After a wicked storm on Friday night, we weren't sure we would get to have the outdoor party we envisioned. It was gray, cool and drizzly most of the day.
By 2 p.m. it had stopped raining for the most part so we prepared the tables, cleaned the chairs, moved the gazebo onto the patio with the other table and umbrella at the end of it, and put up balloons and a banner. When everyone started arriving at 4 p.m., it was still dark and misty, but I kept holding out, moving everyone under the gazebo as much as possible. By the time present-opening rolled around at 5 p.m., so did the sun and it was amazing.
You opened presents, we ate supper and then cake, you played exhaustively with Brynn and Creeson, we made a fire, you fell asleep – all outside. It was practically perfect, as seen here in pictures:
Sunday, August 16, 2009
That is our life. We have been having so much fun and excitement that I really don't know how you'll adapt to real life again. The weekend before my holidays began, we got complimentary weekend passes to the outdoor Summer Invasion concerts as I did the design for the stages banners on Saturday night. While we had BBQ plans at Joanne's on Saturday, we managed to make it out on Friday to see a few bands including Our Lady Peace. Your highlight, though, was meeting Liam. Despite having a five year old brother, Liam (age seven) stole your heart by growling and crawling up to you with crispy, corn snack Bugles claws on each of his fingers. You played and ran like crazy in the dark, eventually kissing him multiple times on the cheek while holding his hand - which made Dad and I a little uncomfortable because, well, you were only three. But since we didn't get his phone number, we figured we wouldn't have to worry yet.
The following Thursday, we got our yearly dose of grease at Buffalo Days. Not to mention rides. And butterflies. That night we went for drinks and snacks at the Freehouse with Auntie Sharon, Uncle Marvin, Uncle Rodney, Auntie Debby, cousin Erik and Nana to go over any last minute arrangements for the reunion. Not that we did much. Auntie Sharon and Erik seemed to take the lead and run with it.
The reunion was good. We got to Camp Lutherland mid-afternoon on Friday, just in time to get the room assignments up on the doors of the large hall. We were in room #6. You immediately declared the double bunk ours and Dad could have the one across from us. As everyone showed up, you tried to get the kids to play with you, but since most were smaller, none were too interested. Then Willow came. I'd only met Willow once before. Two reunions and six years ago, she was a little girl of two and a half. You became instant friends and almost inseparable. You even wanted to sleep in her tent with her and her dad, my cousin Mark. (You also asked to sleep on the top bunk by yourself, but in the end you needed to sleep with Mom because who else would put their arm over you while you fell asleep?) Anyway, between the beach, the nightly bonfires, playing on the tires, holding babies, chasing balls, going to church, meals, and watching movies with Willow, you were highly impressed that all the people there were your family. Next time, all the little kids will be 3, 4, 5 and 6 so that will be even more interesting!
After almost a day at home, we were off again. To Minot this time with our new, shiny passports. Got to the hotel and hit the waterslides - the first of five times we would go. We stayed for three nights so we wouldn't be rushed. Lots of eating, shopping and playing at the arcade (with a lot of pretty awesome prizes). Oh, and our trip wouldn't have been complete without a visit to the always-fun zoo. Animals never get old.
We got home on Aug. 7 and the next day, the Saturday, was the Regina Folk Festival - three days of international alternative and folk music that takes place outside in the beauty of Victoria Park. Kid, you wait for this concert event all year long. In the morning, I just wanted to swing by the farmer's market and pick up a pail of Saskatoon berries. Of course the park is there but they were also setting up the booths for folks to hock their wares at the festival so we had to stay. Best part, though, was the children's area. You ended up making a decorated mask, painting with a bunch of other kids on some fabric and getting your face painted up like a butterfly! How cool is that? Anyway, after some time at home, we packed up the wagon and backpack and were off to meet Creeson and Jamie. It was supposed to rain so we had all this gear, but we ended up with a lovely star-filled night. You guys ate hotdogs and fries and drank juice boxes. And then you ran. Then showed off your new dance moves. Ran some more. Followed by a bit more running. Then sitting and snacking. Then running. And then all of sudden at 11 p.m. you said, "I'm tired. Let's go home." With that, you climbed into your wagon and fell asleep.
On Sunday, Dad helped Uncle Andy and his brother, Ralph, build a deck for Nana so we went there for lunch and spent the rest of the day there, even fitting in a two-hour nap and a trip to the park.
Dad had to squeeze in some yard work on Monday in preparation for Saturday's party because he had to go back to work on Wednesday. So we made plans to do one last awesome thing before his holidays were over. On Tuesday, we took the 25-minute trip out to Regina Beach to spend the 32˚C afternoon on the beach. When we got into town, we stopped at the Bluebird Cafe whose specialty is fish and chips. Got three orders, parked down by the beach, got all our gear and beach bags and ate lunch on the sand. There were swims, sand digging, resting and playing on at the park. It couldn't have been a nicer afternoon.
On Wednedsay, we hit the farmer's market again for more Saskatoon berries before heading over to see Kit, a little baby I'm doing a birth announcement for. We had to take some photos of her in her cute pink tutu and little ballet slippers. That night, Dad and I made some Saskatoon berry jam (that was much more of a sauce) for grown-up goodie bags.
Thursday was your official birthday. You woke up at 6 a.m., got out of bed and looked in the mirror. You were so upset that you couldn't see that you'd grown overnight, but were still excited to open the gift from our neighbours Maureen and Hannah. So excited, you'd slept with the gift bag on your bed. While that present was totally disappointing (a book), we also let you open the gift from Dad and I - the Ultimate Disney Princess Collection with seven Barbie-sized dolls of each of the princesses including Tiana from the upcoming movie, The Princess and the Frog. We thought it was pretty awesome especially because we knew you'd be getting Prince Phillip from Sleeping Birthday from Nana, but you took longer to warm up to it. Anyway, while Dad went to work, you and I went to Chuck E. Cheeses and blew $20. Later on, we went to Montana's for supper so you could be sung to. And despite totally not acting like you had enjoyed it at all, you said you did.
On Friday, we shopped for snacks and kid loot for goodie bags. The rest of the day was filled with food preparation and the arrival of Grandma and Grandpa. And of course, Saturday was the birthday party. Which was so awesome that it deserves a post all of its own. Someday soon, too – I still have two full days of holidays left.