Jonathon and I have been together longer than we’ve been apart. We met when we were 13, started dating when we were 17 and, despite many years of ups and downs, knew that we would work through whatever we needed to make our marriage a success. He’s my rock and my picture of faith. I never knew it was possible to have such a spiritual leader in my life, but he is it. He is self-sacrificing and gives up whatever he needs to for the benefit of our family and the calling God has for him. He is an excellent father and fills the lives of our children with more positive experiences than I could count. He forgives my mistakes just as I forgive his, and I am grateful to be blessed with someone I can love so much. And if that weren’t enough, he helped me make some beautiful kids…
Lillian is my first born and highly predictable. I knew this must be a trend when she woke up every morning at 2:10 for a feeding until she was 13 months old. By 18 months it seemed like she was already mature and far older than she should be. She’s always been the people pleaser in the family. She’s incredibly artistic, fun-loving, a great student, patient and adores caring for children younger than her. She’s a true leader and I can always depend on her. Lily excels at more things than I could possibly count and is full of immeasurable potential, but she likes to fly under the radar, hoping that no one notices her too much. When we tell her how much we appreciate her she covers her mouth and diverts her eyes away from our approving expressions, too shy to accept the compliment. She loves God, but it’s a quiet love and one that she likes to talk about in close-knit circles. That said, she’s witnessed to many of her friends and is determined to bring the gospel in her own special way. She’s a social introvert like her mother. As much as she loves being around her friends, she has to recharge her battery in the silence of her own space.
Henley arrived earlier than expected, just after noon on Christmas Day. I knew she would be our unique child. Such a quiet, happy, sleep-through-the-night baby seemed to burst into action not long after she could walk. She’s full of spunk and is one of those children that can dance her way through every task of the day, even when she’s complaining about the ones she wants to avoid. She’s accident prone and trips herself up a lot, but she doesn’t miss a beat, despite her short attention span. Henley’s the child that marches to the beat of a different drummer. She has her own crazy style and almost always has a shoe untied and hair in her face. But she has a beautiful smile that lights up a room. Her memory amazes me and she knows the words to so many songs that I’m certain she could become a one-girl cover band before she hits puberty. Her heart is always inclined toward helping others and she never forgets to pray for those who are hurting. She is confident, has a temper yet possesses an innocence about her that I cherish.
Wyatt is our first and only boy (and he knows it). He has my Grandpa Jake’s blue eyes which leads me to believe the girls are going to chase him much sooner than I’d like. He’s a cuddler and, like most little boys loves his mama. Nevertheless, he likes to spend time being outdoors with his dad shooting arrows, hiking, building campfires and jumping off the roof. He’s sensitive and empathetic yet has an energetic and crazy side of him that is so full of life. When he hears any music he just can’t hold still and can shake those extremities in ways that are mind-boggling to me. He’s a lover of superheroes, black olives and ice-cream (but not together). Every night at bedtime, one of us has to bless him with Numbers 6:24-26 or he can’t fall asleep.
Willow is the baby of our family and brings more joy into the home than I could possibly express.She, like Henley, is happy and carefree and has always slept like a champ. Her looks, however, favor that of Lily’s. It’s too soon to know what Willow’s best traits will be, but I can tell by the sparkle in her eyes that God has amazing things planned and I think she knows it. After three kiddos before her, Willow is the one that made me realize you can never invest too much time in your children. It seems cliche to say that “they grow so fast,” but it’s true. Every moment with them is priceless. Willow’s favorite things are her cowboy boots, her kitty ears (that she wears almost everywhere) and her “pink blanky.” She adores her siblings and has to make sure she’s sleeping in the same room with one of them each and every night.