Thursday, September 8, 2016

Summer 2016 (and everything else from the last 10 months)

It's been 10 months, blog. Probably the most challenging and most wonderful 10 months of my life. Our little family has grown both numerically as well as physically, mentally, spiritually. We welcomed our sweet Levi on March 23. Samuel became a big brother and we became parents of TWO. Eric matched into a nephrology fellowship here at Wake, and finished residency in June. He had a nice week off before changing to his new position, which is hard, but he really likes.

Obviously there is no way I can sum up everything that's happened in one short post. However, I'm hoping that, since Samuel is now at school 3 days a week and Levi has to nap, I can maybe at least update once a month or so. These years are so fleeting, and I want to remember all the sweet times I have with my boys. 

This summer ended up being one of the best I've ever had. I was genuinely petrified at the beginning of it. How in the world was I going to manage two kids at home all day, every day, on limited sleep, while my husband dealt with the stress of a new job and all the wonderful meals everyone was bringing us after Levi was born suddenly ceased? How was I supposed to keep everyone alive and happy and fed and not go absolutely mad? 

Thankfully, the Lord blessed us with the sweetest baby ever. And he and Samuel adore each other. And time at home with my big boy, while still challenging sometimes, proved to rebuild our somewhat rocky relationship (because, let's face it, I was no picnic to be around at 9 months pregnant, nor when I was only getting 4 hours of sleep. And he was no joy when he was in the midst of dropping his nap and shifting his wake up time to whenever the sun rise might be - 5:45 in the summer. Ugh).

Yes, all the grouchiness gradually faded away. And it was replaced by fun. Not relaxation, but reconnection. 

We spent countless hours walking around the park, looking for treasures, playing water games in the back yard, "camping" in his room, pretending we were doctors, reindeer, trick or treating, kings and queens, animals of various kinds, train conductors, monsters (nice ones, of course), and airplanes. We sang songs and had dance parties, learned some yoga and did lots of art. We kept a journal of our daily adventures. We played in shaving cream, played soccer and baseball, rode bikes and started a rock collection. Samuel started helping me with morning chores. 

And, every day, we WENT. Somewhere. Anywhere. Sometimes just to the playground. Often to the science museum or hiking or swimming or to have lunch with friends. We ran errands and went to the library. We found fun things to do. We picknicked. We got gloriously tan and our hair turned 3 shades blonder. We did everything summer is made of. And it was more refreshing than my apprehensive heart could have ever dreamed. 

Samuel did go to VBS - he loved it! He also did 2 weeks of summer camp at one of the other local preschools. And Gran Gran came to visit for a week. Eric had a few days off between residency and fellowship, so we got to check out a few fun local places then too. 

But that's not what I'll remember about this summer. What I'll remember is the joy in my little boy's eyes as he tried to convince me a giant log was actually one of Santa's lost reindeer, the excitement that came with making a smoothie together, the wonder at catching bubbles and playing in the rain. I'll remember the first time he sat through a movie (Finding Dory!) and how he learned to use chopsticks and became obsessed with hot dogs (we love our local hot dog stand, PBs). 

I'll remember my sweet little Levi cuddling warm against my chest, able to fall asleep anywhere and always so happy to be worn in the carrier. I'll remember his sweet little laugh and how I got to play with him and cuddle for a couple of hours after Samuel went to bed each night. I'll remember his amazingly chubby cheeks and how I could kiss them for days, his toothless little smile that lights up his whole face, how proud he looked the moment he realized he could sit up on his own, the first time he gave me a big slobbery baby kiss. 

I'll remember how my sweet boys made each other laugh, rolled a ball back and forth for the first time, and snuggled in my lap together every morning to read the Bible or watch Daniel Tiger. 

These little moments, these beautiful little moments, make up the tapestry of the best summer I remember.

Sure, there were fights. There were tears. There was noise - SO MUCH NOISE. There were times I thought I was in no way cut out to be a mother, that I would never make it through. But they were replaced almost instantly with the sound of laughter, with a hug and kiss and whispered (or yelled) "I love you".

So here's to this summer. I'm sorry to see it go, but I hope it will forever be woven in my memory like it is now. And I pray that, moving forward into a new type of normal, that we will all thrive and grow in God's love, grace, and generosity. (and that I will get a few things done. Haha).

Cue about 50,000 pictures. In backwards order.

We built a " dinosaur".

Hanging Rock Lake.

Samuel's favorite spot. :-)

Half birthday celebration at Moes.

Samuel fell asleep in the car a lot. I didn't mind. :-)

I painted the dining room!


Swimming with daddy.

Children's museum.

Pouty face.


Dress like a cow day at CFA.

Blueberry picking.

Mall train ride. 

New stroller!

Chocolate ice cream with M&Ms and gummy bears.

End of residency dinner at Graylyn Estate.

First face-drawing. :-)

Backyard water party.

The YWCA indoor splash pad. 

Painting Father's Day pictures for daddy.

Adios, Residency. You will not be missed. (Eric ended on an awful 28 hour shift.) 

Dan Nicholas Park. One of the best places we've been in NC!