Dearest Maxwell,

Today marks the day you made Dad and I parents TWENTY-ONE years ago.

And since we can’t be with you to celebrate that little fact, here we are to write twenty-one things we adore about our boy:
1) Your smile…it can light up any room.
2) Your randomness.  Whether it’s a funny style or a totally quirky thought, you’re not afraid to share and it makes us laugh.
3) Your focus.  Yes, you can definitely be distracted, but once you put your mind to something specific, you do it.
4) Which brings us to your ability to learn.  One example is Chinese…you worked hard on that language and it is amazing to hear you speak it so beautifully.
5) Your ability to relate to people, something we loved watching refined and beautifully exhibited when we got to go back to Taiwan with you.
6) Your spirit.  It is more giant than you are and shines out of you.  You let that spirit grow by developing a strong relationship with God and seek for direction and guidance in your life.  We feel like that spirit draws people to you.
7) …but sometimes it’s more your height.  HA!  It’s fun to watch people take double-takes of you, and it’s also pretty nice to be able to spot you from anywhere.
8) You are our favorite son, by far.  Even if we had another one, I’m sure you’d be our favorite ๐Ÿ™‚
9) You set goals and work hard.  It was fun to watch you return from your mission and see such motivation in schedule, pushing yourself to do random things like learning a tough piece on the piano, keep up on your spiritual learning, push yourself with reading or writing.
10) Speaking of those “goals,” we love how you set all the new things you wanted to do in your iPhone calendar when you got home from your mission, and somehow your “reminders” showed up (linked somehow) on our phones.  Love that you set a reminder to “tell sisters I love them” as one of your most important items of business.  You are one good brother.
11) You are easily teachable.  always willing to learn from others, listens and asks questions and want to learn when someone is explaining
12)  The best travel-buddy.  Loved traveling around Taiwan with you (and every other place we’ve been together) because you’re a go-with-the-flow kind of a guy and you’re so laid back.  This sure helps with all the strong opinions we’ve got going on around here!
13) You have the best dry, sarcastic sense of humor.
14) Crazy, thick and luscious hair (that one’s specifically from Dad…maybe he’s happy you take after him:).
15) Not afraid to try new trends.  Love that you are holding strong to liking the “sling” idea (fanny pack over the shoulder…ha!…although Dad still thinks that’s just not going to take off…but maybe you agree since you haven’t really been wearing that thing…)
16) Love your hard work ethic.  Love that when you work out, you really work out, and come home drenched with sweat.  Love that when you mowed the lawn growing up, you pushed to really do it well.  Love that when you decided to play volleyball, you worked your tail off and were all-in. 
17) Not afraid to be goofy, or unconventional, even when deep down you’re a little shy.
18) You are a great conversationalist.  I love the discussions we have, and I love that you’ll call me just to chat (not overly often, but it does happen and I LOVE it).
19) You are a gentleman.  You are quick to ask if you can help (this did take lots of training from your awesome dad), and when we’re eating you always make sure I get dished up before you do.
20)  You sure make the NBA championships (and all things sports for that matter) more fun (that one is specifically from dad too…but I love it just as much as Dad does because you make Dad light up).  
21) You are humble.  You brush off compliments and turn conversations around to focus on others.  And also, you’ll probably be very embarrassed about this post (sorry!). 
Ok, and one more to grow on, because I can’t stop, and also because #8 doesn’t totally count, and also because this is one of the most important things:

You are kind through and through.  
Love you forever, dear Maxwell David.  Thank you for making us parents…and for setting the course for our parenting and leading the way for your sisters.  Happy, happy birthday!!  
Mom & Dad


  1. I donโ€™t know what it is but everytime I see Max on your blog it makes me cry! I think God shines so much through him, itโ€™s really beautiful.

    1. I keep meaning to come back to this comment and thank you, that is such a nice observation. I'm biased but I agree ๐Ÿ™‚ Love him so much!

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