#9 Laugh Every Day

Laughing is good for you. It relieves stress, it works your abdominal muscles, and smiling is attractive.

You need to learn to laugh at yourself or this world is going to knock you down and keep you there. If you can’t laugh at yourself you will get really angry when you do things like run into glass windows when you don’t realize the glass is there (like your grandpa) or when you show up to work on a day you don’t need to be there (like me).

Watch a funny movie, read a funny book, laugh just because it feels good.

Perhaps you can laugh at a funny blog or website such as Don’t Even Reply or Passive Aggressive Notes . Those two always give me a chuckle.

If you have no other reason to laugh, do it because the sound of your giggle is music to my ears. As long as you find me funny I promise to make a complete goon of myself–just to hear you laugh.

#8 Get a Good Night of Sleep!

Well your dad and I just got back from our first overnight away from you. Nanna and Ba came to watch you at our house. You did great. Dad is fine–and mom survived. No, no, your mom had a good time. Not just one night but two! However I did make a trip home to kiss your little cheeks during the day.

Back to the advice! I realized while away that I really needed one thing I finally got. A good night of rest. I love you but you aren’t the most understanding when it comes to adult sleep needs. I hadn’t truly realized it until I finally slept for an 8 hour stretch of time for the first time since February. Needless to say, I feel great.

In the world we live in it seems that many people think we don’t need to sleep. However it has been proven time and time again that we NEED sleep. You need to be able to relax, to recharge your battery, and to face the world with a fresh mind. As a child it is proven that most of your growing will be done while you are sleeping and I want you to grow big and strong!

Please child, no matter what is on your to-do list learn to take time regularly for good undisturbed sleep. You will have plenty of time to be awake at 2 a.m. when you have babies of your own.

#7 Find a Best Friend Who Has Your Back For Life

One of the best gifts that I have in this life is a best friend (other than my spouse) who has shared almost every significant moment with me. From elementary playground drama, to high school graduation. From my wedding day, to being there to hold you the day after you were born. My best friend has always, always, always, had my back.

We didn’t always get along–and even now we still disagree on some things–but we always love each other. A best friend is that person who can laugh with you, cry with you, and tell you when you need to just plain suck it up. Your best friend is the person you will complain to about me when your grounded (and most likely they are too) and who you plot revenge with when some guy leaves you crying.

I guess this isn’t really advice, but more a wish, a desire, for you to have the same amazing friendship I have had the chance to experience.

“The friends who grew up with you deserve a special respect. The ones who stuck by you shoulder to shoulder, in a time where nothing was certain, all life lays ahead, and every road led home” – The Wonder Years

#6 Always Put Your Name On Your Paper

That’s right. When you hand in work at school–always remember to put your name on it! I’m telling you to take credit where credit is due.

In school I struggled for a while to remember to put my name on things. This ended up in me turning in work only to get a grade of zero. With no name on my paper, my teachers didn’t know who the A (or B or C) belonged to and they also knew it wasn’t really their job to track through hundreds of students to figure it out. They settled instead for giving the nameless papers a zero because they can’t give credit to someone who doesn’t claim their work. However, I also think the teachers were making a much bigger point.

My teachers were teaching me to take pride in the things I do. They were teaching me that I should be doing such good and hard work that I WANT to take credit for it. They knew that in life, if you don’t take credit and put your own personal signature on the things you do and the things you work for then someone else will come along and take it for themselves.

Please dear daughter, put your name on your work. You should spend your life doing your best and being involved in things you are proud of. Things you want to take credit for. If ever you find yourself turning in work so poor, or involved in things so shameful you don’t want your name associated with them, then you need to stop and reconsider your choices.

Signing Out For Now — Your Mother– Jessica Moore

#5 Don’t Buy a Beagle

Now before all the wonderful loving Beagle owners out there FREAK OUT (as if I have a large collection of them reading this)–I own one very cute Beagle. However I will most likely never own another one and I suggest you don’t either.

The problem with Beagles is that they are smart–and not in a good way. A Golden Retriever is smart but they also aim to please their owner. The Beagle is smart but all he wants to use his brain for is obtaining food in any way possible. Your father and I have gone through at least 5 trash cans attempting to find a Beagle proof one. He can step on pedals, press buttons, and flip lids just for a bite of some spoiled left overs. If that doesn’t work he will situate himself right in front of you and bark until you get the idea that it may be dinner time even though dinner was served five minutes ago.

