I don't think I've EVER been this late on birthday post before. I'm sorry Bree. It doesn't mean I don't love you, I promise!!!!
Since you are 12 now (oh, my gosh... one more year and I'll be a parent of a teenager) (I still feel like I'm 12 myself, how can that be?)... where was I???? Since you're 12 now... I thought I'd give you 12 pieces of advice for your birthday post. 12 Statements of advice you can take with you for the rest of your days. So here they are in no particular order:
1. Always wash your hands... you never know what kind of germs are lurking. In fact, you taught me this one when you were in preschool and you were learning about germs. You would literally have crying fits after ten minutes of washing your hands because you swore there were still germs there. I cursed that damn preschool teacher for months. You were totally a germ-a-phob!
2. Always have a good friend and a good book. And you can't go wrong. Your pediatrician told me this the other day and the more I pondered on it the more I realized that she knew what she was talking about. Life just seems so much more manageable when you have these 2 things.
3. Trust your instincts. Especially when it comes to your children. I've learned this one recently too. Sometimes, momma's know better than doctors. I don't care how many years of medical school a doctor has had-- momma knows best. If your instinct tells you something-- listen!
4. Always tell the truth. Especially to your mother!
5. Lead by example. You are already well on your way with this one. You are paving a very rough road for your siblings to follow! LOL
6. Have Faith. I often think to myself that if God would just do it my way, then things would work out fine. But, sometimes I'm wrong (it's rare though). We need to live by faith and not by our ability to understand everything. Because, the truth is... we won't always understand why. Faith has nothing to do with seeing or understanding, it is the evidence of what we don't see.
7. Prioritize your life. Don't forget what or whom the most important things are. Don't let life's struggles blind you of that. My children and my husband are my priorities. Your father and I give up having days off together so that one of us will always be there for you guys. Find your priorities and don't forget what they are.
8. Be confident and love who you are. You are an amazing, smart, and beautiful person. Don't EVER forget that. Know it and own it, girl!
9. Follow your moral compass. Your teacher pointed this one out. He knows you too well since having you for the last 3 years. If you do this, it will keep you honest throughout your life. If you do something wrong, own up to it. If you see someone fall, help them up. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
10. Respect your elders. Hold the door for that pregnant woman or help that little old lady with her groceries. When Nana and Papa are repeating the same old stories you've heard a thousand times, just nod your head and smile like you've never heard it before.
11. It's okay to pamper yourself every now and then. In fact, it's healthy for your mind and soul. Take a girl's day and go get that massage (especially if you have six kids)!