My Favorite Gift (Well, One of them . . .)

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My sweet Caroline turns 12 tomorrow.




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Isn't she just perfect???? 😉 (yes, I'm biased.)


According to the oh-so-smart-blogging-experts, I should only blog about penny pinching. Every single thing that I share here on PPP should directly reflect something about saving money, penny pinching, or using a coupon.


But, I figure since I own the site, I can do what I want. 😉

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This. girl.


She's my gift. 


My perfect-even-when-not-so-perfect-and-driving-me-absolutely-crazy gift. 




The day she was born, I remember looking at this little fuzzy-brown-haired baby and knowing right there and then that she was my gift.


In fact, I remember whispering to her from deep down . . . “baby, you are my gift.” 


And then . . . um . . . life got a little hairy.


She was busy.


She climbed on every. thing.


She spent hours (seriously folks, HOURS, quite possibly days, I think), in time out.


We fought over learning to say “yes ma'am”.  We fought over spelling words. We fought over which outfit to wear.

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(We still fight over which outfit to wear.) 


But somewhere along the way, this girl of mine turned into this perfect girl of mine.


Here's the secret the internet doesn't tell you when your toddler is screaming.


(Ready for this?) 


That child of yours. Yes, that one. The one that's making you crazy. The one that makes you want to pull your hair out. The one that you discipline until you feel like you've got no disciplining left in you.

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That one is your gift. 


One day they might just surprise you. One day they might be the one calling you up to their room for some unexpected quiet and time to say prayers. One day they might turn into this beautiful precious gift that you absolutely never expected.


Life's crazy that way.


And here's the other thing.


The internet tells you that watching your babies grow up is a wee bit depressing. Something that you need to fight with everything in you.


But I'm here to tell you that watching that gift of yours grow up is this oh-so-fun present as you see that gift unfold.  That sweet child of yours all of a sudden turns into someone who has their own thoughts, their own opinions, and if you're willing to put in the effort in those early years, they might just become one of your favorites ever to hang out with.  And it's exciting to look forward to who they're turning into each day.



This gift of mine . . . she's oh-so-different from me. She hates writing. Hates spelling. Doesn't really love reading.  (Spending hours poring over oodles of words just isn't her thing.)



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She loves working. Loves organizing. Loves exercising. Likes math. Can pump out a whopping 15 pull ups without flinching. (All while I watch from the corner of my eye I wonder how on earth she's mine ~ I mean really ~ how could I possibly have this cute thing so very different from me?)


And she could single-handedly run our home way better most days than I ever could. (Thankfully, some days she just takes charge and does!)


She's perfect.

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Absolutely the best gift right alongside her brother and sister that I ever dreamed of.


So, happy birthday sweet Caroline ~ thank you for giving me one of my very best gifts twelve years ago today.


And mommas who are about to lose it because that child is pushing you right on over the edge today?


It's worth it.


I promise.

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Hang in there ~ keep at it ~ don't give up.


Your gift's waiting right around the corner ~ just stick with it and enjoy every precious second because it's the most fun gift you'll ever get to watch unfold. 😉


And just to be clear, I know that 13 . . . and 14 . . . and 15 (yikes!) are just around the corner and this girl and I may feel waaayyy differently a time or two over the next few years. Um, we'll deal with those when we get there. (Yikes!)







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  1. Happy birthday sweet, beautiful, talented Caroline! An amazing girl with an amazing mama – what a perfect combination. Enjoy your big 12!

  2. Thanks, Laurie. My youngest is my gift. Whew. And happy birthday, Caroline.

    • I so wish I could show people what our life looked like when she was younger – ask anyone who knew me well – it was *not* easy. But my heart hurts I love her so much, and just am so proud of who she’s become. Hang in there, it’s worth it! 🙂

  3. I know what you’re going through because my oldest daughter, just turned 12 yrs. old last month!! I just look at her and go Wow, where has all the time gone?? I also have a 9 yr. old daughter as well:)
    I always love to read your blog!! Thanks for all what you do!! I really do appreciate it!!

    Happy Birthday!!!!

  4. oh I am pouring tears—so sweet. mine turns 17 soon. love those babies.

    • Thank you so much for sharing Amy – goodness this mommy business is just hard work isn’t it? What a sweet gift though 🙂 we are so blessed (even on the hard days!)

  5. What a beautifully written tribute! Oh my, I had the same feelings with my first born who is now 18 1/2 and a college freshman. Oh how I miss her! You put so many of my thoughts and feelings into that post. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words Kelly – that means so much to me! Watching them grow up is just a gift – even on the hard days (I can’t imagine how your heart must miss her!) Thank you for sharing!

  6. Happy birthday!

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