12 Things for my Niece to Know on her 12th Birthday

12 Things for my Niece to Know on her 12th Birthday

I’ll never forget January 14, 2001, my niece Taylor Jane was born.

Taylor’s birth was a special one.  She was the very first grandchild/niece/nephew to be born to the Couto side of the family and she was my Godchild.

I remember sitting at Women and Infants Hospital through the night waiting for Taylor to be born.  My poor sister-in-law had the longest delivery ever!  But finally, our little Taylor Jane made her way into this world and she was surrounded by family and close friends when she arrived!

I personally couldn’t wait to see my little Goddaughter.  The little one that I had been waiting a long 9 months to meet. I was living in New York City at the time and made Matt (my fiance then!) drive home with me the second I heard Nicole was in labor… I was just DYING to see this little baby girl!

I’ve always felt a very close connection with Taylor because she reminds me so much of me.  There’s just something in our DNA, it crosses somewhere and it’s a very special bond to have with another person.

Today this special little girl turns 12 years old.


I don’t know where the time has gone.  This beautiful little girl has grown into an exceptionally beautiful young woman.

One of the gifts I gave her when Nicole was pregnant with Taylor was a journal. I wrote about her father and how he was as an older brother. I wrote about her mother and told her all about how much we loved her. I told her about how excited we were for her to arrive. And I gave her some advice for the upcoming years. Obviously Taylor wasn’t old enough to understand this gift back then… but as she got older she read the journal and we laughed and talked about it. I just wanted to give her a piece of her family that she maybe didn’t get to hear from her mom and dad… a glimpse at her life and their life from me.

The advice I gave her was advice from the heart… some funny, some serious, some practical. But now that she’s 12 years old and can fully understand everything, and I’ve seen Taylor grow into the young woman she is, I want to pass along 12 things for her to know on her 12th birthday.

1) Keep believing in your dreams. Take them. Dream of them. And never stop until they come true.

2) Family – it’s the most important thing in the world. Family is ALWAYS here for you and will always will be. We’re here at 10AM in the morning or 2AM at night. There’s a bond with family and it’s never broken.

3) Never let anyone knock the wind out of your sails. People will come and go in your life, but always remember that nobody has the power to knock the wind out of your sails.

4) Kindness goes a long way.

5) You can always come to Auntie Audrey for fashion advice. 🙂

6) Always surround yourself with positive people.

7) Don’t worry about boys yet, you’ve got plenty of time! 😉

8) Keep being strong – both physically and emotionally.

9) Take care of your skin – NOW.

10) Every girl needs a great pair of fitted jeans, regardless of your age.

11) Smile big and smile often.

12) Find what excites in your life and do just THAT!

Love you Taylor Jane!

So glad I got to see you today!

12 Things for my Niece to Know on her 12th Birthday was last modified: January 14th, 2013 by Audrey McClelland
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12 Things for my Niece to Know on her 12th Birthday was last modified: January 14th, 2013 by Audrey McClelland