Always set goals for yourself. As humans, we are attracted to progression. Tell other people your goals - tell Dad and me - by telling other people about your goals, you'll have a circle to keep you accountable and to celebrate with you when you achieve them.
If you're anything like your Momma, lists will be your friend. Make them, and then enjoy the intoxicating feeling of checking items off. Heck, if you accomplish something that wasn't on your list to begin with, add it, and then check that off! There's no wrong way to make a list.
Go to the woods often. You'll find clarity there.
Pay attention to the way your Dad treats me. That is strong love right there and he treats me like royalty. He's patient, kind, loving, selfless... Emerson, this is what every person deserves and you are no exception.
At the same time, pay attention to our arguments. Arguments happen. I believe it's healthy. The way you solve them says everything, though. Be slow to anger and slow to react. Think about what you're going to say before blurting something out and always apologize if you're wrong - you don't have to do it right away if you need time to process what the other person has said, but make sure you do it sooner rather than later.
Keep scripture close to you. You'll find a comfort in those words that no person will ever provide.
There is no shame in having ice cream for breakfast.
Many things you'll worry about will never actually happen.
Marry someone who is fun and can make you laugh. If you can't laugh together when one of you farts, you're going to have a really hard time.
Please take lots of pictures. You only get to live this life one time and how you've lived will never be how someone else lives. Don't let the camera consume you, but don't be afraid to document what you love.
Your Dad and I will always want to hear from you.
Your opinion matters. How you feel matters.
Always keep your word. People won't trust you if you break it often.
Trust your gut.
Stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves.
Be a dog person, not a cat person. ;)
Make time for your family. If you don't live close to them, communicate with them often. Ask them about their day. Don't ignore the relationships that should mean the most to you.
If you don't want to sing in the school play, we won't make you, but you'd better have a good excuse for why.
Girls can use power tools, too.
Being a nerd is cool. Just look at your Dad!
If something breaks and you don't know how to fix it, pay to have it fixed properly. Take a lesson from us on this one...
A strong man isn't threatened by a strong woman.
Show up at church. Volunteer. Be involved.
Drink your coffee black.
Try not to cry at work.
Be strong, but don't let that strength rule you. It's not bad to show your emotions.
Make friends with your cousins.
Don't give up on something just because it's "hard".
If we give you a sibling, make friends with them too. Those relationships only get better with age.
Build your faith on a solid foundation. We will help you the best we know how.
Your Dad is great, but your heavenly Father is better.
You're never too old for Legos.
Never compare where you're at in life with those around you. Life isn't a race.
You were made in God's image. He doesn't make mistakes.
Put your phone down.
Call in sick to work every now and then even if you're not sick.
If you find yourself in a bad situation, you can always call me. No questions asked.
Seek out good friends and be the kind of friend that you'd want to have.
Always opt for the local food joint instead of the chain restaurant.
Take time to get to know yourself before you give yourself to someone.
Do what's right even if it's not popular.
If you aren't willing to make a change, you aren't allowed to cry about the problem. Develop your problem-solving skills.
Never deny puppy snuggles.
Live alone at least once in your life.
Don't lose the perspective of eternity. Small trials will become trivial.
Journal often. It's therapy.
Drink plenty of water.
Work hard. If you're going to do something, do it right.
Open your eyes and see the beauty of the world that surrounds you. It's everywhere.
Invest in a good pair of boots.
Pay your bills on time.
And avoid unnecessary debt.
Your Dad and I will never get mad at you for staying up late to finish a book.
Trust takes a long time to earn. Never break that with family and friends.
You will always be our baby.
Being a woman is a gift - embrace it.
Good communication is a skill that requires constant attention and work.
Go for a drive when you need to clear your head.
There's no such thing as too many Oreo's.
Don't ever settle. Don't ever settle just to save yourself from being alone.
When you get your period for the first time, you'll think you're dying. You're not.
Dad and Mom aren't perfect. Please don't expect us to be.
Be the first to step in when someone needs help.
When Dad starts giggling because he's so excited about something, giggle with him.
Be humble. Nobody likes a know-it-all.
Always move forward. You can't change the past.
Ask for directions if you're lost.
It's not cool to not like your parents. It'll just makes us all more frustrated.
Your life has purpose. God didn't make you to just exist in space.
When you sit down in a restaurant, always take the seat that allows for the best people-watching.