Grandmothers are the Closest Thing to Living Angels

Dear Grandma,

They say that grandmothers are the closest things to living angels, and you know what? They’re right. There are not nearly enough words to tell you exactly how much you mean to me, how proud I am to be your granddaughter, and how much I love and cherish you. 

For the past 23 years, you have played a crucial role in my life. You helped raise me into the young woman I am today. Along with mom and dad, you and grandpa were always there for me – for everything I’ve ever done. To say a simple “thank you” will never be enough. 

Of course, I remember all of the Grandparents days, science fairs, school concerts and plays, dance recitals, sleepovers, Sunday dinners, holidays, and every special event that we enjoyed together. Those moments and memories fill my heart with lots of joy, laughter, warmth, and smiles. 

When I was little, I always looked up to you, and now, as I continue to grow older, my respect and admiration for you grows too. You have a strength in you that I can only hope to have someday. I know you might not always think or see it, but I do. Every, single day. 

I’m so proud of you for everything you’ve accomplished and overcome in your life. I don’t know many people who have the type of endurance, feisty-ness and spunk that you do. I love hearing your stories of the good old days, learning Polish words from you, and just simply spending time with you. 

You’re my biggest writing advocate, anxiety helper, favorite goulash maker, best chocolate roll baker, and so much more. You always give me confidence when I need it the most, and you always make me feel like I matter, like I’m special. But, most of all, and most importantly, you are my grandma, and my lifelong friend whom I love to the moon and back.  

All my love, xoxo

Your granddaughter


10 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

“All the things that break you, are all the things that make you strong. You can’t change the past ’cause it’s gone. You just gotta move on because it’s all lessons learned.”

~Carrie Underwood

They say some lessons need to be learned the hard way. That’s so, ridiculously and unbelievably true. Some people (bless their hearts) learn life’s little teachable moments, easily. Others, like myself, have to be hit in the head with a two-by-four in order to actually understand what the hell is freaking happening.

In my soon-to-be 23 years of young life, I’ve experienced and learned things that I never imagined that I would have to. If I knew then, what I know now, I would’ve done my life a whole lot differently. Or, at least tried to make fewer mistakes. But, sadly, there is no rewind button, no do-over option. All we can do is grow, move on, and nurture those mistakes and regrets that wound us.

Here’s the top 10 lessons that I, (unfortunately) learned the hard way:

  1. Life is short, love is sweet, time is precious. Don’t waste a single second of your life holding grudges or being upset, especially at people you love. They won’t be around forever. Choose your words carefully, and wisely, and always remember that actions speak louder than any words ever could.

  2. Always turn to your family. People say that blood is thicker than water, and you know what? They’re right! In the tough times, in your darkest hour, turn to your side and there you will see your family supporting you, lifting you up, and holding your hand. Nothing is more important than those people. Seriously, love the freaking shit out of all of them, before it’s too late.

  3. Choose your friends with caution. Friendship is one of life’s greatest gifts, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. But, I’ve learned that not everyone you meet throughout the course of your life, will be (or stay) your friend. I’ve learned that sometimes, the people whom you opened your heart and soul to, the ones you trusted not to hurt you, the ones you thought would always care, would always treat you with kindness, will give you some of the biggest heartaches you will ever experience. But, when that happens, you somehow grow stronger.

  4. When people leave, wave goodbye and don’t look back. People blow in and out of our lives as quickly as the wind. When their part in your story is over, let go willingly and gracefully. Don’t spend your time chasing people who were never meant to stay. Be thankful for the memories they gave you, and move on to the next chapter.

  5. Never respond to cruelty, harshness, or ignorance. If someone is treating you like you’re the gum on someone’s shoe, it’s time to walk away and surround yourself with the love and respect YOU deserve. If someone continues to disrespect your sensitivity, your heart, your weaknesses, kiss them goodbye. You don’t need that toxicity in your life. Once you realize that, your life will be so much more freeing. 

  6. Respect is a two-way street. You have to give a little, to get a little. ‘Nuff said.

  7. Don’t show up to every argument that you’re invited to. Sometimes, people will be downright bitchy. And, they’ll feel like picking a fight. They won’t accept your apologies, will bring up past mistakes, and will just be miserable…for no reason (and there will be days when you’re like that too). When that happens, you don’t have to feed into it. Step away.

