Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Nathan!

 Nathan turned 18 on Wednesday!  Like they say, the days are long, but the years are short.  I can't think of anything more rewarding I could have been doing for these past 18 years than raising him and his brothers and sisters.  Nathan is a huge blessing to our family, and we are certainly going to miss him when he goes off to college in August.  In fact, anytime he gets ready to go anywhere for at least a night, Faith asks, "So wait . . . this isn't when Nathan goes to college, right?  He's coming back this time?"
 We did not do too much celebrating on his actual birthday.  We did treat him to a shopping spree at Walmart, though--everything he could find on the new cadet packing list!  So now he has a big tub of random items up in his room, which really makes it seem real that he is in fact heading off in the not-too-distant future.  Bob and the other kids were at a swim meet Wednesday evening, so Nathan picked out a box of frozen barbeque pulled pork from Sams, and we had pulled pork sandwiches for dinner that night.  Thursday night we grilled chicken for his actual birthday dinner, as you can see on the special "Celebrate" plate above.  It was yummy!

Nathan didn't get too relax too long--Friday he left to be on staff at White Sulphur Springs for a few weeks.  I'm sure he's having a fantastic time there, as always, and we are missing him more than he is missing us!
 We've come a long way in 18 years!  This is a picture from December, 1997, when Nathan was dedicated at our church in Colorado Springs.  Bob and I were so young!  I had no idea at that time that 18 years later, I would still be changing diapers and nursing.  Probably better I didn't know, LOL.
Nathan is almost 2 here, still in Colorado Springs.  As you can see, he looks a lot like the rest of our kids.  We have a strong stamp, LOL.

One thing I have been remembering these past few weeks is my wonderful moms' walking group at Peterson AFB.  At some point a few months before I was due with Nathan, I noticed a flyer for this walking group up at the USAFA maternity clinic, where I went for appointments.  I started walking with them three times a week, and that group of ladies was such a wonderful support the rest of the time we were in Colorado. I really valued their friendships!  Three of us ended up having our babies in 3 days in 1997--my friend Gemiel had TJ on June 22, I had Nathan on June 24, and another girl, Mary, had her baby 6 weeks early up in Denver also on June 24 (she had been hiking in the mountains, and her water broke early).  We had a super-fun combined 1 year birthday party for the 3 babies the next year!

It is funny to look back and remember what a huge difference a few months of baby age seemed.  Jennifer had her first back in December, I think it was, and she became pregnant with her second not long after I joined.  She was so much wiser and more experienced, it seemed to me.  Felicia had her daughter a few weeks earlier in May, so Samantha seemed huge compared to newborn Nathan.  Dawn had Fredrick a few weeks later than Nathan, in July, and then it was Nathan's turn to seem huge and so old in comparison.  I am friends on facebook with Jennifer, Felicia, Gemiel, and Dawn, and it has been so fun to keep up with their kids, all of whom are graduating this year--a few months or weeks really makes no difference at all, LOL.  They're a great bunch of kids, though!  

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