Thirty-One & Six

When I found out I was pregnant with Ethan, my OB told me "you're going to be due around January 30th." I went home and told Jason how glad I was that the baby would probably be born at least a week before my birthday, so that way he won't feel left out every year. Then when we told our Moms that I was pregnant and what my due-date was, they both said {at different times} "I bet he'll be born ON your birthday!" and I thought they were so wrong. Turns out, having babies of your own typically teaches you that first borns {typically} don't come on or before their due-dates.
And so, as the Grandma's would know... Ethan arrived on the evening of my 25th birthday... one week late :)
I have to say, fast forward six years and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love sharing my birthday with my son. I love that in a cool way, my birthday has lived on, in childish, fun ways, even though I'm past all that. I love thinking about how I was celebrating the milestones he is celebrating, on the very same day.
We get to be all excited and full of anticipation for our day. Its so fun on the eve of our birthdays, to talk about our new ages; what will it feel like to be one year older. Ethan asks me that every year - "do you feel weird not being little anymore?" I love planning his parties, he loves planning where he's going to get me flowers and what card he'll pick out. Its just super fun every year. And I have a feeling it will just get better as we get older. So today we celebrate my 31st and Ethan's 6th year of life.
Thank You, Lord, for Your rich and good blessings to both of us! 

I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane. 
For some of you, you've never seen baby pictures of Ethan, but for most of you
it will throw you back 6 years :)
Sadly, we couldn't find the CD that has all his birth and infant pictures on it.
Maybe once we find them, I'll do another post of those.
For now, these pics start around 5 months.
at the Oakland Zoo with Nana 
{5 months old}

at church with Great Gramma Nina 
September 2005 {6 months old} 

1st birthday party! 

14 months old @ the Bliss' house, during his first trip to Washington 
This is one of my favorite pictures of Ethan - he was SO into playing and was 
making the funniest faces when Jason Bliss was taking his picture. 

this is the last picture of Ethan and I before Rachel was born. 
he was almost 17 months old. 

meeting his new sister, Rachel Kathryn 
July 2006 {17 months old} 

2nd Birthday! {2007}

relaxing with Great Grandma 

after a fun 2nd birthday party with his family/friends. 

November 2007 {2 1/2 years}

December 2007 - {2 1/2 years}

how fast these chubby baby cheeks turn into such big kid faces. 

With his very best friend Caedmon Rippee 
Ethan tells us often that he will never have a buddy as special to him as Caedmon. 
Even though they live 2 states away, he says he will always be his best friend. 
{this one is out of order and was taken in February '09 when Ethan was 4}

July 2008 {3 years}
just before heading into surgery 

meeting little sister Kara Joy for the first time. 
October 2008 {3 1/2 years old} 

Golden Gate Park SF
July 2009 {4 years}

September 2009 {4 1/2 years}

November 2009 {4 1/2 years}

February 2010 {5 years}

Looking through all these pictures made me realize a few things.
1. kids grow up so fast. Blink-of-an-eye fast.
2. Ethan is a huge blessing to our family.

Kids go through phases and it seems Ethan has been a mellow, easy going child, with difficult phases thrown in there. He struggles with thinking only of himself, but is also a very caring, loving, selfless boy. 
Sometimes I'm in a awe of how giving he is with his sisters; thinking back when I was little and my younger siblings wanted to take my toys or mess up what I was playing with - he {most of the time} handles his role as big brother quite well and is learning to appreciate the joy of going without, in order to serve someone else. 
He's reading quite well now. All 1st and 2nd reader books. He keeps going to his room and picking up the SugarCreek Gang books, trying to desperately to read more than just a few words before getting discouraged and announcing "I can't read!" - I have to remind him often that learning to read well and learning to read hard books, comes with a lot of practice :)  

March 2010 - his first snow fall :) 
{5 years}

Mercer Island park 
April 2010 {5 years}

He loves Math, Science and learning about outer space. 

