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Meredith 16

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Meredith 16 - Page Text Content

S: Meredith 16

BC: I hope you never lose your sense of wonder, You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger, May you never take one single breath for granted, GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed, I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance....I hope you dance. I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance, Never settle for the path of least resistance Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin', Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin', Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter, When you come close to sellin' out reconsider, Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance....I hope you dance. I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. Dance....I hope you dance. I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

FC: Meredith | 16

1: To our Merry, With all of our Love on your Sweet 16 - Thank you for 16 amazing years. Love Mommy and Daddy May God bless and keep you always May your wishes all come true May you always do for others And let others do for you May you build a ladder to the stars And climb on every rung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young. May you grow up to be righteous May you grow up to be true May you always know the truth And see the lights surrounding you May you always be courageous Stand upright and be strong May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young. May your hands always be busy May your feet always be swift May you have a strong foundation When the winds of changes shift May your heart always be joyful And may your song always be sung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young.

2: We were so excited to have you!

3: Meredith is Welsh in origin. It means "Guardian of the Sea." "Great Chief." Those with this name exhibit a deep inner desire to use their abilities in leadership, and to have personal independence. They would rather focus on large important issues and delegate the details. Merediths tend to be leaders and not followers; they have strong personalities. Merediths are courageous, unique and creative. They are sometimes stubborn, proud and impatient. Our Meredith is certainly a Guardian of the Sea and a friend to all those who live there. When just a little child she was asked if she wanted to try some fish for dinner and she replied, "Mommy, fish are my friends." Meredith never missed an opportunity to visit the Lobsters in the grocery store tank - every single time we went food shopping. Once while visiting the beach she found a scungilli which she wanted to leave in its natural habitat...even though Uncle Charles, an avid fisherman, had other thoughts. Meredith has a well-defined inner strength. She is tenacious, curious and she beats to her very own drum. She is truly her own person and we are very blessed to be in her world.

4: You came to us, 16 years ago. Beautiful and Sweet, to welcoming arms and overflowing hearts. You were loved and wanted from the first moment we knew of your existence. Every single day thereafter, we have lived in absolute AWE of you. | Meredith Anne | From the moment they placed you in my arms, you snuggled right into my heart.

5: A Daughter. Exactly what I always asked for....and such a lovely one with so much sweetness. I spent many of your first moments just staring at you, feeling so very, very fortunate. I loved holding you. My grandmother frequently reminded me of how I could and should put you down once in a while. Even the fussy times, the days without sleep and with extra worry - were okay by me...just simple reminders really, of how blessed I was. One day my Mom commented to me,"You look like a Mother." It was simply the greatest compliment I have ever received.

6: Roses are Red Violets are Blue We struck gold when we had you! | Once upon a time a young married couple dreamed of having a beautiful daughter whom they would name Jessica, but every time they were out, they heard screaming parents yelling of course,"Jessica put that toy down now!" Upon further review the couple thought that if they named her Meredith it would be like having Christmas every day!! So with approval from God & the Stork, a wonderful, sweet baby was born on July 6th, with pretty blue eyes and a laugh so amazing. Cute and Cuddly Meredith was nicknamed by me "Paprika the bear cub."

7: We dreamed of having a smart, cute, adorable, confident, articulate, smiling, giggling, introspective, sweet, fun, entertaining, loveable, pretty, intelligent challenging, feminist.... And the baby we received is so much more! | As my daughter, you are amazing. I loved taking you to the Tree Lightings and Trick or Treating and every single moment of our lives. On your first Halloween - can you believe that they didn't want to give you candy? You were so cute!

9: Now he's wrapped around her finger She's the center of his whole world And his heart belongs to that sweet, little, beautiful, wonderfully perfect All American Girl - John Lovelace

10: God Bless Meredith Anne The Church of St. Aidan Williston Park | First Holy Communion Church of the Good Shepherd Holbrook

11: There are 364 days when you might get un-birthday presents and only one for birthday presents. - Lewis Carroll

12: We have had so many fun celebrations for your birthday, from family beach days to princess parties and un-birthday parties etc. Celebrating your birthday was always a fun challenge because you never really asked for anything and were and still are happy with everything. You make it so easy to be your parents, sometimes....

