Dear Owen and Eli,
It's so hard to believe that you, my first babies, are already FOUR years old. It makes my heart so happy to watch you play and grow up together. When you're asked who your best friend is you both say each other and it's definitely true. You're inseparable, you watch out for each other, and you play great together. You have learned so much this year and I know this upcoming year will be even more amazing for you. You both love playing imaginative games and generally take turns coming up with the current game to play.
Eli, you are obsessed with ocean animals. You have an incredible ability to remember facts about animals and insist on every animal being called by its full name - for example, it's not a whale, it's a humpback (or sperm or blue or orca) whale, it's not a lizard, it's a basalisk lizard. You love playing 'Who Am I?' and giving clues about the animals you're thinking about. Your first clue is almost always 'I live in the ocean'. You are so energetic and happy, but you're also very sensitive and stubborn at times. You're tenderhearted, have a fantastic memory and love to play pretend. Your favorite thing to do with Daddy is play ocean animal games, pretending to be a manta ray and a killer whale, or a colossal squid and a humpback whale. Daddy always has to make sure he gets the rules right because you have a very specific agenda for these games. Your attention to detail is so impressive!
Owen, you are fast! You want to race your brothers all the time, and though they are more than happy to play along, you almost always win. You're so used to winning, in fact, that any time either of them pulls ahead you get pretty bent out of shape. Your favorite things to do with Daddy are racing and wrestling. You're a ball full of energy all day long! You're very artistic and have a long attention span for coloring, playdoh, and our letter of the week projects. You are very good at color-by-number activities and like to follow the directions. You also love puzzles, and I mean love puzzles. You can put together a jigsaw puzzle in a matter of minutes only to tear it apart and put it together again immediately. You're really getting into legos and following the direction sheets to assemble the item, whereas Eli would rather use the pieces to create something from his mind. You love being read to and looking at books on your own. Most days when I peek in on you during nap time, you're looking at books instead of sleeping.
You are both great big brothers! You help out in any way you can with Dylan, and both like to keep me informed about whether he's asleep or awake in the van. You're both a great example to Garrett too, who is a much better helper and more advanced little boy because of you both. He has learned to put his dishes in the sink when he's finished eating, how to somersault and jump off the steps, how to build train tracks, how to climb into his carseat, and so much more because he watches you everyday. He refers to both of you as 'zaza,' even though he can say 'brother', 'Owen' and 'Eli'. We're not sure what it means, but it's pretty cute.
You're starting preschool in just a few days and I can't wait to hear about all the new things you're learning. I'm not sure how to get ready to not be with you all day every day, but I know that you'll love school because you both love learning new things. I'm praying for you and the men you'll become as you grow older. I am so proud of you and pray that you'll always say that you're each other's best friend. The bond you share is so incredible, but I'm so thankful that you willingly include Garrett too. You are my first babies and, though I know you're turning into big boys right before my eyes, I'll always think of you as my little boys.
I love you both more than I thought was possible and I thank God every day for the gift of you both (and your brothers!) in our life.
Happy Birthday Big Boys!