the seventh edition

 
When we finally made the decision to sell our suburban home, and move out to the country, I was a little anxious how you kids would do. There would be few amenities, more acres between little friends, a lot of yard to take care of, more miles on our cars to and from work and activities. I was scared and nervous for our next family adventure. When we got out of the city, I was amazed at how aware of my surroundings I had become. The colors, the people, the weather, the smells. I was even more amazed at how aware you two boys were. You are the typical definition of boys…you love danger, reptiles, fast moving objects, and water, almost as much as you love each other. I remember the first frog we caught, the 4 foot long snake we found, that I was sure would eat our family pets. I remember the first tractor mowing you boys did with your daddy, and the giggles. Summer came along a few months after we moved in, and the corn fields blossomed their bright green symmetrical columns for all the neighborhood to admire. One night you boys were bored, I was trying to think of something fun to do and fast, before we all had a meltdown. “Lets play hide and seek in the cornfield” I quickly said. We all ran across the street and got lost in these beautiful, ever changing rows of corn. I thought you boys would outgrow it year after year, but somehow when we're in the quiet midst of our nighttime slow down, one of you will always ask if we can go play “hide and seek in the field”. Its always at these sweet times that I am convinced I made the BEST decision moving to the country because things are a bit slower out here, and I’ll settle for a slow down.

When we finally made the decision to sell our suburban home, and move out to the country, I was a little anxious how you kids would do. There would be few amenities, more acres between little friends, a lot of yard to take care of, more miles on our cars to and from work and activities. I was scared and nervous for our next family adventure. When we got out of the city, I was amazed at how aware of my surroundings I had become. The colors, the people, the weather, the smells. I was even more amazed at how aware you two boys were. You are the typical definition of boys…you love danger, reptiles, fast moving objects, and water, almost as much as you love each other. I remember the first frog we caught, the 4 foot long snake we found, that I was sure would eat our family pets. I remember the first tractor mowing you boys did with your daddy, and the giggles. Summer came along a few months after we moved in, and the corn fields blossomed their bright green symmetrical columns for all the neighborhood to admire. One night you boys were bored, I was trying to think of something fun to do and fast, before we all had a meltdown. “Lets play hide and seek in the cornfield” I quickly said. We all ran across the street and got lost in these beautiful, ever changing rows of corn.

I thought you boys would outgrow it year after year, but somehow when we're in the quiet midst of our nighttime slow down, one of you will always ask if we can go play “hide and seek in the field”. Its always at these sweet times that I am convinced I made the BEST decision moving to the country because things are a bit slower out here, and I’ll settle for a slow down.

Your little brother isn't so little anymore. I can see your excitement as he becomes more and more of a friend. Someone you want to spend your days playing along side. Tonight you wanted to carry him down the slide on your lap. Just like when he was a baby. About half way down the slide, the two of you got stuck. Although he didn't find it to be very amusing, you couldn't stop laughing. It brought you absolute joy. And I can't help but wonder if there will be a day when he wants you to sit on his lap. I can hear the laughter now.

Your little brother isn't so little anymore. I can see your excitement as he becomes more and more of a friend. Someone you want to spend your days playing along side. Tonight you wanted to carry him down the slide on your lap. Just like when he was a baby. About half way down the slide, the two of you got stuck. Although he didn't find it to be very amusing, you couldn't stop laughing. It brought you absolute joy. And I can't help but wonder if there will be a day when he wants you to sit on his lap. I can hear the laughter now.

This image makes me laugh, because it’s so you. Two brothers, walking life side by side, each with his own personality. One of you walking in peace, one of you walking with all of the exuberance in the world, but together nonetheless. We took this trip to the Oregon coast last month, and stopped to visit my aunt and uncle along the way. You took over their home with your own personalities (and the sickness you decided to share with each other). Here we explored the cherry orchard next door, and were covered in cherry juice for the walk home. You both loved it! You did however, hold very different feelings about their dogs, and approached them with your own levels of caution (or lack there of). Watching the two of you navigate life side by side is such a blessing!

