Friday, March 27, 2009

12 Things I Love About My Daughter On Her 12th Birthday

To: Jordan Suzanne Dutcher...Happy 12th Birthday!
Before I list 12 things I love about my Jordie, let me say two things...first, I don't know of anyone who loves Christmas more than Jordie (which explains the song) and I kind of consider Jordie to be my "miracle" baby. When I was 5 months pregnant, the doctors found what they thought were signs of brain damage with Jordie. After going through an amniocentesis and "genetic counseling", which I later found out was done to help my husband and I make a "choice" as to what to do with the pregnancy, we were told that they could not rule out brain damage completely. In other words, they "thought" the problem would take care of itself but that there was also a chance that she would be born with problems. If the problem did not resolve itself, the best case scenario was Down's syndrome and worst case was severe brain damage. The counseling fell on deaf ears. Of course, we prayed and prayed for a healthy baby. But deep down, I prepared for the worst...and would have accepted it. I know the extra "work" involved with a down's syndrome child...and I know that there is FAR more extra "love" from those children than work so we would have been okay. I even planned her nursery more for a child who would need that extra stimulation. Then on March 28, 1997, Jordie was born and you couldn't find a happier and healthier baby if you tried! So Jordie, my little girl, this is for you...

1. Not only is Jordie a special gift from God, she has a special relationship with him. This little girl has a faith that is unshakeable and always has. I remember when she was 3 years old, almost 4 and came out to the kitchen one morning to tell me Jesus was in her room during the night. After my initial fear that someone had been in the house, I started to really listen to what she was saying. Jordie was always a little afraid of the dark and of shadows so she had a nightlight in her room and in the hallway. She says she was scared and Jesus sat on the bed and comforted her. I asked her what he looked like and she kept saying, "mommy, he had such beautiful eyes." She would often say she thought there was an angel in her room at night. I don't know what was happening but I know this little girl believed this with all her heart, even telling her Sunday School teachers and our pastor. My babysitter was a very spiritual older lady and she always said Jordie was "extra specially blessed". I decided I liked Sybil's explanation so that is the way we left it. I do remember thinking that if we were catholic, she would probably grow up to be a nun or something:-) I do know she is a blessing to us!

2. She loves her big sister. She will spend her last penny to buy Taylor a Starbucks or something else she thinks she would like. They are completely different but already, she appreciates her and has always been so grateful that she has such a good role model. They do fight...but they also have a lot of fun together and more and more, I am seeing special sisterly moments. Even though she has her moments with Taylor, she will defend her and protect her with everything she has. Sometimes I think she will be looking after her big sis later in life:-) For awhile she tried to be like her in every way. Eventually, she decided that being a ballerina like her sissy wasn't her thing but that's okay. She did look really cute in a tutu, though.

3. Jordie is so great at setting goals and going after them. If she wants to accomplish something, she will. She decided a year and a half ago that she wanted to learn to play tennis. She had to begin in classes with little kids but she kept at it and is doing great. This makes me think that her goal since she was 4 or 5 that she wanted to be a particular, a neonatologist, might actually happen someday. She is also a gifted artist and paints beautiful pictures. I love everything she does but my favorite is a drawing she did of me when she was little...of course!:-)

4. She is a beautiful girl...and a strong, beautiful, generous person. Who would have thought that my adorable, chubby baby would grow to be this tall, blonde confident, charming beauty!!!:-) She loves, friends...babies to the elderly. She is comfortable in almost every situation...what a gift!

5. She always roots for the underdog and is shattered if someone in a tv show, movie or real life is being teased or hurt. To this day, we cannot watch Hunchback of Notre Dame because of the cruel way he was treated. If she is in public and sees someone being teased, she wants to jump all over the person doing it.

6. She gets my whole obsession with Lilly Pulitzer and Shabby Chic. Her room is lime green and Lilly pink and she loved to wear Lilly clothes...still would. For Mother's day every year, we used to all wear matching Lilly dresses to church. She knows that you either like Lilly or you don't...and once you are a fan, you are always a fan.

7. She is my TV buddy. We love the same, cake challenges, decorating...and wife swap. Seriously! It isn't as bad as it sounds...the show almost always has a happy ending that we love. She even has the same favorite movie...Auntie Mame. And she loves the same treats...vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and once a year, potato chips dipped in slightly melted vanilla ice cream. No kidding! It sounds bad but it is addicting, which is why it's a once a year treat:-)

8. She's smart...and funny. She is not only book smart but she is common sense smart. I am embarrassed to admit how many times I ask her what I should do!:-) And she is blessed with a very quick wit. She can almost always think of something clever or funny to say or do. She just "gets it"...and she is not afraid to be silly.

9. She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES holidays and traditions. She starts planning for Christmas in July...seriously! And she remembers every single tradition we have ever done and you better believe, we have to do it again. I'm sure she will be the only 30 year old outside on Christmas Eve sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn. And she might never recover if we changed the menu for one of the big Holidays. Taylor and I suggested changing things up a bit and she was shocked that we would even think
of such a thing.

10. I probably shouldn't say that one of the things I love about Jordie is how much she loves me, but it is. She is my biggest fan. She just believes I can do anything I want to do, sticks up for me even when I tell her she doesn't need to and encourages me in whatever latest thing I am thinking of doing...and there are many. I hope I give her the same support and encouragement that she gives me! I remember when I was a consultant for Southern Living at Home, she sat on the front porch and handed out my business card to neighbors walking by on the sidewalk. I believe she genuinely likes to spend time with me ( I realize what a gift this is) and has promised me a pink cottage on her property someday so I can bake with her kids and teach them crafts:-) I love it!!!

11. Jordie has a great sense of style and I am seeing more and more of it every day. She can put together outfits better than me and has her own little sense of flair. Lately, she is in to scarves draped around her neck or her jeans. A few years ago, she was into wearing a bandanna. She's just one cool kid!

12. Jordie writes me notes...still. She used to write me notes teling me how much she loved me like the one here. She still leaves us notes...sometimes to tell me how she is feeling, to apologize for something or just because. Those are the best ones and i keep every one...the ones that simply say thank you for being my mom.

Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter, Jordie! I love you more than you will ever know. Happy 12th Birthday, my sweet girl!


  1. Happy Birthday to a beautiful young lady.

    I am your newest follower from the Follow Me Club.

  2. Happy Birthday! She's just lovely! And how lucky to have hung on to those gorgeous blonde locks the whole time!

  3. Happy Birthday! Beautiful post - they just grow up so fast don't they? I love that picture of the two girls on the beach together!!


    What a BEAUTIFUL young lady. Those are great pictures! I just love the little pink Mary Janes, they are so cute. You wrote such a nice post. She is very lucky to have you for her mother, as you are to have her!


  5. Thanks for your comments. she really is very special to me...obviously:-)

  6. Wow, what a beautiful daughter and what a wonderful tribute to her from her devoted mother!
    Thank you so much for sharing the heart and beauty of this young woman.
    It's obvious she is because you are!

  7. Wow 12!! Happy Birthday to her. My oldest will turn 11 this year. They are really growing up...

  8. This is simply lovely, brought tears to my eyes...


So, what do ya think? Do tell...I'd love to hear it:) Be Happy...

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