Friday, September 11, 2015

Saying Goodbye to the Summer

When we added Lev to our family, I really didn't anticipate the two of them having many conflicts.  "She's six years older," I said, "And he's a little boy...what could they possibly fight about."  

Because clearly I'm an idiot.  They are two kids living in the same house, sharing space, toys, and their parents' attention - how could they do anything BUT drive each other crazy?  No one can send Ava into her door-slamming state quite like Levin, and no one can send Lev's voice to the nasally shrill "NO SISTA" level quite like Ava James.  It's healthy.  They are learning how to cooperate and be better citizens of the what I tell myself on repeat as they throw toys and holler over one another while I make dinner.  I always dreamed of a house full of kiddos and their racket - look at my dreams coming true!

AND all of that conflict makes moments like this so precious.  We were at a friend's birthday party, and Ava beckoned Levin across the crowd.  She pulled him up into her lap and he sat there, sweetly rubbing her arm, while we sang and cut cake.  They really do love each other.


A few weeks ago, while dropping Ava at a playdate with a friend, Levin fell in love with a little toy drum.  When I found a similar one at a consignment sale for $2.50 I had to buy it for him.  I had every intention of saving it for a Christmas present, but have you seen his dimples?  The end.

When I presented it to him he exclaimed, "Oh!  My love my new tuba!"  Yep, tuba.  We have a bedtime book called Big Dog Little Dog, and he loves it.  One of the pages shows the dogs playing a flute and a tuba.  The tuba is very clearly a tuba, but there is no changing his mind.  He likes to take his tuba lots of places with him because, "it have all my songs."

He's a quirky little guy, and when he decides something is a certain way that is the way it will stay.  He insists that the bowl of mush in Goodnight Moon is "nobody," even though the blank page with nobody on it is actually on the next page. Each time we read the book he cuts his eyes, points to the bowl of mush and says, "That nobody."  We explain it to him, show him nobody, it's like he enjoys it.  Whether this is a creative side that will continue to blossom, or just a strong case of the twos, I'm fascinated by it.  I love that he has the confidence in his opinions to stand his ground.

Ava continues to grow up, no matter how many bricks we stack on her noggin.  She's equal parts sass and sarcasm, no idea where that combo came from.  She still loves to sit as close to us on the couch as possible, but has also taken some big independent steps in the past month.  She is trustworthy, responsible, and bravely trying new things this school year.  

We're taking a break from soccer.  (Well, Ava's not playing soccer.  There's still plenty of soccer happening in our house, trust me.)  Ava begins theater and dance technique classes on Monday!  She enjoyed her time at theater day camp this summer, and was so excited when Mimi and Coach offered to sponsor some school year classes for her to continue to learn more.  

I love the way Ava lights up at church.  I think it's one of her very happiest of places.  She's been at NorthHaven since she was Lev's age, so it's the only one she remembers.  She hops out of the car the second it comes to a stop and runs in the doors to see her friends.  From Sunday school with teachers who are dynamic and approachable, to the intentional gathering time before "big church" where she socializes with folks of all ages, to "big church" where she quietly finger knits her soft yarn and participates in worship alongside us, Sunday morning Ava is always a happy happy girl.  Here she is, beaming after picking up brother from the nursery.

Sno cones are the best way to celebrate some of the last evenings of summer break.

First day of 3rd grade
Ava picked out her entire ensemble and smoothly transitioned into a new class.

The same day Ava started third grade, we welcomed the new law students.  Why not do everything at once?  It's always an exhilarating day, the culmination of a year of recruiting.  I love the cyclical nature of my job, and that there is a logical time to close one cycle and begin another.  We always celebrate the new students with an ice cream truck - Hugo approved!

Life in a college town is all very cyclical, after a sleepy summer, students come pouring back into town in mid-August.  Our kiddos are always most excited to see one particular group of students return - the OU band!  When we first moved to Oklahoma, we lived in student housing right next to the field where the band practices.  Ava and I would venture over to watch them while Josh studied.  Since then, it's become a tradition.  Here's a look back at one of our first OU band practices:

And now Ava is sharing her love of band practice with Levy.

 We bring iced tea, a big picnic blanket, our own tubas, and lots of energy.

At NorthHaven's big back to school bash, Ava was thrilled to spend some time in the dunk tank.  Levin was equally thrilled with this arrangement.

Cooler temperatures and lots of new students to socialize with mean we've been spending most of our Saturday mornings on campus.  We take bikes, strollers, soccer balls, and enjoy Norman's own little Central Park.  And if you think Levin, at two, doesn't know when a cute co-ed is watching him jump from a high step check out this next picture.  #Trouble


Josh is buried in important cases, so sometimes I have to sneak off to Oklahoma City and take him to lunch.  Hugo's burger pick was right across the street from our favorite cupcakes so of course we had to stop.  Our weekends and evenings are so full, and only getting more packed as we add more Lockett babies to the crew.  I look forward to each lunch date, when I actually get to sit and have a full conversation with the love of my life with no kid interruptions.  They're easy and so so necessary.

 A routine trim for both kids turned into a last-minute "chop it all off" decision for Lev's locks.  Ava chose to take a few inches and add a long layer to her beautiful hair.  It's beautiful and so healthy.  As much as we loved Levin's dandelion fluff hairdo, it made me sad to pick him up from school and see his sweaty hair hanging in his beautiful blue eyes.  We found a spunky, soccerish haircut that we thought would fit Lev's personality.  We think they both look perfect!


On Sunday, it was Ava's turn to bring the Mystery Bag to children's church.  She decided to share some pictures of her new baby brother with the congregation.  Maybe this means she's forgiven me for not giving her a sister?  (I'm not counting on it.)


 Over the summer, Levin's school took a field trip to see a movie at the theater.  His teachers reported back that he did very well.  We had not been brave enough to take him to a theater yet, but decided to take a chance to celebrate a long Labor Day weekend.

We had snacks and powered through a few squirmy times, but for the most part we successfully saw our first movie as a family of four.  Well, four and a half.

We spent most of Labor Day in the pool, eating popsicles and soaking up the last rays of summer sunshine.  There's always a temptation to travel or do something big on a long weekend, but I'm so glad we didn't.  We're enjoying this chapter of life, staying put and loving on our kids. 

Josh and I definitely go through phases of wanderlust, but there's adventure enough between these two (almost three) for now.  We'll always be open to new ideas, but we're thankful for the comfort of now.