Dream Big My Little Ones: To my son and daughter.

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To my son,

Just the thought of putting down words that you will someday read brings tears to my eyes. There is so much I want to say and so much I want to share with you…

Let’s start with telling you that I have always wanted to have a little prince. When I found out that you were no longer a figment of my imagination and you were really coming, I was over the moon. To think in nine short months I would get to meet you. I have to tell you… my journey is different than most, but that is okay because that’s what gets us to today. And every single day is such a beautiful day.

Sweetie, you and your spirit inspired me to make some important decisions and quickly. I decided that I can continue to be sad and feel bad for you or I could make the right choice and give you the best life that I know how and teach you that your differences are not weaknesses but strengths. And that may not make a lot of sense. Well, I have a secret to tell you. Before you were even born I realized something very special about you. Something that I struggled day after day to find the perfect word to explain…

You, my dear, are extraordinary. When our family, friends, communities and even strangers found out about you… they were moved. You wiggled your way into their hearts and were determined to never leave. You reminded them about what is important in life. You made them believers in triumph and how obstacles can be overcome. You showed them the importance of “compassionate love” and you encouraged them to reach out to us. You strengthened their faith and reminded them how God takes care of us all no matter what. You showed us how much we can rely on others and how much people care. You made us believe in each other and most importantly… in you.

You see, you have already touched so many lives… and all before your first breath of air. God has such big plans for you and your life.  Never forget that. You were put here on Earth for a very divine purpose, you started fulfilling that purpose before you could have ever known.  Just as your baby sister & I feel we have an obligation to share your story with the world and teach people about accepting and celebrating differences, we feel you have an obligation to touch peoples’ lives too. And the amazing thing is… all you have to do is be yourself and give a little smile.

We are not going to tell you that your journey is going to be easy.  There are going to be times when you will wish you were like everyone else.  You may be sad and you may wonder why this was your fate.  Just know that it is okay to have those feelings.  We will always be here for you with a handful of those surrounding us ready to love and support you in whatever you may need.  Nothing in life worth living for was ever easy.  And how do you become the person you want to become without opportunities to be challenged along the way?  Embrace these challenges and know you will be better for it.  Not to spoil the ending… but your journey is unfolding exactly as it should be and everything is going to be okay.  Better than okay.

And just remember, your sister and I, family, friends and the Lord God above loves you deeply just the way you are.  And we want you to love you just the way you are too.  Be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart (Psalms 31:24).  All that matters is what is in your heart.  Fill your heart with joy and it will spill over onto everyone else.  Know that you are so blessed and God has given you so many talents.  It is up to you to unlock the doors to those talents and let them come out to play.  You are capable of wonderful things.  Yes you are… we have already witnessed it.

And what you do in this world is up to you.

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”
~ William Arthur Ward

So as you go through life, hold your head up high and feel confident in knowing just how extraordinary you are.  For before you were even born you were so loved by so many.  Never before was there ever a YOU in this world. YOU are the one everyone is excited to meet.  You were called a miracle, inspiration, prince and a blessing by so many people before you ever opened your eyes.  You will always be a symbol of hope, of love and of life.  But to me & your sister, you will always be… our hero.  And love you we will… always and forever… to infinity and beyond.

XOXO, Nanay

To my daughter,

From the moment I knew you were going to be the baby princess, my heart rejoiced for you.  What an honor in life to get to grow up with with the title of “little sis.”  With this title comes lots of happy things: lots of freebies, fun and the occasional squabble.  (Occasional is me being optimistic here.)  Well let me tell you… the key to being a good little sister is that word love. All little sisters are responsible for teaching, helping and loving their big brothers.  And I have no doubt in my mind that you will embrace these tasks wholeheartedly.

But, ‘Gel… there is something else you should know.  Your brother isn’t like other big brothers.  He is fragile, and he needs a lot more care and attention than you and he will always be that way.  When you were still young, you didn’t even notice.  But there will come a time in your life when you will understand that your big brother is different.   What I want you to know is that different doesn’t mean anything other than that.  In our house, different will always be said with a smile.  Different will always define who we are and we will take on that word with pride.  Different will never mean wrong or bad.  Different is beautiful.

