Thursday, February 21, 2013

Catching Up---Nate's Birthday 2013

However lame this is, I have to combine a few things just so they get recorded, so here goes.

Nate turned 11 on January 8 (yes, I realize that was like, seven weeks ago or something). What I cannot believe is that he is so quickly approaching the teenage years and will be receiving the priesthood his next birthday. Wow! We have some preparing to do, that's for sure. But, I just have to say, this is one great kid. He's far from perfect, and some days I have a hard time not using the word "jerk" when describing his attitude and behavior (was that too honest? sorry, but I think boys this age just have a tendency to act. . . well, like jerks sometimes, or at least this one does), but man alive, he is full of so much goodness, and I just keep telling myself that my job as his mother is to help foster that goodness so that he learns to become that person I know he can become.

Here he is with his cousin, Kamille. They are so darn cute. They have been close since they were little.

 For instance, Nate is the kid who will clean the entire house while he babysits just to surprise me. Or he will bring me breakfast in bed. This is a picture of him making Sunday dinner a few weeks ago. So sweet. It's moments like this that make a lump form in my throat because I have hope he will become like the man standing right there next to him--his Dad. And nothing would make me happier.

sorry--a bit blurry, but you get the picture

love that smile!

This year wasn't a bit party year (I only give my kids parties when they turn 5, 8, 12, and 16), so we just did something simple. I am all about simple, I tell you. Nate said he wanted cheesecake for his birthday cake, and I'm pretty sure his hope was that I would make one, but unfortunately, that didn't happen. I can't even remember the reason now (although I'm sure it was a good one--LOL), but I ended up buying him one that looked super fancy and delicious--and tasted pretty awful!

 Nate tried to be nice about it. But darn it, that cheesecake just didn't have much flavor at all, and it had to be disappointing. I still owe that kid a cheesecake and had better make it up to him before his next birthday.

I love how he acts like it has the best aroma ever!

You have to admit--it looks delicious.

Not sure what this picture is about, but it makes me laugh. I especially love Halle's face in the background.

Anyway, I sure love this kid. He's all kinds of fun. He can always make me laugh and he's taken a huge step in the way of responsibility this year, which just makes me so happy. Now if he could just train himself to sit still during Sacrament meeting. . . Okay, Okay. Can't have it all. We have all year to work on that one. And believe me, we are working on it. Right now, we are trying five minutes at a time. That's right. Five minutes. And no, he can't do it yet. Actually, I hate to use the word "can't." He's just way out of practice. It's a great goal for this year, though.

I think most people look at Nate and the first think they think of is that he's great at sports, which he is. (Truthfully, he's so good sometimes it scares me because I think it could become a curse, and I never want it to go to his head. As much fun as it is to see him excel in athletics, in my heart, I want other things so much more for him--like moral integrity and honesty and cleanliness. Although I love sports, they are definitely not what matter most to me, and I hope we can maintain a good balance as he grows older. It's crazy how many coaches have already approached us about him at the ripe old age of barely 11. I hope we can keep our heads about us).

Anyway, Nate is so much more than just a sporty guy. So I just want to end by mentioning a few things I appreciate about him most. And I'm not even going to mention his athletic ability. He's a hard worker. When he decides to do something, there's no stopping him. He's self-motivated. He will ask Dan and me to get him up at 6:00 in the morning to work out to get better at something. I think that's pretty incredible. He thinks of others. He will shovel our walks and then, without being asked, shovel the neighbor's across the street. He has the best sense of humor and can laugh at himself. I love that! He takes care of school work--I never have to worry about it. He decided he was going to get perfect grades and he has done it. Period. Nate is a leader. I sat in awe at his last SEP conference when I realized for the first time the leadership role he has played in his fifth grade class this year. Listening to his teacher get choked up as she expressed sincere admiration for my son left me speechless as I swallowed a lump in my own throat. He also has a soft heart. I hope that never changes. Have I mentioned how much I love this kid?

I am so grateful for what I continuously learn from my children. I am blessed to be their mother. We are learning together. It is a precious life.