Saturday, April 20, 2013

Patriots' Day 2013

We love Boston.  There is something about living here (even for just a short amount of time) that makes you feel like you are a part of history... dating back to the 1600's.  One of the many things that we love about Boston is Patriots' Day.  And this was certainly a Patriots' Day to be remembered.

While the battles at Lexington and Concord actually occurred on April 19th, the observed state holiday is always on the 3rd Monday in April.  Scott gets off work and there are so many fun family activities to do on the day.  We had gone to the marathon last year, and decided that it would be fun to take part in some of the historical events this year.  We went to the Concord reenactments, and it was a lot of fun.  We got there a little late and with road closures etc, we missed the actual "shot" heard round the world.  But we got there in time for the parade where minutemen and royals from the surrounding towns marched over the bridge.  They had a nice little commemoration program where they read speeches, played God Save the Queen and The Star Spangled Banner.

Some of the minutemen
The boys
Some gunshots at the bridge.
Alan wasn't really a fan of the gunshots or cannon fire.  He walked around all morning like this.  Occasionally unplugging his ears to throw some sticks in the river. :)
Us with the bridge in the background
After the events that morning, we came home and spent a nice afternoon doing yard work.  We did some winter (and a little left over fall) clean up.  Our new leaf blower worked great! :) 

We made some good progress on the fence.  A little more work to do and hopefully it will stay standing!
Then we had our first BBQ of the season!
Complete with s'mores!
They were delicious. :)
As we were cleaning up to come inside, Scott went to talk to our neighbor who said he had been watching the news for the last three hours.  We had left our phones inside and had no idea about the bombings that had taken place at the marathon.  Scott came in and said, "We need to check our phones."  Sure enough, we had a million missed calls and text messages with people checking to see if we were ok.  I believe we especially gave our moms a good scare.  So sorry again moms!  We of course were fine, and were devastated to learn of the terrible events of that day.  It was quite the contrast of the feelings that we had celebrated that morning and enjoyed the rest of the day.  Patriots' Day is one of my absolute favorite things about Boston, and the thought of such horror taking place on that day was so so sad.  It really rocked the area, and the aftermath loomed over the news and conversations for the rest of the week.

On Thursday night before we went to bed, Scott got an alert from MIT notifying the community of gunshots and warning everyone to stay inside.  We weren't sure if this was related to the marathon bombings yet, but we went to bed somewhat unsettled and I had dreams of police chases.  We woke up the next morning, and found out about the police chase and the Watertown lock down. Watertown was in our old ward, and we have many friends that live there.  Two families that we know live very very close to the police perimeter.  It was crazy to see via facebook their reports of the gunshots, helicopters, and to see the pictures that people were tweeting of police on their sheds. Waltham, where we used to live, was also under lock down.  We felt lucky to have moved a little farther away from the city and instead of finding police and criminals, finding wild turkeys in our yard that morning...
This pic was actually taken a few days earlier, but there were turkeys again that morning.
Even though we were not near the action, it was a very tense environment.  I was glued to the news that morning, and was discouraged as the day went on that it seemed like the suspect had possibly escaped.  It was such a relief that night when they actually had him in custody.  Such an incredible victorious feeling.  And to see all of the people lining the streets in Watertown cheering and honoring all of those people who worked so well to help bring safety to the community again.

I thought it was fitting that the arrest occurred on the actual Patriot's Day. April 19th.  I thought it fitting to see normal people still leaving their families and literally still putting their lives on the line to protect our safety and our country.  The world is a very different place.  There were very different shots heard round the world immediately very early yesterday morning.  And there were no midnight riders needed to sound the news.  But after the arrests people lining the streets broke out into God Bless America and The Star Spangled Banner.  Despite some tragic and unpatriotic acts, there sure were a lot of patriots in Boston this Patriots' Day.  And it is one that, with very mixed emotions, will always be remembered.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Swimming Lessons

We took the plunge.  Literally.  We started swimming lessons.  And I'm sure we will now be busy running kids here and there to practices and lessons for the rest of our lives.  But we wanted Alan to get a little more comfortable with the water before summer, and luckily, they offer swimming lessons right across the street from our neighborhood.  We can walk.  And it's great.

So on Saturday, Alan had his first lesson.  And he loved it.  We were running late, and of course my camera was out of batteries, so I was able to snap this one picture before it died. :)

When we got to the pool, there were a ton of people and he was just watching from the locker room door with a mob of kids of all levels.  When they told them they could go, he just went right along and never looked back.  His nervous mom walked up to the door way to see if he had any idea where he was going, and he was just sitting along the edge of the pool with his feet in.  And there was an adult in sight, so I figured they'd get him to the right place. :)  He has been afraid of the water in times past so I wasn't surprised when he said he didn't put his head under. But it seems that he held onto the side and kicked and floated around on a noodle, so I guess that is good for week one. :)  We unfortunately didn't make it today as we were still recovering from the world's longest stomach bug. :(  But I'm sure he will be excited to go again next week!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Easter!

Here are some pictures of our Easter celebrations!

We dyed Easter Eggs and them ate them for lunch at Joy School.
And we had yummy birds nest cupcakes for dessert!
It is finally nice enough to spend some time outside.
We had a babysit swap on Saturday night before Easter.  Here are some cute boys!
We decided it would be fun to have a little Easter Egg Hunt.
James was quite intent.
As were these guys.  I think they had a lot of fun.
Reaching way up high!
And James had a fun time searching as well.

During the night before Easter, James decided to come down with a stomach bug of some sort and was throwing up.  Poor boy.  He was got sick during the night before Christmas too.  Talk about some bad luck with feeling yucky the morning of the two most exciting holiday mornings!  We let him sleep and Alan went out and found about half of the eggs, and left the rest for James to find when he got up.  The Easter baskets were a hit, and Alan got a "frog net" that he had been wanting "for years!"  (He had seen one at his friends house and asked the mom how they could afford it!  And has been asking if we could afford one for several weeks.)  Needless to say, he was pretty excited.

And very happy about the peeps.
When James woke up, he was feeling much better and had a great time finding eggs.
And though he couldn't go to church, he got to enjoy this ring pop!
We had a great day and a yummy dinner with Michael, Sarah, and baby Micah.  And then we got to skype with both sets of Grandparents.  Made for some pretty happy boys!