And as your big brother’s little sister, that word love and responsibility will take on more meaning.  You see, he will be loved by you and he will look up to you.  You will be such an influence in his life now and always.  Know that if you show him respect, so will others.  You are such a natural-born leader, I know that you will have no problems in leading the charge.  But this is your journey too.  And I know that some days are going to be harder than others.  But I promise to always be here for you.  And so will be your family, relatives, friends, and so many others.

Over the course of your seven years here on Earth, you have surprised many people… especially me.  There have been many wonderful words people have used to describe you, but the one I hear on a daily basis is: smart.  And just as it is every parents’ duty to discover their child’s talents… we feel we already know yours.  ‘Gel, your ability to remember and learn and teach are talents that God has blessed you with.  Don’t think this happened by accident.  You should know that God doesn’t work that way.  He gave you these talents for a reason and He will reveal His purpose for you.

I want to educate everyone one day at a time about what it is that makes your brother different and how we can all learn something from that.  We hope you allow your experiences to light your way… sharing your story and moving others’ to be better.  You were given a gift, just like your brother, to have the ability to change the world.

More than anything… your big brother & I feel so blessed to have you as our baby princess.  You have taught us what it means to love even when your heart feels like it couldn’t possibly hold any more love, it expands in a way to make room for more.  Your smile melts our worries away and your laugh makes us wonder if there is anything in life that sounds sweeter.  Thank you for being a light in our lives and we look forward to watching you shine on and on as you wish upon your star.  We love you so much!

XOXO, Nanay

❤ ❤ ❤

P.S. Here’s a song I used to listen to when you were still little babies. It gave me strength and encouragement to go on with life amidst all the strugles and challenges. I will catch a unicorn for you if I could. You’re my bubbly little man and beautiful lady, I hope you will never change. Life has so much to offer you, I know. I love you both more than anything else in this world. You make my life this complete. You are both my life’s greatest pleasures all rolled up into one.

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An Open Letter To The Girl Who Waits

 

You deserve the best. I mean it with all my heart, with all my soul. A soul mate;  someone who we are beyond thrilled to meet. We are thrilled to know where we will meet them, how we will meet them and most importantly, what they are like. We wonder if we will meet them in college or in a place we aren’t even aware exists yet. In the absolutely cheesiest way possible, we are thrilled to know whose name will be beside ours on our wedding invitations, whose name will be beside ours on our child’s birth certificate, whose pillow will be beside ours come morning. We are thrilled to know our soul mate, but let’s start being thrilled without anxiety. Let’s start being thrilled while resting in who our God is. Let’s be thrilled knowing that if they are indeed our soul mate, our souls will indeed mate.

We love to fall in love. We love to be liked, to be noticed, to be desired. I am not talking about young girls in general. I am not even talking about women in general. I am talking about human beings in general. We love to love and even more, love to be loved. Our problem today is that we are settling. We are settling for men that hold doors behind them instead of in front of them. We are settling for surface level relationships when we should be seeking deeper conversations, deeper moments. We are settling for, “talking,” for “things” when we should have an, “if you know, you know, let’s do something about this or I’ll be on my way,” kind of mindset. We are texting. We are snapchatting. We are liking each others’ Instagram posts. Let’s not settle for social media flirtation. If they really like you, they will like the real you more than the social media you. We are settling for a twenty-first century relationship when we should be seeking an everlasting love.

 

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We should not be throwing in the towel simply because we realize they snort when they laugh, sing too loudly in the car or snore when they sleep. We are people. We are a lovely mess and masterpiece all at once. We should not be expecting a man without flaws, as he should not be expecting a woman without them. We should not be giving up because we are fighting every once in a while. Because in every relationship worth something, there will be fights about anything and everything. We should not be giving up because the other person in the relationship is simply human. We should not be expecting a perfect man, but a respectable and loving one.

