Today, Jacey turns 16.

16 years of her bringing a smile to our face and all those around her. Sure, you could say I am biased, but I truly do believe that the world is a better place because she is in it. I sure know our lives are.

Since birth, Bryan and I have written letters to Jacey on different “birthdays” and file them away. I’m not sure if she is aware or not, but this year, I decided to share.

Happy birthday, baby girl!



Jacey-

It amazes me that 16 years has passed since I held you in my arms for the first time. I would have to say this past year has been a bit of a roller coaster! Awesome moments with a few minor bump in the road, but overall it has been an awesome year!

School was a great bright spot in your year with excellent grades and a trip to Disney with HOSA. I am really proud of where you are going with school. I know the move will put a kink in things, but that will be easily overcome and you will get back on track, I’m sure. All A’s looks really good, and it seems like you have mastered that art! It amazes me that you are taking AP Calculus as a sophomore in high school. It also amazes me that you take it in stride and not let it go to your head. You are humble and grounded, and I couldn’t be prouder

In other good news, we get to move to TEXAS! The reason for moving may not be the best, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Not only are we moving to a city with a big medical center but we are moving to a city with awesome stuff to do and family close by to visit. I am really looking forward to us being able to do all those things we have not been able to do here in New Mexico. I see baseball games, movies and concerts in our future!

This one is as big for your Mom and I as it is for you. Are you seriously already driving? It seems like it was only yesterday that you were getting piggyback rides and sitting on my shoulders because it was cool and exciting. Now, you get excited when you get to drive the car. I promise we will knock out driving a standard and parallel parking soon! You have really impressed me with how far along you have come in a very short time. Your confidence in the car is growing by leaps and bounds and you seem more comfortable as you progress. You will soon see that driving is a privilege AND a chore, but a very rewarding one at that. When I was your age, it signified a new level of freedom I had never had before. I cannot wait for you to feel that.

Your outlook on life, in spite of the medical issues you have been battling, is inspirational! I look at you and see a powerhouse of a woman that can battle through anything. Wilson’s Disease? Meh. Exertional Compartment Syndrome? SHRUG. Your resilience to what life throws your way is nothing short of awe- inspiring. The military has programs for veterans to create what you have mastered in just a few short years. I can honestly say that I look up to you for how strong you are. Mom (mostly!) and I must be doing something right if you are the result of all our hard work.

Most of all, I am proud of you! All that you are, have done and will do in the future makes me swell up with pride. I look forward to the years ahead and wait for the remarkable things that you will do with your life. Needless to say, I’m one proud Daddy!

Love you bunches!

Daddy


Jacey,

Parents always say, “I can’t believe you are __ years old”. Well, I can. Raising you has been the hardest, yet most rewarding years of my life. You turning 16 does not surprise me. What does surprise me is the realization that we only have 2 1⁄2 more years with you under our roof. I mean, who is going to talk my ear off when we are in the car, share my love for 90’s music, and teach me new make up tricks? Life will certainly not be the same once you head off to college and dare I even say, boring, until I find my new normal. However, enough about that, before I turn into a weepy mess over here.

I am so amazed at the young woman that you have become.

Driven and passionate. Funny and caring. Quick-witted and gorgeous. Intelligent and resilient.

School/grades are important to you and I am so thankful for that. You finished off 9th grade with straight A’s and started 10th with an academic letter and induction into NHS. While school may be easy right now, never take that for granted. There will come a point in your educational career that it either gets hard or requires way more studying than you are used to. Be prepared for that, so you do not crash and burn like I did when that time came and you will continue to soar.

Sports this year were challenging. You decided to quit swimming after 6 years and focus solely on running only to have your body betray you. You have such a talent and passion for running that it hurts me immensely to see you sidelined for the moment. Keep the faith though, YOU will get through this and have a killer senior year of cross-country. I just know it (and remember, Mommy is always right)! I am so proud of you for continuing to show up at practice, give it your all, good day or bad, and be there for your teammates. You exemplify the true meaning of camaraderie and sportsmanship.

This next year is sure to bring more adventures, starting with a move back to Texas. While the reasons for the move are less than ideal, I’m excited to see the joy on your face when we talk about the move and know that you will get to share in some of the traditions that make growing up in Texas so unique. You have gotten to travel the world, now you are headed back home for a bit.

Life will continue to throw you curveballs, but if you can persevere with the same attitude that you have kept for the first 16 years of your life, nothing can hold you back. Always remember to glance in the rearview mirror, long enough to see where you came from, but not long enough to crash. The future is waiting for you; you just have to make it yours.

And, when you have a bad day, just remember, that the Astros won their first World Series, just for your 16th birthday! :-)

Love, Mommy

sweet 16.
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