Dear Jacob Russell,

I finally finished your video baby! I feel like jumping for joy, you probably will too when you watch it. You love to dance, have I told you? You grove to any music you hear. I think you’ll like your song. Titi and I picked it because you’ve been my little traveling buddy. You travelled to work more than half your life so far, to Nebraska in the winter and Michigan in the summer and next year you’ll be going to Korea with me too! Content in your sling, you tag along up stairs and through airports, and always do great.

You’ve been a happy, easy-going, lovable boy from the start and only grown more so as you’ve ‘gotten big.’ Your brother and sister have been so excited to watch you ‘getting bigger’ this past year. Every step you took to being a ‘big boy’ was cheered on by all of us. You just began walking a few weeks before your birthday. Most mornings since I’ve heard ‘Yay for Jacob walking!’ coming from one of your siblings as you toddle your way across the house. You’re so proud of yourself, and all of us are too, as we have been for every crawl and climb and tooth along the way.

You are our little charmer, you win friends wherever you go. People are never excited to see babies on planes, you however, have managed to win over everyone in your range of vision on all your planes flights. People all over the plane were discovered doing crazy things to make you smile, and smile you did. That’s what you do, you smile and laugh and make people’s day, from the time you were ‘office baby’ to now when you’re getting into everything. It’s very difficult to stay mad at you for long. A big grin and a sloppy kiss and all is forgiven, even when you’ve decorated my floor with uncooked oatmeal and proceeded to spin it all over.

Happy and active, that’s what you are. You happily run us ragged everyday and wake up ready to start it all over every morning. You are in constant motion, just tonight I grabbed the toothbrushes and turned to get the toothpaste and you’d already pulled half the roll of toilet paper to the floor, in 1.5 seconds. Electronic devices like my laptop and iPhone are some of your favorite thing to mangle. Posting has grown, well, interesting. Your video is two weeks late..I’m just saying.

Ironically this letter will post on the day I was expecting you to arrive. You, however, decided one good surprise deserved another, and showed up early. Secretly, I think you heard my many promises to make you my favorite if you came early.

When I was pregnant with you people were always telling me I was huge…wait that’s not what I wanted to say. They were also telling me never to tell you that you weren’t planned. Here’s a surprise, I didn’t listen! This society you were born into seems to feel our plans are the best there is, you have shown me this is not true. You have been the most wonderful un-plan I’ve ever had. My love for you has not been less because I didn’t plan for you, if anything it’s been more. You have taught my heart that God’s plans are better, even when he doesn’t tell me about them before they’ve begun. God has already used you to transform me in more ways than I can count, even I couldn’t have planned it better.

When you were born, our family felt complete. I had my plans, you defied them all, and it was good.

Happy birthday baby boy. I love you.