We should be expecting a gentleman. We should be expecting men who come from women who have raised them right and not settling for anything less. We should be expecting treatment fueled from our God’s love for us and not our generation’s standards. There is no perfect man out there, but there is man who will be perfect for you. There is a laugh that will create a beautiful harmony when aligned with yours. There are eyes that will tear up when they view you in a white dress. There are hands that will hold you when you have had enough and feet that will dance with you in the kitchen on a Monday night.

 

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Love is a two way street. We should be treated how we have desired to be treated throughout our whole lives and also be willing to return this treatment to them as well. You cannot expect a breathtaking love story if he is the only one writing it, nor should he expect one if you are the only author. Don’t believe the lies the world tries to tell you when you begin to believe that a kind, passionate and Christ like man is unrealistic. Do not believe them when they tell you, you are living in a fantasy world, because you crave a more meaningful relationship than the rest of the world. You simply have higher standards than the others and you will one day see the great gift of high standards convert into a high valued relationship.

Relationships end. We cannot be looking forward to a full life while simultaneously looking forward to a life of no heartbreak, no heartbreaking and no lessons learned. They end, you cry, you hurt, you go on. . They often end solely because it was not meant to be. Maybe your senses of humor do not line up. That’s no one’s fault. Maybe you’re too outgoing for him. That’s no one’s fault. On the other hand, relationships have the potential of ending when one or two involved in the relationship were not putting in their best effort. There is the option of settling when you are putting in 100% while he is putting in 20% at most. There is the option of seeing what is in front of you, being too scared that no one else will love you like they do, and staying out of fear. When you settle, your sadness, your absence of fulfillment, your emptiness is no longer his problem, it is yours. Yes, blunt and rough; it is yours. We can blame others mistakes and lack of love on them, but when we stay in these places of comfort, we are hurting ourselves more.

 

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You do not deserve a twenty-first century  relationship. You don’t deserve a relationship centered on read receipts or likes on social media. You deserve a relationship centered on Love, a relationship centered on something greater than the two of you combined. You do not deserve to be cheated on, under any circumstances, ever. You deserve someone who would never think of leaving you, seriously. You deserve to be appreciated, not judged for the intelligent, beautiful, worthy of love, human that you are. You don’t deserve to be embarrassed by rude tipping habits. You deserve to be proud of all that your partner is. You do not deserve to feel like the only one in the relationship. You deserve to feel like there is another person, also putting 100% in on the other side. You don’t deserve a car honk or a text. You deserve a doorbell ring. You do not deserve to be treated less than. You deserve to be treated like the most important human in the world.

Do not sell yourself short. Do not be afraid. Because if it is not who you are with, someone is even better. No matter how hard that is to believe, God’s greatest gifts are upgrades. Know that if he won’t, someone else will. If he won’t treat you like you believe you should be and desire to be treated, that does not mean that no one ever will. You should not feel like you are settling at any point. If you are settling, you are better off alone. If he is unfaithful, you are better off alone. If he is treating you in a way below your expectations and your standards, you are better off alone.

 

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Know that if he isn’t kind to waiters, there is someone who is. If he doesn’t shake hands and make good eye contact, there is someone who does. If he doesn’t pull your chair out for you, someone else will. If he cancels on you often, there is someone who will be there ten minutes early. If he is constantly red faced and yelling, there is someone who finds no need to do so. If he doesn’t walk you to the door because it is too outdated, know there is someone who believes the exact opposite. If he doesn’t remember small details, know there is a relationship in which you will find yourself surprised as to how much they know about you. If he doesn’t go out of his way, know there is someone else who will.

If you wouldn’t marry them, don’t date them. That’s one of my biggest pieces of advice from my seventeen year old single self. If you wouldn’t want to wake up to their face personality, each day, seven days a week, for the rest of your life, don’t waste your time now. If you wouldn’t want your kids to be just like them, don’t waste your time now. Wait for someone you would never associate the word, “settle,” with. Wait instead of settling. Wait because there is someone who will look at you in a way you didn’t know was possible. Wait because there is something greater, a relationship between soul mates, and not just, “loved to be loved,” young people. Wait because there is someone who would never allow you to settle. Wait patiently with love because if he won’t, someone else will. ♥

 

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