he-is-13You. Are. A. Teenager.

Holy Cow!

And…

The Cubs made the playoffs/are predicted to win the World Series!

Two things I am not sure if I believed would ever happen…

Okay, I knew, or should I say hoped, you’d see this day eventually, as much as you don’t care for the number 13. I just didn’t realize it would happen so fast, or at least feel that way.

And likewise, I’ve hoped the Cubs would win the World Series many times before, including the year you were born (Daddy and I were even watching a playoff game at the hospital when I was in labor with you), but have been disappointed enough to know better.

I’m so glad you had that special day with Daddy at Wrigley Field earlier this year, when you went on a tour of the ball field and then got to stay for a game, especially if they do go all the way this year.

go-cubs-go Well that was a tangent, wasn’t it?!

We seem to do that a lot, don’t we! 😉

Back to you being a teen…

As I think back on this past year in your life and what is to come, I am so very proud of the progress you are making in school (being in 7th grade now), socially with your good friends (with whom you have a lot in common), and in the activities you choose to fill your free time.

I still can’t get over how awesome you were as Jojo in Keller’s production of Suessical the Musical Jr. in June! That part was made for you. I could watch you perform and hear you sing those songs over and over, without ever tiring. You know that you are not alone in the universe, anything is possible and how lucky you are, right?! 😉 Ha, ha… It was so cool that your biggest fans (most of our immediate family) came to see you and we took up an entire row (Center Section C) of the Beverly Arts Center.

It was bittersweet that you decided to take this school year of from the Beverly Neighborhood Choir/Chicago Children’s Choir, however I admire you for not over programming your life, especially during a year that will be pivotal as you prepare to choose what high school to apply to and possibly attend. Though we’ve lived in Beverly as many years as you are old now, I still can’t get over how different the high school experience/search is here. Growing up in Evanston, there was no search. I just went to our local school, ETHS. That said, I appreciate how much input you get to have in where you will spend those four important years in your life.

I wonder where you will end up… Public or Private? Selective Enrollment, Catholic or neither?

Regardless, I am excited to spend the next few months checking out open houses and helping find where you think would be the best fit. It will also be interesting to see what schools your friends and cousin (who was born within a few weeks of you) decide to attend.

big-brother As I shared in my birthday letter to Abby, we are so happy that you two get to be together this year and next at Keller. That is something else I didn’t know if we’d get to experience, having you both at the same school. And you are thriving as her big brother/upper grade mentor/positive role model/all around awesome influence!

Not that you don’t have things you could work on. We all do, right? And I admire your determination to better yourself. You have plenty you struggle with, however you are open to feedback and I can tell how much you are learning and growing from the opportunities you have to learn healthier habits and get into routines that help you to be successful at school, in your relationships with family and friends, as well as in life in general.

You are in your second year as a boy scout, and continue to enjoy working towards merit badges, attending the meetings, going to sleep away camp, and using your skills in day-to-day life. This weekend, while on our extended family camping trip, it was great to see you in your element, helping to put up our tents, build fires, and carve things with your knife. I giggled and was impressed when Daddy got too close to you (while you were carving) and I heard you ask him to please move out of your “circle of safety.”

games

Pokémon is still your preferred language. Your best friends know how to speak it and love to play anything related to it, as far as video games and trading cards go. You have a knack for finding Pokémon peeps everywhere, especially since a certain popular app for smart phones was released. You played in and won your first real Pokémon tournament not long ago (at a local gaming store at the mall) and amaze me with your knowledge about all things Pokémon and Nintendo. You enjoy creating/building with Legos and rocked your experience on the Lego Robotics team at school!

You’ve had a blast on our family adventures this year! From our weekends at the Benson Cottage in Michigan to our road trip to Hilton Head, you continue to love hanging out with your cousins on both sides of our family, as well as your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. The older you get, the more we count on you to help out while we are on vacations like that and around the house. Though you sometimes have to be reminded, you are doing very well with your chores, which include emptying and loading the dishwasher, keeping the waste baskets from overflowing, taking the garbage and recycling out, and more recently watching your sister, while Daddy and I go out on dates or have meetings to attend.

