Dear Ande,

You're nine now! So close to double digits; so close to a decade of life!

Your nine years of life define my life as a mother, the years of me learning how to live more selflessly. Becoming a mother to you and your siblings has changed me in almost every way and I'm so thankful for all the learning and growing.

I am enjoying you at this age SO much. You are fun to talk to and you ask a lot of interesting (and sometimes difficult) questions! It shows me how curious your mind is and how often you think about the world and the way things work. I love your curiosity.

You continue to love Lego's and researching the Titanic. But most of all you love spending time with your friends. You make and keep friends easily. Over the past couple of years, I've watched you grow friendships with almost every little boy in the neighborhood! And not only have you befriended them, you've invited them all to church and have recruited all of them into your cub scout troop. I'm constantly amazed by your ability to share the gospel so easily and freely.

As the oldest, you have so much responsibility placed on your shoulders. I often feel bad that I rely on your help so much, but you bear the burden so well. You are the hardest worker, the quickest to obey, and the most loving and caring big brother. I hate to see you growing older, but I also love the little glimpses of the future that I get with you. I see you as a devoted missionary, a hard working student, and a loving father.

I love being your mom! You are my sweet boy, still innocent in so many ways, yet mature and wise beyond your years. I look forward to all of the adventures that we will have this year!

Happy (late) birthday sweet Ande!

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