Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sixteen til 16

For those of you who don't know, I have two daughters. One is going to be 11 next month, and the other is going to be 16. Sweet 16. It's a big one. It's important. It's one that you remember forever. Before I tell you what we are doing let me tell you a little about my girls.

First there is Gianna. She is my younger girl. She has a heart of gold and is as sweet and sensitive as they come. She loves her family (especially her big sister) more than anything. Over the years she has struggled with finding her niche. Trying to figure out where she belonged. We moved to VA from CA last year and it seemed to get a little better for her. Then we moved her to SC and this girl has thrived like never before. She has more friends than she has ever had. She is happier than she has ever been. As a matter of fact on 3 different occasions in the last month or so she has said to me 'mom, this is the best night of my life'. She's just happy. As a mom I really couldn't ask for more. It's all I have ever wanted for this girl. She has been through a lot in her 10 years and she deserves to be happy.

My sweet little Gianna. There are no words to describe how full my heart is when I see how well she is adjusting here. I just couldn't be happier.

Next, we have Allison. Allison had a great life in California. She was Captain of her cheer team (second year in a row), she had the same two best friends since pre-school, she had a boyfriend that she adored, she was homecoming princess, she had tons of friends. It was a good life for a teenage girl.
Allison in all her California glory. She was so lucky to have such great friends.
As difficult as it was for Allison to leave CA, and let me tell you she cried the entire plane trip across country. She adjusted well. She immediately made friends, she was able to try out for the cheer team when we got there so that made it really easy. The girls in VA embraced her and took her in as if she had been there all along. I was so grateful. You just never know with teenage girls what is going to happen so I was apprensive. But we soon got to know these girls and just love them. It was a much easier transition than I anticipated.

Allison and all of her wonderful friends that embraced the 'new girl' and were so good to her.

Now as well as Allison adjusted (and even Gianna for that matter) to VA we all knew it wasn't the place for us. We knew that we wouldn't stay for long. When my husband got a job offer in SC and we came and checked it out we all decided that we wanted to move. It wasn't something Chris just decided or I did, it was all of us. We really felt like we would fit in better in SC. We knew instantly that we were going to feel like we were home there (here). So once again we packed up and moved. It was easier this time, but saying goodbye to Allison's friends was the hardest part.

So now we have been in South Carolina for 4 1/2 months. The summer was wonderful. We had so many of our friends from CA visit, including BOTH of Allison's best friends. It was so awesome to have them here. They each came without their parents and just had a blast. I have known both these girls since they were 3 years old and they are like family to us. Both of their moms are two of my closest friends and it really is an awesome relationship we all have.

She was so lucky to have her two best friends come stay with us this summer....now if I could just convince their parents that they should come live with us it would be all good!

Well summer came to an end and all of our company left. School started and Allison has not made any friends. NONE. My girl who has friends in two states across the country, who has never met a stranger. She has yet to make a friend here. It is killing me. It is breaking my heart. Her spirit has been broken and it is just awful. She got in the car yesterday and said to me 'mama, (she's embracing her country) it's OK, I have gotten used to being a loner'. Ugh. Doesn't that just break your heart? So now here we are getting closer and closer to her birthday. I have always thought we would have a big party for her sweet 16. Something I just took for granted. I knew she would have tons of friends and a guest list wouldn't be a problem. Clearly it is. So last week she told me that their were 18 days to her birthday. (I know that this post is long but bare with me, I am getting to the point). For whatever reason when she said that, I thought 'let's do a countdown'. I knew that I wanted to do something for her every day for the 16 days before her birthday. I also knew that I had to keep the cost to a minimum. We are operating on a tight budget here so as much as I would like to give her a new piece of Juicy Couture every day for 16 days or even just a gift a day I knew that wasn't feasible. So I decided I would do something small, but significant. I wish I was that organized person that sat down and mapped out the next 16 days. But I am not, I am more of a fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl. I prefer to wing it. So the first day I made her favorite dinner. The second day I did her laundry for her. By the way, I haven't mentioned that this kid has a job, does all of her own laundry, cleans her room and bathroom (including washing her own sheets once a week) AND maintains a 3.9 to 4.0 GPA. So for me to do her laundry for her on Sunday was a big help because she had to work. Yesterday was the 3rd day and I wrote her a letter and left it on her bed. She told me later that it made her cry. Today I am making her cupcakes. I am still not sure what I will do for the rest of the days. I do know that this Saturday I will take her to get her hair cut and a have a little pampering. I will just figure the rest out as we go. All I know is that come hell or high water my girl is going to have a sweet 16. Friends or no friends she deserves the best birthday ever. I would give anything to fly her friends from CA and VA out here and have a great big country party in a barn for her but I can't, so instead we will make this work. I will keep y'all posted on how it goes!
Oh and we have a winner from our last giveaway!! it is
Kara Contreras!!
Congrats Kara, I will be sending your clipboard out this week!


  1. Stopping by to say hello and thank you for your sweet comments! I couldn't imagine moving across the US! I would probably like it though! Your girls are beautiful! I'm in the upstate to, btw! Maybe one day we can meet up and go shopping!

    Take care!

  2. Oh, Nina! That is such a bittersweet post. I am so happy for G and so sorry for Allison. I can't imagine her not being the light of that school - and she is such a special girl. I love your idea of a 16 countdown - that will be a very special memory for her. K is 6 next Tuesday!
    LOVE you all, xoxox