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Bryce turns nine

Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. And now nine! Bryce. My oldest. The rule follower. The secretly goofy one (but only around his family). The natural athlete. The shy one. The one that hates taking photos. The one that is growing up so fast!!

Taking the time each year to reflect on Bryce, his likes/dislikes/accomplishments/etc and taking these photos is so special to me. I am one lucky mama and he's a great kid!

To celebrate Bryce turning 9, here are nine of his favorite things from the last year:

1. Baseball - Pitching

To know Bryce is to know an athlete and his love of baseball. His natural talent, passion and commitment to the game are amazing to watch. This spring he played kid pitch baseball and was one of the team's main pitchers. Interestingly enough, Bryce hates to be on stage or to perform but he loves taking the mound! He has confidence in himself and the skills to back it up. He also started playing catcher this year and is (somewhat surprisingly) very good at it! Keep working hard Bryce and having fun while playing.

2. School - learning multiplication

On his birthday interview last year Bryce was said he was excited to learn multiplication at school and he's been loving it so far in 3rd grade. His aptitude for numbers/logic and love of being right lends itself well to being good at math. Bryce picks up on math skills super quickly and when he takes his time (still working on that skill a it), he does amazing on his work/tests at school. Math is his favorite subject by far and it's not uncommon to hear our family have math quizzes around the dinner table or in the car.

3. Trip to Chicago

In July, we took a long weekend trip to Chicago to cross off 2 more MLB stadiums and visit with family. Bryce loved flying in a plane again, playing in Lake Michigan, and visiting both stadiums. We also toured some of the other tourist sights around the city and Bryce commented on several occasions that he did not like all the people/traffic and that he would not like living in a big city. He did enjoy the architecture cruise and the Lincoln Park Zoo. One of Bryce's plans for his future is to be a "house designer" so he likes looking at the buildings.

4. Friends

This year was a big year for his friendships to grow with his school buddies. There were so many birthday parties, after school play sessions and even joining some sport teams together. His best buds are Boston S and Wesley M. I love seeing him with is friends just hanging out, talking on the way out of school or on the field together. He played baseball with Boston, soccer with Boston, Troy R and Logan B, and basketball with Alton Z and Gunner P.

5. Sledding + snow

You are one of those silly people that like the snow ;) Each year you can't wait for the first good snow of the season so you can go sledding. The cold doesn't bother you too much and you would stay out there for hours if we let you going up and down the hill, having snowball fights or just playing in the snow. It's also not uncommon for you to grab a football or other ball to throw around with your brother or dad when it's snowy/cold out.

6. Soccer - outdoor and indoor

You've played indoor rec soccer a few times when you were younger but this fall you decided to play outdoor (7v7) soccer with some friends from school and had a blast. You played forward and learned your position better each game. By the end of the season you tried to run some plays and scored quite a few goals throughout the season. You really enjoyed playing with your friends and building those relationships.

7. Swimming

It seems no matter the season, you find your stride and embrace the opportunities. In summer you love going to Black Bob Bay and would go every night if you could. This summer you got even better at swimming and could make it quite a long way across the pool and even started to get the hang of treading water. Most of your time was spent on the diving boards (low and high) doing pencil jumps, canon balls and an occasional dive or flip. You also went down the tube slide by your self and enjoyed the new rock wall addition.

8. Reading - graphic novels

You still enjoy reading and stay up each night for 30-45 minutes reading. You are still a bit intimidated by longer novels but love graphic novels. The addition of the pictures make the books attainable for you and you will read the same book over and over. Your favorite series are Diary of a Wimpy Kid (you've read all of them at least once), Big Nate and Wings of Fire. You will also bring your book along for a long car ride to a baseball game and can read a book an under a week!

9. Movies + TV

If you aren't out playing sports or wrestling with your brother, you will be on your tablet (1 hour time limit each day) or watching a movie or TV. This year your favorite thing to watch was the How to Train Your Dragon series - the movies and the tv series. I think you've watched each episode at least 3 times and we finally had to convince you to watch something else. Design/building shows are also still a favorite.

I can't wait to see what this year holds - how your likes change, new experiences you will have and all that you will accomplish and learn.

Happy birthday, Bryce! We love you!!

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