Shower the people you love with love.

Another audible! I’m getting pretty good at this…though I’m running out of substitute challenges…

I spent some time filming a particularly fun challenge this weekend with my cousins, my parents and my aunt. My cousin Mike has a film production company, Bon Lavi Productions, and his other (paying) clients need to come first so we have a slight delay on when the footage will be available.

That being said, I have taken this week to do another challenge that I’ve really been looking forward to.

Challenge #14:

Choose 5 important people in your life and write each one of them a letter letting them know how much you love, admire and appreciate them and why they are so special to you.” – From Amanda Rose

Amanda, thank you for giving me this challenge. I don’t think we take enough time to really let one another know how much we care about each other these days. Everyone is so busy with their own lives that sometimes the appreciation gets lost in the hustle and bustle. I have been fortunate to have so many incredible people in my life, and while I always say “I love you” at the end of every phone call, I don’t always let them know why.

I have selected both of my siblings, my best friend Braden, my best friend Megan and my cousin Amy as the recipients of these letters. These are not in any specific order and please don’t be offended if you are not one of these 5 people. It was really difficult to figure out who to choose for these letters because I have so many wonderful friends and family members in my life.

This forced me to take a step back and really think about the people that have influenced me to be a better person, always wanted what was best for me and been there, unconditionally, every single step of the way. It also made me realize how incredibly lucky I am. I have so many more letters I want to write and who doesn’t love getting snail mail these days!?

Writing these letters was a very personal experience and I spent the better part of the day crying, both happy tears and sad tears, while writing each letter. I also laughed as I reminisced about all of the good times I’ve had with each one of them. I’m not going to share the letters word for word because those are between me and the recipient, but I’ll give you several highlights from each.

We’ll start with John, my big brother.

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When I say that he is the best big brother a girl could possibly ask for, I beg you to prove me wrong. From day one, John has been by my side, cheering me on, building me up and teaching me how to be a better person. I used to joke about how he was the All American Kid in high school because it seemed as though he could do no wrong. The truth is, that’s exactly what he is. Captain of every sports team he ever played on, good grades, flawless in the eyes of everyone- he gave me some pretty big shoes to fill. More importantly, he is my protector, my leader, my confidant and someone to aspire to be like. When we were little, we didn’t always get along. We were fighting so bad once that my parents created a rather unconventional punishment. We were forced to hold hands for 24 hours. I had to go to his baseball practice with him and hang out in right field while he caught fly balls. If one of us had to use the bathroom, the other had to wait outside until they were finished. It was really very brilliant. Well done, Mom and Dad. John takes time to understand why I work the way I do and loves me for who I am, good parts and bad.  Now that he has found his perfect counterpart, Becky, and they have brought a beautiful little girl, Belle, into this world, I am even more proud of the man he has become. I love you, John!

The next recipient is my sister, Abbey.

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Anyone that has spent any time with either one of us, both separate and apart, knows that we have not always gotten along. Abbey and I butt heads frequently, but over the past few years we have developed a relationship that I have really come to value. As a kid with ADHD, I was kind of all over the place. I had a temper, I forgot things frequently, I got picked on (but who didn’t?) and Abbey spent a lot of time looking out for me. She played the big sister role when she really didn’t have to. Since she moved to Dallas and now onto Denver, she’s really started to find her way and I couldn’t be happier. She is the definition of independent. We have started to build the friendship I’ve always wished we’d had and I can honestly say she’s one of my best friends. I turn to her for things I never dreamed I would have as a child. We have our inside jokes and we goof off with one another whenever we have the opportunity. She gave me a “sister trip” for Christmas! All we need to do now is pick our destination! Can’t wait!! Love you, seester. Boop.

I sent the next letter to my best friend, Braden.

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Braden and I have known each other since we were younger, but through college and now in our young adult lives, he has become one of my best guy friend. He’s my go-to for many things including a good laugh, comfort in times of need and advice when I need a straight shooter. He’s helped me through some difficult times and vice versa. The absence he created when he moved to Boston for a new job with Gillette at the beginning of the year made me realize just how much I relied on him and missed him. It’s not often that you come across someone that can cheer you up more than anyone else and give you a heavy dose of reality at the exact same time. He’s got my back when I need him to and I’m very grateful to have him in my life. I’ve been up to visit him twice since he moved and had the time of my life on both occasions. Boston is an incredible city and I’m so proud of all that he has accomplished. Love you, B.

The fourth letter goes to my best friend Megan.

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Megan and I got to know each other when we joined the Junior League together. We knew each other in High School, but hadn’t had much interaction. She is one of the reasons that I encourage every young woman I know to join the JLC. I have met some really incredible women and built some pretty unbelievable friendships. Megan is one of the most compassionate, warm-hearted people I’ve ever met. Her husband, Drew, and I poke fun at her “silver lining” perspective, but it is one of her most admirable qualities. She finds the upside in everything. She is always there to listen, give me perspective and support me when I need it. She’s also my go-to mani/pedi date and I love our catch-up sessions. Megan and Drew are currently expecting a little girl, their first child, and I know she will be the most amazing mother. She is everything that a best friend should be and I’m grateful for her every day. Love you, Megan!

My final letter goes to my cousin Amy.

(WTF Amy. How do we not have ANY pictures of just the two of us!?)

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This little lady is by far one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met. Life has handed her more than her fair share of curveballs and she handles each and every one of them with grace, maturity and positivity.  She’s actually one of the reasons that I started this whole project in the first place. I hope to come out of this adventure having learned to handle these unexpected life events half as well as she does. We have spent quite a bit of time together in the past year or so and I cherish every minute of it. She has incredible drive and succeeds at everything she tries. She’s another one of those All American kids that every parent should be honored to have raised. Her parents are equally as amazing and I’m so honored to call them my family. She is not only my cousin, but another one of my best friends. I view her as I do my sister. Amy moved to New York at the beginning of the summer to take a well-deserved job as a PA with Nightline. I miss her very, very much, but I’m so excited for her and cannot wait to see all that she achieves in the Big Apple. Plus, it’s just another place I get to go visit!! I love you, Ames.

This challenge has been incredibly rewarding. It has reminded me of all of the blessings in my life and allowed me to reflect on how lucky I am. I’m surrounded by amazing friends and family and am grateful for each and every one of you.

I’d also like to take a minute to write a little note to my loyal readers that check in every week to see what I’m up to. It honestly makes my day when people message me about how much they liked my blog or ask me why my post isn’t up yet if I’m late updating it. It reminds me that I’m not just doing this for myself, but for all of you, as well. I went into this expecting for it to be exciting, but I never expected to have so much support and encouragement from all of you.  I’m still floored by some of the numbers that this has generated. In less than 4 months I have been read by over 5,000 people in 31 countries. I’m humbled and overjoyed to have touched so many lives and am incredibly eager to see where it goes from here. I have expressed this to many of you individually, but seriously. It means the world to me. Thank you so very, very much!!

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On that note, I feel like I need a catch phrase…suggestions?

2 thoughts on “Shower the people you love with love.

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