My "Lil Man" turns Nine

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Last week I got a text. It said “Hi Nana”, then there was the emoji of a birthday cake, the one with the candles. More writing “It’s almost my birthday”. Sure enough, it is. My Lil Man turns 9 on November 13. I’m in shock with how quickly the years have passed. What I’m not in shock about is what a wonderful and loving boy Liam has grown into. He is still young enough to enjoy time with his family but he is also old enough now to have friends of his own that he has lots of fun with. So we might be on the fringe of his time but I’m going to continue to soak it up for as long as I can. This is Liam last year at his birthday party with Uncle Chris, whom he just adores. Their birthdays are two days apart so he enjoys celebrating his family party with Uncle Chris. It’s a fun time when we all gather for birthdays. So I couldn’t let this day go by without a few photos and words about how much Liam has changed this year and how much joy he brings to our family. He is wise and smart and he is so much more settled in his mind and body. This year the Bartons moved into a new house, in a new town and Liam has made some lovely friends in his neighborhood, which he enjoys so much. He’s also a big help now. He reads to Jaxson and is such a good big brother and steps up whenever Jaxson needs anything that Liam can help him with, and finally they are both old enough now that they can interact on so many levels as friends instead of competitors. Liam is a joy. I love that we still get one day a week with them after school. So here we go and here is what we have been up this last year.

 This is one of my favorite photos from last Christmas with you and Jaxson. Usually you are the quiet one and Jaxson is the silly boy but you turned the tables this night. I love your rare silliness and the look on Jaxsons face is priceless. You are a lot like your Uncle Chris here. Both of you get very excited over holidays. Always keep that sparkle in your eye Liam. It makes life much more interesting. Below are a few more fun Christmas shots from last year.

This is one of my favorite photos from last Christmas with you and Jaxson. Usually you are the quiet one and Jaxson is the silly boy but you turned the tables this night. I love your rare silliness and the look on Jaxsons face is priceless. You are a lot like your Uncle Chris here. Both of you get very excited over holidays. Always keep that sparkle in your eye Liam. It makes life much more interesting. Below are a few more fun Christmas shots from last year.

 Last year was such a cold winter. Still you boys loved being outside. On this day in Maine, you and Jaxson took your very first walk ever on the frozen lake. Very brave of you both. You didn’t stay long because of the cold but somehow I suspect the creaking and groaning of the frozen ice brought you in a bit earlier also. I have never liked walking on that ice. The groaning scares me to.

Last year was such a cold winter. Still you boys loved being outside. On this day in Maine, you and Jaxson took your very first walk ever on the frozen lake. Very brave of you both. You didn’t stay long because of the cold but somehow I suspect the creaking and groaning of the frozen ice brought you in a bit earlier also. I have never liked walking on that ice. The groaning scares me to.

 March was another cold month but we all decided to take a trip into Boston. I got us all tickets to go see Adam Trent, remember him, he was the magician that you wanted to see. Your assessment of his performance was a bit skeptical. After the show we walked over to our favorite eating spot on Charles St, the Thunderbird diner. What a great family day this was.

March was another cold month but we all decided to take a trip into Boston. I got us all tickets to go see Adam Trent, remember him, he was the magician that you wanted to see. Your assessment of his performance was a bit skeptical. After the show we walked over to our favorite eating spot on Charles St, the Thunderbird diner. What a great family day this was.

In April it was starting to get a bit warmer and so after church on Easter Sunday we were able to have our Easter Egg hunt outside. I think this year Jaxson was much better at finding eggs. It might have been a tie to see who got the most. Another day in April we went to the Peabody Essex Museum and you both loved the “Play” exhibit that was there. You got lost in all those balloons. What a fun start to spring.

 Do you remember Celebrating 50 with Papa and I. It was the best gift ever for all of us to be together in Bermuda. We have all said that we would like to go back there again. Thank you for sharing this time with us Liam and Jaxson. Here are a few more fun photo’s from that trip. Of course, one of my favorites is when you and I took our camera’s and went for that beautiful walk. I love that you love photography.

Do you remember Celebrating 50 with Papa and I. It was the best gift ever for all of us to be together in Bermuda. We have all said that we would like to go back there again. Thank you for sharing this time with us Liam and Jaxson. Here are a few more fun photo’s from that trip. Of course, one of my favorites is when you and I took our camera’s and went for that beautiful walk. I love that you love photography.

 Before we knew it, summer was here. A train ride, a walk and then a leap into the fountains at the Rose Kennedy Parkway. The official beginning of summer for you, Jaxson, Papa and me. I wonder how many more summers we will get to share this special day. For now, we just continue to go. Here are a few more things that you love to do in the summer. Maine is always on the top of the list. Especially cousins day and Fathers Day with Papa. Now you have found that you love reading time also. You and Jaxson reading. Sigh.