13: For your First Birthday, Daddy baked your birthday cake. We had a few people and you were taking some of your first steps. It was one of our favorite days with you....Flash forward to your Fifteenth Birthday..which you spent in the Villages with several of your favorite people.

14: Christmas was always filled with such anticipation for you. And for Daddy and I as well. We always had Christmas Eve PJ's and a beautiful Christmas dress for photographs...often we had other Red and White clothes that just made the cut for photos. I loved it when you sat with Santa and later when you were flexible enough to just take advantage of a photo op...like the Sayville Santa during the annual Xmas Parade. You were so fun to dress up and you never disappointed me with your ability to twirl...

15: Even now, as you are nearly 16...Xmas Morning you still wanted to look beautiful, wearing makeup and accessories...You will probably always want Christmas Stockings filled by Santa and I know that we will always look to see the reaction on your face as you open presents.

16: You are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet. - John Green

17: WHO YOU ARE...

18: I know a girl, she puts the color inside of my world. - John Mayer

19: People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. Elizabeth Kubler Ross

20: From your first months you had a beautiful smile, one that could truly light up a room, and everyone noticed. It was however, soon eclipsed by your laughter...which for a little slip of a girl, was tremendous and indicative of your very realized sense of humor. Now the way you use your creative humor in your life is such a vibrant part of you. I love watching you enjoy and the sound of your laughter is truly one of the greatest sounds I have ever heard.

21: ...And you Grew Up both Smiling and Laughing...

22: Our Princess | Grandpa and Grandma purchased this pink ensemble in Disney when they brought you on your first trip- rumor has it that Grandpa worked hard that day, finding the right sizes and all of the matching accessories for his two princesses. | You loved your kitchen and played and played in it....and your chef attire was of course, your Little Mermaid costume. We would put you to bed in P.J.'s and many, many mornings we would wake you up and find you had changed into this costume. You literally wore it out.

23: Daddy's Princess - You were a little bit of a diva and if you had any issue, like a boo-boo - Daddy was quick to take care of it...you did after all, make the "Deal" with him at birth so he kind of has to be nice to you. And don't forget the deal you made with Daddy, never to vomit on HIM.... | Always a lady... No matter what the holiday, buying a new dress was a must! You delighted everyone in every store with your twirling...This dress was especially poofy and it drew quite the crowd...just watching you turn and turn.

24: Loving you the way I do I only wanna live with you And I would go to the ends of the earth 'Cause, darling, to me that's what you're worth Where you lead, I will follow Anywhere that you tell me to If you need, you need me to be with you I will follow where you lead If you're out on the road Feeling lonely and so cold All you have to do is call my name And I'll be there on the next train Where you lead, I will follow Anywhere that you tell me to If you need, you need me to be with you I will follow where you lead I always wanted a real home with flowers on the window sill But if you want to live in New York City, honey, you know I will I never thought I could get satisfaction, from just one man But if anyone keeps me happy, you're the one who can And where you lead, I will follow Anywhere that you tell me to If you need, you need me to be with you I will follow, oh Where you lead, I will follow Anywhere that you tell me to If you need, you need me to be with you I will follow where you lead | Where you lead I will follow, I will follow where you lead

25: Being your Mom has taught me so much. Even though the "Gilmore Girls" made this song all the rage for your generation, it has been around for a while. Carole King wrote it for her daughters. To me, it is the perfect definition of our relationship. As much as I am your Mom and you follow me in some ways, I follow you in just as many. Meredith, you have a very strong will and you have been determined from the time you were born. When adversity came your way, you were steadfast in your objectives to overcome. Though Daddy and I heard chorus' of "I will never be able to read," and "I can't ride a two-wheeler" - you faced every challenge with poise and commitment. As a young woman, you often stand alone in your ideals, your likes and dislikes and your dreams. It is lovely to watch you grow and see the person in you emerging. I chuckle on the inside when I hear some things you say, as they remind me of myself a while back. When your history teacher in middle school sent you a "Thank you" note over the summer and she primed you for the coming year of learning, stating, "Next year Meredith, you will learn about the inequality of women in our country," I knew you were my daughter and really, I couldn't be more proud. You are remarkable in your ability to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. I both envy and admire you. You have even a few times opened my mind to a new way of thinking. From you Meredith, I have learned many, many, many facts. Some useful and others, less than useful - BTW - way too many facts about Stalin, Seinfeld and Mash. The very important things I have learned from you are a tolerance for others, patience, being truly colorblind, and a seemingly endless amount of empathy. There isn't anyone I know who possesses all the fine character traits you both have and share with those around you, every single day.

