Sunday, July 23, 2023

Happy Twelfth Birthday to Our Jacob Brian!

Dear Jacob,

You are officially entering your last year before your teens.  My goodness, time is a thief.  Your first year of middle school treated you so well, and you have been thriving this past year… I think it’s been one of your best years yet! 

You started middle school in advanced math (you took 7th grade math in 6th grade) and you managed to make A’s all school year long.  Not only were they A’s, but your averages were over 100 for three of the quarters!  Needless to say, you were blessed with your Daddy’s math brain and that is a good thing!

You made A’s in all of your other classes the entire year, too, aside from one B in the second quarter and one B in the fourth quarter.  We are so proud of how hard you work and how well you’re doing, but more importantly, we’re proud of the person you’re becoming… you have such a sweet soul.

Which brings me to… you were awarded Student of the Month for your sixth-grade class, making that your third year in a row to receive this award!!  Mommy and Daddy have always seen what a kind-hearted, generous soul you are, and we’re so happy to see that others recognize that about you year after year, too.

We have also loved seeing you make new friends, try new things, and really put yourself out there this past year.  During your sixth-grade year, you welcomed a couple of the new students with open arms, and we have enjoyed watching your new friendships with them blossom and grow.  It’s always nice to add friends to your core group.  You and Jack and Julian are still thick as thieves, and you have now added WJ to the mix… and Alex, too! 

This past year, you tried out a new sport – golf – and you have been enjoying it ever since then.  You’re doing really well, too!  You have decided to stick with it for the upcoming school year and we’re excited to watch you hone your skills.

Last year when I wrote this letter, you had just started taking piano lessons, and your teacher was already raving about you from the start.  Let’s just say that, now, after a whole year of piano lessons, you are seriously blowing his mind… and mine.  You have taken to piano lessons like no other, and your teacher has told me time and time again that you very clearly have a gift that not everyone has.  You started asking me to come into the room and watch your lessons several months ago, and watching you and Mr. Joseph together has been such a gift to me.  It’s like watching two musical geniuses at work. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Joseph just left the music school a few weeks ago to take a new job, and that was really hard for you.  I think he played a big role in your passion and success with your piano lessons, and I’m praying that you don’t lose that now that he’s gone.  You and Mr. Joseph had a bond like no other, and you enjoyed every single second of your sessions with him each week.  He clearly enjoyed every single second with you, too.  I’m pretty sure you were his favorite student.  ;o) 

You have adjusted very well in your lessons with your new teacher, and I’m hoping that he continues to fuel your love and passion for playing.  Before Mr. Joseph left, he made me promise him to never let you give up taking lessons.  He said that natural talent like yours shouldn’t ever be wasted.  So, stick with it, Boo!  I’ll always be in the proverbial front row cheering you on!  (Proverbial, because you still HATE getting up in front of people, so I don’t see you getting on stage any time soon.  Ha!)

In addition to golf and piano, some of your favorite things are video games, collecting Pokemon cards, and building Lego.  Of all of the things in the world, I think you’d choose to play video games over anything else.  You and Olivia are obsessed with the new Zelda game, Tears of the Kingdom, and you have been playing it all summer long.  I do honestly believe that you would play video games all day long if I would let you.  That’s never gonna happen, though.  Haha.

Your second favorite thing is Pokemon cards, and that’s actually a new thing that you’ve gotten into just in the last few months.  Noah, Mack, and Buckley brought over their card collections one day, and the rest is history.  You and Olivia were smitten right away, and now you are both obsessed with collecting the cards.  As a matter of fact, you wanted Pokemon cards even more than Lego for this birthday.  Whaaaat?!

Speaking of Olivia, y’all are still absolute besties.  As each year passes, I keep thinking that eventually this will be the year that you start to drift apart and want to do your own things, but so far, you have only grown closer and closer.  It makes my heart just melt seeing and hearing y’all together.  It also gets on my nerves sometimes, too, because y’all can be really obnoxious.  Haha.  Your friendship is truly the best thing, though, and I pray every day that it lasts a lifetime.

You’re still not a very outdoorsy kind of kid and you’d much rather be inside than out, but you do still enjoy playing basketball in the driveway and taking walks to the neighborhood playground.  Your main issue is the heat – you hate it – but unfortunately, we live in the south, so we have a lot of that here.  Haha.

