Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Happy Day to St. Patrick & Reed

We had a big, full day of celebrating St. Patrick's Day and Reed's 5th Birthday.

We woke up overhearing Molly telling Reed Happy Birthday-- so sweet!

Reed asked first thing to be measured on our growth chart to see if he was any bigger! :) And then followed the shamrock path downstairs.

Reed had requested Dad's icing biscuits for breakfast. Actually, he requested pink icing biscuits like we had on Valentine's Day. I asked him if he was sure he didn't want green for St. Patrick's Day, and he told me that green ones sounded... sour. :) I assured him that they would only look different, but taste the same.

"Happy Birthday to Reed..."

We also had shamrock shaped honeydew, which got snubbed for the bubbles, headbands, and flashing necklaces.

Reed couldn't wait to open his gifts. This year Daddy and I got Reed a bozo bopper, real boxing gloves and inflatable bopping gloves, and some joke and riddle books. Molly got Reed Spinner, a Switch & Go Dino.

After we played with gifts and got ready, Grammy and Papa arrived and we set off for an early showing of The SpongeBob Movie... much to Reed's excitement! Grammy and Papa bought drinks, popcorn, and candy all around.

Tuesday was a beautiful spring day and we met Daddy on his lunch break for a picnic at the square. Reed chose Taqueria for lunch because of the fortune cookies. :) (Just so happens that kids eat free on tuesdays too!) ;)

We played on the train, played hide and go seek, and threw lots of pennies in the fountain.

Our plan was to get some Sweet Treats ice cream, but after the movie grub and then lunch we were all full. While Molly took a nap, Reed and mommy spent the afternoon playing games. Daddy picked up Reed for gym class, and they stopped for Reed's free St. Patty's cupcake after.

(Are you tired yet??) :)

Finally, it was a beautiful evening for soccer practice. Reed's enthusiasm for the start of the season has been off and on, so we were so glad when he had a great birthday practice. The green b-day sports drink we brought along helped pump him up a little. :)

St. Patrick's Day Molly!

Reed's coach brought St. Patty necklaces and gave Reed a birthday shout-out. :)

It was a full and festive day!

And Daddy squeezed one last birthday candle onto a post-soccer grilled cheese! :)

...that's a wrap!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dear Reed (5!)

Dear Reed,

Today has been a whirlwind of a day! I love, and I mean loooove, celebrating you and planning how to make your birthday special. After a full morning of St Patrick's Birthday breakfast treats, opening gifts, playing, a movie in the theater with all the stops, a sunny picnic at the square, and an afternoon of basketball and boardgames, you just left with Daddy for gymnastics class, and a birthday treat. Whew! I passed the baton before the finish line and this (pregnant!) momma is wiped out for the day. But oh so full. This is the first time today I have sat down with my thoughts, and, man oh man, did it just it me like a ton of bricks that you are FIVE today. Five, Reed! You are such a big boy!

Not computing how all this happened, and so quickly...

In most birthday notes I like to write down things about you at that specific frame of time, things like... right now you are playing soccer with SSA, you're pretty great at all sports, getting big muscles in gymnastics... you can count to 100, are learning to read, starting kindergarten in the fall (WHAAAAT?!), and to top it off you're about to become a double big brother in just a few weeks...

This birthday feels a little different. A little deeper. As you officially enter the "big kid" years my thoughts quickly turn from what you are up to, and hover more than ever on who you are and who you are becoming. And as I think about you and reflect on today, I think about how your birthday gifts represent a lot about your heart and our wishes for you as you continue to grow. So here are five special things about you, Reed, at age five...

The first thing you woke up to today was a trail of shamrocks leading you downstairs to a St, Patrick's/Birthday breakfast and decor with lots of green and silly goodies. We ate green icing biscuits with rainbow sprinkles, donned light up shamrock necklaces, headbands, and green mustaches and played with bubbles and a balloon and candle. You love celebrations and seem to have a sentimental bent, as well as an amazing memory-- you love to recall and talk about your various birthdays and birthday parties, (among many other memories). You like to have fun, and you are excitable and participatory. I love that about you, and hope that you continue to delight in life. May you have eyes to recognize and a heart to engage the gifts and joys all around you!