26: Being your Dad has... Been so much fun. I loved our trips to not-so far away places, even those with extra ahem... driving responsibilities. When you told me I had snuggly eyebrows it was really the cutest thing ever. The many, many times you dressed me up in funny hats and let me play dolls on the floor with you, were priceless moments I will always remember. ...and even now as you are almost all grown up, I enjoy our silly times and I will always be grateful when you still want a hug from me at the end of the day. You are the very best hugger and the very best daughter a Dad could ask for.

27: There's always going to be someone out there... who doesn't believe in you or who thinks your head is too big or you're not smart enough. But those are the people you need to ignore, and those are the times you need to just keep doing what you love doing. - Jimmy Fallon | WHAT YOU LOVE

28: Camp Onas, Ottsville PA The first year, we planned and planned, shopped and made lists....we managed to arrive without your Sleep Bear - you know, the one you won in Wildwood, NJ. We stopped at Cracker Barrel on our way to replace it with something that hopefully would prevent you from being homesick. Worried that you would be sad (yeah right) we sent it via fedex the next morning! ...And every summer for the next six summers we packed up your blue trunk and took the drive to PA. Remember the year Mom messed up the drop off time and we were there 5 hours early!

30: Your Love of Animals started very, very young with a few little hermit crabs. That first winter when we couldn't replace those who had passed on , we told you that they were at the Vet for the winter. You were such a special child who loved all living things and we couldn't bare to see you sad. We had John the hamster followed by countless others, four lovely lady guinea pigs and now our little Pretty Kitty, Missy and her brand new brother Oliver. They love attention from you and follow you everywhere. You did an excellent job removing the family of fleas that came with Oliver....and the love you have for our aging guinea pigs is truly very special. I know you will always have animals in your life. You find animals everywhere, on the beach and have even gathered up the plastic animals in Aunt Carole's back yard to play with. You have such a terrific imagination and a true respect for living creatures.

31: A hundred years from now, it will not matter the sort of house I live in, what my bank account was, or the car i drove....but the World may be different because I was important in the life of animals and the creatures on this earth.

32: Beach Baby

33: We are drawn to the Ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from where we came. - John F. Kennedy

34: School Days... From the first day of Pre-school, you loved learning. You especially loved reading, social studies and science. You started asking questions as soon as you could form sentences and never, ever stopped... Meredith, you have achieved much success in your academic career and we hope you never stop wondering! Your hard work, tenacity and desire to succeed are very, very inspiring.

38: Your Love of Science ...has been around since you were combining shampoos in the bathtub. You have always been curious by nature and about nature. Though you have developed other academic loves...you have always kept more than one Science class on your schedule.

39: WHERE YOU GO | You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own way. And you know what you know. And you are the one who'll decide where to go. - Dr. Seuss | Dorothy, "Boz" and dressing up were, and still are, a big part of your life. Now you do it with expensive make-up and hair dye, but it all began with Dorothy...and you have never quite grown out of your Ruby Slippers.

40: "The more that you read, the more things you will learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss | Merry, you started reading with Amelia Bedelia - and never, ever stopped. You have a voracious appetite for a story and we hope that continues throughout your life. It has served you well already.

41: WHERE YOU GO | You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own way. And you know what you know. And you are the one who'll decide where to go. - Dr. Seuss

42: ...and on Piano Keys at FAO Schwartz | You danced on stage at Lincoln Center...

43: And rode the Carousel in Central Park... | Soared above the trees in Central Park... | ...Visited many a Museum and Aquarium..

44: And journeyed to the mecca for all Muppet babies - to Sesame Place

45: ...And to Sesame Street to meet the real ELMO with Kiersten and Grandpa...

46: ...and as a student of history, you found Pocahontas' Hut in Jamestown....and settled into Williamsburg to witness the Revolutionary War..

47: ...And you went over and over and over, to the Wonderful World of Disney... | Where will you go next? | I loved having matching Minnie Ears with you...and remember how Daddy had to find his princess the perfect Tinkerbell gift - an apron and oven mitt..you are such a love to parent. We loved watching you enjoy Disney as much as you did. Every moment with you in that Magical place was simply Magical.

