a couple of weeks ago you turned 5! i can hardly believe it. it really seems like you were just born. the night before your birthday, your dad and i reminisced about 5 years earlier getting ready to go to the hospital to have a baby boy! we were so excited and knew our lives would totally change and we couldn't wait. on your birthday we looked at pictures from your birth and it hurt my heart a little because the time has gone so quickly. your birthday is especially significant because it made us parents and becoming a mother was a dream come true for me. i am so grateful for the fantastic little guy you have become. you are sweet, kind, thoughtful, silly, active, crazy busy, and loud. sure, you sometimes leave me totally exasperated with your attitude and as you test your boundaries, but i am grateful to be raising such a strong and independent little boy. i am especially grateful for how forgiving you are as we figure out this parenting thing and make plenty of mistakes along the way. just a couple of days ago after a hard day, i laid next to you that night and apologized for yelling and not being a very nice mommy. i promised the next day would be better and asked if you forgave me and you instantly said yes. i am so grateful for your forgiving heart. you are an example to me. you continue to have an incredible memory and i am amazed at how quickly you learn and how much you remember. you have learned to spell our last name and have memorized my phone number (as i discovered the other day) just from hearing me tell it to people on the phone! you are great at directions and remember things that we did a long time ago. we have to be careful what we promise you because we know you won't forget! i love to hear you tell me about the scriptures stories and things you are learning in primary. you are so proud to be a CTR 4! you have always loved the water, but this summer we discovered what a gift you have for swimming. you have really excelled at your lessons and you love it so much. you go through phases of what you are really into and right now it is star wars and legos. star wars legos is what you chose as your birthday party theme and you were thrilled with all the new lego sets you got. one day i wasn't able to help you put together a lego set right when you wanted me to and so you proceeded to follow the instructions and do it all by yourself! i couldn't believe it and you were so proud of yourself. we have loved watching your imagination blossom, as you have begun to make your own lego creations. you are also very imaginative with the games you and emma make up and play (families, droids, star wars, transformers). just this past week you discovered the show ninjago, and it has become a fast favorite. you love watching shows and would watch tv all day if i let you. luckily you also love to be active jumping on the trampoline, riding your strider bike and playing baseball (you are amazing at hitting the ball). you have become more snuggly as you have gotten older and one of my favorite moments of the day is when you wake up from your nap and come and snuggle with me for a few moments. you're still nice and warm from your nap and you just let me hold you. i also love how you instantly snuggle into me whenever we read a book. the other moment i love is as we sit and eat breakfast and you tell me all about your dreams from the night before. i'm not sure if they're real or you're just an amazing story teller, but they're very imaginative, detailed and entertaining. you loved school this past year, just as we expected, and learned so much. you are a friendly kid and are great at making friends wherever we go. i hope you keep that quality throughout your life. over the summer you begun to enjoy coloring more and i love to see the pictures you color and bring home from kids club at the gym. you still love your lovey and would take it with you everywhere you went if we let you. you still put the corner up under your nose, just like you did as a baby and the corners are all dirty and worn out now. we are trying to wean you off of it (except when you're sleeping), but you still sneak it anytime you can. squeaky (mouse) and bear bear are the (stuffed) friends you are most loyal to. you love peanut butter and jelly and have it almost everyday for lunch. you also love goldfish crackers and stars breakfast (lucky charms). you have a sweet tooth like your mom and love chips like your dad! you've become less picky and will at least try most things i make now, which is great! one of the things i love to see the most is what an amazing brother you are. emma and connor adore you and want to be wherever you are, doing whatever you are doing. and almost always, you happily and kindly play with them. you and emma are the best of friends, and i can already see a special friendship developing between you and connor. it is the thing that brings me the most joy, to see the love and friendship that has developed between you and your siblings. as the oldest, you are setting a wonderful example. i am so grateful to be your mother. it is everything i hoped it would be and more (both good and hard). i can't wait to watch as you continue to grow. although please slow down a little, it's going too fast!
i love you to the moon and back!