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Happy {15th} Birthday Cole!

Fifteen years ago, I was a brand new mom. A tiny little 5lb. 13oz. bundle of boy was in my arms, and even though I had no clue of everything it would take to be a mom to this little guy, I fell in love with him so quickly and knew that he was the best early Christmas present I could've ever asked for. 15 years. Fifteen years. It seems almost impossible that it's been that long already. When you're a new mom, you always hear people advise, "don't blink . . . it will be gone before you know it!" They were NOT lying. Those days and months of having babies/toddlers in the house seemed to stretch on forever at the time.

Sleepless nights, diaper changes, trying to find missing pacifiers, nap time battles. It honestly seems like a faint memory now, and time flew by so quickly that I don't even know where it went. How did this adorable little bundle of boy turn into a high school freshman who is counting down the months until he can get his driver's permit?!?

I made the mistake of scrolling through old blog posts last nights, and nostalgia hit me square in the heart. Oh my loves, where did those days go? So, I hope you don't mind a whole boatload of pictures that I just couldn't resist sharing.

Oh my goodness . . . who let this 12 yr. old get married and have a baby?!? 😂

My Grandma holding Cole as a newborn . . .

Still LOVE this photo that my friend, Jodi Gehman, took when Cole was about 5 or 6 months old. His eyes were so unique . . . we were often told that he looked like a Precious Moments figurine with those tear drop eyes.

Skipping a few years to where Cole was now a big brother . . .

Nostalgia also had me laughing, when I came across photos like these. No lack of imagination whatsoever. They were being Ninjas. What you don't see in the photo is Ian's sweatpants and cowboy boots. I'm not sure what type of Ninja he was going for, but their creativity was top notch.

Cole & Gavin . . . they've always looked alike, shared similar personalities, and we refer to them as our twins who are 6 years apart.

Cole's 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Haley. He still talks about her being one of his absolute favorites (we loved that Gavin got to have her as his 1st grade teacher as well!)

Even though he definitely has some of that first-born personality . . . wanting to be in charge, and organize activities, games, etc. for his brothers, Cole has also always had such a sweet personality. He cares about others, and is always the one who wants to buy a meal if he sees a homeless person standing on the street corner. He gives without expecting anything in return, and is willing to do things without being in the spotlight.

Cole has always been a natural athlete. Whether he was trying skateboarding, basketball, or a game of kickball in the backyard, he picked up quickly on whatever he tried.

The duct tape phase . . . there was nothing that could not be fixed or created with his tape of choice.

First day of 8th grade.

In 8th grade, Cole wanted to try soccer and he has absolutely fallen in love with the game. He started Varsity this year as a freshman, and already can't wait for the next season.

Mark & Cole did the Warrior Dash together last summer, and are signed up to do it again this next year. I loved seeing them do this as a father/son team . . .

Cole, your dad & I could not be more proud of the young man you are becoming. You have grown/changed so much over the past year (you were especially proud when your height surpassed mine). You are flying through your freshman year, making it look like a piece of cake. Thankfully, you don't require much help from me with homework, as I would often be lost in the classes you are earning A+ in.

But more than any athletic or academic accomplishments, I am even more proud of the caring & kind personality you have, and your soft heart towards God. I love seeing you enjoy our youth group at church so much, and love seeing the circle of close friends God has blessed you with.

You are an amazing young man, and I am one blessed mom to get to call you "mine".

Happy 15th Birthday, "Green Bean"

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