For Gabriel, I always enjoy taking the entire month of January to put all the tiny little details and surprises into making his birthday special and memorable. This year we hit a little snag in the plans, as you all probably know, Gabe got sick. He spent the entire weekend laying around with a fever. The big party we had planned with his friends, has been postponed, and will take place this coming weekend instead. On another day, I'll post some pictures and let you know how that goes.
But today is for Gabriel, and the family celebration of his life.
I remember the first time I dreamed of Gabriel and knew without a doubt that God was blessing me with a baby boy. God knew exactly what I desired, and he specially gift-wrapped my son for me.
I remember when I was pregnant with Gabe, and we had a concert at our church. They had a prophetic prayer they wanted to pray over all the pregnant women in the crowd. After the service I came forward and the man laid his hands on my belly, praying over Gabriel. He said he felt such a strong anointing on this child and that he would have messages from God and would make a big impact on people.
I remember many times over the next few months listening to my baby boy cry over and over again. The doctor said he had colic and would grow up to be a very sensitive young man.
I remember when we bought our first home, and I finally got to paint a room for Gabe. I put so much detail and love into those blue striped walls. I was so proud to show him when I finished it.
I remember when I discovered for the first time just how different boys are from girls. He kept throwing himself into the couch for fun, and at that time I couldn't understand why.
I remember hearing all the wild stories he would tell with his imagination and wondering when he was going to realize he is NOT Spider-Man.
I remember how much Gabriel has always loved people, and never wanted to be left alone. He would follow me around the house just playing beside me quietly even if I was napping.
I remember all the sweet things he would say as a little boy. The time he saw a handicapped woman at the store and said to me, "Look, Mommy, she's beautiful."
I remember the first time Gabriel realized that people don't all have the same skin color, and he was so excited because he saw a "chocolate baby".
I remember seeing the faith of Gabe start to grow at such an early age. He always wanted to pray about things, and he would talk to Jesus at any time of day, or he would see Jesus in different places.
I remember when Gordon preached a message about one of his favorite members of the church- Gabe Johnson. I was so proud to be his mother that day.
I also remember when Gabe used to put stuff down a hole in the stage and one time the cordless microphone was lost to Gordon for a couple of weeks. It's a good thing we suggested looking under the stage!
I remember Gabriel's first crush on a little baby girl, and how sweet he was when he picked wild flowers for her and asked to drop them off at her house. I'm certain that this is going to happen many times in the future, for Gabriel is going to make a great husband someday.
I remember driving him to his first day of vacation Bible school, one of the first times I left him at a place he wasn't familiar with, and he turned sweetly to me and said, "Mom, you're gonna miss me, aren't you?" If he only knew how much...
I remember when Gabe was talking about growing up one day, and he said to me, "You know what I'm going to say at my wedding? I'm gonna say, thanks for taking care of me when I was a little kid." And on that day I'll tell him that I was honored to do it.
I remember how much of a singer Gabe has always been, and how often he melts even a stranger's heart. He would walk up to anyone and start singing, "I was made to love you..." He's always been such a witness for God, and I'm proud to call him my son. I know he is going to do great things as he grows older.
I remember all the kisses and hugs he's given me, and all the times he's wanted to cuddle up on the couch beside me. I'll always treasure these moments.
I remember the times he's told me I'm beautiful, and the compliments he's given me. He is so sweet.
I remember all the walks we took with his Grandma at the mall and how he always had to find a different hiding place from her every day.
I remember how much he wanted to marry me, and how we had that secret wedding so his dad wouldn't find out and beat him up.
I remember bringing him to school on his first day of kindergarten and how much my heart was breaking knowing that soon I would no longer be the only lady in his life. I knew he was going to melt his teacher's heart, and fall in love with her too.
I remember hearing about his first kiss from a girl in his class and how disappointed he was that he had already used his "wedding kiss". He said he was never doing that again!
I remember how excited he gets when I surprise him at school and show up for lunch. I need to start doing that more often now.
I remember bringing him to the dentist to have his first tooth pulled out because he had shattered it at school. It brought me so much pain to see his tears and hear him crying down on the floor because it hurt so bad.
I remember the movies we've watched together at the movie theater and how he always asks to cuddle when a scary part comes up.
I remember the board games we've played together and the acting we've done for charades. My favorite was when he picked the card that was so "unappropriate" which turned out to be a ballerina.
I remember all the times he would try to do something for me because he didn't want to hurt my feelings, and he wanted me to be happy.
I remember all the times Gabe has told me exactly how he feels. He's not afraid to say, "I feel like I'm not a part of this family." Or "I feel like you don't love me." I don't have to worry about him or wonder what's going on in his head. I know. Because he tells me.
I remember how each night Gabriel will ask me for a kiss and hug before bed because he says it keeps bad dreams away. I pray I can always keep him safe from harm.
I remember all the times I've seen Gabe so compassionate toward others and how one time he wanted to give his money to a homeless man instead of buying a candy bar for himself.
I remember all the times I've cried with Gabe because his feelings were hurt by someone. He is very sensitive and I wish I could be a shield for him from that pain.
I remember just gazing at my son and seeing the beauty that God created in him. There is no one just like him, and no one can compare. God made him unique. He is a sensitive, caring boy who's going to grow into a wonderful husband for some very lucky young lady. He's going to compliment her daily, bring her home flowers and buy her pretty dresses. He's going to see the beauty that's deep within her and he's not going to be afraid to show how he feels. He's going to follow God with all his heart and make a difference for Him. People are going to see Gabriel and want what he has. He is an inspiration. And I love him. I'm so proud to call him "my son."
After a big family dinner, we gathered around the table to watch Gabe open his birthday gifts. I had fun wrapping this present, and used an entire roll of paper.
After opening the box, Gabe would continue to find more and more boxes to open. I thought it would be fun to write messages on each gift and prolong the moment!
Are you ready to search for a hidden
Gabe thought this was the final wrapping because it said his name on the outside. Little did he know...
Happy Birthday Gabe!
We love YOU so much!
I love the expressions on everyone's face!
"A DS? I got a DS?" Gabe couldn't believe it! It was really a dream come true for him.
It's so wonderful to make your children's dreams become reality!
Notice the bite out of the Happy birthday fondant? All year long Gabe will buy the Happy Birthday fondant pieces at Billy Vanilly rather than choose a cupcake. Stefanie thought he needed one since it was REALLY his birthday today.
I'm glad he's feeling better since he was blowing on all our cupcakes!
Unfortunately, Gabe was still not well enough to want any cake. So.. Zech ate Gabe's cupcake for him. Little pig! ☺
When it's my kid's birthday, I try to sing Happy Birthday as many times as possible. It's only one day out of the year, so let's make it a good one! We had a Super Bowl party with some friends and had to have some birthday dessert.
He was well enough to eat this cake. I mean, really, who can turn down chocolate and strawberries?
Happy Birthday Gabe! I love you!