Even though you claim to love Pokemon more now, your Lego collection still grows with each passing birthday and Christmas.  I don’t think you’ll ever give those up.  Your room is bursting at the seams with Lego sets, and you just love your little Lego museum in there.  You rarely take sets apart once they’re built the first time, but you are constantly taking the sets down from the shelves and examining them and tinkering with them.  You do still love thumbing through your Lego manuals, too. 

You’re still an early riser, although, you’ve been sleeping in later this summer than in previous summers, but every morning when you wake up, you always hang out in your room alone, tinkering with Lego sets, reading one of your 5,000 Awesome Facts books, or just listening to music until Olivia or I go in there.  You got your first CD this past year (so 90’s!!) and you’ve been enjoying listening to your own music in your room.  Daddy recently burned a CD of some of your favorite songs, too, and you’ve been loving it.  You are still begging for a phone, and we know that would be a much easier way to let you listen to music, but… sorry, kiddo!  Still no phone for you!  We’re such horrible parents.  ;o)

With regard to TV and movies, you’ve pretty much outgrown most of the “kid-ish” stuff, and you’d much rather watch YouTube videos of video game hacks.  You also still love America’s Got Talent, Secrets of Sulphur Springs, Is It Cake?, and a new-to-us show that y’all just got hooked on, Weird But True.  We also started incorporating some PG-13 movies into our viewing, and you have loved Avatar, Avatar 2, Serendipity, Back to the Future 1, 2, and 3, and The Wedding Planner.  (Like how I snuck a couple of my favorite chick-flicks in there for ya?!)  You do still watch some cartoons, though, Pokemon being one (no surprise there), and you do still watch Bluey with Olivia… but who doesn’t love Bluey?!

Ooooh Serendipity also reminded me of a HUGE milestone that you crossed this past year… YOU FLEW ON A PLANE FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!  How could I almost forget that?!  Yep, that’s right, back in December, our family took a trip to New York City, and we had an absolute blast.  It was your first time leaving the southeast, and it was one of my favorite trips ever.  It was one of yours and Olivia’s favorite trips ever, too, and both of you are already begging to go back.  Y’all both loved every. single. second.  We crammed so much goodness into that one trip, and I’m hoping it’ll be a core memory for you that you hold close for the rest of your life.

Much to my dismay, you’re still a crazy picky eater, and I swear, you just don’t really get all that excited about food.  Unless it’s a burger.  Haha.  It’s still a constant struggle for me to cook because there’s not much that you (or Olivia) like, and I’m constantly trying to get you to eat more because I’m worried that you’re not eating enough.  I’m sure that’ll change one day, though, and in the meantime, I’m just trying to let you do you.  It’s really too bad that cheeseburgers aren’t good for you, because if they were, you’d be golden!

You’re still shy around people you don’t know very well, and I know that will probably be a lifelong struggle for you, but once you get to know someone, you are goofy and funny and very entertaining.  You have always been very sensitive, but I do feel like you’ve grown out of that a bit this year, and I have loved seeing you stepping into confidence a little more here and there.  Middle school has really brought you out of your shell a bit… not a ton, but I can definitely tell a difference.

In addition to that, middle school has also caused you to incorporate the word “bruh” into your vocabulary, and we hear it no less than a hundred times a day.  Haha.

I truly can’t believe this is the last year before you turn into a teenager.  It has all gone by at lightning speed.  I often think about you when you were an itty-bitty baby and I wish, just once, I could go back and kiss that tiny little newborn face of yours again and smell your sweet little head.  But alas, you just keep growing and growing as babies/kids do, and I’m so grateful for that, too. 

Grateful that God knew what He was doing when He made me wait for you. 

Grateful for all of the pain and heartbreak that I had to endure to hold you in my arms. 

Grateful for all of the joy and love and silliness that you add to our family. 

Grateful for YOU. 

Happy birthday, Boo!




  1. What a wonderful birthday letter! I hope he had the best day!

  2. Happy birthday, Jacob!!! I didn't realize how close he and Mason are in age! He's such a sweet boy! I hope he had the best birthday ever.


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