48: Family is not an important thing, It is Everything. Michael J. Fox

49: Everyone needs to have access to both grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being. - Margaret Mead | You were only a week old when we took you out to meet the whole family. Grandma Susan just kept giving you kisses. This was the day that Daddy and I couldn't even open your stroller and had to call the store to have someone explain it to us. It was so silly that the hospital just gave US you to take home. We didn't know a lot then, but we just couldn't take our eyes off you. It was very miraculous that you were ours. | Grandma Rose waited for you to be born Merry. She crocheted your Christening blanket in her hospital bed. When she looked at you, it was like the passing of a torch, one spirit coming, another leaving. She held you as much as she could and I suspect, told you all of her life secrets.

50: At about this age, Grandpa aptly named you "Fingers", because you touched everything. It was just your natural curiosity... Grandpa was a good sport about finding forks etc. in the VCR. | Grandpa thought you had an "exotic" look and he wanted you to feel as much love as he knew Kiersten felt. He was so amazed that you were here. And this was about the time that you received your best nickname ever...."Mashashish" courtesy of Kiersten, who just adored you. | So many people wanted to celebrate you. We invited everyone to our home for your Christening not thinking they would want to go to Mass...but they came to St. Aidan's anyway to witness your Baptism. You are very blessed to have so much family love.

51: Grandma Choate and Aunt Maureen both enjoy you as part of their family. Grandma Choate often took you to the Sayville Beach park and shopping and Aunt Maureen would come and bake with you and take you to the beach. Aunt Linda and Uncle Charles loved having you over. You and Uncle Charles have a love of animals and the ocean that instantly bonded you. | You first visited Grandpa Choate at 3 months old. You were a great traveler even then. A few years later on your visit, Grandpa Choate set up so many activities for you including the pool and visiting a lake with fish. He knew you were an animal lover and you helped him feed his many cats and birds. It was a great trip for you.

52: Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people. - Nicholas Sparks

53: Always on hand are Cousins, Aunts, Uncles , Grandparents to share life's moments with you. And you embrace your family with your whole being.

54: A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself. - Jim Morrison

55: Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. - Aristotle

56: Our Wishes for Meredith

58: We have been friends for four years now, it's been quite a while in the short sixteen years we've lived so far. In our whole lives though, four years is nothing. A blink of the eye, and it is gone. Bonds between people change in just four years. Bond of friendship are formed, bonds are broken, and some bonds are eternalized. Though I've only known you for four short years, the bond between us has grown stronger by the day. After four years I feel like I've known you for a lifetime. You have grown from being just an acquaintance in Mrs. Savarese's class in seventh grade, to my best friend by tenth grade. You have grown to become one of the most important people in my life, Meredith. Any time I feel upset or need someone to talk to, you are there to listen. When I need someone to debate with, you are always there to speak. When I needed someone to stand up and help me out, you never left my side. I know that our bond will continue to grow and we will stay the closest of friends for the rest of our days. So, cheers to you on your Sixteenth Birthday! One day, I hope I'll be here to give a cheer at your sixtieth birthday!

61: Dear Meredith, Words can't describe how amazing of a friend you've been to me over the past few years. Through everything that's happened, you still managed to stick by me and refuse to treat me any differently than you have before. And there's absolutely no way I can ever repay you for that. Like that time all of my friends turned on me in seventh grade. You didn't though (well, obviously, since I'm writing this right now.) Or a little more recent, like when I was diagnosed with depression last year (see, I'm not afraid to say it now.) You stuck by me through all of it and said everything will be all right. And it was. And that time when I told you the same thing just a few months ago. Even after everything you've been through, you manage to smile and make sure that everyone else is okay. I'll always envy that; the way that you so selflessly put others feelings and whims ahead of your own needs. Not many people do that nowadays. I love you more than anything, even though I may not show it sometimes. I'm horrible with putting my feelings into words and showing how grateful I am, so I kind of just avoid doing it as much as possible. Never forget, as long as you need me I'll be here. Always, Kim

62: Merry, Hi! Happy 16th Birthday! I couldn’t imagine a world without you in it. Even when we always fight we still have a fun time together. Merry, you are so funny and entertaining there is never a dull moment when you’re around. I love being your little cousin you are a great older cousin. You and I are always talking about some nerdy and geeky things. I love you Merry and I am so happy I get to share some great memories with you. Love, Billy aka “Little Guy”

