Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labor Day Weekend

Our three-day weekend was an unbalanced mix of busyness and laziness. We celebrated another week of school ending with beer (or pink lemonade) and pizza. James has spent nearly every free moment lately building train tracks and playing with trains.

Jackson helped me decorate the cake after the trio went to bed. Then the big boys went to bed while I stayed up entirely too late planning baby shower games and photo scavenger hunts. 'Tis the life of a procrastinator.

I may have over-committed myself Saturday. After a summer hiatus, the youth group kicked off another year with a photo scavenger hunt uptown. We tried to do this activity during the 30 Hour Famine, but the mall cops kicked us out. I revised the list to make sure everything could be completed in public outdoors, then prayed the rain held off. It was a really fun bonding event!

"copy a statue"

 My favorite photo didn't turn out. It was "Team must have a group hug with another group of strangers." There's always sports teams, segway tours, and various groups uptown on the weekends, so I knew this would be reasonable to accomplish. Some of the youth approached a group of tourists that were taking a picture in front of a famous statue. When asked if they would be willing to participate, they responded joyfully, "Of course! Spread love and peace, not hate."

I barely made it home in time to pick up the cake and games before driving to Gastonia to celebrate this mom and dad-to-be. Ellen is one of my oldest friends and I'm so excited for her to experience motherhood. Plus, it will be fun to swap baby stories and add another layer to our friendship.

The shower was a success. If you're looking for a way to make people competitively pay attention to gift opening, play baby shower bingo. I used an old science vocabulary Excel document that generates 30 different Bingo cards. As Ellen opened her gifts, women would randomly shout, "Is that lotion or diaper cream?" Fun times!

Jackson spent Saturday evening at the lake with his cousin, Levi, then had a sleepover. I appreciated the photo updates my sister-in-law sent. 

I chose not to go to church Sunday morning, so that I could sleep in and lesiurely eat breakfast. I've got a lot of big events coming up at church so I knew I wouldn't have another opportunity in the immediate future. Jesse, the trio, and I ran errands Sunday morning. We found a new discount store, Gabes. It's similar to Ross, Marshall's, and TJ Maxx, but is larger with a wider range of brands offered. Jesse would have probably spent hours there if he were alone.

Everyone napped/relaxed once Jackson returned home. I went grocery shopping so I could prepare for the week and pick up some ingredients for a last minute cookout. Jesse's parents came over. One of my favorite things Jesse's dad does to the kids is "take the bad out of them and put the good in". He always has the kids take turns laying down and he performs "surgery". He also pretends to cut their hair or put make up on the girls. The kids literally wait in line for this individual attention from their PaPa.

I absolutely love that the kids adore their MiMi and PaPa so much and that their grandparents are so involved. Yet, I'm surprised to find myself completely overwhelmed at random moments with thoughts of my own parents. Oh, how I wish I could watch the kids interact with my mom and dad.

Monday morning came too early. With all that I had planned Saturday morning, I chose to delay my long run until Monday. Two hours and eight miles later, I was a smelly, sweaty mess.

The girls were having an off day, so I stayed home with them while Jesse took the boys out.

The boys had a fun afternoon shopping and eating.

I required a post-run nap. Apparently, Jesse required a post-shopping nap, too. We spent the remainder of the day cleaning, cooking dinner, and preparing for another school week. Before we knew it, our weekend was over.

I ran out after the kids went to bed for a few errands. The sunset was so gorgeous I stopped at the top of the neighborhood to take a photograph.

Goodbye, summer. You were so good to us!

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