Today is our graduation party for Josh. Per his request, it’s a small-ish affair featuring his favorite Mex dish, ‘taco nortenos’ (breaded steak, an avocado slice, & sour cream) and very few people. He also turned 18 this past Tuesday. Big month for Josh!

He is pictured here with the ‘other first born,’ Miranda. (They are a bit alike, as you can see) Today I heard him telling Randa out of nowhere that he loves her. Right before this picture was taken, barely an hour after Josh’s graduation, Kaity was upstairs in her crib smearing poop everywhere. Meanwhile, Paige will be turning 16 in a few months and getting her license. One of my friends recently said we have the circle of life all under one roof… and it often feels that way!

When I married Rod, Josh was 12.. age of awkwardness, puberty, junior high, general confusion. Add a divorce and a new marriage to that and we could have had a mess, but we didn’t. We did have our ups and downs. We’ve had some angry fights and deep discussions and great laughs through the years. We share an affection for loud adventure movies (especially at midnight premieres), theme parks, Starbucks, and most importantly, Josh’s dad.

Josh’s life has changed several times over during his high school years as his number of siblings (all sisters) tripled and his dad began traveling for ministry. Soon his mom is moving away and he will begin college and life changes again. We’ve butted heads with him a lot over school and faith and Responsibility and normal teenage stuff. The things I’ve had to say to Josh make me feel much older than 32 and cause me to apologize to my parents a lot for the ‘dumb stuff’ I did not so long ago. You know what, though? Josh will share his food, his money, his time, and his great big bear hugs whenever you need him to. He has a kind and tender heart, and like all of my ‘dumb’ stuff,’ I know his will begin melting away as he journeys through that big world after high school.

Six years after I became Josh’s stepmom and he became my son, likely the only one I will ever have, I could not be happier to have him as my babies’ big brother and our Joshy. I love you, bud, and I hope in all the craziness of our lives, you know that we celebrate YOU!