63: "Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them." Marcus Aurelius Ever since we met you Merry, your beauty spoke in volumes. We always look forward to your quiet smile and kiddish giggle every time you knock on our door with mom's baked goods or fried chicken or even your snarky comments that overflow with maturity; undoubtedly Merry, you encompass beauty. Time is such a simple yet profound concept because you never truly know what the hands will grasp. We have watched you over time, years, flourish into such beauty; internally and externally your goodness and beauty flicker above Waverly Park like the distant sun. Keep flourishing, Merry, because you can. Please never lose sight of the beautiful and extraordinary qualities that only you possess; no one can take that from you - no one. This photo is just a small depiction of your generous, beautiful, and compassionate character. When we look at this picture, we immediately think about the boys and you.every time you leave after playing with them, they shout, "Muurrrryyy. Mmmmmurrryyy!" It nurtures our hearts to know that our boys love and trust you. Happy sweet sixteen kiddo! Always know how much you mean to the Cox family! We love you.

64: Happy 16th birthday Merry! Even though we don’t get to spend much time together, I feel that we are kindred spirits. Sarah is right when she says “Merry is just like you”. We make the same facial expressions and are happier immersed in a book then in the middle of a party. My frequent phone calls with your mom have kept me abreast of your accomplishments. I am happy that you are doing so well. Keep up the hard work, it will pay off. Enjoy your day and have a happy, relaxing summer. Love, cousin Janine | Happy Birthday Merry! I wish we were able to spend more time together. When we visit at the villages we always have a good time. Whether we go to the springs, the pool, the town, the movies, shopping at target, or even just sit around the house, we never fail to share laughs. I wish you luck during your junior year and I hope we can see each other soon! Lots of love, Sarah

65: Happy 16th Birthday Meredith!!!! This is a special mile stone in every young ladies life and deserves to be celebrated and relished. Although you have only been with all of us 16 short years you have had a huge impact in all of our lives. Not only do you have parents who love and adore you, but you are surrounded by a close knit family full of a variety of personalities who all share in their love for you. Continue the beautiful path that you call LIFE! Keep your head up, your heart open, your mind always wanting and always stay true to yourself and reflect on what your parents and those you admire have bestowed upon you. Happy 16th Birthday Meredith!!!! We love you!!!!!!!!!!!! Love Cousin Mike, Diana and Julia | "One of my favorite memories of Merry was about a week or so right after she was born. It was at aunt Judy's house for my high school graduation party. Watching her in her Mother's arms sitting in the grass on a beautiful day. Her mom couldnt take her eyes off of her the whole day, she was so small and so cute. It was the epitome of what a mother and child should always be; bound by that special kind of everlasting love." Happy Birthday, Love Adrienne

66: From the little girl that we once knew Look at you now, wow how the time flew Memories cherished of the years past Stay in our hearts, where they will last Sixteen candles brighten the day Wishes of happiness are sent your way! Wishing you a wonderful birthday! Happy Sweet 16 our Sweetest Merry! I love you very much! ~Rachel | Happy Birthday from the West Coast. Love Uncle Jim, Aunt Sue and Ruby

67: The earliest memory I have of Meredith's articulate, funny, insightful self was a visit she made to South Jersey to visit us...she must have been four or five. She seemed to be in awe of my Sarah, a 20 year old at the time. At one point, for no reason, little Meredith, out of the blue, unprovoked, with the sweetest innocence in her eyes, piped up.....".NICE RACK! " So, so funny. Later on, in the presence of a few of us who were talking back and forth, vigorously, she quietly whispered... "All this whining over a little piece of nothing." It reminded me of something her dear Great Grandmother Rose would say. This last visit we visited Seaside Heights and the Boardwalk Arcade and I just enjoyed seeing the beautiful young woman Meredith has become. Turning 16 is a momentous occasion. I'm sure Meredith will pull it off with aplomb. (I hope I used that word right, Merry!) I love you (Aunt Susan (from South Jersey)