You are always looking for something to karate chop, shoot with your bow and arrow, or attack with a weapon of some kind. To spare our home, Molly, and ourselves, and also to give you an emotional outlet, we got you "boxing gear" for your birthday. You are not only tender and perceptive as I mentioned above, but you are also spirited.  You think and feel deeply, can respond strongly, and you express many things out loud and physically. You don't always want to be left with a sitter, or share, or lose, or follow through with certain commitments, but as you experience these tensions and feel things like frustration and fear and disappointment, you are learning more and more how to express your emotions and how to be flexible and resilient. We are so proud of you. In just the couple of soccer practices so far this spring, I see a fierce competitive edge emerging. You are a fighter, a feeler, a defender, and a warrior. We pray that you would always fight for the right things--for godliness, for others, for His kingdom come. And pray that you would be brave in continuing to live and fight from your unique heart.

Molly got you a switch n go dino to add to your collection. I love both of your expressions in the picture above. You are creative and imaginative. It is fun to glimpse you playing alone as you enter your own world and create with legos or cars or dinosaurs. It also a joy to watch you play with Molly. You really are such a great big brother, Reed. Of course, you get frustrated with Molly at times or lack in the sharing department, but I see overwhelmingly how you care for Molly, cheer her on, and delight in her like a friend. You two are really great buddies in this season, and it fills my heart. I can't wait to watch you delight in our new baby in just a few weeks, and teach Molly how to be a big sister. What a gift you are and will always be to your siblings.

Your card this year was a joke book. Whenever I reflect on or am asked about your personality, one of the first characteristics to come to mind is your humor. You have always loved to make people laugh and smile. I remember one day when you were three you came and did some silly stunt move into my room. You immediately stood up and said, "hey! You didn't laugh this time." It was as if you had mentally noted that something was funny to me and set out to recreate the experience. Right now, we have to be verrrry careful when we laugh... there is lots of covering our mouths and leaving the room. (Of course, you usually know when you've gotten us anyway). Earlier this year you started liking and telling (trying to tell) jokes. You are so intelligent and insightful, Reed. Your exploration of and appreciation for humor and thought represent your perceptive heart and your ability to understand. We hope you always remember that laughter is a gift from God. May your joy be rooted in him, and may you never lose your desire to enjoy life and laugh out loud.

You got to go to the movies today! You love movies and you love treats, so you were on cloud nine to be at the big screen where Grammy and Papa busted out all the stops. Somehow in one of your friend groups you heard about the SpongeBob movie that is in theaters and you had been asking to see it. At first I said no way, but as I planned out your special day I looked up the movie on Focus' family website and was surprised that it got good reviews for its message and didn't have anything inappropriate in it. I decided that we would take you. It sounds sort of silly, but in a way it represented this small step of recognizing that you are entering the big kid years, and will eventually be making more and more choices on your own and developing your own tastes and interests. In your enjoyment of movies, you seem drawn to the idea of story. You have a unique grasp of your own emerging story already. We pray more than anything that you would recognize your story as part of the "Big God Story," that God would give you a heart to fully trust Him with your life and with your story.
(PS- Please stop singing Spongebob Squarepants.)

Reed Matthew Morgan, you are a beloved child of your Creator--the God of the universe! I can't even explain in words what a joy it is to be your mom, what a privilege your daddy and I have to nurture you as you grow and help you become the unique individual God fashioned you to be... To enjoy you and help you journey through life. He knows you even better than we do, Reed. And if you can imagine such a great love, He even loves you more than we do. That's a LOT. To my fun, brave, feeling, creative, big-brothering, joking, perceiving FIVE YEAR OLD-- Happy, Happy Birthday! YOU are my gift!

I love you,