Friday, June 16, 2023

My baby is 18!!! 🤍🎉🥳

Last weekend, family and close friends celebrated Courtney 18th birthday and her graduation. It was an emotional day for me. I started this blog when Courtney was 5 years old. I was going through tough times and just needed something to distract my mind. Friends weren't what I thought they were. Never thought I’d still be here 12 years later but here we are. My blog is no longer what it used to be but I can't bear to shut it down. It's my online diary for over a decade. I've documented everything from outfits, family milestones, vacation recap, luxury purchases and more. This is probably one of my very last posts about Courtney. She's officially entered legal adulthood. I know I'll see less and less of her. I am not sad. In fact, I am happy that she's independent, responsible and smart. She's working now, getting ready for the next chapter of her life and I couldn't be more thrilled. On her 18th birthday, I wrote her a letter. She didn't read it right away because with her graduation and her birthday, it was quite hectic. I randomly came to her room one night and saw she was balling her eyes out. I thought there was something wrong but it turned out she was reading the letter I wrote her. We cried happy tears together. There is no secret that I am incredibly proud and love this kid unconditionally. However, I couldn't have done it without the love and support of my husband. He has the biggest heart when it comes to the girls and I am forever grateful to have found an amazing man to spend the rest of my life with. I used to be ashamed of my divorce. After a decade of working on myself, I was able to change my perspective. I am proud of myself for taking charge of my happiness and my wellbeing. I wouldn’t able to do what I am doing for my children if I am still in an unfulling marriage. Divorced parents and their children often get a bad rap but it’s all about your mindset/perspective. Instead of allowing myself to enter this downward spiral, I focus on my strengths and make the best out of a difficult situation. I also wanted to share a heartfelt speech from my husband to Courtney. For privacy reasons, I am only sharing the audio. It's been amazing watching her grow up and become the remarkable young woman she is today. Thank you for being with me for the past 12 years 🤍
{My husband's speech to Courtney on her 18t birthday}

To my Courtney:
We made it! Happy 18th birthday, sweetheart 🥳 Turning 18 is a big deal. Today is the day you enter legal adulthood. So, on this special day, I thought I'd write you a personal letter. Truthfully, I wasn’t fond of having kids. It just wasn’t my priority in life. I planned to be a one-and-done kind of Mom. The day you entered my life was the day I knew what pure joy is. I have loved you more than I thought humanly possible. It was like I grew a whole other heart just for you. Your Dad and I were slowly growing apart. When you were 4, I felt like it was time for me to walk away. It was a big decision. I was frightened but it needed to be done. I knew I’d be a better version of myself without him. I was feeling lost and wasn't sure of my direction in life. However, one thing I was very certain of is that you are (and always will be) my number one priority. I promised myself that I will always love you unconditionally and support you no matter what. I feel like I can finally give myself a pat in the back and say that I did it. I am forever grateful for the bond we have built. As you turn 18 today, I want you to remember these five things as you grow and start pulling farther from me. These are some of important lessons I've learned over the past two decades of my life.
  • Invest in yourself with self-love - Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for it. You must invest in yourself, or no one else will.
  • Figure out who you are - You need to know who you truly are in order to figure out what you want in life. Make a list of core values. Defining your values can help you decide what you truly want.
  • Never, ever settle for second best - Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not worthy. You are smart, talented, kind, beautiful, and capable of doing anything you set your mind to. You should chase after the best of everything and expect that it can be yours.
  • Cut negativity out of your life – You don’t need a big social circle. You only need a few who are truly there for you.
  • Your family will be there for you no matter what – When life gets tough (and it will), remember, you always have a family who loves you.
I look at you with awe sometimes, wondering how you could possibly be mine. You are beautiful, caring, and hard-working. You've proven to be trustworthy and responsible and all the things that people your age usually aren’t. I must give credit when credit is due. I couldn’t have done it without all the support and love Dad has given me. He was a single guy when I met him. It was a big adjustment for him of suddenly having an instant family. He’s not perfect but he is able to give me the number one thing that I asked of him and that is to love you unconditionally. I am so very thankful for the role he has effortlessly played. Welcome to the adult world, sweetheart! I can't wait to see what life has in store for you. It's going to be an exciting ride. Thank you for making me a mom.
Love you always ❤️