This image makes me laugh, because it’s so you. Two brothers, walking life side by side, each with his own personality. One of you walking in peace, one of you walking with all of the exuberance in the world, but together nonetheless. We took this trip to the Oregon coast last month, and stopped to visit my aunt and uncle along the way. You took over their home with your own personalities (and the sickness you decided to share with each other). Here we explored the cherry orchard next door, and were covered in cherry juice for the walk home. You both loved it! You did however, hold very different feelings about their dogs, and approached them with your own levels of caution (or lack there of). Watching the two of you navigate life side by side is such a blessing!

Your little brother watches everything you do.  He wants to be just like you.  We tell you all the time how special you are because God choose you to be the big brother to help him and look after him.  You are doing a great job being a role model at such a young age for your little brother to look up to.  From being the big brother right after turning one you don't know it any other way.

Your little brother watches everything you do.  He wants to be just like you.  We tell you all the time how special you are because God choose you to be the big brother to help him and look after him.  You are doing a great job being a role model at such a young age for your little brother to look up to.  From being the big brother right after turning one you don't know it any other way.

It was the first time your little brother was trying to swim in deep water without his life jacket. You have barely just learned to swim yourself. Yet I watched your first instinct be to reach out for him and make sure he made it to the ladder too. It's not always like this but I'm glad I get to witness moments between you two when it is. My hope is you will always be there for each other wherever life may lead each of you.

It was the first time your little brother was trying to swim in deep water without his life jacket. You have barely just learned to swim yourself. Yet I watched your first instinct be to reach out for him and make sure he made it to the ladder too. It's not always like this but I'm glad I get to witness moments between you two when it is. My hope is you will always be there for each other wherever life may lead each of you.

Both of you have a healthy curiosity about the world we live in.  You know that there is more out there than what you see every day in our little corner of the world.  Much more.  I have made it a point to travel with you, and have you experience as much of the world as possible.  We are fortunate to have been able to see other countries and many states in the US. I want you to know that how we live, isn’t how everyone lives.  Not everyone lives in a house.  Not everyone lives in the suburbs and has a big green lawn to play on, a car, access to medical care, good schools, choices of food at big grocery stores…the list goes on. Last week, I took you to visit New York City.  I wanted you to see where your dad and I lived before we had you. Your faces were priceless as our taxi pulled into Times Square.  You’ve seen it on television, but seeing it in person is entirely different.  Watching you take in the sights, sounds, and smells was a lot of fun for me.  You quickly adjusted to city life. Riding the subway, navigating the crowds, and walking everywhere.  You both really enjoyed the energy of the city.  You were curious about the people and the history of the different neighborhoods.  It was a very memorable trip, and I am so glad I got to share it with you. You were surprised to learn that some people pack up their cats, dog, birds, rabbits, and guniea pigs and go sit on a corner in midtown Manhattan and collect money from people passing by. New York City, you never know what is around the next corner.

Both of you have a healthy curiosity about the world we live in.  You know that there is more out there than what you see every day in our little corner of the world.  Much more.  I have made it a point to travel with you, and have you experience as much of the world as possible.  We are fortunate to have been able to see other countries and many states in the US. I want you to know that how we live, isn’t how everyone lives.  Not everyone lives in a house.  Not everyone lives in the suburbs and has a big green lawn to play on, a car, access to medical care, good schools, choices of food at big grocery stores…the list goes on.

Last week, I took you to visit New York City.  I wanted you to see where your dad and I lived before we had you. Your faces were priceless as our taxi pulled into Times Square.  You’ve seen it on television, but seeing it in person is entirely different.  Watching you take in the sights, sounds, and smells was a lot of fun for me.  You quickly adjusted to city life. Riding the subway, navigating the crowds, and walking everywhere.  You both really enjoyed the energy of the city.  You were curious about the people and the history of the different neighborhoods.  It was a very memorable trip, and I am so glad I got to share it with you.

You were surprised to learn that some people pack up their cats, dog, birds, rabbits, and guniea pigs and go sit on a corner in midtown Manhattan and collect money from people passing by.