68: Meredith is Amazing. A living, generous, lazer-mind, strong in spirit, and family "lovingness" person is Meri. I recall: only hours old, Meredith crept from her Mother's shoulder to a place on her Mother's heart. It was incredible. One time while watching a mystery with me, Meri said, "That's who did it. And another time she said "Those two are kissing, a "love forever kiss." Astute and perceptive, that's Meri. Gift giving time: We shopped for Christmas gifts, she was maybe 8 years old. Meri budgeted her money, figured gifts for 8 people, and they were special, thoughtful gifts. At our favorite beach at age 5, Meri was busy with her sand castles a glance told her "We'll get icepops from the Ice Cream man" and her Dad made sure we did get our favorites. Meri knows people and reads them amazingly accurately. She is generous, loving, cares for the world and lights up our lives. Love a proud Grandma Choate ==

69: My Birthday wish for Meredith Anne, May all of your dreams come true. Work hard at what you like to do, and do it. Don't be afraid to show your emotions. I've known you since you were just a little girl at St. John's Nursery School. What a beautiful young lady you have become. I can't believe that you are "16". I am very proud of your accomplishments, you are quite an amazing young lady. You have already overcome a lot of obstacles in your life. I wish you all of the joy and happiness in the years to come. Love Mr. and Mrs.Reilly, Katherine, Alec, Jack and Shamus | Dear Meredith, What a delight it is knowing you, Darling Girl. If you could see yourself as I do, you would see Perfection. Happy 16th, Most welcomed After School Visitor. Love Carol Carol Wilm Rohrer

70: It's Your Birthday!!! Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Dear Meredith, Happy Birthday to YOOOOUUUU!!! Dear Meredith, It has been more than 16 years since your mom, dad and all of your extended family and friends were anticipating the arrival of a beautiful baby girl. Then one day in early July - it Happened! Oh! All the joy we felt and all the relief to know our sweet and sill Merry had arrived. Little did we know, you would also be beautiful, smart-oh-so-smart! Very funny, the best hugger-ever!, artistic, humane, animal lover - even "Crab Lover"! You are gifted and talented and a joy to be with. In the past 16 years, you have made me laugh so many times. Although, I have made you cry many, many times just by the sound of my voice - even from afar! (the next room over!!!) Watching you grow up from the tiny, giggly baby you were to the beautiful you woman you are has made me feel so very blessed. You always give th best hugs and affection and always a warm welcome. You have the greatest laughter! Even as a "little one" you giggled so heartedly - you made me laugh. I've had the great pleasure of watching your dance recitals, watching the " Wizard of Boz" sharing many birthdays, holidays and just everyday things. My favorite, I think, is how eloquently you could recite "One Smart Fellow"!! and we laughed so much! You are a brilliant young lady. I hope your "Sweet Sixteenth" year brings you many of the sweet and beautiful things life has to offer. I love you so much Meredith. I am grateful for the "Merry"ness you have brought into my life. Thank you so much. Have an awesome birthday. Love Always, Aunt "Ceer-ol" AKA: Aunt Carole

71: Dear Meredith, Do you know you are my "favorite"? I have felt a strong bond with you since you were a little baby. I remember how you laughed when I would talk and be silly with you. When I had surgery, your mom told you that you couldn't hug me because I had an operation and it would hurt me. Aunt Carole relayed to me that you began to cry. You gave me a kiss instead of one of your usual loving hugs. Soon I got better and you were able to hug me once again. But Meredith, my favorite memory with you is this. One Christmas Even, were were having dinner at your grandmother's house. I went out side with you, Kiersten and Billy to see if we could spot Santa flying with his reindeer and sled. One of you indeed did see him! I felt sad because I was telling you I wouldn't be getting presents because I wasn't very "good" that year. You and your cousins assured me that I would. I don't remember whether or not Santa did stop at my house that Christmas Eve, but I do know how you made me feel so much better hoping that he might. I love you Meredith and I hope you have a very, very, happy Sweet Sixteenth Birthday, Love Uncle Tony

72: July 06, 2014 Dear Merry, Today is your 16th Birthday the time has flown by so quickly since you came into this world and made it a more beautiful place with your smiles and quick wit. Our family has been so blessed with your birth especially your Mom & Dad. As you know your Mom, has been a very special person in my life since she entered this world. I did not have the opportunity to get to know you and spend time with you as much as I would have liked since we live in two different states but I do have some very special memories of times we spent together and I hope they mean as much to you as they do to me. One of my first memories was a short time after you were born your parents brought you to our home on LI for a family gathering, like all babies in our family you were passed around for a lot of loving. Your parents were pretty good sports about it considering that you were their first child. Another was the blessed day of your Christening when Uncle Frank was asked to stand up to be your God-father that means so much to him.

