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.


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.
Mama, Daddy & Gracie

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!)

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.



em piano from carrie voris on Vimeo.

addie piano from carrie voris on Vimeo.

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


My little ballerina after her class…

…gazing longingly at her idol Yvette and the “big girl ballerinas.”


She loves to tell me “only 4 or 5 years til I get to dance in pointe shoes, like Yvette!”  Yes, this is the same girl who sobbed throughout her entire first ballet recital.

First day pro

She is currently prepping for two roles in the much anticipated Peter Pan
at the end of next month and I think ballet has become “her thing.”


I’m glad she’s stuck it out so far. And I may be incredibly biased,
but she makes the most beautiful ballerina.


Look at all the pretty horses.


It was food truck day at the Santa Anita Park today, so Addie and I met Daddy and Uncle Jeff there for the lunch. (It was also free hat day – how awesome are these hats for gardening?)photo3  And then we stayed around for the racing. For a little bit at least.


Of course we just picked the horses with our favorite names. They may have had the best names, but they had the worst odds. A few of them may or may not have even come in dead last. Eh, whatever.photo2It turned into an unexpected fun excursion. Recently Addie and her friend Francesca have been planning their lives after they get out of school…yes, they are 2nd graders. It is good to be such great planners, don’t you think? Anyway, they are going to live on a farm together and Francesca is going to take care of the horses and pigs and Addie is going to garden and take care of the…cats!

On our way out of the track today, Addie decided that horses were allowed to move up on her list of favorite animals. I think they are now number 4.  But, up to this point she has been completely scared of horses, so I think we made quite a breakthrough today.

Seven. All wrapped up.


I have started writing this post at least a dozen times since Ad’s actual birthday last week. It was a long, crazed week, but we kicked it off in high birthday fashion.

We started it with a best friend sleepover and trip to Shogun for Addie’s favorite dinner – sushi, miso soup and fried rice.


Then joined by 7 other girls, she asked to spend her birthday at Raging Waters – or what I like to call the “Chuck.E Cheese of all waterparks.” Blech. But…birthday girl got what she wanted.


She also got a ukelele from Daddy like she had asked for.


And a kitty cake (yes, again!) like she asked for from Mommy.


Lots of birthday calls and lovely gifts from everyone rounded out the “Week of Addie.”


Pretty good birthday haul for a 7-year old, I’d say. I think Addie would agree.

Super Seven.


Dear Addie Rose -

Today, my sweet Addikins, you turn seven. Super S-E-V-E-N.

I know I say this every single year – but where has the time gone? Sometimes I stop and have a hard time remembering you as a baby. All I see when I think of my “baby” – is this confident, talented and sweet girl who wakes me up every morning (always early and always around the same time she was born) with a “Good Morning, Mama. Can I make your coffee?”

You are so incredibly considerate, you want to help with everything. I rarely have to ask you twice to do anything, and usually I don’t have to ask at all – you just volunteer. You are all about executing and getting things done, whether it is your homework or trying to learn how to do a cartwheel. (Of course this is all when YOU want something done. You do tend to be a wee bit stubborn at times, still!)


And the best part is, you usually do all of your day with a smile, a giggle and a laugh.


You have a great sense of humor. You have this ability to make everyone around you happy, just by being around you. And your quick wit and boundless energy just make you all the more endearing.


You fill our every day with joy, laughter and love, Addison. And I just know that this year is going to be super. And I’m super blessed to get to share it with you.

Happy Birthday, my sweet 7-year old.

I love you,

Guess What I’ve Been Up To?

A whole heck of a lot of laundry. Surely this is far too much laundry for a family of four, right? And I’ve still got a two more loads to fold…it is never-ending.

I’m also trying to help Addie get her ancestor project done for school tomorrow. She came home on Monday with the assignment and said, “Mrs. K. showed us examples of what we are supposed to do and one of the examples she showed us was Emma Grace’s from when she was in first grade!”

I said, “Oh, yeah? I remember doing that one.”

“Yeah, I just asked her ‘why can’t I use Emma’s because it is going to be the same for me?’  But she said ‘no!’ I have to do it all over again.”

That’s my girl. I wouldn’t necessarily call it laziness – I think we’ll call her “efficient,” yes…efficient.