Happy Days

One of the first celebrations we had after we moved was Mathilda's birthday.  I'm afraid it wasn't all that she dreamed it would be.  There was the usual breakfast in bed and birthday "cake" in the evening with family, but gathering friends to celebrate kind of got put on the back burner because we were all still stepping over boxes and the schedule was hectic.  None-the-less, she still turned NINE!  I remember the day she was born, we stopped to pick up bagels to take up to the hospital for the nurses because we always feel so grateful for what they do to help us bring a new life into this world.  Jakob had just started kindergarten, Joshua was 3 and Jon was not yet 2.  My how our family has evolved in just nine years. 

The pictures were limited as the camera was still packed somewhere, and the creativity was a little stiffled too, but we still managed to muster up some favorites, including cream with some coffee in it for breakfast. 

I've said before how scared I was during my pregnancy, knowing we were expecting our first little girl. I'm still not sure I know what to do with a girl! Mathilda: You have your own very unique personality. It isn't the same as mine, nor are the things that you most enjoy doing or least enjoy doing. I don't know how to do anything much more than brush your hair or put it in a simple pony tail. You love bright colors and frills and I like earth colors and the plain-Jane styles. You like heels and purses and the idea of lipstick and I prefer athletic shoes, a practical (and according to you, not very attractive) wallet clutch and barely noticeable lip balm. Hmmm...what to do? I tend to want to make you like me, but then I remember that God made you YOU, and there is much I can learn from you. There are lots that we enjoy together, and I so enjoy watching YOU enjoy those things that make you happy whether they are things that we share or not.

You went by yourself with Cowboy grandma and grandpa to our family reunion this summer and instantly bonded with family members of all ages...no surprise...that's just part of your personality!  You even did things that would have been right up my alley and completely impressed the boys when they saw pictures.  I hope you always remember that you climbed to the TOP of this wall without fear!  I'm proud of you...not just because you can climb a high wall, but because you are a beautiful person inside and out and you will certainly accomplish many good things!

 You are a wonderful sister and friend.  You go out of your way to help people and you have a gift of making others feel very special and welcome.  In nine years, you've grown into a beautiful young girl and while I can wait for continued growth and change, I look forward to all that we will share in the years ahead, and all that you can teach me.  I love you Mathilda...you're my favorite Mathilda in the whole world!!  Happy birthday!

Just a few short weeks later, we celebrated again for Jakob.  I can't say that much was different in the way of being settled or organized, but again, he still turned 14, and despite the fact that he slept or pretended to sleep through our serenade as we brought him a humongous frosted cinnamon roll for breakfast, we still celebrated him. 

Oh Jakob, the things that I've learned over the last 14 years.  I can't begin to imagine how different things would be if I had the knowlege and patience and wisdom when I brought you home as I do now.  You've had to endure being the first child every day of your life.  My parents used to tell me that they learned on me.  Sometimes we are over the top with you and are a little more lax with your siblings.  Sometimes we are right on and continue the same way down the line, and sometimes we miss the mark completely and do a 180 when your siblings reach a particular stage.  You didn't have a drop of sugar or dairy until the experts said it was ok, or anything remotely unhealthy as an infant and toddler.  I can't say the same for Amelia!  But then again, depriving you of those things didn't make you less likely to devour a box of brownie mix either.  :)

You bring us great joy.  You are smart and talented and kind and you have a heart for Jesus.  We are very proud of you and all of your accomplishments.  Your siblings have big shoes to fill, but they also have so much to offer you, and while you are an example for them as the oldest, they are in turn a wonderful example for you too.  High school was so far away 14 years ago, but here we are.  I thank you for enjoying your family and wanting to be part of it.  I'm glad that you are willing to stay home with us on a Friday night even if it means getting a bunch of grief from your friends.  I've told you before, I'll tell you many more times:  "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."  Happy birthday Jakob.  You're my favorite Jakob in the whole world.