New York City, you never know what is around the next corner.

Touch the Hoan Bridge. It’s been a running joke for the last bit of time - can’t remember when it started, but when driving on the freeway, you all chant “Touch. Touch. Touch. Touch the Hoan Bridge” for every overpass we go under. Well when we went boating, you all really tried to touch the Hoan Bridge. Moms are magical and can make (almost) anything come true! 

Touch the Hoan Bridge.

It’s been a running joke for the last bit of time - can’t remember when it started, but when driving on the freeway, you all chant “Touch. Touch. Touch. Touch the Hoan Bridge” for every overpass we go under. Well when we went boating, you all really tried to touch the Hoan Bridge. Moms are magical and can make (almost) anything come true! 

It happened!! Our first big vacation to Fort Walton Beach, Florida!!  This was the first time for you both to visit the ocean and to fly on an airplane. We went deep sea fishing, visited the Gulf Aquarium, attended a magic show and swam in the ocean. We also walked a lot, took several Uber cars for the first time, ate yummy seafood and had pizza delivered more than I would have preferred. Lessons learned include: skin rash from sandy wet bathing suits sucks, you two really do not like to walk, dude the humidity is is yucky but the whole experience was priceless. I will never forget this special trip for our little family! 

It happened!! Our first big vacation to Fort Walton Beach, Florida!!  This was the first time for you both to visit the ocean and to fly on an airplane. We went deep sea fishing, visited the Gulf Aquarium, attended a magic show and swam in the ocean. We also walked a lot, took several Uber cars for the first time, ate yummy seafood and had pizza delivered more than I would have preferred. Lessons learned include: skin rash from sandy wet bathing suits sucks, you two really do not like to walk, dude the humidity is is yucky but the whole experience was priceless. I will never forget this special trip for our little family! 

What was once a quiet activity buying me a half hour of productivity is now 10 minutes of pure chaos. I cannot count the number of times Archer said “Gryyyyyyyff”, but I know you just want to do whatever he is doing. 

What was once a quiet activity buying me a half hour of productivity is now 10 minutes of pure chaos. I cannot count the number of times Archer said “Gryyyyyyyff”, but I know you just want to do whatever he is doing. 

I remember baking with you when you were the same age as the littlest. I would walk you through each step and you would make more mess than not. Now I am watching the same story unfold, but you have taken my spot. You read through and meticulously follow each step of the recipe. You encourage the littlest to help. You remain patient when he makes more mess than not. I stand off to the side, watching quietly and full of pride because of the amazing person you are.

I remember baking with you when you were the same age as the littlest. I would walk you through each step and you would make more mess than not. Now I am watching the same story unfold, but you have taken my spot. You read through and meticulously follow each step of the recipe. You encourage the littlest to help. You remain patient when he makes more mess than not. I stand off to the side, watching quietly and full of pride because of the amazing person you are.

Tyton has been gone this summer visiting his dad. He leaves every year for 8 looonnnggg weeks.  During that time, Atlys and I go out exploring and spend quality time together. Whenever Tyton is gone, Atlys is always lonely and misses him terribly. It's funny though, because they can never seem to start bickering when they're together, funny how that works. We are gearing up for a 2 week long camping trip in Yellowstone, and I can't wait. I love the moments they share together on our trips. The little things they discover together, but mainly the intimate bonding that we all get to share. It's an amazing 2 weeks of bonding that the boys get before the hustle and bustle of school starts up. 

Tyton has been gone this summer visiting his dad. He leaves every year for 8 looonnnggg weeks.  During that time, Atlys and I go out exploring and spend quality time together. Whenever Tyton is gone, Atlys is always lonely and misses him terribly. It's funny though, because they can never seem to start bickering when they're together, funny how that works. We are gearing up for a 2 week long camping trip in Yellowstone, and I can't wait. I love the moments they share together on our trips. The little things they discover together, but mainly the intimate bonding that we all get to share. It's an amazing 2 weeks of bonding that the boys get before the hustle and bustle of school starts up.