32 years ago, almost at this exact time, your Dad and I welcomed you into the world.
And in those 32 years there have been some wonderful memories made.
Like the time when you were 7 and were trick or treating as a bag of jelly beans, your costume sprung a leak and you left a trail of little colored balloons all over the neighborhood. Or the time when you were 5 and you rode your Big Wheel down our driveway (no small feat if you know what driveway I'm talking about) and the only thing that stood between you and death was our kind, observant neighbor, Larry Westerman, who caught you before you went off the bank and into a blackberry bush. I think he heard you before he saw you. You were screaming pretty loud.
Or the time when you were 10 months old and we almost lost you to meningitis. Three weeks in the hospital, 4 day in ICU and you came through with only minor hearing loss. It's pretty remarkable, but looking back on that we could see that you were a fighter.
Or the time when you were in 8th grade and you did a back flip off the diving board at the pool while we were on vacation, miss judged where you were and hit the board. A ride to the emergency room in an ambulance with a cute EMT and 25 stitches later you were telling us that you were fine and asking if you could go swimming again that afternoon. Sadly, the pool wasn't in your future for the rest of that trip.
Or the time when you were in college and you were lost (or at least I thought you were) in Germany on your way to Spain to study abroad. This was before cell phones and we had no way of knowing if you had made it or not until you got to your host moms house and called (several hours late) to tell us that your trip was amazing. Your Dad told me the whole time we were waiting to hear from you that you would be fine, you knew what you were doing. He was right.
We've learned a few things about you Erin, in your 32 years. How you love your family more than anything in the world. How you will walk across the street to pet a dog, any dog. How you love sports of all kinds, especially golf. And you are really good at most of them, especially golf.
How when you put your mind to something there is nothing that will or can stop you.
How you picked your major for college when you were in high school, never changed it, graduated in 4 years and when on to get you masters. How you found your passion in teaching others about the things you know and love.
How you married the love of you life and have two beautiful daughters and how you strive every day to be the best wife and mother you can be. Sometimes it's a bumpy road, but as you Dad has said before, you'll be fine, you know what you are doing.
How you have grown to be one of the most inspirational young woman we know. And how you have taken Dad's words to heart and you "Always remember who you are and who you represent".
Happy Birthday, Erin. We could not be more proud of you.
Mom and Dad