73: Whenever Uncle Frank & I traveled back to LI to see our own children one of the highlights of our visit was being able to spend some time with you. There was the trip that your Mom & Dad made to Atlantic City when you were a baby just so we could see you it was there that all of us silly adults made up the song about the potty dance. Then there was that cold day in December when a group of us went into NY to see the famous Christmas tree and visit the American Girl store so you & Kiersten could update your collections. It was that day that your cousin Julia received her first Bitty Baby and was introduced into starting another little girl’s love of American Girl dolls. Needless to say Uncle Frank and Cousin Mike were none too happy that day. I hope as you get older you’ll have many opportunities to try different things, don’t be afraid to grab them with both hands. Always treat people the way you want to be treated even if they don’t deserve it. You are a smart, funny young lady and I know you will put your stamp on this world. Happy Birthday dear sweet niece, go out and conquer the world! Love & God’s Blessings, Aunt Judy & Uncle Frank

74: ”You are becoming a young woman and it’s your birthday and we won’t let go. There is no one like you, you are a wonderful young lady special and kind, so talented and blessed with inner beauty. For you we will wish. That every morning the sun will shine for you, that all the start will smile at you and that you will be accepted with love everywhere you turn.” Meredith, I can’t believe that you are 16 I remember the day that you were born and happy I was that you were here, I remember the many memories of you and Kiersten like the time you were at my house and Kiersten and you were playing dress up and dancing around to Abba “yes that is a music group ‘that you probably don’t remember you guys were so cute, I also remember how you two use to torment your little cousin and brother and make him be a girl and dress him up in the pink tutu. I don’t know where the time has gone but I can’t believe that you are 16 and in a few years you will be going to college .You are a smart and beautiful young lady who I wish will get everything out of life that you deserve. I love you! “Vous faites ce qui vous entoure shine brillant cause de la belle lumire que vous avez l'intérieur. Aujourd'hui, nous allons célébrer vous et que la lumire... et l'effet qu'elle a tout le monde vous rencontrerez ! Vous tes incroyable ! Joyeux Anniversaire” Love Aunt Kristine

75: To my daughter Meredith Anne Choate, We have the same initials, MAC. And we are similar in so many ways. We love animals and Star Wars and Hugs. My wish for you is to be happy. To have dreams and follow them and to always be yourself. You will always be my Baby Choate and I will always be your Dad. I have loved every moment with you Meredith - even our hot and sometimes un-fun trips to Epcot. And I especially love that I am your Santa Claus. Love you always, Dad

76: Dear Meredith, Today’s the day! Can you believe you are 16? It seems like yesterday we were both kids just waiting to grow up. So much has changed since then and now we are both almost finished with High School and ready to start new chapters in our lives. Remember when you came to Florida and all of us had that little dance party in the living room. Or remember when we would break into endless laughter over nothing. How about our games at the pool, Mermaid and toothpaste? Remember our spa days at grandma’s house every summer, and that time Billy spilt the water? Remember when you and I used to mess up grandpas hair every time he would sit on the recliner? Merry, do you remember when you moved to the apartments and I used to ride my bike over and we would hang out? How about when grandma taught us to jump on her bed and we broke grandpa’s clear thing for making the bed? Whoops! How about those sleepovers where we just acted and felt like we could conquer the world together? From the time we were little we have shared so many memories from playing dress up, to dressing up Billy, to going to Disney for the first time, to baking during Christmas time, to the Easter hunts at grandmas every year, and many more. Our memories will forever be endless no matter what age we are. I am blessed to have a wonderful, FUNNY, gorgeous, caring, smart, lively, outgoing, kind, cousin like you. Meredith, you never fail to make me laugh and we always have a good time together. Even though I moved and we weren’t able to spend some of our teenage years together we still have that same bond we had when we were younger. You are somebody that anyone can go to if they need someone to talk to, you really give great advice and everyone is lucky to have a friend like you! As I am writing this I can’t stop thinking about all the times we had together and I honestly could be writing for days but I know I have to stop at some point, and you probably get the point. I just want you to know you are a blessing in my life and you are not only a cousin to me but a best friend! I hope your Sweet sixteen is a memorable one and I hope you have to time of your life, you deserve it. Love always, Kiersten

