Thursday, June 2, 2016



It occurred to me last night as I watched you hit the baseball off the tee in your second t-ball game, as I screamed "gooo Juderbug!", that I might have to stop calling you Juderbug now. It feels like you've outgrown that nickname, and that's bittersweet. You're mostly just Jude now, or "J", or "Jude William" when you're not listening to your parents.

I tell people you came into the world screaming and fighting, it was like you were shot out of a cannon and you haven't slowed since. You squeeze every drop out of life, every single day. You live life in the biggest way possible. You are as crazy as you are kind; as sweetly loving as you are firey passionate; as snuggly as you are independent. I have big dreams for both you and your brother, but I am So Excited to see what career you grow into someday. You're going to take the world by storm.

You're finally old enough to start stepping out of your brother's shadow for activities and friends, and you're thriving with this new-found freedom. You're our lefty which makes everything 5% more complicated. I'll continue to be the crazy mom running up to the dugout to yell through the fence "HE'S A LEFTY!" every time they line you up to bat as a righty. Someday I imagine you'll remember this yourself.

You are hilarious. This morning we stopped at the grocery store for birthday treats for your class and the following exchange occurred:

Jude: "Momma, can we go visit the hamsters?"
Me: "... J, we are not getting a hamster"
Jude: "No! Mom! Not to keep, just to VISIT! Like the ones by the fish and shrimp!"
Me: "OH! The lobsters..."

You challenge us, daily. Your dad and I have learned more patience and grace from parenting you than from any other life experience. There's a constant push and pull with parenting you. We're pushing you to get bigger/smarter/more responsible/love Jesus more/be a better friend; and we're pulling you back from growing too fast and wanting you to stay little forever.

Your smarts impress me daily (and make my nerdy heart happy). You're so into why and how things work. Already, you're flexing your problem solving and reasoning brain cells. You'll need those later on. I'm thrilled you have a knack to know more than our surface level answers.

Jude: your dad, Brecken, and I are the three luckiest people that God chose us as the family to drop you into. You're the best little brother; simultaneously thinking Brecken hung the moon and leading him, too, when he needs an example. I smile every time I think of you. You are my heart's joy and my baby forever.

I love you,

Friday, March 4, 2016


Brecken Jace Lee,

I blinked, and today you're seven whole years old. You're a big kid in every sense of the word, and we're rocketing toward the tween years. I can't even wrap my mind around that. 

At seven, you are very much your own little person. Your identity is in being a 1st grader and being Jude's big brother. Really, you're just his best friend. He bosses you around just as much as you do him. You two are thick as thieves and it's exactly the relationship I hoped for in January 2011 when the ultrasound tech told your dad and I that we were having another boy. First grade is so much fun for you. You love your teacher and have the best kids in your class. You started reading, pretty recently, and the words fly off the page for you now. Watching you learn has been the most fascinating part of parenthood. I spent a lot of your first year amazed that I could grow a human being. And I've spent the seventh year amazed that that human being is capable of complex thoughts that he shows through his words and actions. You amaze me, kiddo. You love math and science. We gave you a book of 1000 facts a week or so ago and you have told me everything there is to know about the animal kingdom. You never bore of knock-knock jokes; your brother is always game to appease you with them. You have created enough paper airplanes in the past few months to have your own airline (you're getting really good at it, they're actually flying now). 

You are kind and loving. Quick to hug, quick to help. You've found your voice this past year though - you won't let anyone walk on you. I love this independent streak - though it's giving me all the gray hairs. You want things to be your way sometimes; you're unrelenting and strong-willed. You're competitive (and I am not, so I struggle to not say "it just doesn't matter!" every time you win at something). You love football - playing it and watching it. Baseball starts in a few weeks and you're so excited to be past t-ball. I am so proud of all of your accomplishments. Every time you get 10/10 on your spelling test that you worked so hard on, I'm full of joy for you. 

At some point I think I started measuring time by your height against my leg. You're way past hip-height and I no longer have to lean down too far to hug you. I can still pick you up (kind of) and put you on my hip (sort of) and squeeeeze you like I did 5 years ago. But, that might happen once a month now. I don't know the last time I washed your hair. Or helped you get dressed. Or helped you get your things in your backpack before school. Nothing astonishes me more than watching you and your brother grow up. It's going way too fast; the weeks positively fly by now. 

I will never forget this day seven years ago at 1:06pm when you made me a mom. You and Jude are my greatest joys and my best accomplishments. I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for you. I'm your biggest fan.

Love you soooo much,