Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Taking Another Bite out of Boston

OK.  I am feeling a little bit refreshed after yesterday.  Let's try to tackle the second half of day one.

After beachin' it up, my sister drove us to New Hampshire to watch a baseball game for the team that her boyfriend works for.  I'm not going to name names or give specifics, but we may or may not have gotten lost about 6 or 8 times just trying to get to the highway, and it could or could not have been the person who was riding shotgun's fault.  The end.

But once we arrived,  there was some serious fun to be had.  We had great seats, and the weather was perfect.  

Basically, everyone was happy.

Then in the middle of the game, my sister's boyfriend got a reprieve from his duties, and took us on a stadium tour, which ended up being the highlight of the evening...oh, and the fact that the home team won...and the fireworks at the end were pretty amazing too. And yes, there was ice cream and Sno Cones as well.

So off we went to take a look at stuff "behind the scenes".  We hit up the announcer/media box and watched for a little while as they directed traffic.  The announcer announced, the crew directed cameras, and whole lot of other things happened with all sorts of buttons and flashing lights.  We also listened in as the radio announcers called the game live.  It was pretty cool.  It was about this time that I thought, "I bet The Hubs would get a real kick out of this!"

'Cause that's how I think to myself.

Anyway, the tour proceeded to get even cooler when we dove into the depths of the stadium, and went underneath the seats.


From there we watched a little bit of the game at field level.  It was a neat perspective.

Around the corner, we ran into the guy who was updating the score board as well as marking balls, strikes, and outs.  When he turned around and asked the kids if they wanted to help change the score and mark some balls and strikes, that's when I knew that The Hubs was cursing the fact he wasn't there.

I texted these pics to him after I took them and he responded with "Oh WOW! Did they think that was the coolest thing they have ever done?"

Yup, he was a little jealous.

I didn't want to disappoint him, so I told him, that yes, in fact, they thought it was the coolest thing they have ever done.

The truth was they really didn't understand what they had done until a few minutes later when we re-entered the stadium and saw the numbers they had just held were, in fact, up in the scoreboard.  At that point, they did think it was pretty cool.

We rounded out the evening with some ice cream, Sno Cones, and getting lost a couple more times trying to get back to the "bungalow".

Good times.

After sleeping in the next morning (Since we were such party animals this trip, the kids and I pretty much never changed time zones.  We stayed up late and slept in even later.  It was beautiful, and another moment in time in which I thanked God for the stage of life that we are in.), we thought we would hit up downtown Boston and take in a Duck Tour since the weather seemed to be going down hill.

Instead of paying for parking and enduring some more time being lost, we decided to take the train into town.  Brilliant.  The kids loved riding the train and getting their tickets punched, and I loved the pressure free atmosphere of not having to navigate.  Truth be told, I think my sister loved not having an idiot trying to direct her through Boston more than we enjoyed the train or pressure-free ride.

The Duck Tour proved to be a great way to see a lot of Boston without going into too much depth on the history, thus boring the life out of the kids (heaven forbid we learn something).  As we drove along, I tried to take note of things I wanted to see again, but with more depth. 

Here's where the order of the pics could get super crazy because I used both my camera and cell phone to take pics (again CURSING the fact that I didn't bring a wide angle lens).

First up, the Holocaust Memorial.  Very cool.  Very humbling.  Six million people is a LOT of people.  Each of the six,  54 foot,  glass towers are etched with the numbers that were given to each person that were held and died in a concentration camp.  The numbers are probably only any inch wide by an inch tall, and the towers are filled top to bottom, and on all four walls with the numbers.

This is an awkward transition, but here's the bar that inspired the Cheer's Sitcom:

Who's driving this duck?

Oh, just The Girl.

Thankfully, at this point we were on the St. Charles river.

The Little Man had his hand at navigating the river as well:

Here we are before the tour.  You can't go on a tour with out your duck bill that sounds like a dead kazoo.

Have mercy.

Oh, and after we got off the train in downtown Boston and before the Duck Tour, we got our picture taken with Samuel Adams.

Turns out, they didn't really care who he was.

Oh, well.  I tried.

Next up, it is possible to rain cats-n-dogs for 24 hours straight, we fly by the seat of our pants to find something to do, and why The Girl probably never will remember that day due to her state of being completely drugged out of her mind.

All that to say:  More good times ahead.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do I Even Dare? No I don't.

I know I have uploaded a lot of pictures onto Blogger into one post before...and regretted every second of it.  However, in an attempt to completely catch up (since I am refusing to blog about anything else until I do), today I will attempt to organize 60 pictures into one post.  Just typing that out gave me the heebie jeebies.  Certainly, I can sum up our trip to Boston in two or three pics, right?  Doubtful.  Plus, it's not just Boston that is going into this post, but basically the last month.

