Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Confetti of Summer

Let's start this game of catch up in sunny Florida...

At the end of June I went with a few lovely women from our church to TGC's(The Gospel Coalition) National Women's Conference. It was a nice change of scenery to exercise and dust off that mental muscle of mine, and so encouraging to be in a crowd of such diverse and like minded ladies. And, I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed hearing Keith and Kristin Getty in concert! The road trip was a breeze-thanks to our fearless driver, and lack of toddling companions no doubt. Whew, it is nice not to have to worry about buckling carseats for a change.

I love these ladies, so thankful to walk alongside and be encouraged by them!

Now, moving on to the fourth of July....

For the second year in a row the fireworks were rained out, but we were able to have a nice family day and sport our red, white and blues in true patriotic show. At this stage of life with a 4 and 2 year old, I'm okay with passing on the late night fireworks. But, give us a few more years and we'll be there with lawn chairs!
That weekend we were able to grab hold of the good weather and take a long anticipated day trip to the beach. Since we had aquarium tickets burning in our pockets thanks to Groupon, we had been trying to go but the weather foiled our plans Saturday after Saturday. So, when we saw a clear forecast we decided to pack it up and head out. It was as good a day as you could ask for at the beach. Slightly overcast, breezy, warm, get the picture.
 Of course, introduce two little ones into the picture and the beach trip of your daydreaming is well, a thing of day dreams. The boys actually did great, but it's just plain hard to do the beach with toddlers in tow. So much effort, so much fact two weeks has passed and we still carry the crumbs of the Atlantic in the backseats of our car. Again, this is just one of those things to file under "give it a few years." :-)
Courtesy of instagram, here's a few other things we've been up to over the past few weeks...
Building Hiccup the dragon at our local Lowes Saturday morning build and grow. That afternoon Chris and Evan enjoyed a boys afternoon out to the movies to see "How to train your dragon 2."
Exploring the secret garden-a little known Wilson treasure!
One from the aquarium...
Matching brother shirts, who can resist?
 Learning about, crafting with and mostly eating juicy watermelons at Deans Farm.
 Annual Cow Appreciateion Day at our Chic Fil A-free food all around!
Evan enjoyed his second year at Vacation Bible down, one to go!
The boys have been hard at work growing their fins this summer...
This last one is from this morning at our Wednesday farmers market. We try to hit up storytime at the library before hand on these days. Busy mornings = best naps ever. Win win.
While the summer has been good to us so far(I won't mention our unfortunate string of summer sicknesses), I confess I'm starting to feel the itch of order that Fall magically brings. Plus, I'm done with mosquitoes and sauna like weather by 10am. But oh, how I'll savor these last lazy mornings of August. Who knows, maybe I'll take some time to blog more frequently. ;-)

Friday, June 6, 2014

The first cut

The time had come. At 2 and a few, it was time for Bennett's very first big boy haircut. It may or may not have been long overdue...

A mountain of anticipation preceded this moment. Months of what I call the "battle royal" of hair ensued back and forth between Chris and I. To cut, or not to cut. 

Well, it was time. The pancake syrup said it, his sweaty neck in the hot summer sun told us so. The detangler agreed. And the well meaning old ladies in line at the supermarket commenting on "her" beautiful hair? Well I had just plain had it up to here with that.

Drumroll come the before and afters...
I'm happy to say that a few curls stuck around. His first haircut was a glowing success, and we are so pleased with how it turned out. Did it usher in his boyhood? Only by a few inches. ;-) He is as handsome as ever! His hair is still long and totally "Bennett." It's not a drastic departure from the former look, but it IS clean, off his shoulders, above his eyes and safely out of girl zone! It's just enough change for this mama's heart to handle.

First cut? Check! He's got the lollipop to prove it. :-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our boys

It's amazing to me how God could gift us with two children that are entirely different from one another. Peanut butter and jelly really. It's a blessing to be at home with them and so intimately familiar with their growing personalities. When I'm not too distracted with lesser things, it's easy to see just how fearfully and wonderfully made they are. Of course, at their tender ages of 2 and 4 these differences are the source of many tears and bring out the referee mom in me daily. Someday though, I know they'll make for the perfect partners in crime. After all, it takes all types to make the world go round, and how good is peanut butter without jelly anyway?
At 4 years old, Evan is my silly, wiggly boy. He is sweet and still very tender hearted. One of our MOPS topics this year was connecting with your kids and their personalities. I did the assessments on both of my boys and surprise-they were pretty much opposite! Evan came out as "Amiable" which I definitely agree with. Laid back, content, happy go lucky....There was a joke made in the video we watched that amiable kids are the ones with the attitude of "why stand when you can sit, why sit when you can lay down." Of course, we all got a good laugh, and all I could picture in my laughter was Evan laying at the top of the stairs pleading "I can't move, my legs are broken...caarrryyy meeee pwease." I did appreciate the point of our talk though, that we can get so wrapped up in stand out negatives that we eclipse the good and miss the great potential to be wielded from those very special personalities. For example, while amiable people are the ones who will usually go for the path of least resistance, they are also the peacemakers. Often times I worry that Evan is sensitive to a fault, but every now and then I'll get a glimpse of this real empathy for others that he has, and think what a compassionate person he is going to be. So maybe being sensitive isn't so bad after all-so long as we can get a grip on the whining that is...

