Wednesday, July 17, 2013

the first born.

the first born child wants to be heard.
i guess it's pretty understandable when you think about it. they're the only thing that is heard for a while before the other siblings come along.
and hey, this is why the first child is the way he is. he was coddled, hovered over, taught abc's at 3 months old, read countless books, fed all the right foods at the right time, made to believe that rules and structure are the only way.

 (you still have that same sweet profile that i fell in love with all those long nights while i was nursed and shooshed you 7 years ago.) 

fast forward to child number three playing with a card board box, singing icona pop's i don't care! I love it! and coloring on every ounce of her skin with a marker. UNATTENDED! (gasp)
penelope, what does a cow say?


oops. might need to teach her those animal noises. although...what's the point? there's no good or helpful reason to know animal noises. (or algebra)


layne, you're a structure lover. the opposite of me. sometimes you come down the stairs with a plan for the day because your hippie of a mother just lets the day take her wherever. i'm learning from you.

you wanted to know the exact time schedule for the weekend. ok...tell me if i'm right...after breakfast we'll do lego land? then after that....then after that...
(i mean, your dad's face.)

you're a rule follower.

at the hotel you said: mom. awesome! this soap is in the shape of a leaf!
me: you can have it, buddy. happy birthday.
layne: ummmm!! that is stealing!
me: soap is for free at the hotel. you can have all the soaps in this room. let's take them all and ask for more!
layne: that's lying. you don't need more.
me: ok. you win.

you're a smarty pants. a joy to have as a son. a user of words. all the words in the whole universe all the time. cautious. leader. persistent and stubborn.

stubb.orn. where you got this need to be right all the time, we'll never know! (me looking off to the side waiting for everyone to stop looking at me)

we are so glad we got to spend time with you this weekend. just siblings. i know that must get tough having to share everything all the time, including our attention. and having more responsibilities. and having us practice parenting on you. it's not easy.

our prayer for you is that you use all those words you have to glorify Jesus, and not to gain acceptance of others. (also, one of my secret prayers is that you can make money one day off all those words. don't tell anyone that.)
that you would use your leadership not to build your name, but to make His name bigger. that you would use that stubborn persistence to tell others that Jesus is our only hope even when it would be easier to say, there's another way.

and when you don't do that and you fail, my prayer is that you run as fast as you can back to Jesus and ask for help. we all fail all the time, buddy. mommies and daddies and everyone. God knows you can't do it all right all the time. but he loves you the same whether you do it right or wrong. remember that. tell that to yourself every day because it's easy to forget. His love for you never changes.
(your pensive eyebrows when you do something wrong or can't figure something out quickly enough)

we love you so much, Layne. happy SEVENTH birthday. thanks for teaching us about God's love.


  1. this is such a great letter. I hope he reads this when he's older. It's so beautiful.

  2. Happy Birthday, Layne! I love that you and Nato took him somewhere by himself.

    He sounds like my oldest; she's 7, too. When I read about birth order things, it's like Kevin Lehman followed her around with a clipboard and just wrote down everything she does.

    I do believe, that God will redeem the bossiness and stubbornness and turn it into leadership. At least, that's what I'm banking on... :)

  3. This precious post made me tear up. Why do they grow up so fast, Momma?! He is a handsome little man!!

  4. Happy seventh! He looks like a great kind of kid!

  5. Happy Happy Birthday, Layne!!
    I LOVED this post! Loved it!!
    Thanks for sharing part of Layne's Birthday with us... It was fun to ride along.... : )

  6. oh man...this is so beautiful. What a wonderful boy!

  7. Where is that train? I'm in KC also, son is obsessed with trains- looks fun!

    1. at union station. it cost like $9 a person. :) super fun and cheap!

  8. Love this- so beautiful.
    Also- P seems advanced in the animal sound dept. bc when I ask my SJ what sound a cow makes he says, "Tow?"
    Also, he eats boogers like a machine. So your P is doing just fine as the third babe ;).

  9. I just found your blog and I love, love, love it! You are honest & inspiring & I should admit I am a little addicted. Thank you for sharing your life and being real.

  10. Jami - I just found your blog & I love, love, love it! Thank you for being honest and real. You are a breath of fresh air and you inspire me daily.

  11. Love the post, but have a photography question -- what lens were you using here (or what's your go-to lens?) When I'm having fun with my family I hate to stop and switch. Love a 50mm prime, but have a hard time using it in all situations (esp. indoors.) Just curious -- love the bokeh, love the silouhetting -- very beautiful!

    1. i was using a 50 mm 1.4 ... that's generally my preference.
      there's a huge difference between a 50mm 1.8 and 1.4

      if i were you, i would invest in a 35mm 1.4
      it will be expensive but it's so versatile and the bokeh is magical but it's wider than a 50 which can limit you sometimes...especially when you don't have a ton of space.

    2. Thanks for the response! Saving for fun stuff for me usually doesn't happen -- I'm a mom of five. Guess who gets the goodies? But I'll put it on my wish list and nag my husband - that usually works. Not really. Maybe I can sell an organ I don't really need. Too bad there's no market for gallbladders. Anyway - thanks for the tip and for sharing your real self and real struggles. Christ is doing amazing things through you!

    3. Oh - and I guess I didn't say that my 50mm is a 1.4 as well. I love it, but we live in a tiny house and sometimes I feel like I have to climb a ladder or go into another room and shoot bizarrely through the door to get certain shots (esp. when all five kids are involved!) It's great in virtually all other situations. I will check out the 35mm 1.4. Thanks again!

  12. Love the post, but have a photography question -- what lens were you using here (or what's your go-to lens?) When I'm having fun with my family I hate to stop and switch. Love a 50mm prime, but have a hard time using it in all situations (esp. indoors.) Just curious -- love the bokeh, love the silouhetting -- very beautiful!

  13. Happy birthday Layne! Love the profile and train pics.

    "all the words in the whole universe all the time" YES! What is UP with these firstborn talkers!? :)

  14. i actually laughed out loud at the last of the bed-jumping pics!
    (how DID that end??!! Layne looks kinda worried...!)

    1. he totally ate it. it was funny in real life and still funny. hahahaha.

  15. haha aww happy birthday to your little guy! i love the soap story - kids are so good at keeping adults honest! :)

  16. I love this post. What a great idea! And how relaxing for you and your husband to just have ONE kid. We need to do this with our kiddos

  17. Sigh....loved this post and the awesome pictures. Recently came to your blog through Emily at JDC. Your family makes me first born was a boy, who is now 17, who has the exact personality. He is a whiz at math and chemistry and is just the best kid. Keep telling him how much grace God gives us to keep his little heart soft. Blessings!

  18. I love this post. Thanks for taking the time to write and show pics of the day. What a special little guy you have!


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