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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend in Pictures

Most mornings around 4 he wakes and I nurse him back to sleep. Normally I get up then, even on the weekends, but I just couldn't steal myself away from him. I know this isn't going to last forever and I'm determined to drink it all in while I can.

After a cool and wet week, it was absolutely fantastic to wake to a gloriously sunny morning. I went to our town's plant sale at 8 and then figured I'd sneak in a nice, long (UPHILL) walk before traveling for several hours in the car for the first day of Ethan's soccer tournament in MA. I think we have a golden! Look at that shimmery gold!

We made it to UMass, the Amherst campus, and man is that place huge. It was very pretty, but the fields were a total mess after all the rain. I was terrified that someone was going to break an ankle or a neck while playing. Levi spent much of the day like this because there was also NO shade, so I kept parking him with the sun to his back, which put him in the complete wrong position to see anything. Sorry, buddy. A sour older lady also pointed out to me that "that baby needs a HAT!" Because clearly, this lad is not cared for in any capacity whatsoever.

They were ahead until the last three minutes when they gave up a goal, which tied it. Again, I was relieved he hadn't broken something. They'd be coming back the next day. (They ended up losing the first match after having been ahead until the very end, that's frustrating; and Ethan took a header that went wrong and it messed him up a bit. Honestly, I am not sure how much more of this we can allow him to take, but that's a post for another day. They never recovered from some bad plays in the second game and lost by a point.)

It was so late when the match ended, and we were in the middle of nowhere, so we gladly pulled into the golden arches for something to eat before driving the 2+ hours back home. We gave him a straw. He looooved his straw. Who knew?

An early Sunday morning stroll through the yard. So quiet and peaceful. I needed the day to start peacefully. I also love how all the landscaping is coming together. Slowly but surely.

Saying goodbye early in the morning. We missed the older boys and Daddy while they headed back to UMass. I'm so thankful that we had perfect weather because being housebound might have done me in. Single mothers have the hardest job on earth, and I am not kidding even a little bit. Also thankful that it was just for one day.

First day trying the nursery at our new/old church. It did go better than I thought it would, but still. Mommy makes it all better. He collapsed against my neck and sobbed when I got him after the dreaded but expected tap on the shoulder. Since the service wasn't over yet, we went for a little walk while we waited for Isabelle and Caleb.

After church, my in-laws picked up Caleb to spend the afternoon together, so I thought it would be fun to enjoy a little picnic on the front porch. And it was! This guy devoured fresh blueberries and coconut, and oh is he such a character! He sat in his chair for nearly half an hour picking up individual shreds of coconut to eat while Isabelle and I planted the last of the flowers. For now anyway. ;) He also put on the quite a show to keep us entertained while we worked.

We took the scenic route (I got lost) to the farm, Isabelle's happy place. I was a bad Mom because I'd promised her ice cream there and it was so much later than I'd planned, and it got freezing cold that evening. Don't worry, I let her soak her feet in the tub while Levi was in the bath- that is what she REALLY wanted to do, ha ha- and then made her an ice cream sundae with gummy bears. I think I may have avoided incurring emotional damage. Phew.

I would have liked to attend one of the parades and ceremonies, but the weather was awful and we were really tired, plus, I don't need those things in order to feel grateful. And I am so grateful for the countless sacrifices of our service men and women and their families. So we decided on a simple day at home doing fun things together. A high point for sure was eating dessert in the living room while watching a movie.

Today the weather looks much the same: gloomy. But I don't mind. Levi is a tornado these days and I feel like the house is wrecked, so it's a good day to tackle that. And now we're that much closer to the weekend. =) 

ps: I don't post videos on here, but I have been posting on Instastories, so feel free to find me @bethanylivs_life over there - I love getting glimpses inside other people's ordinary days, so say hello if you stop by.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Prom, Sports, Recitals and Sunny Days

It has been hard keeping up here with such busy days, but I'm not giving up...because it's much harder to fill in the gaps afterwards. #truth

Saturday was a big day for me as a Mom. Prom Night!
I'll be honest, the older my kids get, the harder certain things get, but let me tell you, celebrating things like this with them is really, really awesome. 
Nerve-wracking, but awesome. ;)

Earlier in the week, temps skyrocketed to the nineties, which is pretty huge when you're a northerner and it comes out of nowhere- we can't take it! Those few days made for some completely miserable nights, so we were relieved and thrilled at the perfect weather on Saturday.

