Dear Michael and Isabelle, 

I woke up in the middle of the night and was reminiscent of this same night 14 years ago.  Suddenly awakened by a hard pinch at exactly 2:58 AM, our wild ride together was on!  Life, as I knew it, has never been the same since that very moment in time. 

I think birthdays are equally shared between mamas and babies.  It’s my story, which leads to your story.  And what a beautiful story we share my babies! Every single page is filled with laughter and irony and love and pain and hope and joy and adventure!  There’s never been a whole lot of peace when it comes to the two of you, but where’s the fun in peace?  (Ok, I’d like a little more peace….)

Today I want to celebrate surviving your 13th year!  I’ve joked about this fact with you, but I’m totally serious.  This is was a hard year for you both.  Maybe the hardest year you’ve faced yet in this life.  You each struggled to separate from the “twinness” of your world and it hasn’t all been pretty.  I’ve been in these trenches with you and there’s been a lot of mud-slinging (and pancake batter) as we sorted out some deep things together.  You’ve wrestled through issues of image and faith, all while facing internal fears with “brains on fire” to come through on the other side. You’ve both had to let go of each other and rebuild in new ways in this past year. 

As we begin our 14th year together, please know I’m so proud of you both!  We are all in the business of becoming something new and sometimes that is just way hard stuff. Please hear your mama’s heart: I absolutely MARVEL at you both and how you are THRIVING in our new world.  I know you followed me here with heavy hearts, finding it unfair at times that you had to leave your world as I was figuring out mine.  This has been a very big journey on the heels of what was already a very hard year.

I have a heart full of hope for both of you: separately and independently.   What lies ahead is promising and surprising and exciting and probably just as overwhelming as all of the years we’ve already journeyed together.  Keep your eyes and hearts on Jesus M&I. He who is the author and finisher of our story will not fail or disappoint.  Life may not always be what you envision or plan, but it will always be sweet and precious if our priorities are rightly alighted with eternity. 

Here’s to some sweet goodness in your 14th year Michael & Isabelle!  And to a whole lot more of beaching and coffee and humor and love and peace…..let’s try to get just a wee little bit more of that going as well.