My niece Kelsi. Sweet 16.

Dearest Kelsi,

Sweet 16. I can hardly believe it.

No longer a child. Filled with hopes and dreams, you stand on the verge of becoming a woman.

I see your potential and it warms my heart. You amaze me.

I’ve have the pleasure of knowing some  phenomenal women from all walks of life and have enlisted their help to inspire you along your life journey.

I hope you find their words as uplifting and moving as I did.


Aunt Jennie

“There will be those that tell you, you can’t do “this” or encourage you to do “that” when your heart isn’t in it. Get to know your own voice before you let others drown it out. Wear hot pink whenever you feel like it, dance when everyone else is still and never let anyone put you in a corner baby!”Lara

“Fear is a normal part of the process when we put ourselves out there and reach for our dreams. But the key to success lies in the decision to refuse to let those worries turn you into someone you’re not. Never settle for letting others decide who you should be – you’re already fabulous the way you are. Stand up for yourself. Stay authentic, be real and dream big!”Jenn & Jill

“The best exercise for the heart is reaching down and lifting someone up.” If you want to be a better person yourself, turn outward and help others be better people. The rest will follow.Lolli

“Be proud of what makes you unique. I used to feel embarrassed about the things that make me different, but now I’ve learned that they’re actually my strengths. Be proud of who you are (you don’t want to be like everyone else!) Always walk into a room standing tall and with grace. If you live your life without comparing yourself to others or judging those around you, your life, loves and passions will flourish.”Bailey

“Always keep in mind the 5x5x5 rule when worrying about something. When something happens that upsets or stresses you out ask yourself “Will this matter in 5 years? Will it matter in 5 months? Will it matter in 5 days?” This enables you to react accordingly.” Jessica

“Live life life like there is NO tomorrow all while preparing for next week.”Elizabeth

“Let nothing and no one define you, but you. We live in a world of judgment, where people want to put labels on us to be something or someone they want us to be, but we are so much more. No one can dictate your path and never let anyone do it. Each past moment, no matter how trying, is simply a lesson to learn from – to be more, to be stronger, and to be true to you and your beliefs. Trust yourself. It’s so simple, but sometimes the hardest thing to do.”Laura

1- Kill ’em With Kindness: It’s SO MUCH EASIER to retaliate and say mean things back.  Sometimes I do.  Us girls have a tough time with that.  But I’m telling you- kill them with kindness.  When someone is cruel and mean, be nice.  I know, it’s so hard.  Bend over backwards for them.  Go the extra mile.  Be the bigger person.  That person will soon learn that bullying doesn’t work on you.

2- Ditch the Bad Friends: You know the ones.  The ones that back out minutes before you’re supposed to go to the movies.  The ones who never have anything nice or positive to say.  The ones who after you hang out with them you think, “Why am I friends with them, again?”  Ditch ’em.  Just do it.  I’m not saying delete them entirely from your life, but don’t carve out any of your precious time for them.  They don’t respect it, and you should use that time on positive people and projects.  If they come around and “get it” then great.  If they don’t, they don’t.  You won’t miss those relationships.

3- You Belong: You’re meant to be here.  You matter.  Whatever you want to do, do it.  Pursue what makes you happy. – Mary Kate

NOTE: Tomorrow will hold more words of wisdom…