Harrison (5) Benson (4) Max (3) June (2) Brooks (1)
Brooks | Max | Harry | The highlight of this past week, hands down, was your first ever all-cousin sleepover at NamNam and PopPop's house. I'll admit, I thought they were a little crazy when they said they wanted everyone to stay over (yes, Brooks, I'm referring to you and all of your crazy), but they insisted that they were up for the challenge, and we were happy to oblige! Our count down started a week in advance - home day-school day- school day-school day-school day-home day - and you were so excited to officially say that it was SLUMBER PARTY DAY! And what a day it was! You designed your own t-shirts, ate ice cream and donuts, watched the Smurfs movie, and undoubtedly giggled non-stop. I have to imagine that NamNam and PopPop's house felt pretty quiet once we all loaded up to come back home the next day...until the next time.
Your greatest contribution may not be something you DO, but someone you raise.
Brooks | You were a little under the weather over the holidays this year, and I should have known that something was still up when you decided to lay down and rest in the middle of the floor of the Children’s Museum last week. But there was no drainage from your ears. No goop in your nose. No change in your voracious appetite (yes, I said voracious). No signs of sickies other than poor sleep and acting a little “off.” It took a looong sleepless night this past week for me to finally call the doctor, and low and behold, the same double ear/sinus infection that we thought we beat 3 weeks ago was still going strong. We started antibiotic #2 and within a couple of days you were back to your CrAzY antics. Scaling end tables, repeatedly shouting “Dada Dada Dada” in the middle of a church service, balancing on the back of a booster seat to get a better view of the rocks you know are off limits. Life with you is busy, sweet Brooks. And while it’s exhausting, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Max | You caught us a little off guard this week when you found a new favorite to watch on TV. Wait for it......wait for it.....Golf. Yes, I said golf. I remember when I was a little girl and your Papa Paul would turn on the final round of a tournament on Sunday afternoons. I was bored out of my mind! Your dad has similar memories growing up with his grandpa. But you? You asked me every single morning this week if golf was on. The timing couldn't be more perfect as you just might be getting a new set of clubs for your birthday in a few weeks. Who knows, maybe you'll pick up a thing or two and really step up your game this summer. Maxwell Ritchie sounds like a name that could very well grace the leaderboard at Augusta some day.
Harry | Santa brought you a children’s bible for Christmas this year, and while I thought it was a great gift, I wasn’t fully convinced that it would hold your attention. Oh how I was wrong. You soak in the stories, ask questions about things/words you don’t quite understand, and are a total rockstar when it comes to discovering meaning in the Word. We’ve learned about Adam and Eve, Sarah and Abraham, sacrifices (a tough one for this mama to explain!), plagues, and so much more. I love seeing your excitement when it’s time to read a new story each night, and even more, love watching you make the connection between the stories in the book, and how God wants us to live our lives.
Coming here tonight feels like a long overdue reunion with a sweet, sweet friend. This space used to be my refuge; a place where I could come to pour out my...well...my everything. My excitement. My grief. My frustration. My pain. My love. It helped me through my highest of highs and my lowest of lows. It was a loyal friend that never needed to come up with words to comfort me, but rather soaked in my words, always listening and never passing judgement or telling me that everything was going to be okay.
Then came life with 3 little boys. My time and attention have been needed elsewhere-- mouths to feed, bottoms to wipe, redheads to prevent from climbing onto the stove or drowning in the toilet. Don't get me wrong, it was a sacrifice that I was more than willing to make. Those boys are my EVERYTHING. But through it all there has always been a tiny spark deep in my heart just waiting for the time when my brain would clear enough to form coherent thoughts and sentences and I could come back here again.
I think that time has finally come.
Here goes nothing...
:: a portrait of our yahoos, once a week, every week in 2018 ::
Brooks | For you, 2018 is sure to be a year filled with all things NEW. You are smack in the middle of a baby-to-toddler transition and are wasting no time discovering the great big world around you. This weeks new? We’ve said our official farewell to a highchair and welcomed you to our dinner table. Its sure to be a messy experience with lots of plate tossing, but its more than worth it to see that proud grin on your face knowing that you've officially "made it."
Max | 2018 started out with you discovering your love for games. It started with Go Fish and now includes Monoply Jr. (Bonobowy, in Max speak) and Yahtzee. We’re learning hard lessons about winning and losing, but have been impressed with how well you handle the latter. Rather than having the anticipated 3-year-old meltdown, you typically just say "wets pway 1 more time" over and over again until you win. Oh sweet boy, you absolutely melt me.
Harry | Your brother Brooks isn't the only one going thru some major transitions these days. You, my love, are quickly leaving behind all things "little" in exchange for the exciting world of a big boy. Taking showers. Learning to read. Big kid attitude. It has been equal parts amazing and frustrating for all of us, you see, this is new territory for your dad and me too. We hope and pray every single day that we don't screw you up too badly do right by you and instill a good balance of love, kindness, strength and perseverance in your heart that carries you well into adulthood.