July 22, 2010


It feels like just yesterday I was posting about Maddie's 16th birthday. I'm pretty sure I can blink my eyes and I will be posting about her 18th.

Yesterday we celebrated her 17th birthday by going to King's Island amusement park. Maddie took 2 friends and spent the day off with them while we spent the day with Emma. This is very representative of life with a teenager. It's okay though. It's the way it's supposed to be and the gradual separation that allows us to survive the day she will fly the nest.

Maddie, I feel like I still have so much left to teach you. I feel like this last year at home isn't enough. In honor of your 17th birthday, here are 17 things I want to make sure you know.

-You are beautiful inside and out
-Don't ever base your opinion of yourself on what other people say or think about you
-Stay tenderhearted
-You won't always get your way- that's actually a good thing
-Even a small lie will erode trust
-Sometimes you work hard and your only reward is knowing you did your best
-Always try to look at the bright side- nobody wants to be around someone that is negative all the time
-Conduct yourself with grace and dignity
-You can be or do anything you want in life
-Only marry for love and wait as long as it takes to find the real thing
-You have an amazing sense of humor & I love how you are always yourself
-Drama is a waste of time
-Any job worth doing is worth doing right
-Never be mean
-Be able to take care of yourself so that you don't have to depend on someone but can choose to depend on them
-Stay close to Emma- having a sister is a special gift
-Your family is always here for you and loves you NO MATTER WHAT


  1. Those are 17 wise things to learn.

  2. My eldest turned 17 in May. Time flies, doesn't it? How did they get so old?!!

  3. Maddie, Happy Birthday.
    Remember, Mother knows best!

  4. She looks so much like you! You are such a good momma.

  5. Your list made me choke up a bit Jen - such good advice for a lovely young lady. I'm feeling a little sunrise/sunset on your behalf....life goes by so very, very quickly, doesn't it?

  6. Happy Birthday Maddie! You have a very smart mom. Jen, I love your idea of 17 things to share on her 17th b-day. She will always learn from you. I like this idea so much I think I will incorporate it into my baby's 24th birthday in Oct. 24 things I want to tell my son...... I like that!
    have a great weekend!

  7. She is beautiful, Happy Birthday! Love your list!

  8. I love this post Jen!! And Maddie is beautiful, like her mama!! You are a WONDERFUL mother!
    I have tears!!! :*)

  9. A beautiful and heartfelt post. Your daughter is gorgeous and lucky to have a loving mum like you xo

  10. Very wise advice. I wish that I'd been given some of that at 17, 18, 19,...you get the drift. Congrats on making it through another year with a teenager!

  11. oh jen, i love her seventeen list!!
    i just had a talk with smk about her being gone all the time. all the time. i know it's a natural part of their maturing & preparing for when they fly from the nest ( insert heavy sobs hear). i hope i wasn't too tough on her....they do need balance. ugh. its so tough sometimes.
    hoping your summer is full of all things wonderful sweet friend

  12. Happy Birthday Maddie. Just found your blog and was surprised when I found out your daughters are named Maddie and Emma. My son has 2 daughters that are seven and 5 and they are Emma and Maddie.

  13. Happy 17th Birthday to Maddie ♥
    My son turned 21 yesterday :-)and you are so right Jen, it does all happen in a blink of an eye! Such a beautiful "17 things" list xo

  14. gulp. honest and sweet.


  15. What an awesome mother you are!! Such a great post!

  16. such a wise mother....lucky daughter....lucky mother!

  17. Hi Jen~

    I hope Maddie had a wonderful birthday! I love the advice you gave to her, too...It makes me think of my own two sweet girls, who are still little, but I know someday they won't be. It's sad how fast they grow up!

    I hope you are doing well! How do you like living in the Village? I hope you are having a fantastic summer! :)


Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.