15 & having courage

“We do not have to become heroes overnight.

Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up,

seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears,

discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

images i lovec

i began blogging 10 years ago… little bit was 5. well the baby girl of the family turned 15 this past weekend! 15!!! and for those of you who have followed along since the beginning, maybe i’m not the only one who still sees that sweet little face above?

dan & i drove home from dinner the other night while she was hanging out at a track meet with friends. i told him how for the first time having just “one” around for much of the time is so different. our three older daughters were so close in age & now with the youngest of that crew away at college, little bit is often times the “one” with us. i’m thinking there was a sense of togetherness with all of them when we’d head out to dinner, or run out for dessert, or visit a new church. a little sorority if you will. their high school years over lapped, their time in the youth group overlapped & sometimes their friends overlapped. with emily being 4.5 years older than caroline, the gap is felt sometimes. while there’s perks to being the youngest, i think there’s some potentially tough times as well.

let me tell ya’ll, caroline is a dream kid. she has never, i mean never, woke up on the wrong side of the bed. she has never been grumpy or disrespectful to dan or i. she’s never gotten in trouble at school, although she can tell you about the one spanking she got at home. she’s laid back & kind. she’s tender hearted & helpful. she’s zilcho drama. she doesn’t sass or talk back and honestly never complains. she usually keeps her room tidy &  even cleans the bathroom without being asked. having said all that, i’ve encouraged her to share what’s she thinking. that she doesn’t always have to be the easy going one nor does she need to take one for the team. i’ve encouraged her to be brave & speak up, not to stuff her feelings. but she’s hardwired to be easy going …i’ll just keep cheering her on!

she was a talented dancer & tumbler and has now segued into playing a sport.  she made the high school volleyball team last year & has spent considerable time training & prepping to try out again in a few weeks.  she’s got great style & even though sometimes she catches some grief from her peers, i think she’s ahead of her time in the hipster/cool factor. she’s also the resident hair & makeup girl in the house & we all love when she “works” on us. she loves Friends & has great taste in music as well.

& she loves jesus. that’s the best part of all. she loves jesus & that brings me such much joy!!

she chose a giving keys necklace as one of her birthday gifts this weekend. the hand stamped word she chose? “Courage”. while it’s not my story to tell, the backstory made me a little teary and a lot proud. she told me later that day about a situation that was the catalyst for the courage key decision & it honestly left me speechless. i don’t think i’ll ever forget that story.

15 can be tough.  change is tough. being brave is tough. but i love that she wanted “courage” to hang around her as reminder that she can be brave. she can do the tough things. she can.

3738

4039

42

41

You’re a brave heart my little one & i’m crazy about you! i love you big as the sky!!

~~~

You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself.

There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger.

The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

March 23, 2016 - 3:04 pm

Lisa Mothersead - I love how you so sweetly share the wonderful unique qualities of each of your beautiful girls. Caroline sounds so much like my youngest (23) who has brought me so very much joy, also. Happy Birthday to sweet Caroline!

March 23, 2016 - 3:06 pm

Charles Norton - At the risk of sounding cliche, she has two completely fantastic role models in you and Dan. I can’t imagine her turning out any differently! Happy Birthday to her!!

March 23, 2016 - 3:06 pm

Charles Norton - At the risk of sounding cliche, she has two completely fantastic role models in you and Dan. I can’t imagine her turning out any differently! Happy Birthday to her!!

March 24, 2016 - 9:00 am

Donna - I know you are so proud of her. She’s lovely. Hope she had a wonderful birthday.

March 24, 2016 - 9:02 am

Donna - Love that little blue and white limo a thingy she has on. Where is that from? What is a keys necklace? I don’t blame her s but for being a make up girl!

March 27, 2016 - 5:23 am

Susan W - Belated Happy Birthday wishes for your baby girl! I’ll bet the day was fabulous and well documented with beautiful photos for her keepsake! Caroline is a precious young lady and it shows how well you and Dan do your best with her growing up! Blessings!

March 28, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Heidi Feguson - Oh, how dear this sweet post is Paige! Just now got a chance to sit down and really READ it instead of scanning. I just want to squeeze her tight and love on her and tell her she’s so special. I feel like I KNOW HER! Not that I’m agreeable like her all the time (Lord, give me MORE of that!!!) Not that this will mean much to her (am an “old” woman!) but I occassionally wore oxford shirts, sometimes with or without my dad’s tie. I was even known to wear a certain cologne of his! I was still girly but I just loved what I loved (my yellow converse high tops!!). The quote I chose for the yearbook to represent me: If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. ~Henry David Thoreau

March 30, 2016 - 9:24 am

christina - ive only been following along for a few years, but i feel like i know your family! (one day i’ll have the honor of meeting them all). but, this one … this one sure has turned into a beautiful young lady! Happy Birthday, Caroline!

April 13, 2016 - 11:05 am

Lisa - She is just stunning! What a testament! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

May 1, 2016 - 10:13 am

Gayle Olson - Darling girl! Now tell me where to get the cute blue and white top for my 15 year grandgirl, please.