Here we go.

Deep breath.

In a short of notice, quick turn of events, and an over all SURPRISE!  The kids and I decided to pack up and take a last minute trip before school was back in session to visit my sis who just moved to Boston.  We were all pretty excited to get out of Dodge, and it was a great way to wrap up our Summer Vacation.

I have to start by saying, that I have never been anywhere in the New England/East Coast area.  So, I wasn't really sure what to expect except there was going to be a beach, lots of history, and from what I had heard, lots of crazy streets that aren't straight or organized in any way, shape, or form.

On the first day, we hit the beach.  It was the one thing the kids were the most excited about doing (besides riding on an airplane for FOUR hours because that meant they could watch almost two whole Harry Potter movies.  Crazy I tell you.  It was nice for me, though, to settle in with a good book for a long stretch.) while we were in Boston.  So, my sister and I thought it would be best to get that done first.  Thank goodness we did.  The next few days, the weather was less than "beach worthy".

First, though,  the kids got to have breakfast in bed EVERY morning we were in Boston.

Either that, or the breakfast table actually belonged where they were sleeping the night before.  Since we stayed with my sister at her "Bungalow", we rolled couch and sleeping bag style.

So excited (and silly) to be here!

I am always at awe at how big the ocean is.  My littles in front of it, only accentuates this further:

Love The Girl's giggle from getting her toes wet:

The Little Man was a bit more cautious about getting his toes wet.  You see, we just got done watching "Shark Week" the week before we left.  Ya.  Probably not the best choice.  However, once he got started.  There was no stopping him .  Infact, I've never seen him quite as wound up as he was with excitement.  My sister and I couldn't help but laugh at all his craziness.  He was like a wild animal that was just let loose into a field after being tied up into a crate four times too small.

Or something like that.

Dipping the tootsies, while watching for sharks:

Letting loose:

Here he is telling me (and the entire beach because when you are excited you TALK IN A REALLY LOUD VOICE) how the ocean is pulling him in.  I think the optical illusion of watching the waves go back, and the feeling of the sand moving under his feet made him feel like he was being pulled into the ocean.  He kept screaming, "MOM! LOOK AT ME GETTING DRUG IN BY THE OCEAN!!"

I told him several times he wasn't moving, but alas, there was no believing it. 

Mine and The Girl's beach toes:

Goodness.  I am loving his toothless smile:

 A "Beach-y Lunch":

On the other side of the swimming beach was this cute park.  Forget the swings, slides, and monkey bars. The kids liked this tree:

OK, here is some swinging:

(The Little Man made me take those two pictures of him.  He was "acting like he jumped so high he got hurt" and wanted me to take pictures of it.   I blame it on the beach craziness mentioned above.)

Where are pictures of me in the ocean, you ask?  Well.  Let me tell you why there are none:

Still not clear?  Let me zoom in for you:

66 degrees?  Not. Gonna. Happen.

Killing myself because I didn't bring a wide angle lens:

Realizing that, for The Girl, searching for crabs, starfish, and other small sea life in tide pools is just as fun for her as collecting, examining, and caring for bugs.  Oh the hurt that her heart must've felt when I explained that we would not be returning home with Hermit Crabs in tow.  

Auntie love:

OK. This little project is taking way longer than I thought it would.  It looks like I am going to break this party up by events in order to save what sanity I have left.

Up next, the kids get to live out a childhood dream of The Hubs, and don't really even bat an eyelash.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Night Before

I know I should be posting about many other things in order to catch up for my over two week absence, but tonight won't be the night for that. 

No, tonight is the night before the new school year starts.  The Eve of the new school year, if you will.  I've got one who is excited to get back into routine, and one that isn't so sure about it.  Myself?  I could go either way. 

I'm never too excited to start a new school year.  Many reasons keep me from feeling happy about my kids going back to school, but mostly it's sad to say goodbye to summer and all of her delicious glory.  No schedules, no bedtimes, and no rules.  Her warmth.  (That's huge for me.)  While I'm sure we still have some mighty nice days ahead of us before the cold hits us like a cruel sucker punch, the start of school reminds us of how few of those glorious days we have left.  Also, I really like having my kids around.  I know.  Many mom's are groaning at me right now.  I can't help it.  So, I will miss them.  Now, when the house is super still and quiet in the middle of the day, and I am loving me some uninterrupted time doing whatever it is I'm doing, well, I guess someone might need to remind me of how I thought I was going to miss having them around all the time. 

I'll deny I ever said that.

No, this summer has been really good.  I mean really, really good.  Like probably the best summer I've had as a mom.  I am in love with were we are at in our lives right now.  The kids are super easy (that does not mean I don't break up arguments, dole out punishments for poor choices, or never see an eye roll).  No diapers, no naps, they still think I'm pretty cool (which will probably come to a screeching halt shortly), and neither are too rebellious (I know.  It's coming.).  We had some great times together as a family this summer, and after this winter, we were desperate for some good times together.  You could say the summer has been a bit "therapeutic". 

