Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Winter Beach Day: North Hampton & Rye State Harbor Park

Exactly one month ago, we ventured out to North Hampton Beach, our first beach trek of 2014. (I keep trying to catch up, and I keep, well, not catching up...) The parking lot was a slushy, gooey mess, and drifts of snow covered the embankments still; but once we cleared the hill and navigated the slippery rocks leading toward the sand, it was so wonderful and freeing. Just what we needed after months and months of cold and dark and sub-zero temperatures.

And today, mid-April, we have fresh snow on the ground. Yikes!
I'm making this puff pancake for breakfast to try and ease the pain...



















We savored riding along the coast with the windows rolled down a little bit. There's nothing like breathing in ocean air. 

Here we are at Rye State Harbor Park. Caleb and I had a special date over the summer at this very spot, and here we are again a few months later.


Isabelle can't bear to see me posing with anyone else before jumping in for her turn. I think I love that.  =)


We were in a slight rush to get back home because Ethan had a youth group outing that night. It was such a nice ride back, us chatting up front while the movie The Tooth Fairy had them laughing in the back. Then it was easy supper, baths and showers, and someone may have even picked up Chinese from our favorite place for a special little late-night dinner, just the two of us. What a wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Versatile Little Girl's Spring/Summer Dress

Good Tuesday morning! It's a balmy, rainy one here, the first official spring rain of the season. And it feels wonderful. Even though the sun isn't shining today, I thought I'd share this pretty sundress from last spring with you again.

I also must mention that today marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. It's fresh in my mind since seeing the memorial exhibit in Boston over the weekend. Such a tragedy, but I believe that God is in control, and good will win out over evil.

 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10

I'm going to post some of my favorite older sewing tutorials on the Rose & Ruffle blog. Click HERE to see.

Happy Sewing!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Our Weekend Away in Boston


Do we look happy? This is in the parking lot of the post office before we even left town, ha. Even still, we felt so freeeeeeeee.

I was super excited about my very first trip to Ikea. Maybe that's why I look so happy.  ;)
We had no idea where to park, where to go, what to look at first... Well we figured it out. And then we had to figure out how to cram all that loot in the back of the van. (I'll have some posts about the kids' bedrooms soon. Finally!)

I didn't really take pictures of the rest of that day because, well, we were just happy to be doing whatever we felt like doing. It's amazing how not having to cater to tons of other people frees up your time. We walked miles and miles - literally -  through New England's largest mall, the Natick Mall. It is over three miles from one end to the other, up and down. I got swept away by a Naartjie sale, but as I was about to check out, my phone cha-chinged, which means that someone has purchased something from my shop. So thanks to a wonderful customer, I turned around and added two more things to my stash. We explored the surrounding towns and ate dinner at Pappa-Razzi. It was fabulous.

We started out bright and early the next day and hopped on the T heading to Mass General. Of course by this point, my coffee (and tea and orange juice) from breakfast had kicked in. The hospital made as good a pit stop as any, except for the fact that the ladies' room was completely barricaded shut. Hmm. William assured me the men's room was free, and of course I made him stand guard outside the stall like any sensible wife would do. We nearly made it out undetected.That was a little awkward.


We strolled along the Charles River, just talking and enjoying the sights. There were lots of runners and dog-walkers out, which was fun. We even saw some crew teams out practicing, possibly from BU, but don't quote me on that. I'd mention the little mouse we saw scrambling up one of the bridges, but that doesn't sound as lovely, so I won't. ;)


 The brownstones lining the way to Copley Square are so beautiful. The trees haven't leafed out yet (and there is nothing green at home yet) so I got super excited anytime I spied daffodils or other flowering bulbs. The old architecture around the city is amazing, and nothing makes me feel quite as small as standing beside Hancock Tower. I'm so glad we had a bright, sunny day to see the gorgeous reflection of Trinity Church.

It was neat to see things already underway for the Marathon next week; lots of guys were putting up risers and stands and such along the wider sidewalks. There is a memorial in honor of those who were wounded or killed in the bombing last year on display at the Public Library. This was actually the first time either of us had been inside the library, and every few minutes I'd forget where I was and think I was a 19 year old kid in Spain all over again. It is too beautiful to adequately describe. You just have to see it for yourself.

Here's a little tidbit for you: the Boston Public Library was the first public library to open in the US, dating back to 1848.
 My jaw literally dropped to the ground when I walked inside the library. Absolutely gorgeous.
There's an outdoor courtyard and cafe as well, but we weren't in the mood for soup, salad and sandwiches at ten in the morning.


Such a humbling representation of loss, support and survival.
Boston Strong

 I have several friends who run in the marathon, and I don't want to be, but I'm nervous for them for this one. We are broken people living in a broken world. But GOOD will prevail.

We ended up bypassing the T and walking the entire Boston FD walking path. I think it's just over 3 miles. I say this because if I'm being honest, I felt kind of schlumpy, especially seeing all the pretty spring dresses and sandals/wedges/heels/ballet flats walking on by, and I'm looking for justification. I'm a flip flop kind of girl through and through, but with all the walking we'd done the day before, my feet were totally feeling it. 
Actually, if I'm being really honest, I was unhappy with the way I looked in general. And I was trying so hard not to let it bother me, to just have fun, enjoy being with my husband on such a gorgeous (kid-free) day. It wore on me mentally, and it prevented me from being free to savor the moment. So I'm now on a mission to be better. I'm tired of feeling this way.

 the North End
It just so happened that Jonah was on a church field trip in Boston, and out of the thousands of people there, we ran into each other! He looked slightly confused but we just laughed and laughed. They were running late so we literally said hello and goodbye in 10 seconds. We weren't ready to end our weekend just yet, so we walked through Christopher Columbus park and then strolled all along the harbor.
 Quite peaceful and serene.

Paul Revere Park
Somebody is always posing in front of this statue- every shot I took has a different person in it.

 Famous Mike's Pastries
I got an Amaretto Cannoli and William got a Chocolate-Dipped. Soooo good. 

I just have to include this picture that Caleb took on his class trip to Boston in the fall. Pretty much sums up where our allegiance lies in this neck of the woods. =)
They don't call us Red Sox Nation for nothing.

We've gone through Boston Commons and Boston Gardens several times, so we didn't do much there this time around. Those are really great places to visit with children, especially as we move more into spring and summer when there are the popular duck boat tours. If you have a chance to visit Boston, you should! It's a fabulous city with lots to do and very friendly people.