Our first born is another year older…

Didn’t I just post about our son’s birthday?  Could that actually have been an entire year ago?

Pretty crazy.

Undeniably true.

It’s been fun preparing to celebrate.  We made our first attempt at Whoopie Pies.  Don’t you just love the name?  Yep, the kitchen was cookin tonight – snacks for school, requested Subway for lunch, dinner at a restaurant of choice, and a cake prepared for dessert… and that’s just tomorrow.

Next will be the friend celebration, and family goodies, and, and…

As I’m typing, we’re gathering 40 blue balloons – air generously donated by Mom and Dad, donned with careful craftmanship of a first grader using a Sharpie marker to inscribe the number 11 – carted upstairs to fill the room, and brighten the morning that marks the day I became a Mom.  The day I held a little warm ball of the most beautiful, squishy fullness of a tiny man, with full cheeks and lots of dark hair.

Austin – Mommy loves you, more and more everyday.  In honor of your eleven years of life, here are my favs.

1.  I love when you call me – Mom – and follow it up with a story you just cant wait to share with me.

2. I love how you occasionally lean into my shoulder and let me wrap my arms around you… for now… until you tower over me tomorrow.

3.  I love your tenacity for giving your best, humbly, no accolades needed.

4.  I love the way you treat your sisters with kindness and always include them in your play… most of the time.

5.  I love the way you and your Dad share interests.  Share life.  Just talk.  And laugh.

6.  I love the way you allow concepts of faith and loving your neighbor to expand your logical mindset.

7.  I love the way you just like to hang out next to me.

8. I love the way you pitch in and help, even before I ask, no praise needed… just like your Dad… giving me an opportunity to thank you anyway.

9.  I love the way you lead others, even through mistakes and wrong choices, you have seen the beauty of restoration.

10.  I love the way you are respectful and honoring to all the special women God has placed in your life.

11. I love  you Austin Armstrong Conrad, just for the gift of you… my one and only Son.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life…

Lord, thank you for the gift of Austin.  He makes me proud every day.  He has changed me for the better, in ways too numerous to list.  He has challenged me to depend on you in ways I never could have imagined.  He creates in me a desire to honor your calling of motherhood by following through with the hardest call yet – to release Him to you – your honored and special child.  Austin, may you always know that your Daddy and I love you.  Happy 11th birthday my sweet boy!

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