Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Power of Nine


You're nine! Woohoo! I love writing your birthday letter every year, because it's proof that we both made it through another year and that we are better than we were before. You and I are like iron sharpening iron, and I'm so thankful we have each other to help work out our respective rough edges. We're definitely good for each other!

It's been a great year! Since your last birthday, we've spent time in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Florida. Plus, we've done lots of fun things in Texas as well. We've traveled by train, plane, boat, subway, tuk tuk, bicycle, parasail, zipline, UTV,  and RV to get where we are today. Along the way, you've learned how to surf, attended a robot camp, and shot your first deer. And that's just a very brief overview!

We've been learning about the importance of making good food choices and have been experimenting with how certain foods affect you, either by their addition to or omission from your diet. Your brain seems to work better with regular doses of protein and limited sugar intake. Sometimes it's really hard to enforce, but you and I both know that when we get it right it makes a huge difference in how our days go. You are learning to make good food choices for yourself, and I'm confident this will serve you well throughout your life. You are also interested in cooking and baking, which makes the whole process more fun, as we discover together the best combos of ingredients. You are especially fond of eggs and fruit, so we work those in whenever we can. You love having your own kitchen equipment, and you are getting really good at putting simple meals together on your own.

You have an engineer's mind and are always building and calculating and problem solving. You are curious and are very good at coming up with creative solutions to tricky problems. I'm proud of the way you keep trying new strategies, even when your first idea doesn't work or doesn't work the way you thought it would.

You're an avid reader and have been enjoying checking out huge stacks of books from the library every time we go. You have a wide range of interests and come home with everything from mysteries to cookbooks to books about Morse Code. You are a smart guy and love to learn. In addition to reading for your own entertainment and knowledge, you also spend a good amount of time reading to Clay and helping him learn new things. You're a wonderful big brother!

In addition to looking out for Clay, you have a soft spot in your heart for all kids that are younger than you. You love babies and are super careful with and attentive to little kids when you have occasion to be around them. You are so sweet with your younger cousins, and it is touching to see how protective you are of littles.

Max, you make our days fun and interesting. You challenge us and stimulate us and help us think about things differently. You are really growing up, and I can see that you are becoming more mature all the time. I'm proud of your fierce passion and intensity. You live life to the fullest, and I think that's the way it should be done. I hope your birthday is spectacular and that the year ahead is your best yet! I love you so much!!


Nine Years Old!

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