While our wonderful Beagle Ranger still exists I encourage you to love, pet, and cuddle him. However when purchasing a pet for yourself, buy a stupid dog, or a smart people pleasing dog. Don’t buy a smart and self-centered dog. Mainly just don’t buy a Beagle.

#4 Marry for Love

There are many motivations for the things people do now-a-days–Money, Power, Fun, Boredom–just to name a few. The one thing I can tell you though is that the only reason and only motivator you should have for getting married is real, true, love because it is the only thing that will get you through a lifetime (as marriage is meant to be) with someone else.

Please don’t confuse love with infatuation. Infatuation is intense (and love can be too), and short lived. Infatuation allows you to see no wrong in the other person and often to put them on a temporary pedestal. However, when the real world kicks in and you realize that person you married in a whirlwind isn’t perfect–their taste in movies is actually horrible, they can’t cook, they don’t fold their clothes the right way or whatever–things will quickly get old.

Love is powerful. It realizes the flaws in another and accepts them. Love is a two way street, don’t give your love to someone who can’t or won’t return it. Love is visible in our actions and heard in our words. That doesn’t mean that a marriage based on love will be perfect–but it at least means the marriage has a strong foundation on which to face the trials and tribulations of life!

Get a job for the money, go on a long vacation for fun, get a bad hair cut out of boredom–but marry for love.

Today is your parent’s two year anniversary and your grand-parent’s 30 year anniversary. We both hope for many more!

#3 Wear Sunscreen

Please wear sunscreen–after you are 6 months old anyways 😉

My dear red-headed, fair skinned child please wear sunscreen. I know you will reach an age where you feel that you must be perfectly tan to be beautiful. Where a tanning bed or unprotected hours by the pool sounds harmless and great but trust me you can go from tanned to lobster almost instantly. Not only that, but the more damage the sun does to your skin the faster it ages. You might be tan now but before your time you might be an old leather back.
I look at you and see some young fresh beautiful skin. Read on it–if you want to keep it you need to slather on protection. I’m not saying avoid the sun, or freak out when you do eventually get a burn. I’m just asking you not to invite the sun to ruin that beautiful outter layer that I think people forget we need to survive!
If you laugh and think your skin will be fine then please watch this video. There are lots sicknesses, lots of ways to die, and lots of silly decisions you are bound to make. I just don’t want this to be one of them.
So please darling, take care of your skin like it works to take care of you.

# 2 Always Stop At Stop Signs

That’s right, always stop at stop signs literally and figuratively.

For Heaven’s sake child if you are driving in a car and there is a stop sign. PLEASE STOP. PLEASE LOOK before you continue. A stop sign doesn’t mean you can’t ever go again but it does mean “Quit moving, make sure the coast is clear, and then get on your way.” Thousands of accidents are caused every year by people not taking 30 seconds to stop at a stop sign. For many those accidents are life altering and I don’t want to see your life or someone else’s changed simply because you failed to stop and look around.

I hope you can realize that in life there are also other stop signs. When you reach a point in life where you think it might be time to stop and re-evaluate you are probably right. Sometimes in the world we live in it is easy to be Go-Go-Go. However, there is no better way to crash and burn then to fail to slow down and stop when necessary. Take time for yourself, know when you have reached your limits–with relationships, partying, jobs, and even hobbies. Remember that stopping doesn’t have to be simultaneous with quitting. Stopping simply means taking a break, a minute to catch your breath or clear your head–to evaluate and make sure the coast is clear.
Just always remember to stop at stop signs.

#1 Never Become a Fan of Justin Bieber

That’s right..never become a fan of Justin Bieber or any male vocalist similar to him for the following reasons:

1. His music is not good. If you want introduced to good music ask your dad, ask me, or ask several other people I can think of.
2. His hair is more popular than his music and when he cut it he actually lost popularity among some people. Don’t spend money on someone whose fame swivels around their hair.
3. He sings music that is played in clubs he isn’t old enough to get into.
4. He also sings about true love and some girl being his “Baby” but has yet to show the capability to experience it.
5. Just do me a favor and don’t like him.
I expect this to be the most highly ignored piece of advice I give you. Some day when you are playing the latest pop boy music out of your speakers I will have to just cringe and bear it or beg you to please put in your headphones. I will also have to hang my head in shame when you beg me to buy you tickets to the cutesy-boy’s concert and then am also forced to drive you there, chaperone the experience, and feel guilty if I enjoy even one song.