Our lives are full of milestones, and with nine children, the milestones are numerous and frequent.  There are a lot of firsts though and they mostly happen for the oldest of the nine.  This one is no exception.  For as many years as any of our children can remember, we celebrate birthdays with breakfast in bed on the celebrate plate.  For Jakob's birthday, I'm sure it would have not been met with excitement if we would have shown up at his dorm room with breakfast in hand, singing "happy birthday" in our pjs!  
 Instead we put together a care package for him that was full of birthday themed treats and messages from each of his siblings.  Stocking his dorm shelves with junk has to be just as good as breakfast in bed right?

Willa and I dropped it off to him before his first class and then came back to pick him up for breakfast before his next one.
 We did get to celebrate him with family over the weekend and make him blow out candles and feed him cake.
 Never in my wildest dreams did I think that 18 years would go as fast as they have.  I am the mom of a man (and a baby, and seven children in between.)
 It's taken some getting used to not having him at home.  He is only three miles down the street but there is something about family dinners that are incomplete or going to bed knowing that he isn't coming home.  It's been good for all of us...him growing up a little, mom letting go a little...
 ...and of course there are always lessons when there are milestones.  We're so proud of you Jakob and so thrilled that 18 years ago, God gave us you.  You are charming and funny, stubborn and smart and we miss you when you're away
 You've become a wonderful young man and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones with you.  Thanks for being born!  You're our favorite Jakob in the whole world.