Happy 18th Birthday, Cole!
I'm not even sure where to start . . . these birthdays just come around way too fast for this momma, and yet even though I found my heart all over the place this place this morning (I was going through all of the old blog posts & pictures), I couldn't be more proud of this young man who was the first to make me a mom. Cole, you were my tiniest newborn, weighing in at only 5lbs 13oz. Preemie clothes fit you best and you swam in anything that was newborn size or bigger..
When Dad & I brought you home from the hospital, we had no idea how much our lives would change. But, just like all parents, we took one day at a time, and figured it out as we went. You soaked up all of our attention and would pull on our fingers to try and get us to come and play with you. You have always been our social bug, thriving best when you are surrounded by family/friends. Before your 1st birthday, we moved to Florida, and lived down there for a year while Mark was doing a ministry internship. Before your 2nd birthday, we made the move to Ohio, where we have lived ever since. Even though we are not surrounded by family here (sadly they live hours away), we have been blessed with some of the best friends, and you have always had such a great group of kids at church & school around you.
Even though you definitely have a firstborn personality of organizing things & being bossy with your little brothers, you also are probably the closest in personality to your middle-child momma. You are not a loud leader. You are more quiet in some areas, and do not like confrontation. And yet, you know what you like and have always been our little style guru. I know better than to try and shop for you, as you have a very specific taste in what you like. And even though we laugh now at all of the trends/styles you have gone through over the years, it's definitely something that has been hard wired into you from little on up.
Even though I cannot believe that we are already at this big milestone, each stage just gets more and more fun as we watch you grow into the young man God has created you to be. In Junior High, you decided to try and play soccer and it didn't take long at all to see that it came very naturally to you. In high school, you dropped basketball to focus solely on soccer, and you not only excelled at it, but you loved every minute of it.
Your Senior year was the team's best year yet, and you guys worked so hard and finished with a winning season. Going into the season, we had no idea how many games you guys would actually be able to play, but we just took one game at a time, and were so thrilled that you got the whole season in! And one of the most fun things was being able to play with other top players in the league in the all-star game.
This spring, you & Summer started dating and it's been so much fun having a girl as a part of our family. She fits in so well, and puts up with all of the craziness that a house full of boys includes. It's not hard at all to see that you guys are so happy together, and I love being able to watch the way God is writing your story. This momma's heart is so happy seeing you so happy . . .
Even though I kind of want to put on the brakes and somehow be able to make time slow down, I also know that you are thriving and are so excited to be heading through your Senior year of High School. You have worked hard to get here, and instead of having tears, I want to make sure I spend this time celebrating all that you are doing and even more, what God is doing in and through you as you go through each day. Dad & I could not be more proud of you . . . the way you care deeply for others around you, the way you work hard at school and at your job, and the way you love to bless those around you.
I hope this day is extra special and that this next year is the best one yet. You are loved more than you'll ever know. Happy Birthday, Cole!