Dear Jessica,

Oh, Monday...you always seem to sneak up on me! Not gonna lie - I'm a weekend kind of girl, but then again, who isn't?! Last week's Smell the Roses task was to write a letter to your younger self. Talk about getting emotional. I asked my mom to email 5-7 pictures of me from when I was a kid...well she decided to email me about 50 pictures and going through them brought tears to my eyes! 

I was so blessed to have such a wonderful childhood, and I have continued to be blessed into adulthood. I am so grateful for all that I have and let me just tell you - I wouldn't change one single thing about how anything has went down up to this point. Each piece of my life has played a part in molding me into the woman that I am today. This letter is complied of advice that I would tell the younger me in in hopes of pushing myself to enjoy life to its fullest :) 

Don't you ever take any of the wonderful people that surround you for granted. Your family may get on your nerves sometimes, but trust me...they are your biggest fans. Cherish every moment with them, because someday you won't have the privilege of seeing them & spending time with them every day.

I know you & your Mom argue like sisters, but she loves you with her whole heart and has good intentions. Take notes from your Dad and Toy. They get along with everyone and really know how to build up and encourage people...which are very important things as you get older. You're more of a fire cracker like your Granddad, you two like to tell people how it is, and there's nothing wrong with that! Just make sure to confront people in a loving way.

You're not gonna fit in with most of the girls that you come across, and that's okay. You're different. Embrace it. You'll be thankful when you meet Adam, because that's one of his favorite things about you. You don't need fancy clothes and lots of makeup to be beautiful. Always keep your head up. You're a dreamer and don't you ever let anyone tell you that you can't accomplish your goals. If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough. Nothing is too crazy!

You will never, ever find worth or identity in a guy. EVER. Cling to Christ - He will give you the love that you are seeking...I promise even when He doesn't seem to be there, He's there, working things out in your favor. You're gonna date someone who doesn't know how to treat a woman. He's going to take a lot of low blows to your self esteem and make you feel worthless. Don't believe a word he says. When you see the skinny kid with the afro, wearing the girl pants in high school, take note of him, he'll be around for awhile ;) (love you, babe!) He seems to be the opposite of you, but trust me, he'll teach you things you'll never learn on your own and he will love you like you can't even imagine. Forget the love movies and books...your love story tops them all. And yes, he'll still give you butterflies even after you've dated for years & years. 

Don't be scared to take risks. Branch out a little. I promise that you want to enjoy your time in high school, instead of slaving away over studying for one test. Yes, still make good grades, but find balance and don't kill yourself over a "B"...life goes on. Speaking of high school, stand up for what you believe in. You turn out to be a very confident & outspoken woman, and people respect you for that. Like I said, you're different than most of the other girls. But be careful, sometimes you seem to think that your way is the only way. Stick your guns, but also have an open mind. 

Speaking of girls, a lot are gonna come & go. Just roll with it. Each of them is in your life for a reason. Spend your effort building them up and if someone turns their back on you, don't beat yourself up about it. Keep moving, girl. No matter what you do, you're always going to get along better with guys than you do with girls. The few girls that you do get close to, hold them near & near to your heart. They're gems.

This is a big one...don't sweat the small stuff. You're a perfectionist and you strive to go above and beyond. Sometimes you take a little too much on and if something doesn't get checked off of your "to do" list you get anxious...it's really not a big deal. In fact, rip up the "to do" list! Spend your time building relationships with the people around you, don't close yourself off. You have a lot to offer people and a lot to learn from them, too. Remember...your friends & family are far more important than any "to do" list.

Be all there in everything that you do, really, be present in every single moment. Don't halfway do anything...be all in or all out. Never let go of your passion, your heart is full of it. Whether you like it or not, you're a leader. It's in your blood, so instead of rolling your eyes about having to set up, do it with a joyful heart...it's better for you!

Love without boundaries, don't let grudges overtake your heart. Pursue your passions. Appreciate every hug from behind & kiss on the forehead. When a man opens the door for you say, "Thank you" and then open the next one for him. Go ahead, eat dessert before dinner. Drive with the windows down and sing at the top of your lungs often. Do things without the fear of failing. Smile at strangers and help them whenever you can. Call in sick on a rainy day to stay home and cuddle or read your favorite book. Take lots of bubble baths & enjoy lots of wine. And finally...listen to your heart, even if people think you're absolutely insane. Be true to yourself.

