On the eve of her 17th birthday, Melissa and I shared with her the story of her birth (for the like the hundredth time) and looked at baby photos of her. It was also a very similar night 17 years ago. A little micro storm moved through with some lighting, thunder, and rain. It was perfect!

On a weekly basis Melissa and I have a date night. At dinner, we talk about each kid and their successes and struggles. Our hearts burst with pride as we talk about Hannah. Like Mary Poppins, she is practically perfect in every way. Perhaps the thing I love most about Hannah is the example she sets for her younger siblings. I can’t imagine a better oldest child. She loves them and they adore her. She is everyone’s best friend in the family. She is kind, hard working, smarter than both Melissa and me, and an absolutely gorgeous dancer. Hannah is authentic, brave, and has an awesome quirky sense of humor. She does not need validation from others to build her identity…she knows who she is.

It’s hard to believe she will be applying to college this fall. Our hearts ache at the thought of her leaving the nest in less than a year.