I think saying he has a passion for football would be an understatement. 
What's a stronger word than "passion"?? Obsession. That's a better term for it. 
He is over-the-top excited that the Super Bowl fell on his 6th birthday. 
He likes puzzles 
playing anything outside - he loves to be outside. 
He is thoughtful. 
He is genuine. 
He's very open and communicative. 
He cries during sad parts of movies and if he hears sad news {melts my heart}
He likes Star Wars, but thankfully isn't obsessed ;-) 
He misses sharing a room with Rachel. 
He is frequent in giving hugs and saying "I love you" to whoever he's hugging. 
His favorite song in church is Gloria!
He says when he grows up he will be a Doctor or a Pastor... "or maybe both."

4th of July block party 
{5 years}

Six seems like such a big boy age. Like five kind of felt big'ish, but six is like, no turning back, 

this is it, he's getting so big. I look back at his baby pictures and only one thought runs through my head... I wish I had soaked it in and enjoyed it so much more than I did! I wish I had relaxed more, took in every single smile, and realized how fast especially that first year goes... It zooms by. 
If any of you reading this are at home with your firstborn son or daughter, look over at them and take a mental picture right now... or take a picture! And remind yourself every time you see it, time is passing quickly. Make much of these early days/weeks/months/years. We only have our children as "children" for a little while. Even on the days when you feel like you're a total failure as a Mom and surely you're doing more damage than good - give a kiss & hug, tell them you love them, pray over them, be faithful to them, be consistent in your training and parenting and love. Never tell yourself you're loving them too much. I'm convinced its not possible. Remind them how special they are and how blessed you are to have them in your life. Don't wake up in 20+ years, wishing you had done it all. 

September 2010 {5 1/2}

These past 6 years with Ethan in our lives has been amazing... 
I can't wait to see what the next 6+ have in store! 

December 2010 -- {5 1/2 years}

Happy Birthday, Ethan Darrel.
We love you so very much! 

15 {comments}:

Heidi said...

What a special tribute to your first born son. You said it all. Stef, you are a special mom and have a special family. Thanks for sharing.

Love, Lynn

Jane said...

Happy Birthday Ethan {boochie-boo}, Nana sends lots and lots of "nana kisses" to you on your special day...wish I was there to deliver them in person!! And Papa says "miss you buddy & watch out for the carpet sharks..they are especially hungry on your birthday!!!
We love you SOOOOOOO MUCH! <3

DJJ said...

VERY nice! Something to maybe copy ... :-)

Brooke said...

Happy Birthday, Ethan and Stef!!

Nini said...

This is *such* a great post! Happy Birthday to YOU and to Ethan...and to YOU again since you did the hard work of bringing him into the world! Happy Happy Birthday!

jillyco said...

Love it! Happy Birthday to my dear friend Stef and my buddy Ethan! Someday I'll come play 'car crash' with you again. :)

Gina said...

My goodness Ethan's grown so much--even just since you all have moved to WA. Happy birthday buddy! Six is a big milestone for a little boy.
Stef--I agree, you can't love your kids too much, and you do a great job with yours! Love your line about feeling like a failure mom and giving the kids a kiss--I really needed that this week. Thanks! And happy birthday to you too--miss you much!

Charlotte said...

I loved this post, Stef. From the very first photo when he was a baby, he looked like he looks today! And I loved what you said, 'never tell yourself you're loving then too much'. Thank for the great reminder!

Nicola S. said...

Happy Birthday Stef and Ethan!
I loved this post. What a wonderful boy you have. May God give you many, many more wonderful memories with him.
I was just thinking how my girls are growing so quickly before my eyes and even with all the trying times (like this past week while Lucas was gone) I just can't get enough time with them, even though I'm with them 24/7.
I hope you all had a great day!

Emily said...

Happy Birthday Ethan and Stef! How special to share a birthday! I missed sharing a birthday with my firstborn by 8 days.

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday! And randomly, my son's due date was on my birthday and he arrived a week late too. I thought it would be so cool if we had the same birthday.

Jessica said...

I meant to wish you a happy birthday earlier. Happy Birthday to you and Ethan! It is always a joy to see you and your family as you all grow together. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Stef said...

thanks all!! You guys are awesome and I love sharing my blog with you :)

Stef said...

thanks all!! You guys are awesome and I love sharing my blog with you :)

Emily said...

Happy Birthday Ethan and Stef! How special to share a birthday! I missed sharing a birthday with my firstborn by 8 days.


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