It isn’t always easy to adjust to having more responsibility, but more often than not, you are rising to each challenge you face. You are kind and compassionate with your friends and family, as well as strangers, and have picked up on ways to connect with those you are close to when they are struggling. This time of transition in your life, entering these teenage years, won’t always be easy, however I trust that you know you can always count on and come to us with any problems, concerns, or questions you have. And I thank you for all the ways you continue help us honor your sister Molly’s short life, memory, and place in our family.

7-13

This year you have really gotten into following and wanting to discuss current events, including national politics (with the presidential election) and local issues, such as what is happening with our Chicago Public Schools (from the impending teachers strike to a proposal from our Alderman to restructure some of the schools in our ward, including moving yours to another locations). I enjoy our dinner table conversations and laugh when you end up trying to mediate between Daddy and I when we are getting worked up sharing our different points of view about hot topics.

I am sure there is so much more I could share today… And I know that you know, how very much I adore you, our dear son. Thank you so much for being you, for making me a mommy, for teaching me as much as I try to teach you, for being so caring and still wanting to give me hugs often. I hope and pray that 13 is your luckiest and happiest year yet!

I can’t wait to see Hamilton with you and some of our family in December! I get such a kick out of listening to the musical soundtrack with you and referencing quotes from it often, as there are so many opportunities to do so. I also can’t wait go to DC with you, your 7th grade class, and many of the parents of the kids you’ve been going to Keller with since 1st grade! I remember 7th grade being one of my favorite years, when I was in school, and I want it to be wonderful for you too. I also have such happy memories from the trip I took with my mom/your Grandma Axe to DC (when I was in 8th grade).

its-how-we-roll

Happy 13th Birthday, Sean Owen!

It was fun to start off your special day, with so many of our loved ones, on our camping trip, at Starved Rock and I look forward to celebrating you more with family and friends in the week to come, as well as throughout this first year of your life as a teen!

Do you know how much I love you?

SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!

Love,
Mommy

sean-mommy

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Two years ago we walked in honor and memory of our loved ones who died by suicide.

Two years ago I was new to being a coach. 💪🏼

Two years ago I was learning to navigate life with moderate generalized anxiety disorder. 🤔

Two years ago I struggled to live what I claimed my priorities were. 😔

What has changed two years later?

I am able to recognize even more what I can and cannot control in my life. 💡

I am still coaching and have learned so much about how to help others on their health and fitness journeys. 👊🏼

I am managing my anxiety with medication and behavioral therapy, which includes implementing healthier daily routines. 🌅

I am living more intentionally and my priorities reflect that. 😊

How about you?

I love to help others take responsibility for their lives and achieve their goals through creating, implementing, and being accountable for healthy habits. 👊🏼✔️😀

Comment or message me on Facebook if you are ready to talk with me about making positive changes in your life.💡

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Today You Are Seven

September 17, 2016

Last night, when I tucked you into bed for the last time as a six-year-old, you asked me if it was okay for you to read a book to help you get sleepy. That is one of the biggest changes this year… You can read! And you really enjoy it! You learned so much at […]

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How I Feel (Then and Now)

September 16, 2016

I love before and after pics! 💙  And it’s been awhile since I’ve shared a set of mine… 😉 So today, on the left, I give you 39-year-old me, the day after Eater Sunday in April 2014, when Bob and I began doing Focus T25 with Shaun T and drinking Shakeology daily. 👊🏼 On the right […]

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Who Me? (Then and Now)

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12 1/2 years between these two pictures… ⌛️ Sean was almost 6 months old and I had just turned 29. 🎂 In some ways it seems like so long ago and yet I can also remember a lot about what 29 year old me felt like. ♥️ I was adjusting to life as a new […]

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Eating on Vacation (Then and Now)

September 9, 2016

What stories do your family pictures tell? Do they remind you of special times you spent together?   These two were taken only a year apart. 🗓   The one on the left was taken at the happiest place on earth, in August 2015, on our epic family Disney/Universal Vacation! ✈️☀️🌴♥️😆 And yes, Bob and […]

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