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  • Writer's pictureNic

11.24.13


Sam and Teddy 18 months

Hello Dear Friends, It is with great joy and sadness that I announce that my darling Samuel is going to be SIXTEEN tomorrow!

Can you believe it! I decided to dedicate this letter to a quick walk down memory lane.


 Sam has always been an easy kid.  He was born at Shadyside hospital here in Pittsburgh and I can remember Mike and I being astonished that they would let two so unqualified people walk out of that hospital with a baby.  They just wheeled us to the door and then said, “Okay goodbye, good luck.” It was mind boggling.  Sam was an incredibly delightful infant.  He caught on to sleeping on a schedule, ate well (after a bit of a learning curve on the whole nursing thing for mom), he was in no hurry to sit up, to walk, or to learn how to hold his own cup. He walked at a year and got his first tooth around the same time.  At about this time we knew we were expecting another baby and I was so happy that Sam would have a friend.  Sam was so logical even as a toddler, I remember telling him that even if he didn’t like green beans they were good for him and would help him grow strong.  He looked at me, at the beans, and then said, “Okay”  and began to eat them!  Boy did we think we were parenting experts 🙂  Once Sophia arrived Sam was delighted and they have been best buddies ever since.  I have such fond memories of the two of them playing, romping, fighting and making up.  When we home schooled and would walk to places often, I would worry that Sam and Soph would get run over.  Not because they were being out of control, but because they were so deeply in conversation walking and holding hands that I thought they might just walk right out into traffic and never know it!

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Sam has always been the scientist, mr.logical, “How?” (never why, think scientist not philosopher)  

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He was never the dare-devil and would wait at the top of the stairs to be carried down.  He was afraid to swim at first, scared of grass the first time we tried to set him down on it, and he mastered the monkey bars just a few months before ‘Riah who is almost six years younger. He was always a talker and when Sophia came along for almost two years he talked for the both of them. Sam took to another sister just fine.  He and Tessa have had a far more antagonistic relationship with more squabbling but also a very intense love and Sam is both protective and bossy towards her. 

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 Sam was not the most motivated student (he loves to learn but only what he wants to when he wants) until 8th grade.  He often would fall apart after trying to count how many words he’d need to write to complete an assignment.  But after working construction with Mike for one summer between 7th and 8th grade it dawned on him that he did NOT want to labor for a living, violá model student.  He has been on honor role with straight A’s ever since. 

 Riah’s arrival as baby brother was celebrated by each of the kids and the girls were happy that Sam got a brother. 

 Sam and Riah have always shared a room and when Riah was in that two year old phase of demolish and deconstruct Sam was 8 and a master lego builder and constructor of many things, it could have been tough.  But Sam was amazingly patient, kind and savy about how to and when to build, where to keep his masterpieces, and patient about intentionally building things for Riah to knock down.  

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 Haiti was an awesome experience for all of us (incredibly tough in some respects, but amazing in others).  Sam was not the quickest at learning Creole but always creative at keeping everyone busy.  He was involved in inventing games for the four of them to play at the compound, hiking in the mountains with dad, exploring the beach with mom and the kids, and making use of the the 20lbs of Legos we brought with us.

 (riding in a private jet)

Sam and Sophia out of boredom one day dressed up, made a menu, cooked “fancy” scrambled eggs, turned on classical music and played at “going to a fancy resturant”, but the best part was they then hosted Tessa and Riah for  a fancy lunch too! 

 After we returned from Haiti it dawned on us how much he had grown. 

 (Sam with my mom-Nona)

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(Brothers in matching Christmas Pj’s)

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Sam at our dear friend’s wedding and he’s in a suit!


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(all the boys on Rippey Street back in 2010)

 So dear Lord Thank YOU SO MUCH for our Sam, come what may he has been a joy and a blessing from beginning to end.

ox Nicole

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