I snuck a peek into his classroom this morning and felt my heart skip a beat as I caught his face across the room. As he looked up (his teacher suggested a sneak attack #foiled), I couldn’t help but run over and bear hug the breath right out of him.

Because eleven years ago today at 4:46, he took my breath away.

My funny, handsome, athletic, smart and impossible-not-to-fall-in-love-with Valentine is eleven. And I’m really fine with it.

I mean, it’s so hard to wish the time away when it comes to your babies. I was staring adoring glancing at a baby the other day in church and I couldn’t help but marvel at the sweetness wrapped in that little bundle. And I got sad that my (likely) one and only baby can’t sit on my lap nearly as easily anymore. But he sure can and he will!

When I think back on birthdays thus far, I always get this twinge of sadness that I won’t have any time with him at that age again; that it’s officially ended and we’re on to the next. But like now? I’m so excited over who he is becoming!

I’ve had the privilege of celebrating so many amazing bits of this journey called life with him over the course of the past year. I’ve watched him excel in school (oh hey, citizen of the year), in sports (beating his own times at nearly every swim meet), in becoming an amazing example of sharing the love of Jesus (embracing kids who may not have had a chance to be a part of something other wise) and just generally killing it at new hobbies he decides to pursue (ask him to show you a card trick).

He’s also shown me how his heart can grow to love people who we choose to share some of our life with. Connor is an only child, however, he is learning how to love man friend’s kids in a really special and sweet way.

What warmed my heart more than (maybe) anything this year was how CJ rose to the challenge of being a part of my very favorite little tribe. It’s freaking hard to figure out this whole ‘blended’ thing but we’re giving it a go and I couldn’t be more proud of how Connor has accepted a role in that as well.

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When I think of what I hope for as Connor enters year twelve oh dear Lord, save me, it’s just that he continues to grow into the amazing little human he is already becoming; that he continues to just be a good person, to take care of those who need it, to love on those who don’t deserve it … basically to exude what unconditional love looks like. Because whether it’s playing football at recess, or talking someone’s ear off about how the Patriots staged the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, Connor has a very special and endearing way of winning people over and I pray he continues to win over those he encounters in a way that could ultimately bring our Father glory. Little does CJ know that he’s one of the Lord’s sweet angels. And maybe we should just keep it that way. Because God knows I’m not ready to talk about girls yet.






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