  8. Oral communication is better than written. This is a lesson I continuously learn over and over again. The written word is so misconstrued. Simply put: it’s bullshit. But, we still do it. Tones are easily misread, fights break out from what started as a meaningless conversation, and I don’t know about you, but I’m really beginning to value face to face time with those I care about, instead of looking at a screen, trying to interpret what they’re saying. Pick up the phone. Talk to people. Visit them. You’ll be glad you did.

  9. Opinions are like a**holes: EVERYBODY has them. No matter what you do, or how hard you try, everyone will always have something to say. There will always be people out there that you seemingly can never please. So, ignore the opinions of others, stop trying to fit into their mold, and just live your life. Do what makes YOU happy, what makes YOU fulfilled. You only get one life, live it the way you want to – with no limitations, and no need for validation or acceptance from anyone.

  10. Fear is stupid. Never let it hold you back from ANYTHING. There are things that we’re all afraid of. Things that make us queasy, anxious, and panic. But, I’ve learned that at some point, you will always have to face your fears – and by doing so, you grow stronger, you overcome what you thought you never could, and you might even gain a little confidence. It’s a very hard thing to do, and takes a lot of practice, but once you put your fears aside and just do it, you’ll be able to live your life to the fullest.

Lastly, as an added bonus, I’ve learned that optimism is everything. When you have a positive attitude, you can truly let your light shine. You were created to fulfill a purpose, and to radiate sunshine into the lives of others. It’s an exercise. Every. Single. Damn. Day. And it takes so much determination. But, being positive is worth the effort. Sure, you may fall off the wagon, and that’s okay – you are human after all, but keep working on choosing happy….because….*and get ready for the mic drop* literally everything in this life is a choice, and how you choose to react to your circumstances.

My Perfect Fan

Dear Mom,

There are no words to quite describe how much you mean to me. For the past 23 years, you have dedicated every minute of your life to taking care of me, and I can’t express enough how much I love, appreciate, respect, and honor you. 

Your love is unconditional, and from day one you have always been my biggest fan, supporter, cheerleader, and inspiration. You are always by my side whenever I need a friend, a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, a shot of confidence, advice and strength, or even a simple laugh. 

I’m so honored to say you are MY mom. Some people might call us Dorothy and Sophia, “Me and mini me”, and I couldn’t be more proud of that fact. You and I have a special bond that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. What other mother and daughter duo could go to concerts together,  go driving around for an hour talking, and singing, and who else could quote “The Golden Girls” with me? Those are by my favorite moments with you. 

I could go on and on about what a strong, kind-hearted, admirable, inspirational, woman that you are. But, you know that already. Instead, I want to take this time on your special birthday to simply say thank you. 

Thank you, mom for giving me life, but most importantly, for making it terrific. You have sacrificed so much for me, and there is no way I could ever repay you, but I will always try. 

Thank you, for not only being my mother, but my absolute best friend. Some say that you can’t be friends with your child, but you showed me that IS possible. You are the one person I always confide in, always trust, and that will never change. 

Thank you, for teaching me how to grow, how to love,  and showing me time and time again, that you will always be there for me. I hope to experience that with my children someday. Thank you, for giving me so much. Not only have you given me your hand when I was young, but now, you’ve given me your heart, your confidence, your trust, and your respect. Those are the greatest gifts that I will always treasure from you. 

Thank you, for your patience and support, especially when it comes to my anxiety. I know it’s hard to see. I know it’s hard to handle. And, if I could, I would take the stress of having GAD away from you because you don’t deserve that. But, through it all, you have been my guiding light. Always having my back, always comforting me, always shining the positive in my direction. 

Thank you, for praying with me. It is such a privilege to read our devotionals, to listen to and sing our favorite spiritual songs with you. You bring tears to my eyes when you sing “How Great Thou Art”, and I will forever love hearing your powerful voice sing that. 

Mom, you are my perfect fan, and I will always love and be there for you. If you need me, I’ll be right there.  Happy 50th Birthday to you: my mother, friend, role model, and sister. You deserve the world and I will never stop trying to make sure that you get that. 

I love you,

Your baby girl.