However, there is a part of me that knows I shouldn't be too greedy.  I know all good things must come to an end.  Frankly, I'd rather have this one end on my terms, and on a good note.  I don't want to end this with a bad taste in any one's mouth. I want to be able to remember this wonderfully long summer with such fondness that my heart feels like it might burst, it swells with so much joy.  So, with that, I'm feeling at peace with school starting tomorrow.  I know that this summer was a very gracious gift to our family, and I am very thankful for it.

As we got the kids in bed, one was excited, and the other had tears.  We prayed and thanked God for a new school year and how excited we were, and we cried and asked that God would give us peace where fear seems to have taken over.  Then I finished our prayer with a thankful heart. 

Lord, I thank you for this summer.  It was such a gift to our family.  Thank you for knowing our needs and abundantly providing them for us.  Thank you for all of the good memories you allowed us to make.  Thank you for opening a new chapter for us.  As we continue into another new school year we ask that you would help us to always remember your generous and compassionate gift.  Allow it to encourage us in remembering how much you care for, love, and provide for our family. --Amen.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


It's been too long.

Too many things have happened.

Too many funny things said.

Butt jokes.


A vacation.


Oh, the pictures!

I'm missing a Scripture Memory verse.

Getting ready for school to start.

Meeting our teachers.

Trying to find a way to cover it all is far too overwhelming for me.  However, I do want to cover it all.

Just know I'm thinking about it. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Babies

My Babies this summer:

My favorite time of year with two of my most favorite people.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getting Serious About Growing Old

The Little Man is killing me with all the growing up he's doing.   First, a birthday this summer, and then this nonsense:

Two more teeth, gone.  Forever.  Well, kind of.  They will be replaced, but with huge (probably crooked) adult teeth.

I go between emotions of sadness that my sweet, cute, baby boy smile is gone, to a new found love for this toothless grin.  Too bad the new teeth have already broke the surface.  I suppose I will love them too, though.

Today when he and The Hubs were talking about climbing mountains (The Hubs' current obsession), he asked when The Hubs when he was going to get to join him in climbing.  Thankfully, The Hubs didn't promise him this summer, but instead told him when he was about ten. 

Anytime we talk about future events in which a specific age is attached, I kind of hyperventilate a bit.  I mean, I know he's going to be 10 one day, but I can't fathom it.  And, quite frankly, I don't want to think about it.  Not even for a second. 

I quickly told him he was never going to turn 10 because I decided he needed to stay six forever.

Which he did not respond kindly to.

With a growl-y frown upon his toothless face he told me, "I WILL be 10 one day.  I won't stay six forever.  In fact, on December 12th, I WILL turn six and a half, and THAT'S FINAL!"  He stomped down his foot, turned on his heal, and left the room.

Note to self:  Don't joke about not letting the boy grow up.  He doesn't think it's funny.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Portion Forever

"Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." -Psalm 73:25-26 NIV

I can't say it any better than the psalmist said it.  As I studied the names of God last week, and specifically looked at His names of sufficiency, these verses, while I have read them before, stopped me in my tracks.  After my breath returned and my eyes were tear free again, I could do nothing but sit and praise.

He is all I need, all I desire, and He is more than enough

I know that the above statement is not always how I live, though.  I find myself desiring lesser things.  Things that catch my eye, things that seem like they would make my life so much easier, things that if they worked out just right, well then, THEN! I could really be happy.  Then what happens?  Well, these "things"  are just that: things.  They break, they don't work the way I thought they would,  they don't deliver the happiness that was promised, or the happiness is short lived.  Sure enough, each and every time I left wanting again.  Needing again.  Empty again.  Then something catches my eye.  'Round and 'round we go.

I loved the way Mary Kassian puts it in her study Knowing God by Name she says this about seeking joy apart from God, "Therefore the problem with humans is not that we have pleasure-seeking tendencies but rather that our value judgements are so badly skewed.  We stake our hearts on things of such low worth that our joy is thin, fragile, and easily shattered."

C.S. Lewis also wrote about this subject in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses:

"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased."

As much as I am embarrassed to admit it, I too seem to think I can find delight in making mud pies when a beach vacation is being offered.  And to make things worse, I get frustrated when my mud pies just weren't all that I hoped they would be.

I set my hope in lesser things. 

I've counted on my joy being complete in things of low worth. 

I should not be surprised at all that I have been disappointed.


There is something more.  Someone who is enough.  And not just enough, but more than enough



With Him and in Him I "Shall not want" -Psalm 23.

He is "my portion forever."