{ Austin Turns 14 }

14 years ago I spent a special Mother’s Day at home by myself. Well, myself and this little-at-the-time guy. We had been home from the hospital just a couple of days and already he had us hooked. That cute smile and that dimple that hadn’t yet made it’s way onto his cheek yet. Yep, we were pretty much smitten. With his second little mommy always close by, we felt pretty blessed with our two little ones.

There are times that that day seems like it was just yesterday-now I look and my two oldest are in their full fledged teenage years-and like Aaron and I always say about every stage in our kids life-THIS is our favorite. It has been so much fun to see our teenagers-now one boy and one girl share their different perspectives on being a teenager. They are just so much FUN! We really couldn’t ask for more. Getting to celebrate Austin’s 14th birthday just seems like icing on the cake (no pun intended). That face we oohed and ahhed over 14 years ago just keeps getting cuter and cuter, and sure makes me proud to me his mom.

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Austin’s birthday fell on Friday, but after having a crazy week-the festivities were a little lacking. Aaron and I were able to still take Austin out to dinner-just the three of us, and then Aaron took him and Brianna to see a movie, but by the time they got home it was late that night, and even most of the cupcakes had been consumed. It was a bit of a birthday fail. He assured me that opening presents was a bit overrated anyways. Is that a good kid or what to make his unorganized mom feel better=) We  I decided after we I had recovered from the previous week, that a good old fashioned party surprise was due for this kid.

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The little boys helped me get all the special party things in order, and even helped wrap the presents. They love getting set up for parties-their excitement just seems to leak out onto the rest of us. We had everything all ready…and then we just waited for him to come home off of the bus. We hid behind the island and then all jumped out to yell SURPRISE! I think his initial terror turned to happiness when he realized it was all for him.

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Austin has been super patient for that big growth spurt to hit..and hit it has. He has grown 8 inches in the last two years and like Brianna has passed me up in height. It’s a bit humbling to have to look up to my little boy now.

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14 Things We Love About Austin at 14

  • That cute smile and dimple still win us over.
  • The way he honors the Priesthood. About a month ago Aaron and I were talking about morning scripture time. Unfortunately, I am still pretty exhausted at 6am-so I have been sleeping through family scripture time. I was feeling bad about that when Aaron has to go in early to work. He suggested that Austin just lead scripture time. I felt bad that he would have to do that. Austin turned to me and says, “Don’t worry mom, I have the Priesthood, I can do it.” I think my heart grew three sizes that day, and I was very humbled by this kid.
  • His sense of style. He likes wearing button up shirts with the sleeves rolled up and his new shoes. His new thing is wearing bow ties to church with his new church pants. I couldn’t believe he had gone up so many sizes in pants when we went shopping a few weeks ago-that kid is getting tall! At the end of the day he still loves to wear  his old stand by-a white t-shirt (which he seems to outgrow super fast) and a pair of soccer shorts.
  • His sense of humor. He still keeps up laughing with his funny Mr. Bean smile and funny jokes.
  • His testimony. Every fast Sunday we do a special testimony meetings in the front room right after church. I love to hear his testimony about what they discussed in class-I can tell he really listens and how much he loves and looks up to his leaders. I am so grateful for their example to him. It had helped to foster a love for the Priesthood, missions, and respecting others.
  • He looks for ways to help out. He has a special way of telling when I am at the end of my rope, and steps in to help when Aaron is gone. He will grab Ryan for me and help keep him occupied with something while I am busy with Ethan or making dinner.
  • The way he cuddles with Ethan. Priceless.
  • How he gets a little restless and we know that he needs to wrestle with dad. He likes to play around like he can take Aaron down, I think knowing that Aaron can still beat him-but loves the challenge anyways. When your dad’s a wrestling State Champ it’s just something you need to challenge.=) One of these days he may get bigger than Aaron and can take him down, but for now Aaron’s pretty happy he can still one up him.
  • Talking with him. I love talking with my teenagers. Sometimes they don’t talk when you wish they would-so I love to take anything I can get in this category. I love to hear even the little things from school or church that he likes to tell us about.
  • His easy going nature. I mean really-who would let their birthday pass with no presents to open. This kid is a gem.
  • The sincerity of his feelings. When he lets those feelings show, there is no doubt they are pure and real.
  • His thoughtfulness for others.
  • The sense of balance he brings to our family. It’s hard to see until someone is gone on a trip or at a camp how much they add to the family.
  • The way he just asks for something, but doesn’t beg or nag about it. The poor kid had church pants that were too tight in the waist forever, and he would just kindly remind me, and not hassle me about it because he knew how busy I was. A gem I tell you.

WE Love you Austin!!!!Happy Birthday!

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