• Kari

12 Years of Jordan

144 months - 4,380 days - 105,120 hours. You - my precious boy - are 12! Thousands of laughs that

sound like pure joy and make my heart happy, and make that dimple so pronounced. Thousands of warm hugs that I never want to pull away from. Dozens of school projects, cuts and bruises, laundry piles, and late night talks. It has flown by, and I have loved every minute of it!

Here are Twelve Things (among the millions) that I love about you:

1. Your laugh. Boo Boo - That laugh of yours is infectious and I cannot help but smile whenever I hear it. All of the joy in the world bubbles up down deep in your tummy and then bursts out in the most wonderful sound as you laugh. Which leads me to the second thing -

2. Your smile. Your smile starts on your lips and ends in your eyes. It lights up the room whenever you're smiling.

3. You're so genuine. There is nothing fake about you. If you do not like something, we know it. Poker is not a game you will most likely excel in. (I am okay with that.) You have always been like this and it's one of the things I love the most about you. Your hugs are real, because if you're giving one you WANT to be giving one.

4. Your imagination. I love it! I love hearing about a new character you're building in your head, and then see it come out on paper a few weeks later after you've worked out the details. I have boxes of the books you've written over the years, and I hope there will be many more! Don't ever stop, even if it's just for you.

5. Your heart. You have such empathy for others, and it shows in everything you do.

6. You're a great big brother. You pick on her a good bit, as all big brothers do, but you love to teach her how to do things too. You are gentle with her, and protect her when needed. You are patient when she wants to be with you, which is most of the time since you're one of her favorite people. Thank you! She will listen much more to what you say and do than to what Dad and I tell her. Continue to set a great example.

7. Your ambition. Winning the 2nd - 8th grade spelling bee in 4th grade (beating out all those middle schoolers!), coming in 2nd place at district, receiving honorable mention at the NC State Science Fair in 5th grade, and countless other awards you have won. I am so proud of your drive and the way you push yourself to do better and give it your all. Just remember that winning does not make you great, or validate you. Trying your hardest does. The only person you have to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

8. Our talks. I love that you still want me to crawl into bed with you and talk the night away. I am loving this season in life where I not only love you as a mama, but like you a whole lot as a person too. You are incredible, and I love hearing your thoughts.

9. How good you are. I don't just mean behavior, but to your core. You have such amazing integrity for a boy your age (excuse me, young man) and it makes me so happy to see it grow.

10. Your sense of humor. While it may not always match up with mine (boy jokes) I enjoy laughing with you, and seeing your humor style.

11. Your intelligence. I am continually fascinated by the facts that you can rattle off. How you can fit all of them in your adorable little head is beyond me. I will always remember your fascination with Theodore Roosevelt and when you checked out over 20 books from the library on him. Keep learning, Boo. Always.

12. Your love for God. I love the questions that you ask, and your willingness to pray. How you show it in how you treat your friends, make choices, or tell the truth. (Or come back and tell the truth on your own when you hadn't.) Jesus is better. Keep Him first, and all the rest of this will continue to fall into place.

You do so much more than make me proud. You inspire me daily in ways that have nothing to do with your accomplishments. To create. To grow as a person. Jordan Isaiah, I am so blessed to be your mama. Happy Birthday, sweet boy! I love you so much more than you will ever know!