Monday, November 26, 2012

Five already?

Once upon a time there was a mama and a daddy and a happy two year old.  All was good and easy in their world.  They could go to the grocery store without fits, they could eat in a restaurant in relative calm, and aside from the squeals of glee and occasional tears, the house was fairly quiet.  So they decided to have another baby.

The house hasn't been quiet for a second since then.

Today is Luke's 5th birthday.  It's nearly impossible to believe that my baby is so big already.  But it is completely impossible to imagine our world without him in it.

I can't help but remember his older brother telling a stranger that "my little brother is the funny one". Luke was all of 18 months old.  But even then, Max was right - Luke is funny.  Seriously funny.  With his own sense of comedic timing and verbal skills beyond his age, he constantly has us cracking up.  Sometimes it is in the serious way he approaches a situation, or his overactive imagination running a storyline we can barely keep up with.  But if he's around, he's got us laughing.  Sometimes it's the only reason we let him stay.

Sometimes it's the outfits.  This kiddo has a serious interest in fashion and costuming.  Lately he has been a fan of "dressing fancy" which includes wearing two dress shirts (one short sleeved, one long sleeved), a tie, a belt, dress pants and church shoes - no matter where he's going.  If he's going to play a sport, the outfit must match the sport.  And if it's 95 degrees, he's perfectly happy in a sleeveless shirt, basketball shorts, a wool stocking cap and snow boots.  Or a cape any day.  Just because.

But beyond being funny, he has a genuine heart that slays me.  He chose his birthday party location so that one of his little friends would be able to attend.  On the way to his party he reminded us that another friend eats gluten-free, so we should stop and pick up a special treat.  And he offers to share any new toy/food/treat with his brother just because he wants Max to be happy. He's a masterful cuddler, and will curl up with anyone sad or lonely.

Ah, this little boy.  My little boy that isn't so little anymore. Our noisy, crazy, funny sweetheart who is helping us to live happily ever after.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Back to your regularly scheduled blogging...

I've missed this space. Missed taking the time to sit, focus, and reflect on our lives just a little.  So I'm working my way back.  I can't promise anything earth-shattering or ground-breaking.  No major epiphanies while I was away.  but I do know that if I don't take the time to write things down, then all too quickly it's like they never happened at all.

I'm still feeling thankful, and in that vein, thought I'd celebrate blogging by sharing some moments/experiences from this fall that I am grateful for:

1. The delicious foods of fall. In our area, tomatoes don't hit their prime until September, just as the best apples are coming on.  We love both, and enjoying them at their peak is a treat we have truly come to appreciate. This year we also added a membership to a CSA (Circle of Friends for you locals - they are fabulous!!), and that has made fresh, local, and seasonal even easier for us.

2. Family traditions.  Both boys have really keyed in to the idea of traditions, and often will speak about their favorites.  Visits to the apple orchard and pumpkin patches always rank very highly on their list, and things like carving pumpkins are mainstays we can't imagine doing without.

3. Halloween. Both boys are in full command of their costume choice at this point.  Max knew from the very beginning that he wanted to be a green ninja.  No problem.  Luke, however, had a harder time deciding.  In the weeks leading up to Halloween he debated going as a dead possum, a toucan, or an invisible squirrel.  In the end, though, finding his old mummy costume in the box of decorations was enough to sway him that direction.

4. Soccer season.  Max's love affair with soccer has continued, and this season we ventured into the world of outdoor fall soccer.  He loved every single second of it. He had wonderful coaches who placed high priority on ball handling, skill development, and position play.  He grew a great deal, and still enjoyed scoring goals with consistency. We were lucky to get to share the soccer season with all of his grandparents, and Luke loved the extra cuddle time that brought for him.

5. Luke's birthday party.  Yesterday Luke had his first real birthday party.  He wanted to have it somewhere where "kids could run around and be squirrelly", so we ended up at Precision Elite Gymnastics.  Luke and his 10 friends got to run, jump, twirl, and climb to their hearts' content.  Everyone seemed to have a great time, and the birthday boy was thrilled.

7. But perhaps our favorite fall moments have been the ones spent in laughter and fun together.  Whether it's going through a hay maze, gathering acorns and fall leaves, crafting, or drinking hot apple cider, just being together has been wonderful.  The boys are finding more and more ways to enjoy each other, and Dan and I are loving the chance to observe their friendship and independence grow.

It's been a good fall.  There have been some bumps in the road that I may address here at a future point, but this weekend was a great chance to remember just how blessed we are in this life.  Now, off to get the decorations out for the birthday boy tomorrow!