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Happy 17th Cole!

17 is a hard number to wrap my mind around. I can still remember those first few moments in the hospital room after I finally got to hold you for the first time. You came out of me looking purple, cone headed, and not breathing (let's just say you got a lot cuter in the next several hours after you regained color and your head shape rounded out :) For a first time momma, I had no clue what was going on or if you were going to be okay. Finally, we heard some faint little cries from across the room where doctors and nurses were checking you over. Thankfully, you bounced back from your traumatic entrance pretty quickly and have been a healthy ball of energy ever since.

This year has been a ton of fun, watching you grow and mature. High school is flying by at a much-faster-than-I'd-like pace, and while I want to be in denial about the fact that we're going to have a Senior next year, I'm also really wanting to soak up this stage of life. We have all 3 boys still at home, and even though you are busy with school, work, youth group, and any game of soccer you can find in the area, I love the late night conversations with you . . . chatting about your day, your friends, or your latest bargain find while shopping.

You are creative and not afraid to try things. This year, you've been loving being in a cooking class at school, and you are learning how to make so many new things in the kitchen. You were one of the team captains on your soccer team, and I love watching you and your teammates take the field each game. You play your heart out each and every game and it shows in the intensity with which you play.

One of my favorite things about this year, though, is seeing the leadership role you've taken on in your youth group at church. I love seeing you plugged in and active there and growing in your faith. I know the next year or two are going to bring major changes to your life and the life of our family, but I also know that God is amazing at orchestrating every detail, big or small, of our lives. He knows exactly what you will thrive in best, and my prayer is that He will guide you ever so clearly as you start to plan and prepare for life outside of high school. I love you, and I love being your momma. Happy 17th birthday, Cole!

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