Dear Max,

Today you turn thirteen. Thirteen! Because you’re the eldest, I’m pretty sure every birthday you have and will celebrate will hit me as a rather shocking reality.


How can you be that old? How can I be that old?!


You’ve had it drilled into your head that we don’t intend to have teenagers in our house because we are expecting young men and women. And yet, technically, you are a teenager.

I’m not gonna lie, it has me a little scared.

As a youth minister with you a tiny babe in my arms, I’d roll my eyes and laugh at the stark fear on parents faces when speaking of their teens. “They can’t eat you!” I’d scoff.

But now I know. I know they can’t eat you but they can make you burst with pride, break your heart, make you sick with worry, and your stomach hurt with laughter. I know because you’ve done all of those things and you will do them again. And while I grieve the knowledge of being unaware the last time you would hold my hand, or sit on my lap, or ask to be held, I am more than aware of the firsts you will experiencing in the next months and years- girls, cars, jobs, and pride and heartbreak of your own.


That is mighty terrifying.

And so very exciting! We are constantly amazed by the young man you are becoming and can’t wait to see the great things God has planned. Did you catch that? God has a plan for YOU. Run towards it with all your might and the years to come will be sure and steady in Him.

So bring on the eye rolling, the difference in music, the angst filled shopping trips (yes, we will have many more of those). Each one brings you closer to the man you will become. Bring it on.


Happy Birthday, Maximilian. And many more!

We  celebrated an extravaganza a few days early due to busy schedules. The man of the hour requested stir fry and potstickers. Philip and Elizabeth took care of the treasure hunt and the best clue to date was unbeknownst to Lu, stashed in her diaper. There were sparklers inside after clues outside. Max began planning when he was ten how he would watch the Lord of the Rings for his thirteenth birthday so the chocolate cake was decorated like the eye of Sauron and the movie was enjoyed by Max and Phil even though Jac and I both fell asleep. Party animals up in here!