Monday, July 28, 2014

Baby Shower and other weekend fun

On July 12th, Kaitlin and Bonnie hosted a sweet shower for our little baby Rachel! It was the perfect afternoon surrounded by women I love. The decorations were simple and summery, food was delicious and the gifts were cute and practical, just what I like! We are so grateful that little Rachel is already so loved and prayed for by those around us. 
R's new growth hot pink!
Baby shower guests
Grandmom and BB
Bonnie and Kaitlin, lovely hostesses
Mom was able to spend the night on Saturday whereas normally she and dad have to hit the road after a day-trip to get back and care for their dog. Jackson thought this was the most incredible thing to happen to him in a long time. She brought some vanilla wafers and whipped cream (which taste even yummier while wearing sunglasses from BB), we went on a long walk to tour the fire station and read lots of books. 

BB brought a gift for J so he would not feel left out with all of R's gifts
one day he will smile while livin' the dream

 To cap off a fun-filled weekend, we got free tickets to the Tides games and went with the Fines and the Whites.  We love hanging out with our VA Beach friends (esp when they come to Norfolk!). We chose an empty section of the stand where the kids could run and swing on the railings. JB and Mike caught two balls for the kiddos (YIPPEE!) and we all binged on hotdogs, nachos and soft-serve ice cream in little plastic hats.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

4th of July week

We had a ton of fun in VA beach for the 4th of July week. It certainly was a whirlwind of adventure with the Camp Jr from June 23-27, the wedding on June 28th in Delaware, going straight back to BB and Grandad's house on the 30th to see the Dubinski's and then immediately back to work the next Tuesday! And all with a terrible head cold that really knocked me off my feet for about 15 days. But, we are all recovered in the Byrne household (thankfully JB managed to stay healthy) and we really enjoyed our time with family! 

3 generations of Byrne boys on the beach
 Aunt Dwyn adores Jackson and it was so great to see him really get to interact with her this visit. He completely adores her in could you not!? He thought that Joe and Allie were so much fun and loved playing around with silly Uncle Kenny. 
 J is finally content in the stroller again which has made for nice morning walks with Link and J.  Plus at 7.5 mo pregnant it's nice to get moving! 

He is a puzzle guy
Thursday night, we got hit with the edges of a Category 2 hurricane that, thankfully, was much better than predicted. My trusty iPhone woke us up at 1am with reports of tornados touching down in VA beach, so naturally JB rolled back over and went to sleep and I turned on the news downstairs. There was minimal damage to our area and no actual tornadoes (not until the following week, though!). However, all 4th of July plans were postponed until the 5th of July. We still had a great cookout with neighbors while JB took care of various ATV and firework accidents in the ED that evening. 
relaxing on the couch after the 4th of july picnic
 BB and Grandad took Jackson for a sleepover on July 5-6 and I got some much-needed rest to recover from the head cold. In addition, what else do you do with a kid-free weekend but clean baseboards, wash all the linens in the house and generally do a "spring cleaning" day? :) 
 On a gorgeous Friday morning before the World Cup final on the 13th, we went on a walk with Lane and William and ended up at the park where we dug in the mud and played some soccer.  It was one of those days where you need a bath and a nap by 9am! 

July 11th Free Slurpees and the new 7-11 is walkable! 

Finally, just to record some lovely J moments of late:

*Every morning or when he is tired, he runs his hand through my hair
*Each night, he wants JB to "rest" with him in bed before J falls asleep. He puts his left arm under JB's neck and they snuggle together. 
*After his non-productive naps, he is known for exclaiming, "MY NAP WAS GOOD!"
*He loves his big boy bed and we have had a full month with no falls!
*At the zoo last week he looked up at me and asked, "Do you want to talk and be friends?"
*The king of grammar: "Let's play for a couple whiles"; "we will cheer for the soccer mens"; "them is going to the park?"

June Moments and a cousin's wedding!

June has been great with time spent planning and leading Camp Jr at Trinity Pres. Each summer our church puts on an amazing CAMP experience for kids 6-12 years old in a neighborhood called Young Terrace.  In this area of project housing, 70% of households fall below the poverty line, 56% are single mother households and 50% of the population has less than a high school education.  
We have a relationship with this community and the CAMP is just one way we can foster this relationship. While 100 volunteers are serving over 260 kids at CAMP, 50 volunteers are back at church ministering to over 115 campers aged 0-5 at Camp Jr.  This was an incredible (and hard) week filled with laughter, dancing, arts and sports, snacks, hugs and sharing that "Jesus Loves You even when you are different, afraid, and feeling left out".  

(for privacy of kids and families, I only posted a large group shot)
The Stage, done by Linda and team
Large Group time!
J loved Ms Becky, Timmy the Turtle and Bible time

All Creatures of our God and King!

When I have not been planning Camp Jr, we have had lots of family days at the outdoor YMCA pool! This gem came to Norfolk last year and we decided to bite the bullet, re-join the very expensive (but amazing) Y and we have certainly enjoyed our choice! Jackson loves the 2 foot kids area and we have recently convinced him that swimming is more fun (and safe) with his life jacket on. We also have a TON of friends from church who go to the pool and enjoy seeing his buddies there.  

The petting area at the zoo is FINALLY open!!!
Enjoying a great visit with Grandmom and Pop Pop 

lovely flowers to adorn the kitchen counter 
It's World Cup season...every home needs a cardboard goal
"I'm going to Camp. Where is my motorcycle and phone? I want to hang with Lincoln."

Post-Camp Jr car ride to Deleware
 On Friday after the end of camp, we packed the car and headed to Dover DE for Sandra and Jim's wedding! We love Jim and are so glad that he is the newest addition to our ever-growing family. Jackson got all dressed up for the occasion courtesy of a friend who owns lots of bow ties.  He has this new expression of surprise and delight that is the cutest and very hard to capture on video or camera but the picture below gives a small idea

Handsome man
J had a great time running around the sanctuary during photo time with my cousins who we are calling his cousins to avoid lots of confusion. Look at those cute and sassy girls. J adores them and it kept them all busy for an hour! 

The flower girl and J's best buddy, Riley. 
27 weeks

early morning run behind the hotel

playing with Riley