January 07, 2020

Through the Years--Eli's 14th Birthday! (A trillion pictures)

Today, my baby turns 14... can you believe it?! When I started writing Runs for Cookies, he was just five years old. I know many of you have seen bits and pieces of him as he's grown through the years. I don't know if I ever mentioned what a CUTE kid he was as a toddler. Strangers on the street would literally stop me and say how cute he was!

I don't have a lot of time to write a post today, because we are celebrating Eli's birthday, but I quickly went though some photos and chose some of my favorites. Here are (at least a billion) photos of Eli as he grew from birth (9 lbs 10 oz!!! And he was 10 days early!) until now, the handsome, charming, sweet, compassionate boy that he is. If he chooses to be in a relationship some day, he is going to make someone very very happy!

One thing to know about Eli is that he's always marched to the beat of his own drum. He's never followed the crowd when it came to the "cool" thing to do. He's a trendsetter without intending to be, actually. Kids tease him when he does/wears something unusual, but he doesn't care--he does what he wants. Cutting his hair like his favorite YouTuber, dying it blue, getting his ears pierced... I love this about him (I always wished I was like that!) and I encourage him to be himself, 100%.

So, these are mostly pictures, but I'll include captions...

Just after birth, weighing in at 9 lbs, 10 oz. I was induced because of his size!

Eli's first birthday (with his own cake, of course)

People always commented on Eli's teeth--they were all sorts of jacked up,
but that's what made them so cute! He eventually needed braces to correct
a problem he was having with his molars not coming together.

Eli's 2nd birthday party... clearly he was into monster trucks that year

I took a 10-minute shower only to find out that Noah and Eli had taken a bottle
of powder and emptied the ENTIRE thing in my living room. Eli was always
naked (he hated wearing clothes unless he had to) so he was covered in powder.

Cutest Halloween costume ever! Bought at a garage sale for uber cheap.

I think this was Eli's cutest age--three years old. He was (obviously) very into
Batman, so he made this cake with my mom. He was so proud of it!

Just after getting his braces at age 3. His molars didn't come together all the way,
so he wasn't able to chew his food well. He was choking a lot (I was an expert
at performing the Heimlich maneuver, and had to use it more times than I can count!).

Eli's first day of preschool. I always let my kids choose what they want to wear
on their first day, on picture day, on any day they want. And this is what he chose.

I made this Shrek hat for Eli, and he just looked so cute in it!

My dad's homemade cake for Eli's birthday (his cakes were "creative" to say the least, haha)

Eli is a HUGE animal lover, and all the pets like to sleep with him. They've always been like that.
Eli still tells me how much he misses Chandler (who would have been 17!). Chandler looks as big as Eli!

Eli's 5th birthday. Another homemade cake by my dad. Eli was very into Army stuff.

Eli just being Eli ;)

This is Eli in his element. He would live on the water if he could. He LOVES to fish (catch and release).

One day for Eli's birthday, we made "hamburger cookies" for his birthday party
at school. (Vanilla wafers for buns, mint patty cookies for meat, orange frosting
for cheese, red frosting for ketchup, green colored coconut for lettuce (he skipped
that). Sesame seeds on bun. When we were done, he tasted one and was very
apologetic but said he didn't care for mint. He said he'd bring them anyway, but
I wanted him to be happy with what he brought. So, we made sugar cookies
instead (see photo below). We put them on sticks, and he loved them!

Eli with his sugar cookies for school

One year, Eli wanted Junie B. Jones books SO badly--the whole collection--for
Christmas. I found the collection on E-bay, and it was literally his favorite
Christmas present! He wanted to sleep with them that night, so he laid in
his bed, hugging the bag with the books. It was adorable!

Eli's 6th birthday. I don't remember him ever liking football, but apparently, he did!

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails... and turtles... that's what boys are made of.

Already wanting to try something new with his hair!

First day of school (1st grade)

Eli went through a phase where he liked to dress up for school

Eli's 7th birthday... He was VERY into "Army guys" as he called them

A baby bunny he rescued from getting run over with the lawn mower

On our way home from Virginia Beach, we had to stop at Walmart; and we told
Eli he could pick something out. He chose the biggest tackle box in the store!

Visiting Mark in the nursing home--the kids always liked to go with me, especially Eli.

Eli completing my Virtual 5K in 2014!