78: Dear Meredith, It is so hard to believe you have reached this milestone, 16 is a benchmark on your life's journey. I can remember exactly where I was when your mom called with the exciting news, your impending arrival. From that moment I had hopes and dreams for you. Early on you had figured out how to do things on your own terms. Before you were able to walk you had figured out how to keep up with Kiersten by simply walking not crawling on your knees. Remember when you were small and we were cooking together? I told you the flounder was chicken and you proudly breaded it and ate it after it was cooked. I enjoyed teaching you how to cook and Christmas baking was the highlight of the year when it was done by my grandchildren. Five months old was not too early to start. Mer, do you remember our book club? Once a week you and Kiersten would come to my house. I would read the book and then ask you questions. Well you never sat and listened, instead you flipped off the sofa, played with whatever was around and seemed completely uninterested. I knew from that time that you had a great mind, because you always knew what the story was about. I remember your first Christmas concert at Prince of Peace. When I thanked you for inviting me and explained I was lacking the Christmas spirit until I heard the children sing, you looked at me and said, “It wasn’t me grandma, I didn’t sing, I just moved my lips, it was the other kids.”

79: The first time you visited the Villages your mom remarked we had a Jewish Deli. You then informed me that Jesus was Jewish and he would have loved to eat there. TooJays is now known as “Jesus’ Restaurant.” Grandpa and I went to your house Christmas day when you were two. We waited and waited and waited for you to open up your gifts. After several hours we had to leave so I could cook dinner. You had opened two gifts. Merry you have your own time table for things, a wonderful sense of humor and a maturity that will help you one your life’s path. You meet your challenges head on, from the time you flew to Florida on your own when you were ten till now as you tutor younger students. I have so many wonderful memories of you playing with Spunky, swimming lessons, dance recitals, trips to the beach, and casino at Wildwood (where you won your pink bear), Disney trips, and visits to The Villages. I could go on and on. The best memories are your hugs and kisses and your declaration that “I am the best grandma.” I am so proud of the young woman you are becoming and no doubt you will fulfill your life’s dreams. I love you, Love Grandma

80: To my dearest, darling Meredith, 16 Years ago , I peed on a stick and my only wish in the whole world at that moment,, was for two pink lines. I can't begin to describe the feeling of knowing you were on your way. I rushed to tell Daddy and he too, was overjoyed. It was simply the very best day of my life, until that is, the day you were born. 16 years and 40 weeks later, my wish for you Meredith, is that you see yourself as others do. Magical - like all of the pixie dust and fireflies combined Empathetic - for all of the animals and disenfranchised in the World Resilient - taking on change after change, and always remaining true to yourself Enthusiastic - about books and history and politics and causes and learning and truth Dedicated - and loyal to the people who mean the most to you Inquisitive - of everything Tenacious - sometimes stubborn, but oh so very determined Heavenly - in every possible way you are a gift from the Heavens, -I think Zeus and Hera sent you To say you bring color into my world - into everyone's world is an understatement. From the first moment of your existence, I have been enchanted by you. The very fact that you were strong enough to want to be born was one thing, but when you finally arrived, you captured my heart. Every moment of every day since then has been for you. The way you are Meredith, so funny and interesting is only a small part of your lovely person. Your strength is inspiring and your ability to see things from many perspectives is really very unique and mature of you. You have made my life - in ways that nothing else could. Not a career, not a husband, nor any other person could make me feel the way you do. I never understood how much my Mom loved me, until I had you. I never understood the large capacity for love that comes with Motherhood. It's like part of me didn't exist until you. And so my dear, I want you to Go, Do, Dream, Scheme, Task, Think, Inspire, Inquire, Walk, Talk, Share, Give, Take, Love, Trust, Believe and above all else, I want you to hope. Hope is the strongest word of the English language. It encompasses all. May your life be what you want it to be, may it give you back what you put into it and may it be full of beautiful, amazing surprises. Just as you have been for me; a beautiful and amazing surprise.

81: I wanted to be the Endpaper of your book - the inside first and last page - because I think it is so special to be both at the beginning and end of something. Just as I have been at the beginning and ending of your childhood. I love you Merry, to the moon and stars and back. Happy Sweet 16, thank you for choosing me to be your Mom. Love Mom, Mommy, votre Mere

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  • Title: Meredith 16
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