1) Don't react immediately or make fast decisions. Time is a great provider of perspective; and allowing yourself a bit of pondering time can save you heartache, and apologies.
2) Name your fear. When you are feeling overwhelmed, and scared, try to really search your soul to see what is causing you fear. In my life, some of the most fearful things have brought me the greatest blessings.
3) Laugh every day. Especially laugh at yourself at least once a day. Don't ever take yourself so seriously that you can't find something funny in your every day world. That bit of toilet paper stuck to your shoe, or the piece of hair sticking up in the wrong place, or the tear in the seat of your pants will be nothing more than a story to tell in a few hours.
4) Love someone with your whole heart and soul, whether that be a lover, a friend, your sister or a parent. Find someone that takes your breath away just for their sheer existence - someone who makes your heart skip a beat with their beauty, inside and out. Please know, for me, I love the two of you in this way. Every single day, I am blown away that you are my children, that I am blessed to be your mother. I'm not worthy-and I know it. But, I sure do try.
5) Allow yourself a little indulgence once in a while, something you do for no other reason than it makes you feel like you are five again, swinging your feet without a care in the world. Sometimes this indulgence will be a simple as a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and sometimes it will be a tiny bit naughty, like skipping school to have an at-home pajama day, just because.
6) Believe. Believe in yourself. Believe in God. Believe in your convictions. Believe you can do it.
7) Make good choices. Bad choices will make your life unnecessarily complicated.
8) Be positive. Keep a healthy perspective. Be grateful. Look for the little things in life that will remind you of how wonderful this world is. This is perhaps the thing I wish I could hand you the most - a lesson I wish I could feed you, instead of one you have to learn. Some days, a cup of black coffee, a bite of a fresh strawberry, a stranger who holds a door open for me, my children's laughter, the dog resting his chin on my foot - all of these things remind me every day of how lucky I am to be alive.
9) Make a difference in this world. Please. Volunteer, pay it forward, pass it on - no career will ever make you feel more fulfilled than to know you are truly a good person deep down.
10) Watch out for one another. I am so happy that the two of you have such a special relationship. It fills my heart with the greatest of joy to see you two sitting on the floor, being all girlie - Dakotah brushing blush onto Paige's cheeks, helping her to pick out a nail polish color...brushing her hair. And the way Paige wraps her arms around Dakotah's neck, and squeezes with such abandon...pure, perfect love for one another. Don't ever lose that.
I love you two!