Another interesting facet of his personality I'm seeing lately is his love language-acts of service. He appreciates things I do for him, and I mean REALLY appreciates and notices them. He is quick to offer above and beyond thanks for even the smallest of every day things. It should be said here that I expect my kids to be polite and well mannered but I don't make them say thank you for every little thing. Evan will hug his freshly laundered, warm sheets close to his chest and say with a smile "thank you for washing my sheets mommy." Routine snacks elicit great levels of excitement and wide eyes..."oh thank you for my getting my animal crackers mommy." After cleaning his room... "WOW you're the best cleaner in the whole world." And this to boot, from a mother's day worksheet he filled in at school- "I love my mommy because...she takes me to school." Yes, it's the little, practical things that are big to him-they make me feel pretty big too.
Other things I love about Evan at this age...his HUGE monster laugh, how he says "hey" to most everyone and perpetually mispronounces words like strawberries("Strawbabies") and invention( in, "look at my conventions!"). I love his conventions-he continues to be pretty "enginer-y." And, he is really the most friendly thing. I am blown away at how well he's thrived in preschool this past year.

Things we're working on-eye contact, pencil grip, and grumpy mood swings-the last of which I'm convinced is due to his sleeping patterns, either from waking WAY too early in the morning or napping too long/late in the afternoon.

And now, for my fierce and funny Valentine...
I can't imagine our lives without Bennett. He adds so much volume and spice to this house! Oh my B-bear. I think this child will always be my baby. He is a total cheeseball and continually keeps us on our toes. And those blond curls? I melt. Yes, it's safe to say he get's away with murder around here.
As I said before, these brothers are so different! If Evan is my sleeper, then Bennett is my eater. You would never know it looking at his small and mighty frame, but this boy can pack away some food. And, he's no discriminator of food either-I'm praying this sticks! Another stand out difference in my boys is that Evan tends to be more inward and thoughtful(of course, he is 4 and can certainly ham it up with the best of them!), while Bennett is almost always full of expression and all show. And, where Evan prefers his mischief veiled in silence, Bennett has nothing to hide. He is definitely more stubborn and strong willed and fits well into the "Driver" category of the afor mentioned personality assessments. Again I need to remind myself of awesome potential here-leader!

This little one's love language is quality time...which gives me basically no time to do anything alone. One day I 'll miss it. One day I'll miss it. One day I'll miss it...this is the mantra that gets me through unloading the dishwasher with a 27 pound child attached to my leg.

Funny Bennett-isms...he's gotten pretty good at Frozen ballads and loves to give "warm hugs" like Olaf the snowman. He adds an hard "g" ending to most words, making me "Ma-gi" and Chris "Da-gi." Though he doesn't watch much tv for any amount of time, "Despicable Me" is his favorite movie and loves to get down with Yo Gabba Gabba gang. I should add that in spite of his more rough and tumble personality he has a very soft and nurturing side. He's been known to cart around a doll or two outside of this house, and never fails to come out of his room(from waking up) without a stuffed animal. He loves his big brother, and copies his every move-and word. I'm not sure when it happened but it seems like overnight Bennett has started talking in full sentences, and parrots Evan constantly.

And, he loves a good bow-tie.
I love these precious boys so much! They are both so awesome in their own right, and I'm beyond grateful to call them mine. :-)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Picture Rewind-Easter and Evan's Birthday

In true four year old fashion, Evan's birthday turned into a bit of a marathon this year. I'm not sure how that keeps happening-but oh well, there's plenty of birthday love to go around! A quick recap...
First he had a fun little celebration at his preschool, where the parents bring in a birthday snack and the class sings happy birthday. Unlike the great majority of his class though, Evan was adamant that we ditch the cupcakes and bring" apples" for his friends instead. This boy is a fruit monster, and takes his apple a day prescription very serious. Anywho, I obliged(because I'm supermom) and dressed up apple slices with some sprinkled yogurt dip to make it a bit more festive. I was a teeny bit worried the kids wouldn't respond well to apples over cake, but it was a big hit with his school friends! Yay!
That weekend we celebrated the actual day of his birthday in Goldsboro with my Gigi and Poppi. It was a fun afternoon full of Chucky Cheese, pizza and banana pudding(again, his request) topped off with family presents and a quick trip to the park.  
His "friend party" was the next week at our local strawberry patch. It was especially nice that grandma could make it down from PA for a visit to celebrate with us. This was definitly a casual affair but so much fun! It was really more of a birthday themed "playdate" that slowly but surely snowballed into a full blown party. It started with some friends, strawberries, picnic and the park. Out of no where Evan started asking about his "cake"-I should have known it was coming! He decided he was having an R2-D2 cake, which was perfect since I snagged some awesome star wars party supplies 70% off at Target in the weeks before. And then came the pinata talk. I was going to skip over this detail hoping he wouldn't notice but literally the day before he was very sweetly reminding me of it and well, you know the rest of the story. Just in case you're wondering, it's beyond difficult to find a star wars themed pinata in a small town like Wilson on short notice. We ended up finding a pretty generic one at 5 below(score!) and tapping one of the star wars plates on it. Ghetto? Sure. Four year old approved? Yes-and that's all that matters!

We asked his friends to bring donations for the Wilson Pregnancy Center in lieu of presents-nonetheless he still got some awesome presents. We are blessed to have some pretty amazing friends!
Gigi came through with the most amazing-and delicious-cake ever!

All in all it was a wonderful (week) of celebrating Evan. We have some pretty amazing friends and family. I don't have any pictures of his biggest present-his first ever big boy blue bike- but rest assured they will come.  Now, let's back up a few weeks earlier to Easter...
We enjoy celebrating the death and resurrection of our Jesus all year long, but Easter Sunday gives us special pause to reflect and encourage one another in that truth. And, it may be the only time of the year we get a family picture. Three out of four, not bad at all.
On a last note, my mom and I contined our Easter dress shopping tradition this year and I am madly in love with these new shoes. Thanks for keeping me stylish mama! Now that I'm caught up on April, it's time to jump into May-suncreen, bug spray and all.
 And since this was an Evan heavy's some Bennett love!