Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our Firstborn Turns 30

As Ernie and I look back on this day 30 years ago, we were about to embark on the most amazing journey of our lives…parenthood. It all began with Tara Lynn, our firstborn, and the blog today is dedicated to her.

Tara was a Sunday’s child…pretty special since that is the most special day of the week to her. She was born a week early and still weighed 8 lbs. 10 oz. She was my easiest delivery as I was only in labor for 6 hours and we always said the people at Spanish River Church that morning prayed us through!

From the get go she was an easy baby (does that surprise anyone?), nursing great and sleeping for long stretches. She loved to be rocked and eventually found her thumb and could comfort herself and drift right off. She crawled, walked and talked at the expected times, and loved to sing, dance and “teach” all her dolls and stuffed animals. It didn’t surprise us that she became a 2nd grade teacher for four years, and then gave birth to four little ones of her own.

Tara was a loving big sister, reading to Leah and Nick, playing with them, and trying her best to “mother them”. She always wanted to help, and was gentle and kind to them all of the time. She was a good role model for them in all areas of her life from academics to faith, and we couldn’t be more proud of the woman she has become.

As one who always puts others first, Tara would never expect a blogpost to be dedicated to her, and yet she is so deserving. So on this, her birthday, we family members decided to write down our thoughts about Tara, just to let you know how very special we think she is.

From her Grandma:

1. The first thing that comes to my mind is her cheerfulness. No matter what is going on in her life, she remains cheerful and wants everyone around her to be happy. She works hard at making everyone happy.

2. She is beautiful, inside and out. She exemplifies love. She has a loving heart. Her love of God and family shines through in everything she does. She lives by the rule, “Love one another”.

3. I love the relationship that the two of us have as grandmother and granddaughter. She makes that possible.

4. I love the relationship she has with her husband and her children and the way she handles her everyday life as the mother of four young children. Her attitude and loving heart shows through to someone who spends a lot of time with her and gets to see the good times and not so good times.

5. I have watched Tara grow from a beautiful little baby to a beautiful young woman and I couldn’t be more proud. I love everything about her!

From her Daddy:

1. Tara is an encourager. She always has a smile, a hug, and a word of encouragement for everyone she encounters

2. Tara is an excellent mother. She has unlimited patience and truly loves to be with her children. She loves to see them grow, develop and be successful at whatever they attempt.

3. Tara is the perfect pastor’s wife. Her planning talents, her ability to encourage others, her willingness to serve our Lord and her ability to support her pastor husband in all his responsibilities makes her a wonderful pastor’s wife.

4. Tara loves being around family. She enjoys planning/organizing our family gatherings and truly enjoys the special time we have together, teasing and laughing with each other. If possible, every meal would be a joint family meal.

From her Mommy:

1. Tara is truly a beautiful person in every sense of the word...tall with dark hair, deep brown eyes, and a huge heart. She is a patient listener, hurting when others hurt, rejoicing when others rejoice, and giving of herself in every way she possibly can to her family, friends and church. She is humble, unselfish and truly grateful.

2. Tara is dedicated. She is dedicated to her Lord, her husband, her children, her family and her friends, meaning she would never quit on them. She can be depended on to be there for the long haul. If she says she will do something, she will do it, and she will do it with excellence.

3. Tara is the most organized person I know. I consider this a true gift and she uses it wisely to maintain her home, support her husband, spend time with her children, nurture and nurse her babies, teach Bible Study and Sweet Sisters, Direct Cubbies, compile the church calendar and nursery schedules, get together with friends, keep up with her blog, and even write hundreds of thank you notes.

4. Tara would make any parent proud. She is a best friend, a peacemaker, a lover of family, a tireless servant of the Lord. She is smart, hardworking and always wanting to do for others. She has been the most unbelievable support to us during this trial, in every way. Always there, always encouraging, always positive, always hopeful, always loving.

5. Tara is an amazing Mom. She loves each one of her children unconditionally and equally, which is no small feat with two sets of twins! She reads to them, teaches them, plays with them, encourages their imagination and creativity, trains them, disciplines them, gets up in the night with them, and nurtures their faith by living it out before them.

From Jamie:

1. Her love is unconditional.

2. She strives for perfection in all things.

3. She is kind all of the time.

4. She is the best mother to our children I could ever ask for.

5. She is beautiful and pleasant.

From Leah and Kyle:

1. Always has a smile on her face and can make you do the same!

2. Never... ever... EVER complains.

3. Always gives 200% to every task she takes on.

4. An amazing mentor and best friend.

5. Faith and family are clearly her top priorities.

6. Always up for a home cooked meal and board games!

7. Can call her any second of the day for advice.

8. Has done an incredible job instilling Christian values in her children.

From Nick:

1. Wonderful family member: Amazing mother, wonderful wife, awe-inspiring sister, perfect daughter/granddaughter, and tirelessly working member of our family!

2. Great role model for me: Tara never complains, is always cheerful, and extremely congenial to everyone she meets. This is a great example for me on those days when I am grumpy, tired, and not feeling like talking to anyone :)

3. She is hilarious to me: Whether she is using a surprisingly correct slang term, dealing with the chaos of her family with a smile on her face (Natalie wedgies, constant Sam puke outpourings, diaper explosions that would make a sailor cry), or doing something extremely gracefully, I am always laughing when I am around her!

4. I don't have a title for this one. Tara, you are the type of person who is so engaging, nice, and genuinely caring that if I didn't know you I would think you were faking it (like I do way too often hahahaah!). You are hands down an awesome person and great Christian role model for everyone around you!

So as you can see, we could go on and on about Tara, but we will close by saying THIS ONE'S FOR YOU! WE LOVE YOU AND HOPE YOU HAVE A VERY VERY HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY!


  1. Oh my goodness! Ya'll are unbelievable. Thank you SO much for doing this for me today. I will cherish your words of encouragement for years to come. I love you all so much and praise God that He gave us to each other as family. You have made my day today!!!! Love you sooo much! Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

  2. Every single one of these comments are sooo true. Tara is such a special woman! We love her very much. Can't believe baby girl is 30! :)

  3. I loved reading everyone else's comments about Tara. ALL OF THEM so true. Love you TD!!

  4. Such a sweet post for a wonderful young woman. Happy birthday Tara! You are wise beyond your 30 years and I agree, you are a great Christian role model for anyone who has had the opportunity to meet you. Hope your day continues to be great!

  5. Happy 30th Birthday, Tara!! :) All I can say is ditto...You are all that was said and more! You are such a wonderful friend, and I appreciate all the love and encouragement that you have shown me! I hope you have a day just as special as you are! :)

  6. wow. i was choked up reading this whole post. what a gift to tara.

    amazing to see what the Lord in the hearts of those that love and seek Him. hoping that i will get to know tara better for myself in the coming years. :)

  7. this was sooo special. what a tribute to a wonderful young mama,wife, daughter, sister, grandaughter, and friend. it's been a priviledge knowing you for so many years. can't believe our little girls are 30!!