Happy Birthday Nate

Today is the birthday of my family’s newest member…my son-in-law Nate! Although he and my younger daughter Adriel married just last month, it seems like Nate has been a part of the clan for much longer. My whole family has wholeheartedly embraced Nate, since he and Adriel began dating not quite two years ago. 

I looked up Nate’s name:

“Nathan, you have a vivid and expansive imagination and you are one who inspires others. You enjoy life and having fun, and when self doubt is overcome, you rise to great heights and can achieve great things. You have a knack for avoiding trouble, which is why you occasionally repeat an experience so that you can learn from it. Sociable and people-oriented, others are drawn to your genuine charm and generous nature. You are a lover of change, and a seeker of adventure and new experiences. You are bold, inquisitive and interested in others. 

Dependable, down-to-earth and well grounded, you seek meaningful work, a career where you can take pride in your work and do the best job you are capable of. You desire to protect and build a secure environment at home and at work. You can be very persuasive, goal oriented, detailed and well-organized. Your contributions to the world make you a valued member of the community.”

True words describing a truly wonderful young man. Nate is very people oriented, one who connects easily and genuinely with others. When he and Adriel first began to date, he would stop by the house to visit with Greg and me for a few minutes, as we worked in the yard or on a project. Adriel would be at work, but he felt very comfortable hanging out and chatting. He even attended several family events when Adriel was unable to go because of work, not just standing in for her, but being there because it was a family gathering or party and he wanted to be there. No wonder my extended family fell in love with him!

Nate does enjoy life and engages it fully. He likes to have fun and laughs often. And he is adventurous and seeks out new experiences. He and Adriel have had many interesting outings. They hike with their dogs, take trips together, and spent a mini vacation in a wild life refuge. Which wasn’t a surprise at all. Those two love and appreciate nature and animals. They have a menagerie of rescue dogs and cats that are well loved and cared for. 

One of the things I appreciate most about Nate, is how he cares for and loves my daughter. He is a good man, with a good heart, and no where is that more evident than when he is with Adriel. As a mom, that touches my heart deeply. 

Last month Nate and Adriel joined their hearts, their lives and their families, as they said I do before an intimate group of family and close friends. It was a beautiful evening, inclusive and fun and unique, representative of who they are and how they live their lives. I was proud of both of them, and delighted to welcome another son.

Happy birthday Nate! I look forward to seeing what you achieve. I love you!

Surrender 41: Happy Birthday Son

Today is my son’s birthday. I wished him a fun filled day this morning. He and his lovely wife both had the day off, and got to spend it together. As I’ve moved through my day, I’ve thought of Nate, allowing memories to rise, one after the other. This boy, now a man, has been such a joy. As a youngster, his antics made me laugh. Now grown, he continues to make me smile, and fills my heart with pride and love. 


It’s been a big year for Nate, although perhaps all years are such. Although Nate and Megan had a quiet private wedding ceremony in November of 2014, last May they publicly proclaimed their love for each other, and joined their families together. What a joyous celebration it was!


In late July Nate, along with his sisters, told his grandfather good bye. I’m so grateful that there was time for the children and their sweeties to visit with Papa Bob at the hospital. Even as his health was failing, and his memory waned, Papa proudly told every nurse who stopped by about his grandkids. Nate was a quiet presence during that challenging time. At the memorial service he joined his dad in carrying his Papa’s casket to its resting place. 

My son is strong, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Although he doesn’t seek attention, he’s a leader of others, by example rather than coercion. He thinks of others, offers help and encouragement, takes responsibility seriously. He accepted a promotion to Sergeant in his police department last fall, after careful consideration. I had the honor of being present as he received his new badge and stripes. 


Nate is not only a wonderful son, he is also a fun and loving brother, being the middle child between two sisters. Nothing brings me greater joy than watching my kids interact as adults. They laugh and chat and have each other’s backs. As the boy, Nate has always been protective of his sisters. But make no mistake! Elissa and Adriel are just as fierce about their brother. 
 Picture collage by Megan, chronicling last night’s birthday celebration.  

And this handsome young man is an exceptional husband to Megan and father to Aubrey, Oliver and Joey. It makes my heart sing to watch my son with his family…the tenderness he expresses to his wife…the playful way he interacts with the kids. He may not be fully aware of how precious the gift of his presence is, however, he is creating memories with those growing children. And more than that, he is impacting those young lives in ways that will stay with them and guide them as they grow into adults. 


I’m very proud of the man my son has matured into. He is loyal, faithful, intuitive, conscientious, just. He’s also witty, fun-loving, creative, musical and artistic. For Halloween last October, me made his storm trooper costume, other than the helmet and boots, which he purchased. He made it because he enjoyed the creative process and the challenge. 

I watched my son last year at the Maple Leaf Parade, tall and straight-backed in his uniform, as he prepared to lead off the event. Unbeknownst to him, I snapped pics as he spoke with the Police Chief and then stood at attention. He knows who he is and he’s comfortable within his own skin. 

I remember as a toddler, Nate sat in his high chair at the dining table, as I went through all of our relatives with Elissa, explaining how everyone was related and connected in our family. He listened intently, a two year old trying to follow along. He brightened up as I finished, and added, “And me’s Nathanael, right?” Yes, son, yes you are. And you are so very good at being Nathanael…Nate. You inspire me. His name means “gift of God”, and he truly is. Happy birthday Son. I love you very much!