Dear Kate & Ashley,

Hi my darlings!  So, what can mommy really say?  Another year, few wrinkles here and there :).  And another birthday, away from you.  I know grandma & grandpa have planned something… just blow my candles for me my daughters.

As I celebrate my day today, I’m sending a silent prayer of thanks – of my continued existence.  That alone is proof that our Lord has indeed been gracious and faithful.

I’m taking this time to pause and reflect on life.  Where I’ve been and where I want to be in the years to come (God willing), my priorities, and what defines me.

I guess, despite of my ideosyncrasies, I hope you know how much you both mean to me – my world revolves around you.

You’re my only treasure – that I guard with my all…but no matter how much I try to shelter you, at one point I have to let go.  And by then, I hope I have equipped you well enough…

I wish to pass lessons I’ve learned in all my 37 years to you darling – Kate and Ashley.  I’m not saying that I’ve mastered them, some even I’ve learned the hard way.  But I pray you keep them, hoping it will help you as you go through your own journey in life. 😉

  1. Love each other.  I can’t emphasize this enough, but having a sister is probably one of the best things in life. You have each other, life-long BFF.
  2. Spirituality is more than just believing in religion.  Even though you are raised close to the church….that doesn’t mean we have all the answers – there’s more to it.  It’s about being thankful, and to completely trust Him to help you in your most difficult time.
  3. Write.  The best coach you’ll ever have is yourself.  Your thoughts are precious, write them down and read them.  It will give you a better perspective about yourself and where you are at a particular time in your life.
  4. Don’t be a people pleaser.  Period
  5. Don’t take yourself seriously.  Learn to laugh at your own quirks.
  6. Listen to your instincts.  That tiny whisper, that sinking feeling at the pit of your stomach – don’t discount it as mere paranoia.  You feel them for a reason.
  7. Keep your place clean.  The state of your place reflects the state of your mind.  It’s impossible to think straight in a cluttered room.
  8. Beauty is a state of mind.  Love yourself at no matter what size or condition.
  9. Speak up.  Dont begrudge the world with your point of views.
  10. Be creative.  It will help you learn to see things differently, solve problems and appreciate the beauty from everyday life situations.
  11.  Cry if needed.  It’s a good therapy.
  12. Travel.  Don’t be afraid to leave me – just remember to call or send mommy a postcard once in a while.
  13. Follow your dreams. Even if that would mean it will take you far from me.  Don’t be afraid to chase it.
  14. Home is where mommy is. It is not a place, it’s where who you love lives.
  15. Cut your hair short.  At some point in your life, try to risk looking awful.  You’ll never know you might rock it.
  16. Never skip on a sunscreen.  You’ll thank me when you’re 30 years old.
  17. Never sleep with your make-up on.  Washing your face every night before bed is the best beauty routine you should follow.
  18. Bad hair days are inevitable. 
  19. Smile.  You’ll never know, you might actually be the only sunshine to someone’s life that day.
  20. There’s no such thing as Prince Charming. 
  21. Find a man who is not threatened by a strong woman.  That my dears, is a good sign of his character.
  22. Have a male best-friend.  Simply because girl “drama” is an alien word for him.
  23. Find one true friend.  You don’t need a lot of friends…one is enough to last you a lifetime.
  24. Don’t be afraid to walk away. May it be from a dangerous crowd, situation even more so, from toxic relationships and make no excuses.
  25.   You can’t control what others think of you. 
  26.   If it feels uncomfortable – don’t wear it or do it.
  27.   Good girls are not boring. 
  28.   Dance. 
  29.   Marriage is an act of courage. 
  30.   Your body is yours.  But it doesn’t mean you will tarnish it with bad-paid for tattoos.
  31.   Pray.  There’s no such thing as silly prayers.
  32.   Time heals.  Even the deepest of wounds, scars fades – but will somehow twinge on dark days.
  33.   Find time to be alone.  Your time alone, can be your non-addictive sedative that will help you cope better with your relationship to people.
  34.   Give.
  35.   Be wary of what you post on-line. May it be a status update, photos & etc.  always assume that the people who’ll see it will be me your grandma and your uncle.  And you know we WILL raise hell if you do.
  36. Be real with your fights (if needed.).  Don’t bring it on-line.   Confront gently those who wronged you.  Don’t make a scene.
  37. Happiness is a state of mind.  If you choose to be happy…so it will be.  Someone wise once told me – heaven is where you choose it to be.

Just remember girls, that I love you both so very much – that as much as I wish to spare you from hardships and pain,  you will have your own journey to make.  My only prayer, is that when you pass those difficult paths alone you’ll come out of it with grace and strength.