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

Monday, July 31, 2017

Visiting Quechee Gorge, Vermont & Caleb's Encampment Graduation

I really can't believe how quickly summer is zipping by. And I reeeaaallllly can't believe that in less than one week, my first baby boy turns eighteen. Oh stop it. Don't make me say that again.

Last weekend was Caleb's graduation at Norwich University- we were joking that he now has a higher rank than my Dad did when he was in the army! We're both incredibly proud of his accomplishments. It was NOT an easy eight days. Not by a long shot. This isn't your typical recreational summer camp program; this is an intensive boot camp-type leadership training program, and while I was anxious and a little nervous for him, I knew he would persevere and succeed with flying colors. And he did.

The drive through Vermont is such a pretty one. We were near the famous Quechee Gorge, and thankfully traffic had cooperated, so we stopped to have a look and walk around a bit after a couple hours in the van. I will admit, the surrounding area has become more commercialized than I remember from my childhood, but I still think it's a great place to visit here in the New England.

Honestly, I cannot get over how grown up Caleb looks in these pictures. I think he is hovering around the 6'1" mark, possibly more. It's intense to have to crane your neck to look into your fourteen year old son's eyes!

Also, the trails were stroller friendly as well. A big plus in my book! (I thought I had a photo of everyone on the trail, including Bill pushing the jogger, but I don't. Trust me, it was an easy path.)

Here's a fun fact about me: I am not afraid of heights per se; I am afraid of standing at the edge of something very high. This just about did me in. Not even kidding. Ugh. Look down there! It is SO far beneath you! Beautiful and fascinating and all that, yes, but get me the heck off that bridge. I suppose I much prefer to watch the raging water from the sidelines of the trail instead. :)

 Beautiful, though, right?

Clearly Levi is uber impressed, ha ha

And here's me. Hanging on for dear life!

And Isabelle was just as fearful, ha ha - she probably would've walked that railing if we'd let her. Aaaahhhh!!

In love with those little wispy hairs of his. And that criss-cross back. Swoon.

This is a corner of the visitor's center- which is so clean and well-maintained I might add- and I thought it was so pretty. Plus, I'm a sucker for hydrangea. One of my very favorites!

Back on the road headed for Norwich University. They don't call Vermont the Green Mountain State for nothing.

Always such mixed emotions when preparing to drop one off at camp. This was so far away, and for longer than we're used to, and I was afraid of him getting yelled at all the time (he did, ugh), so I was feeling much more nervous and anxious than usual. I know I've said it before, but I am so proud of that boy.

Norwich University is a beautiful campus. We would have enjoyed walking around more, but it wasn't really the right time for that. We did stroll through just a bit, though. We learned that this place is considered the home of the ROTC, an interesting little tidbit. I love those, don't you?

This has nothing to do with anything other than it's too cute not to share. Those toes, that seersucker, the lashes...I am one hundred percent in love with every single thing.

And then it was time to say goodbye. Goodbyes are hard no matter how you dice it.

And here is is a full eight days later. I swear he grew another inch!! He just looked, well, grown up. Be still my Mama heart.

There, now it's my turn! So happy to see him! Of course, I have my dork face smile going on because I could not contain my excitement. Or maybe that's just true joy. Yeah, we'll go with that.

On a whim, I asked my parents if they wanted to drive over with me for the graduation, and of course they did. We had decided earlier that it was just too much of a trip for everyone to take again on the way back. Plus, it took Levi two whole days to recover from all that time in the car. Yikes yikes yikes! I'll keep that in mind for future travel plans!

I adore this photo. I think I'll frame it and give it to my Mom and Dad. Just look at that admiring smile on my Dad's face!

This was during the graduation. They all marched in and took their places with precision. I love the fanfare of it all, and I really enjoyed watching my Dad take it all in. I could tell that he was so proud of our boy, and it made my heart so happy.

So thankful for that gorgeous summer day! It's a day I will never forget.

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