Love always,

Did you write a letter to your younger self? Link up with me! 
And by the way, I'm thinking about making this the last "link up" for Smell the Roses. I'll still do it, but instead of a link up, it'll be a weekly feature. And of course, the week's task will still be listed on my sidebar for those who still wish to participate :)

This week's task:
Make a bucket list.

Let's face it...life is super busy most of the time. Sometimes I get caught up in getting my day to day tasks done that I lose sight of my bigger goals. This week I'm going to make a bucket list so that all of the goals that have been shuffled aside will be brought to the forefront of my mind again! 

Enjoy your Monday, lovelies!


  1. I love this so much. Makes me cry! You're going to treasure this letter and be so happy that you wrote it :)

  2. You are such a sweet spirit do you know that?!? You are truly inspiring & you're going to do great things!


  3. What a great letter! PS. You're awesome!

  4. I am in love with the first two pictures! Jess, I love you so much!

    Such a great letter, and your heart really shows through your words. You are priceless. *hug*

    I <3 my Mac!

  5. I love your letter and the photos....you were an adorable kid! Did you and Adam start dating in high school?

  6. So sweet Jessica, I really enjoyed reading this!

  7. i love this!! and can totally relate to balance - even in high school and that a B isn't the end of the world - I could've used that advice!

  8. Such a cute post Jess! Pic number 2 with the glasses is AMAZING :)

    The Other Side of Gray

  9. AWW! SO sweet!! This is wonderful!! I posted my bucket list Friday, how funny!

  10. I like your letter to yourself, very good advice! That last picture is adorable!

  11. This is so adorable, what a great idea! I love the pumpkin picture the best.

  12. This is so sweet!! I love all of the pics of you when you were little. Adorable, I tell you!!

    Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  13. You are the cutest baby/toddler I've seen!!! How adorbs is that shot with the waterhose posing all sassy pants?!?!

    Love your words of advice to yourself girlie... take back nothing and roll with what you got b/c it's HIS plan... not ours!

    Um... skinny guy with an afro?? Gotta love our men through the thick and THIN right?!?! LOL

    Awesome smell the roses task!! Wish I linked up for this one, but my letter would have taken up my dissertating time... maybe a future letter??

    Happy Monday Love!


  14. Wasn't it just Friday? Monday always seems to sneak up on me when I least expect it.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  15. Amazing letter to yourself! And I love all the pictures of your younger self! You were such a cutie :) I already have a bucket list of sorts, since my ongoing lists are yearly. But there are some major things that I have (some that I don't want to share on the blog though). Happy Monday!

  16. "Cling to Christ - He will give you the love that you are seeking...I promise even when He doesn't seem to be there, He's there, working things out in your favor."
    Never truer. I wish I'd believed it with all my heart much sooner that I did. =)

  17. Jessica this was such an awesome idea! Thank you so much for being vulnerable enough to share something as personal as this with us! It was so beautiful to read.

    There was a lot of pep talk in there! I think all of our younger selves could use a bit of that, but truthfully it's a good sturdy reminder to our current selves too! I found myself cheering on the things you were saying to "younger you" ...but to myself!

    Seriously awesome stuff today! :)

  18. Nooo! Don't make it your last one. This is just my first time participating. :( This is one of the most creative link ups I've ever seen!!

  19. That fishing photo is adorable!

  20. Love your letter AND your pictures :)

    I especially like the "drink lots of wine" part haha

    <3 Jamie

  21. These are adorable photos and the one with her picking out the pumpkin is so cute.


  22. O M G!! Look how cute you are!!! It's crazy how fast time goes by and that we are actually old enough to write a letter to our teenage self (and younger). I actually did this task, but I am still working on it. It was harder than I expected...and there were definitely tears. It will eventually come out in the future ;) Love you!

  23. i love everything about this! your pictures are adorable and your letter is so so sweet. your advice to yourself is wonderful! thank you for sharing this!
    i'm bummed i missed this task! but starting to work on my bucket list today. i truly love these tasks! i will continue to do them even if the link ups stop!! :)


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