Dear Charisse,

Today you are ten years old. It’s been more than three thousand days since I met you for the first time. Closer to four thousand if we are doing an estimate. That’s crazy. It seems like I was just meeting you for the first time and yet it seems like I’ve known you for a thousand years – quite the paradox.

Holding my sissy-missy on her birth day.

Holding my sissy-missy on her birth day.

Oh sissy, I just love this first picture of me holding you. From the moment I saw you, I loved you. I loved you before you were born, yes, but it was different. I didn’t know you. It wasn’t until I met you on February 12, 2004 that I realized how deep love can run in our veins. You won’t know until you’re an auntie or a mama how much love it’s possible to possess. Thank you for giving me that love. It has changed my heart and my life forever – if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t know how to love people the way I do. Someday I hope you get to love my own littles the way I love you – unceasingly. without end. infinitely.


You are the most amazing kid I know. May your tenth birthday be the start point of growing even more creative, kind, intelligent, beautiful, and compassionate. If I could, I would give you the world – but I know you don’t need me to because you’re already going out there and making a difference in the lives of other people.. Keep on kicking booty and taking names.


As we celebrate this tenth birthday, I want to tell you:

Live adventurously.

Front Camera
Take the world by storm. 


Hold it captive.


Inspire – others and yourself.


Do good.


Keep on going good, even when people laugh at you.


Dream mammoth dreams.


Live an exorbitantly large life.






Be marvelous you.

I love with so much starfish,

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