Jesse Micah - God's Gift.
And indeed you are, sweet boy.
Happy Birthday Number 8!

My shortest labor.  My easiest delivery.  One of my most favorite memories.

After Kaden's birth, we decided to go crunchy with a midwife for our next go round.  I got sick in my pregnancy, so we couldn't use the Birthing Center, but I still got to have my midwife at the hospital. We had over a half hour drive and you wanted to come in the middle of the night.  You came a bit early, so we weren't entirely prepared.  Daddy had to stop for gas, and we couldn't remember to go left or right at the exit.  When we flew through the toll booth, we didn't have the exact amount of cash, but I told Daddy to let her keep the change.  He was flying, and I told him the turns were painful so "Please slow down!"  But then my water partially broke so I yelled:  "Speed up!  Speed up!"  When we walked through the doors of the hospital, the lady at registration asked me my level of pain.  I told her clearly that I needed to push, and eight minutes upon walking through those hospital doors, you were born.

My kind of labor and delivery.
Fast.  Crazy.  Breath taking.  Just like you, Jess.

For some reason, I was completely persuaded that you were a girl - I have no idea why.  We were solidifying your name during the drive while I was in full blown labor...but it was only for a girl.  Never once did we discuss a boy name.  We had always agreed that we would both love whatever name we chose, and I wanted Jamie, but Kev wasn't a fan.  He wanted Taylor (or was it Hunter?), but either way, it was a definite No from me.  So, there was about a ten minute discussion between us while you snuggled in deep. We have both always loved Jesse....and I had wanted Micah from the beginning (but one of my dear friends had claimed that a few years before)...so with our midwife and nurses voting right along with us, we all agreed that Jesse Micah suited you.

It was unanimous, and we were in love.

You entered my arms screaming bloody murder -- red faced and announcing your presence with authority.  And to this day, that's how you continue to enter a room or join in any play.  One of my favorite memories of you is a couple of summers ago watching you race across our backyard, hair flying wild all around, arms opened wide, screaming:  "Here comes Jesse!!!"

I love that about you.
You don't do anything halfway.  And you are surely your own little man.
Rock jumping.  By the fire.  Classic Jesse.
Of all of our kids, outwardly, you are the most like me.
Loud.  Crazy.  You enter a room talking.  Just a little bit clumsy.  (Sorry, Love.  That's ALL me). But, inwardly, you're also a whole lot like your Daddy.  You are a deep thinker.  You ask the heavy questions...and your mind is always working.  It's kind of a fun combination.

There are so many aspects of you that I love and admire:  You love everyone.  You want to be everyone's friend.  No one is a stranger.  Your heart is huge, and you love to give.  You are a lover of life, and often we'll hear you say:  "Best day EVER!"  Your energy is endless and your joy is contagious.

You are indeed, our wild and crazy Boy Joy.
I see you in London.  So much.
She's watching you, Love.  Remember that.  I love how you love her.  I love how you protect her.

You are strong, sweet boy.  You are big for your age.  People often confuse you for being many years older than what you really are.  We've told you for years that God has made you strong, and you need to use your strength for good.  Let your strength match your heart.  Be tough and be tender - that's a pretty awesome combination.  That's what I say about your Daddy.  He's big, and he's strong....but he is gentle and he is tender.  He is kind, and he is good.  That's how I want you to grow up to be.

I love your heart, Jess.  I love the questions that you ask.  It amazes me sometimes - the depth of your thoughts.  But, I love that you're not afraid to ask them.  And I love that you trust us with your heart.  I pray that you always will.  We are safe, and you can always ask us anything.

Jesse, my prayer for you this year is the same prayer I wrote about for your older brother.  You can read now, and you can surely think for yourself...so I pray that you use your skills to make your walk with Jesus your own.  I pray for a love of His Word, and a hunger to know Him more.  He has given you your gifts and He has given you your strength.  Get to know the heart of your Creator who made you!
First swim of the season.  Early May.  Jump right out of the boat.
I am so thankful for the gift of you, Bud.  You truly are the definition of your name.  You bring joy and energy to our Home.  You bring Life and an abundance of love and fun.  Thank you for the gift of You!  Thank you for the love that you gift to us - wild and free - tackling bear hugs, sweet kisses, and arms perpetually flung around one of us.

I love it all...  I love YOU!  (More than you love me...it's just true.  Deal with it).
Bloodworm capture.  Filthy Boychild.

Happy birthday number 8, Jesse Bear!
My Wild Child.
My Boy Joy.
My Gift from God.
Homemade drumset.  In my living room.  Front and center.

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