Today I am thankful for my nephews. Although it would be wonderful if we lived in the same town I love that I can jump in my car, drive over for the day and come back. Today we had the pleasure of celebrating Andrew’s 5th birthday. Wow five. I love these boys so much. Each unique and wonderful in their own way.
Ten and a half years ago I became an aunt for the first time. I still remember the 7 hour drive to meet you my Sam. You were sleeping in a bed in the living room and I gently placed your very first baseball in your hand and you grabbed it tightly. 4 days old and you stole my heart in that moment. You are growing into a pretty amazing young man. You are athletic and competitive and I love to watch you spend great amounts of time bouncing a ball off the side of the house and catching it. Reminds me of your dad in so many ways. You have an amazingly tender heart and already show a wonderful passion for the Lord. A natural born leader and care taker, there will be so many friends in your life that you will have the opportunity to lead by example. I hope you continue to dream big while keeping your eyes on the Lord. Oh and when you make it to the big leagues don’t forget who first placed that baseball in your hand. I will be there to cheer you on all the way no matter where you end up.
Tyler you and I spent a lot of hours together that first night home, sitting in the rocker in the living room, me holding you as you had no desire to sleep. You looked into my eyes and just studied them. I loved every minute of it, I didn’t want the night to end. You are so smart and one of the most talented people I know. You can build anything from nothing over and over again. Your ability to take a box of legos and make them into a intricate creation astounds me. I can’t wait to live in a house you built or drive a car you engineered, maybe even visit an amusement park you designed. Your quiet leadership is something to be admired and your sweet thoughtful ways should be emulated. You are deep and thoughtful and I know how much you love your Jesus and I hope you know how much he loves you. I enjoy each moment I have with you and could listen to you explaining how something works for hours. That is saying a lot as listening to how things work is one of my least favorite things to do unless it is you doing the explaining. I’ve always got your back.
Owen “Little O” (at some point I will have to stop calling you that.) I am pretty sure you came out smiling and you haven’t stopped yet. You bring joy to people the first time you meet them and have a way of brightening up the darkest days. You came into our lives during a year that was full of a lot of loss and hurt for our family. You were the baby that we passed around at Grandma Hires’ funeral. It seemed like whoever was hurting the most at the moment would wind up holding you somehow and the tears on their face would slowly dry as you smiled and giggled and snuggled their hurting hearts. You continue to bring that same joy and love everywhere you go. I know I have been the recipient many many times. You were the only one that could talk me into making a Phineas and Ferb cake and I would do it all over again for you. I also don’t remember the last six year old I met that had as good of a sense of style as you. You pull off a hat like no other. I can’t wait to see you continue to demonstrate the love of Jesus to everyone you meet. I hope you someday get to experience ownership of a real turtle while never forgetting about Max and the journey he took to get to you. 🙂
Andrew “Drew Boo” (yeah that will have to stop too I suppose) you are one of a kind for sure. A very awesome kind for sure. From day one you were ready to grow up. Keeping up with your big brothers and soon bowling them over. Barely a year old, I was rocking you and saying “who’s my baby” when you clearly and shockingly said back “I’m a big boy”. Your determination and passion will send you as far as you want to go. A comedian who can make me laugh with just one look. You can tell me fart jokes anytime, we will keep it our little secret. I can’t wait to see the great things your stubbornness and drive do for God’s kingdom. From across the room you saw my sadness and came to me to simply sit and love me. Your presence and hugs helped to heal my hurting heart at that moment. A little boy following the nudge of his tender and loving heart. It was moments after that you whispered the word “eyeball” and cracked your self up. You are welcome at my home anytime, even if it is to have birthday party #4. Don’t let anyone tamper your passion or steal your joy. Never stop making your Tia laugh. Your jokes are my favorite and always will be.
Oh and Happy Birthday Sweet Drew!!
Having these four little men in my life has changed me completely. Made me stronger, helped me to love more, challenged me to live with character and to be a strong Godly example. I am a work in progress. But for you four I will never stop trying, I will never stop growing.
I don’t know what God has for my future, whether I will have children of my own or not, but one thing I know for sure. No matter what happens each of you owns your very own heartbeat of mine and always will. It will be yours forever! I love you with all my heart even when you are too big for kisses from your Tia!
Lord it’s in your hands!