One Year Older.

It has been an Epic month of celebrating birthdays.
Wowzas.  I'm tired.
Obviously, Kev and I didn't do much planning when we had 3 of our 4 babies!
 My birthday gift to the boys.
And to me.

London was born in the beginning of May, Kaden at the end, and Jesse 6 days later in the beginning of June.
That's okay.  I love summer babies.
And I love simple, birthday celebrations.
Mighty Hunter.
This year, we mixed it up a little with the two biggest boys.  Typically, we have their big shebang on a weekend long camping trip - celebrated at a local state park - Peaks Kenney, along with both sets of Grandparents and any aunties and uncles who wish to join us.  Usually, only my brother Aaron and his wife are brave enough to come.  They know that the Bookers bring the rain...
Gifts awaiting...
And usually, on the boys' actual birthday, we just sort of live life per the norm - if it's a work day, Kev will work, or if I have a waitressing shift in the evening, I will take it - because we know we'll be celebrating that following weekend, all weekend long - but, still, all throughout the day of their actual birthday, I let them choose the meals - breakfast, lunch, supper, and whatever they want for a cake or pie in the evening.  This way, we at least do a little something special on their actual day, and the way to all of my boys' hearts is through their bellies, so it works out quite nicely.
Breakfast in
Years seven and ten are big deals in the Booker household, because on year 7 they get their first quality bb gun and the first year of double digits, they get their first "man gun."  The boys have been stoked for this day all year, and they informed us that they would probably get into lots of trouble if they "played with their gifts at the campground," so maybe this year they should open their presents at home on their actual day.  One of the Grammy's was also buying them two different types of traps, so they've been stoked about trapping things all around our property here, as well, so we decided this year to make their actual birthdays more of a big deal, and to make the camping trip more chill and relaxed with less of an agenda.

I liked this plan.
Even more so because I have a crazy crawler on my hands for our camping trip this year.
And this year, the forecast was predicting rain.  Again.
So, I knew I would be a bit more occupied whilst camping this year as opposed to others.

So, this year, we just took an entire day - and from beginning to end let the boys choose what they wanted to do and how we all would play out the day.  I had a fun little breakfast all set up to eat upstairs in their bedroom, and there were balloons and banners all over with their gifts displayed for when they woke up.
Kaden's Day.
On Kaden's day, he chose to go fishing all day in Grampy's old boat with a hotdog roast along the riverbank for lunch.  We had breakfast for supper that evening with our housemates, and we made an icecream cake for dessert - peanut butter cup on the bottom, caramel and oreos in the middle, and mint chocolate chip on the top.  An interesting concoction, but delish nonetheless.  We finished the day off with the Littles watching a movie in one room, and he and I watching the latest Hobbit in another.  A sweet, simple, cozy day.

On Jesse's birthday, after breakfast and gifts, he chose to also spend the day fishing, but he didn't want to go in the boat.  He just wanted to fish along several different shores and shallow wading spots.
Jesse's bass.  On Kaden's birthday.
 He picked Chinese for lunch, and an outside picnic hotdog roast for supper with our housemates.  We made a "trifle" for dessert - vanilla cake layered with chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and crunched up reeses' cups in a big ole punch bowl.  Before we had dessert, though, he wanted to make a diet coke and mentos "explosion" to top off the day!  In the evening, he and Kaden traipsed through the woods together with both of their bb guns, looking for adventure....and squirrels.  And all three boys topped off the night sleeping outside in a tent together.

Again.  Sweet.  Simple.
Boyhood joy.
And a Mama's heart squeezed full with watching them grow up right before my eyes.

Kaden and Jesse how I love you!  I love your hearts and I love your friendship.  I love how crazy different you are, and I love how well you mesh.  Kaden, you are patient, you're gracious, and you're kind.  Jesse, you are perceptive, you are generous, and you love so deeply.  Your Mama is so blessed to call you her own.  I have loved watching you grow.
Jesse's Day.
Kaden, I love seeing you mature.  I love what you bring to our family with your gentle presence, your funny sense of humor, and your role of being the oldest brother.  I love your love for the outdoors, for fishing and for hunting, and I love how - as soon as you wake up, you head outside.  I love how much you are like your Daddy and how you two just "get" each other.  I also love the grace that you show your Mama in all of the ways that you and I are not's the same grace your Daddy shows me.
Living life together with friends.
Jesse, I love how big you are growing.  I love what you bring to our family with your crazy love of life, your gut busting laughter, and your role of London's protector and making everyone feel included.  I love how you live life to the fullest and how you crash at night like a puppy.  I love how much you want to be like your big brother, but also how you are increasingly becoming your own individual person, as well.  You are growing so much, Buddy, and I am so proud of the grown up boy you are becoming.

You guys are the best.
You are my heart, and you are my Joy.
How I love being your Mama!
Happy birthdays, Dear Ones...
~ Four babies.  Four gifts on loan.  Four pieces of my heart walking around.
~ 10 year anniversaries of me being birthed into Motherhood.
~ Two brothers, two friends.
~ Individual days to fill love tanks full.
~ Jesse at the end of his day declaring:  "Today, I felt really special."
~ Tender hugs, from tender ten year olds.
~ This crazy journey, walking raw, hearts of grace from little men.
~ Housemates, soul friends, sharing joy, sharing love.
~ A soulmate of my own with whom to share this journey....

#5183-#5191 ~ My Joy Journey.

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