I have so many pictures from the past week. If I don't post them now they will be filed on the monthly folder and transferred to the hard-drive without ever being seen.
We've had several opportunities to celebrate big events with both sides of the family recently. Here are some of our celebrations from the past eight days.
Sunday, Jan. 25--Davis' Baptism
Thankfully the kids had recovered from a stomach bug so all six of us were able to attend the church service and lunch to honor our nephew, Davis. The entire sermon was about upholding the promise to raise children in the church. Honestly it made me feel a bit guilty that our family is divided and the children do not consistently attend church.
Pizza and cake were served in the gym, which gave Jackson plenty of time to run around with his cousin and the babies time to play with their extended family. I suppose getting baptized is exhausting since Davis fell asleep in my arms.
Saturday, Jan. 31-Levi's 5th Birthday Party
The following week (aka this past Saturday) we celebrated my nephew's 5th birthday. Jackson is one year younger than his cousin, which means every milestone Levi reaches, I think, "that's going to be Jack next year". I refuse to think about booster seats and kindergarten registration. That feels like a whole lifetime away. (Though I'm sure Levi's mommy would remind me it is not!)
The party itself, located at Bounce City, was fun but a bit overwhelming for our crew. The kids inhaled cake (which was a fantastic TMNT design) before climbing and jumping on the plethora of inflatables. James expended all of his happiness on playing with balloons and didn't reserve any energy for bouncing. He spent most of the time being held by family members. Maddie was quite content trying to navigate a smaller bounce house. Amelia was more reserved, but eventually joined her sister in the booty bounces and tipsy toddling. Jackson was happy as long as he was near his cousin. There were odd animal toys the kids could ride that provided plenty of laughs for both adults and children. The kids completely crashed and burned by the time we left. Many tears were shed.
Sunday, Feb. 1-Livie's 10th Birthday Party
Yesterday we celebrated my niece's 10th birthday. Since the youth group performed a skit and took up the Souper Bowl of Caring offering, I had to stay a bit longer at church. Our family was all kinds of late to my niece's party. We binged on pizza and salad as soon as we arrived, followed by an impressive assortment of desserts. Jackson had picked out a birthday present of footy pajamas for my niece's American Girl doll. My sister texted me a picture a few hours later of the doll ready for bed in her new PJ's.
While being surrounded by all of my siblings, nieces, and nephews, it just sort of hit me that this is our complete family. My siblings have spent the last 15 years having children, so it feels bittersweet to know that this is as big as our family is going to get. When I voiced this thought, my brother quickly added on, "well, until there are grandkids". Considering I can't think of Jackson in kindergarten, trying to process the idea of grandkids (or great nieces/nephews) is unfathomable.
I just so happened to complete a devotion on Ecclesiastes 3 (to everything there is a season...). For now I am filled with joy in the season of life I'm in. Truly, it is a time to celebrate each child's milestones, baptisms, and birthdays. It might not be a time to be born, but it certainly a time to love and embrace.