With my handsome boy 
I don't think he looks like me at all, though he did get his height from my side of the family =)
 He will be eighteen soon. How on earth has that happened?

His date is a lovely girl, and we got to meet her family over the weekend. They are super nice and it was easy talking to them- I had been a little nervous about that part, ha! This is all new territory, as I have been beating off girls with sticks all these years (yes, I am kidding), but he is growing up. Isabelle was in heaven because she has two older sisters, and they doted on her and Levi all while we were taking pictures. They even took selfies with her. She is in love. :)

Isn't her dress gorgeous!? So many elegant and beautiful dresses there, not like the poofy ones that were popular in the nineties.
And for the record, this picture is totally posed - I had to pin on the boutonniere (yup, just had to look up the spelling, ha ha) because nobody else knew how. Well, apparently, neither do I, because the photographer at the prom redid it for him when he saw it up close. He said it was all wrong and he was lucky he hadn't gotten poked! Oops.

 Caleb was at home getting ready for a baseball game, Jonah was getting dinner finished. Or was he? I think that's what was supposed to be happening...

My biggest and my baby. All the heart eyes.

Isabelle wanted a picture with me while I was all fancy, ha ha ha

 The gorgeous weather continued into Sunday for more games and matches.
First up, baseball. I don't like it when sports interferes with church, and it did this day. We dropped Caleb off at the field, went to church for fifty minutes, then split up to come here and to go back home for Levi's nap.

Poor Caleb has been having issues with his back, and they got progressively worse during this game. He couldn't finish pitching or even hitting. Of course, with all our issues with bad coaches over the years, this year he's got great ones, and now he might not be able to keep playing. Ugh. We've been to the doctor's, gotten x-rays to rule out some things, and now will try physical therapy.

And then later in the day, soccer :)
We spent a lot of time outside, working in the yard and playing, over the weekend, and it was so nice. 
There was one thing that made my heart heavy, though. One of my former students from my very first teaching job died two weeks ago, and Sunday was her funeral. I wanted to go but it was pretty far away, and I just couldn't figure out a way. She was a beautiful girl with a beautiful soul, and she and another student often came to visit me at my house all those years ago. They were very special to me. Last year she was expecting twin girls at the same time I was pregnant with Levi, but at 22 weeks, her babies were in distress and had to be born right away, and it was then discovered that she had stage four cancer in several areas in her body. I prayed and prayed for her and those baby girls, and I know God is good all the time, but He did not spare the babies' lives, and that was so hard to take. Her cancer progressed over the next year and there was nothing more to do. I'm heartbroken but glad that she is not suffering here anymore, and that she is now with those sweet girls. Her faith inspired me as she fought cancer so bravely. She will be missed.

Now I'm sitting here a mess, but I have to mention this girl and her piano recital! She was super nervous but she looked cool as a cucumber. I was so proud of her. She did a great job.

No matter how many times I tell her - and all my students when I taught piano- that she can take a moment to adjust the bench, she never does. I guess those nerves take over and they just want to finish. I'm not like that at all- I'm more comfortable on stage than in real life settings sometimes, ha ha.

Caleb also had to miss out on an eighth grade week-long trip. So sad. He was so looking forward to it, poor guy. I didn't feel the slightest bit guilty keeping him out of school - some kids didn't go on the trip and there is a "special program" for them- so we got lunch out and ate it in the park, then walked and played. It was nice to have him all to myself. :)
Let me add: Levi kept tossing his little bits of french fry onto the ground. Whose child is this? We do not waste hot, salty french fries. ha ha

Someone was also not a big fan of the school group that came bounding in hollering and zipping around everywhere. Love that expression. And that tuft of baby hair!!!

And I'm including this pic just because he's so darn cute.

This depicts Levi the Tornado
Oh man, does he ever leave a path of destruction in his wake.

He's also saying new words and his personality is getting larger than life every day. How we love him so.

It looks like more rain is coming, and is expected to last for about a week. Blech. It was fairly pleasant this morning and I met up with a friend for a nice, long walk. Now off for the afternoon welcome home song and dance. ;)

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