Happy 11th Birthday J to the Pizzle

You know what a birthday means.

Party time and love letters.

Party later today, but first, the love.

Dear John Paul,

There is so much to love about you. Where do I even start?

Let’s go with laughter. You, my son, are one big prankster. You have this mischievous grin, with a slight wink, and I know that when you flash it we are all in trouble. Or in stitches. It’s so hard to tell.

Two of your favorite phrases these days? “Well, actually Mom…” and “You know, I was just saying that…” Most of the time those are followed by some sports trivia or a math problem. Neither of which I understand. Speaking of math, you are seriously good at it. No, I mean CRAZY good. Like you-might-be-an-architect good. Pair that analytical brain with your eye for art and we may just have a master designer in the house. Be still my heart. Design me a house someday. Deal?

You’re not the biggest fan of reading. I thought we had you hooked with Harry Potter, but you never finished book three. You can, however, quote any sports statistic from any book you’ve ever read. In like four seconds.

You are a huge fan of the New York Jets. Where that even comes from I have no idea, but you’re passionate about them. With the exception of the Aggies, we can pretty much lay odds on you rooting for the team opposite everyone else. It’s how you live.

This school year, you were elected to student council and your speech was classic. This was your poster, with the tagline, “Who wants to be your student council rep? THIS GUY.”

john paul, blog_010

Almost every morning you ask Dad to spike your hair in the front. I love a man who cares about his appearance. I’m not entirely sure you brush your teeth everyday or use soap in the shower. But the hair? It’s always first-class.

Around here, you’re known as the guy who can get Gianna to laugh. I think your rate is something like 97%. She adores you and hearing her belly laugh because you are doing something silly warms my heart, buddy. It really, really does.

You know what doesn’t warm my heart, but makes it race? You, and any physical activity. This past summer, you did a backflip off the side of a friend’s pool. Aaaand, five staples to the head later, we won’t be doing that again. I like that you live life, I just wish we could steer way clear of the ER in 2015. Let’s make that our goal, okay? 

When you took up cross country this fall, we had no idea how much you’d love it and how fast you’d really be. Watching you excel, and love, a sport so much has been immensely gratifying. But, not because of the accolades, but because of how much you love being active. I pray that’s a trait you carry for a lifetime. Keep taking good care of your body and it will take care of you.

It’s been a total joy watching you come into your own as you approach middle school. Your tenth year was full of an awesome trip to the Big Apple, lots of 4-H, sports and school accolades and a few timeouts.

On days that I’m down, I can always count on you to lift me up. You are {mostly} an eternal optimist, except when it comes to social studies homework, taking out the trash or getting along with Will on the basketball court. Win some. Lose some. All I know is that our family is funnier, crazier and more awesome because of you.

Your life is precious, John Paul, and I am beyond blessed to be your mama.


Your biggest fan


  1. Violet on January 22, 2015 at 8:28 am

    When you spoke of John Paul’s trip to the ER it reminded me of my youngest child [now a parent]. His dad and I could count on weekend trips to the ER. Once attempting a jump over trash cans [thanks Evel Conevil] he needed stitches and not once failed to thank us for the stitches That got me.

  2. Nicole on January 22, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Happy birthday!!

    I love that you do these letter for your children. What a tremendous gift.

  3. Verdina on January 22, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Love your letters to your children! And, I think every family should have a “John Paul” to keep things lively… He is one handsome boy!

    I love you, John Paul.

  4. […] certain someone had a birthday this week. I wrote him a love letter and I think watching him read it may have been even more fun than writing […]

  5. Lauren on January 23, 2015 at 10:53 am

    If sports statistics are where it’s at for John Paul, might I recommend that he consider a career in Sports Information? It’s what my husband does and I don’t think many people are aware the career exists. Just sharing… 🙂

    • Kathryn on January 23, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      HA. I mentioned it tonight to both the boys and they were all, “SWEET!”

  6. Connie on January 23, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    John Paul Harris – I consider it such a priviledge to have Harris in your name. I hope your Dad has told you about Daddy John Harris…..My Granddaddy, John S. Harris, would think you were so so so special.
    You have a very special & tender place in my heart John Paul Harris Whitaker. Love you

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