First and foremost, I love you. I love each and every one of you for different reasons. You each have qualities that make you stand out in my life. Each of you is important to me.
Secondly, no matter what anyone tells you, remember who you are. You are, first and foremost, a child of God. You each have amazing families that are here to love and support you unconditionally. You each have a wonderful heritage of ancestors that sacrificed much so that you could live where and how you do. Your parents love you more than you will ever know. Your siblings adore you. Your grandparents love you...and Uncle Tim and I love you so so so so much and we always will.
Third, don't ever change who you are for someone else. You are perfect the way that you are. You are funny, smart, kind, thoughtful and adorable. If you happen to meet someone who wants you to be someone else, walk away. They don't deserve you. They need to rise to your level, you don't need to sink to theirs.
Fourth, take care of your family. In the end, there is nothing more important than them. Look out for your brothers and/or sisters. You might not like them a whole lot now, but trust me when I say that when you're older, you'll wish they lived closer again.
Fifth, learn now to serve others. There is no greater joy than serving your family- whether they're your actual family or the family you've chosen. Don't let the state of the world make you unkind. See every person as your brother or sister and child of God, because that's truly who they are.
Sixth, Stand up for yourself and for what you believe...you know what they say-You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.
Seventh, if you want something in this world to change, change it. You have that power. You may think that one person's actions will never ever make a difference, but they do. Each of you is powerful beyond measure.
Eighth, (for my nieces) don't ever let anyone dull your sparkle. You are amazing. And no matter what, you musn't be afraid to shine a little brighter, darling. You are each beautiful, inside and out. Don't let your outer beauty dictate your inner beauty, but rather, the other way around. Grow up to be kind, gentle, good, virtuous women. The world needs more women like you. Also, learn to make good cookies. I'll help you. Cookies can save the world. Really.
Ninth, (for my nephews) it's okay to be a good man. There is nothing better than a man who honors his priesthood and serves others. You have some amazing examples of good men to look to. Your uncle is one of them. He honors his priesthood, he serves others every day, he is kind and gentle and thoughtful and he is also the best and strongest man that I know. He is also an amazing cook...don't ever underestimate the power of making dinner for a girl. :)
And tenth, please don't ever forget how important you are to me. You are one of the reasons that I wake up every day. I know I might seem like that crazy old auntie who has way too many cats to pay attention to your lives, but I'm not ever too busy for you. I never will be. If you ever need me, all you have to do is say the word and I'll be right there. Always. There are few people in this world who mean as much to me as you do.
I promise that I will love you, tease you, spoil you, pray for you, cry for you, laugh with you, play with you and be there for you.
All my love,