Before we knew it, summer was here. A train ride, a walk and then a leap into the fountains at the Rose Kennedy Parkway. The official beginning of summer for you, Jaxson, Papa and me. I wonder how many more summers we will get to share this special day. For now, we just continue to go. Here are a few more things that you love to do in the summer. Maine is always on the top of the list. Especially cousins day and Fathers Day with Papa. Now you have found that you love reading time also. You and Jaxson reading. Sigh.

 I love this photo of you Liam. You are so confident in your ability to get the job done. The good news though is that if your team doesn’t win, you never stay down for long and I really think that you “get it”. It’s just a game. How cool is that. Such an important lesson in life to learn. I’m really liking your teams new helmets also. I know that took a bit of getting use to and I know that you play flag football but still so important to wear the gear. Great job this year Buddy.

I love this photo of you Liam. You are so confident in your ability to get the job done. The good news though is that if your team doesn’t win, you never stay down for long and I really think that you “get it”. It’s just a game. How cool is that. Such an important lesson in life to learn. I’m really liking your teams new helmets also. I know that took a bit of getting use to and I know that you play flag football but still so important to wear the gear. Great job this year Buddy.

One more thing that you and Jaxson did this year was run for your school. You both got a lot of donations and all the money will go towards building you and Jaxson a new elementary school. That is really special, my friend, to be part of the process in making your school and town a better place for all students. You both make Papa and I so proud. Love you both and I love how you love each other.

 On the hottest day of the year Uncle Chris got us all tickets to the Red Sox game. That was really special. Can you see Jaxson hiding under the red B right there on the left. Everyone has their Red Sox hats on…to keep the sun out. I wonder what was happening on the field. You and Papa are so interested. Thank you Uncle Chris and Julia for this really special family day.

On the hottest day of the year Uncle Chris got us all tickets to the Red Sox game. That was really special. Can you see Jaxson hiding under the red B right there on the left. Everyone has their Red Sox hats on…to keep the sun out. I wonder what was happening on the field. You and Papa are so interested. Thank you Uncle Chris and Julia for this really special family day.

 This is one of my very favorite photos of you this year. On a day that we were just here at home I asked if I could take a photo of just you. At first you didn’t want to and then after hearing how much it would mean to me to have a special photo of “just you”, you agreed. This is how I see you Liam. With a smile on your face beaming those big blue eyes at me, more relaxed lately as you grow, and even though it doesn’t show in the photo, I can see your heart. It is big and loving. You are wonderful boy and full of warmth. You also share so much of yourself with me in words and deeds. It’s your birthday but we know that we are the ones who receive the gifts of your love. Thank you for letting me have this photo Liam. When I look at it, you are looking right back at me…I just love that. How handsome you are. Now here are a few more of Nana’s very special photos of you. Some of the ones I like best from this year.

This is one of my very favorite photos of you this year. On a day that we were just here at home I asked if I could take a photo of just you. At first you didn’t want to and then after hearing how much it would mean to me to have a special photo of “just you”, you agreed. This is how I see you Liam. With a smile on your face beaming those big blue eyes at me, more relaxed lately as you grow, and even though it doesn’t show in the photo, I can see your heart. It is big and loving. You are wonderful boy and full of warmth. You also share so much of yourself with me in words and deeds. It’s your birthday but we know that we are the ones who receive the gifts of your love. Thank you for letting me have this photo Liam. When I look at it, you are looking right back at me…I just love that. How handsome you are. Now here are a few more of Nana’s very special photos of you. Some of the ones I like best from this year.

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As I look back through these photos Liam I realize what a great team we have been. First you and I and Papa, then along came Jaxson and he rounds out our foursome. It certainly has been a wonderful and loving nine years, don’t you think? We have the best adventures, the best talks and we get to go and do so many great things. From the time you were a tiny baby you loved being in the kitchen with me and this year you started baking all by yourself. Reading the directions, mixing the ingredients and getting that batter into the little cups. I have enjoyed every single minute that we have had together. Another amazing thing is that in 9 years I think you have only had one time out here at our house and now I can’t even remember why. Your goodness shines most of the time and because of that, you shine in my eyes, all the time. Thanks for the hugs, kisses, the long talks, sleep-overs and snuggles. Thanks also for still holding my hand sometimes when we are walking together outside. Mostly though, thank you for the “I love you Nana’s” that you give me just out of the blue. They make my heart sing. Guess what Liam…I love you too…so run off now that you are nine and start dreaming big…I’m going to waiting on the sidelines to see where you go and just like now, I’ll be cheering you on. Happy 9th Birthday Lil Man…

While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.

Angela Schwindt
A person is a person no matter how small.
Dr. Seuss

The photos in this post were taken with the Fuji XT-2, Fuji 35 f2.2 and Fuji 18-135 lens. Some of the Bermuda shots were taken with the Fuji 23 f1.4 lens. All sports shots and lots of Maine photos were taken with the Canon 7DMk 11 and the Tamron 16-300 lens.

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