After having his tonsils and adenoids removed. He was miserable, but he
definitely milked the doting on and taking care of him ;)

Eli's 8th birthday... He chose to get the family together to go to La Pita,
a favorite restaurant of our family. It's middle eastern, which I thought was
a funny choice for an 8-year old! ;)

Eli took a class at Jo-Ann Fabrics to make his own pair of pajama pants. He loved them so much! They are
way too small on him now, but he still saves them (he is very sentimental).

Eli and I went on a "date night", just the two of us, and we dressed up. He chose Olive Garden for dinner.

Eli's 9th birthday breakfast... he wanted toast with peanut butter, marshmallows, and sprinkles

Eli wanted to learn to cook, and he made his own concoction--a take a grilled cheese. He cooked onions
and garlic in olive oil and then put the sandwiches on the grill pan in the infused oil. They were delicious!

Eli's 11th birthday. He was into bowling, so he had a bowling party.

Eli took to having a baby cousin right away! He is FANTASTIC with Luke and Riley!

Luke was still very young (I think 4 months) but Eli caught this frog and wanted
to show it to Luke before he put it back in the pond.

Eli's trendy haircut! He wanted it cut and styled like his favorite YouTuber. 

As if the hair cut wasn't enough, he wanted his hair blue... very blue. So I took him to the salon to have them
do it, and it was a fun experience! He loved how it turned out. The kids at school called him "smurf" and "blueberry",
but being Eli, he just shrugged it off and continued loving his look.

For Christmas, he asked for "Lucille" from The Walking Dead. (It was a plastic replica). He thought it was so cool!

Eli and I share a sweet tooth and when we used to watch the Food Network, we saw an episode about the
Vermonster (an enormous ice cream sundae) at Ben & Jerry's in Vermont. We said that one day, we would
go to Vermont just to get a Vermonster! And in 2018, we did :)

Nothing like a mother-son trip to a tattoo parlor to get piercings! Haha, he got each of his lobes pierced
and I got my tragus pierced. It was a fun day with him.

Eli's 13th birthday. We had a surprise party for him, and we had "sloppy brownies"
instead of cake for his birthday. Sloppy brownies were an invention that we made one
day for fun: a layer of cookie dough, a layer of Oreos, a layer of Reese's Cups,
and topped with brownie batter then baked. Eaten with ice cream. It's definitely the
most unhealthy food we'd ever made, but he requested it for his birthday!

The best looking pitcher on his school baseball team!

Eli's farmer's tan from fishing all summer in 2019!

Just a boy and his best friend ;)

Eli loves being an older cousin to these two adorable kids. They love playing with him, and he's
so patient. When I babysit them, he's a huge help in keeping one occupied while I chase the other around!

My favorite recent picture of Eli. The shirt combining his two favorite things: squirrels and Rubik's Cubes.

There are SO MANY MORE pictures that I wish I could post--and oh, the videos are so cute! I'll see if Blogger will let me upload at least one of my favorites:

Today, I went to Eli's school and decorated his locker (just a sign, balloons, and a mini box of chocolates. I love surprising him! And now, we are going out to dinner with the family to celebrate his birthday.


  1. Well now I feel OLD! LOL I have been following you since they were so little. <3

  2. I cannot believe hes 14 and looking like a young man! I feel like I have watched him grow up over the years! You have done an amazing job mom! <3 Happy Birthday Eli!

  3. He really is the cutest kid! I cannot believe how big both your boys have gotten! Gosh I remember reading your blog back in 2012 and they seemed so small! Happy birthday Eli!

  4. Wow, these are great, these pics really made me smile! Eli is such a sweet kid--you must be one proud mom. Happy birthday, Eli!

  5. Such a sweet post and great pictures! Happy Birthday Eli!

  6. Eli seems like an awesome kid. I love all the pictures you shared. It is amazing how fast they grow up. My daughter turns 14 in a week.

  7. Happy Birthday to Eli! What a fun surprise for him to find his locker decorated.

  8. Happy birthday Eli! Such a great photo compilation and sloppy brownies sound delicious!!

  9. Eli is so cute, all of the pictures through the years. The fact that he's an animal lover and he loves his little cousins. I think he will some day be an awesome father (like his dad) and be maybe a veterinarian helping animals (and making really good money while doing it). FYI Eli is my all time favorite boys name.


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