Happy birthday EVERETT JACK! You're FIVE!

The day is here!  "March the 1st” as you like to say it. :)  One of the most monumental and sweetest days of my life. You’re FIVE!! What an exciting (and bittersweet) milestone you made it to! I’m just not sure how it happened so quickly... Everyone warned me about that when I was pregnant with you, and goodness were they right. These years have flown, and truly, you have made life more fun every single year!

 We’ve been counting down to this day for weeks now. You couldn’t be more excited to grow up, and I’m pretending right along with you that I’m just as happy, but I have so many mixed emotions! :) 5 just seems so… big! 

Everett, you are the best! We have real conversations now, and laugh together often. It’s hard not to be around you and just feel loved. I think you get this from your daddy, but you are the world’s best encourager! You are always saying “Great job, mommy! You look so pretty, mommy! I like your dress! Thank you for helping me! I have the best mommy."... And then I just melt into a puddle on the floor. The. Sweetest.  You still sneak out of your bed and wander upstairs to ours allllmost every single night, and honesty we kind of love it. You prefer to sleep nose to nose with one of us, which just makes us laugh, and we often wonder out loud how long this will go on for. :) Just between us, we don't mind one bit! 

You, my sweet five year old, are tender-hearted, protective, smart, easy, cuddly, sensitive, curious, responsible, a rule follower, a friend to many, and above all, you are incredibly kind. You’re quick to ask for forgiveness, and quick to forgive. You notice the people who need help or encouragement and want to be the one to give it to them. You don't hold too tight to things, and it's not a big deal for you to share with your little brother. In fact, you LOVE to offer what you have to him, and nothing brings you more joy than picking out a special surprise for him. I mean that, you are so thrilled when given that chance! You also remember the smallest and sweetest details. You still bring up the time you saw me crying after Memolly had her stroke, and you tell me that you never want to see sad and “I’m so sorry that happened." That was two years go!  

Things are definitely not perfect, nor are you sweet boy, but I find myself watching and admiring you so often. This was a big year for you! For one, you have graduated from the little kid toys, no longer in to trains or matchbox cars, but now you spend the majority of your time talking about, and playing with, Star Wars, legos, and mostly Star Wars legos. :) It’s the only gift you wanted for your birthday. 

You are also Mr. Independent now. You pretty much do everything on your own. Get dressed, get yourself a drink or a snack, clean up (ok, we are still working on this one), and you even discipline your younger brother when needed. (Hah!!)  You’re my extra set of hands. :) I overheard you telling Judd the other day “You need to clean up these legos. Yes sir?!” And he obeyed you, without a bat of an eye. He’s in good hands! And oh my goodness, I can't even wait to see how sweet you are with baby brother #2!! 

I pray you continue to have a tender heart towards God and people.  A big part of my heart wants you to stay little forever, but I know God is going to use you in some big ways as you grow in grace and knowledge, and I’m so excited for the opportunity to see that! Today, I’m praising God for the gift that is you!! Happy birthday Everett Jack! 

I've taken way too many pictures of you over the years. Here's some of my favorites. :)