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

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Favorites...School's (Finally) Out!

Hooray for Friday! AND it's the first official day of summer break for us, so we are packing up and heading to the beach today! I had not anticipated a wake up call of 4:58, and then NOT going back to sleep, ugh, but what can you do? Clearly, baby cakes did not get the memo that Mama gets to have a fun/non-traumatizing first morning of summer break, too.

It has been so hard to keep up with everything lately, especially the blog! Just life with five kids, I guess. :)

This is our third summer here, and I am seriously giddy-excited over the flowers in bloom right now. We worked really hard and the pay off is nothing short of glorious. I've run out of vases and jelly jars with all the bouquets we keep picking, and we looove giving some to friends and neighbors.

The veggies are doing great! I'm so excited!

Like I mentioned above, Levi has had some major sleep issues lately, everything from protesting naps- umm, nope- to taking over an hour to settle down at night to waking up with the birds. Literally. This view is a favorite for sure and I savor it, not knowing when it will happen next! Whyyyyyyy?

He adores his lovey over his face, but I always go in and move it to the side. They look like such angels when they're asleep, don't they?

We'll be doing much more of this in the coming days! He looked so intent, like he was in charge of getting things done, ha! And he still lines things up along the edge just so...maybe he'll be an engineer or architect?? Or an artist! :)

We've also been spending lots of time out here - this was the very first time Levi let us put him in his "boat" and bring him out deep. I think he'll be a fish just like the rest of them in no time.

Lastly, one of our very favorite traditions is ice cream sundaes for dinner on the last day of school! I have to say, it was strange not having Ethan be a part of it for the very first time, but he was off doing college-y /adult things. Jonah is too cool to be photographed with his sundae. ;)

Okay, so LAST last. Two things about this: I'm having an internal dilemma/debate over whether to embrace the grays that are coming in. I'm thinking, no, not yet, but I am not a high maintenance kind of girl- I'm 43 (and a half!!) and I rarely wear more make-up than mascara and lip balm, so... I'm thinking that just isn't going to change any time soon. Plus, my emotions have been alllll over the place with the changes going on here, and I'm just not feeling my best and not making good food choices- yes, a salad would be lovely but it takes so long to make, and this box of Oreos is RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW. Ugh. It's bad. So I'm recommitting to...something anyway, and hoping to feel- and look!- better. Levi and I went on a nice long walk yesterday- lots of hills! Here I am with no make up and all sweaty- I felt out of shape and pitiful, but happy to be moving in the right direction.

Okay, I had better go get things ready for our little adventure today! Have a super day and a wonderful weekend!

It's much easier for me to keep up with IG, so my personal account is @bethanylivs_life and my shop account is @roseandruffle ...having a great sale over there till the end of the month! :)

I'm joining in with Andrea, Narci and Erika today - you should too! Such a fun way to find new blogs and such...thanks, ladies!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Graduation Weekend!

The words still sound a little funny in my head, and maybe they taste a bit sour too: I am the mother of a high school graduate.


Not sure how I feel about all this, and in some ways, it's harder than I thought it would be. But our weekend was a great one! I'm very thankful.

The weather was just perfect, gorgeous and sunny, not overly humid or thick. I know there's absolutely nothing you can do about weather except to make the most if it when it isn't agreeable, and to be exceedingly grateful when it is. The plan for the ceremony was for me to arrive early, save a row of seats, and then all the guys would join us. Well, Isabelle and I were there nearly an hour early and it was already PACKED. We had to park far away, so it took a bit to walk down to the school, and by the time we made it inside, I got a little panicky because so many seats were already filled or reserved. Ethan's girlfriend actually had saved us an entire row since she'd been there with the NHS helping to set up, and I was really glad for it!

The ceremony was great but it was SO long. Too long. Over two hours, and this is a small school. Barely a hundred seniors graduating. There were two speeches that were 25 minutes long! 25 minutes!!! Several others were almost as long winded- and they were good, they really were, but they should have been condensed. I'd been worried about how Levi would handle it, and he was a champ. I was super proud of him. There were kids melting down all around us, which should have been a sign to the speakers, haha, but he held it together so, so well. I did end up taking him into the hallway to cradle him in my arms as they finished up with the diplomas, and it was utter chaos as soon as everyone started filing out into the hall where we were. I hate crowds, like really hate crowds, and all I wanted was a family picture...but I couldn't find my family, so my heart was already pounding and anxious at this point.

I'm going to call this a successful shot, though I wish my husband had gotten the memo that the graduate is supposed to be front and center.

I'm including this one because I think one day I will look back on it and smile and not notice all my flaws as much as I do right now. Plus I'm all puffy from crying. I mean, I'm not crying, you're crying.

By the time we returned home, it was still nice and sunny, but the wind had picked up and had blown away nearly every sign I'd put up (when it was perfectly still earlier in the morning). I tried to handle it all with grace, but I've got to be honest and say that my nerves were shot and I was getting close to losing my mind a couple of times. I did the best I could, and everyone was really kind to say afterwards that they had a great time and that it all looked so festive.

You can see the poor dog-eared corner because it kept blowing over, and some of the other things wouldn't stay in place, but I thought this simple table looked nice. He received a lot of recognition and awards this year, and I didn't even include any from years' past. I'm really proud of him- he's such a wonderful guy, he really is! The grey book on the left was a real labor of love, partly because I can be indecisive but mostly because I just wanted it to be perfect. It's a photo book from Shutterfly filled with special moments and memories, and I hope it encourages him and reminds him of how much we love him when he leaves in the fall.

This party will definitely go down as the one least photographed, ha! I was too busy hosting and chatting and just having fun, so that's the best reason, right?

It got so hot, and since the weather looked good, we decided we wouldn't set up the big tent we'd purchased, so the table was for sure a hot spot. We told everyone to feel free to move their chairs to the shade, and they did. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Graduation Week!

Here we are. Graduation week. Honestly, I didn't think I would struggle with it, at least not very much, but I am. It feels much more like an ending than a beginning, and that has been a really difficult place to be. Plus the stress of planning a big party...argh! So basically I'm one giant raw nerve about now, ha.

...It's now two days later and I STILL can't put my thoughts in any reasonable format, so with that, I'm just going to end here. And I'm going to pour my little heart into being the best, most enthusiastic, fun-loving Mom I can for this momentous last week of high school with my boy. I'll be back soon with more details and hopefully some great pictures and tales to tell. Have the best week!

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