"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2016"
Jaden: I've been reflecting lately on what a year this has been for you. As you edge closer to your ninth birthday and your final year in the single digits and the halfway mark between zero and 18, it seems that time continues to speed up faster and faster. 2016 has been huge for our family, and for you. You have close, close friendships now. You're already learning about commitments and time management and that following your passions requires hard work. You've gone on one major vacation, grew leaps and bounds in your reading skills and assessments and even went on your first small hunting excursion with Daddy a week ago. I've been staring at pictures of this past year a lot lately and noticing how big you seem to be in all of them. It reminds every time why I love this photography hobby of mine. Watching you grow up in real time, and then looking back at it through the pictures I've accumulated, makes me so grateful that you're ours. You're keeping us on our toes these days, (and keeping our events and social calendar full!), but it's so much fun, too.
Brandon: As you were watching your favorite Netflix cartoons after school today, relaxing with your bowl of crackers and 30 minutes of treasured TV time, an ambulance and its loud sirens whizzed right by our house. I was still working on my computer in the other room, but you paused that show of yours and came to find me. "Mommy. It's prayer time." "Why, buddy?" "The ambulance with sirens went by. We need to pray for whoever's in there." ...and that's just what we did. I just love, love your heart, sweet boy. And if and when I ever question whether I'm doing an okay job with this mothering thing, you find ways to remind me that we're doing alright.