubborn and very strong-willed, yet you are so incredibly sweet and caring. You love kitties, your sister, and any sort of sugary concoction – you have your Mama’s sweet tooth, for sure. At any given moment you can be found singing your little heart out. Songs you know, songs you *think* you know, or songs you just made up. It doesn’t really matter, but you definitely like to sing.


And my oh goodness, your sense of humor – it cannot be beat. I think you are one of the funniest kids. Ever. Whether you are imitating the Three Stooges or spouting off your own observations on life, I don’t think one day has gone buy where you have not made me outright laugh.

But most of all, you brought balance to our family. You filled in the hole we didn’t even know we had, and you rounded out our edges perfectly. The last five years with you have been phenomenal. And I can’t wait to see what you’ll bring to us for the next five years.

Five Years of Addison from carrie voris on Vimeo.

I love you Addikins. Happy Birthday my big FIVE year old.


Happy 5th of July!

And a very happy birthday to my favorite younger sis! Remember when we used to tell you that the fireworks were for your birthday?

meesh & family at disney

I hope you got to see some fireworks for your birthday last night, Meesh. And wishing you the best year yet.

We love you and we’ll see you in a few days. (Wheee!)
J, C, E, & A

Birthday Wish ~ Best Shot Monday

This isn’t my shot – I was actually delivering the cupcakes – I think either Jam or Uncle Jeff took this one. But it is the one photo that stopped me as I was downloading my camera tonight.

I just love the look on her face. She was so excited by every little part of turning seven. From having all of her very best friends over for the tea party, to the family date night, to all of the awesome wishes and gifts from family and friends, I think she was a little overwhelmed this weekend, but I think she has decided that seven is a pretty good thing.

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Lucky #7

Dear Emma Gracie Girl,

Today you turn seven. Lucky number seven. I know I say this every single year, but I can hardly believe how fast time is flying by. I can’t believe that it has been seven years since you made me a mommy.


But what a seven years it has been.

Emma Grace, you are a true dichotomy. And I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you already know what that word means. It definitely keeps me on my toes not knowing what you will bring to each new day.

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Some mornings I have to practically sit on you to get you to open your eyes. “Mama, I’m too tired…,” you’ll groan as you cover your head with your pillow. Other mornings? You’re up with the birds, you’ll bound into our room, climb into bed with a sweet cuddle and you are ready to tackle the world.


At school, sometimes I don’t even get a backward glance over your shoulder as you skip into class leaving me standing at the doorway watching you go. And then other times you smother me with goodbye hugs and kisses and then turn around to make sure I get an extra squeeze and an “I love you” before you head off.


You can recite entire chunks of dialogue, word-for-word,  from movies like The Fantastic Mr. Fox, but you still love to sit with Addie and giggle at “poop” jokes from Fanboy and Chum-Chum.

You have memorized most of the Shel Silverstein poems in all three of his books you own (I love how you turn down the corners to mark your favorite poems – except nearly every single page is turned down!) but you cry if we start Addie’s bedtime story without you – even though it is a “baby book” or the Little Mermaid for the 10,000th time.


You long for the sparkliest, gaudiest,  rhinestone-encrusted (only fit for a teenager) outfit at the mall, yet at the same time you squeal with delight when I hand you a homemade, sweet, (little-girl appropriate) sundress.


I sometimes worry that you are growing up way too fast, but then again, I think I don’t really have anything to fear. I know you are trying to find your way, spread your wings, test the waters – but I also know that you are so incredibly smart you already feel when too much is just, well, too much. You seem to have a pretty good handle on where the line of a seven-year old is drawn. And I sure am happy to have a front row seat while you figure it all out.


I hope seven is a very lucky year for you, Gracie baby. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Happy Birthday.

All my love,