"Notice fireflies, ice cream mustaches and unexpected cool breezes. Express thanks for these summer delights loud enough for your kids to hear them. They will begin to notice them, too."
I couldn't have envisioned a better three days... and I even went into the weekend with some high expectations. I don't know why we needed this extended weekend so badly but all four of us seemed to be more than ready for a little something out of the ordinary... a few special days. I think we're still recovering from the trauma that we now call the "worst winter ever."
We packed our Memorial Day weekend with all good things. Cody stayed away from work. I stayed away from my e-mail.. and even social media for a full day! The rain held off every time we braced ourselves for it, the kids had a blast and were happy and we were surrounded by family and all the traditional fixings needed to celebrate this country of ours and the men and women who have fought so hard for it. Grills and fires and water and fishing poles and cold drinks and sticky s'mores filled our days, and even though the holiday itself has a somber meaning behind it, I feel it's necessary to honor it in the way we so often do. With parties and sun and freedom from the routine. And a prayer of gratitude, too. Because if we don't spend this day in that way, if we don't diffuse the dark with the light, then what in the world have all those soldiers been fighting for in the first place?
It has been quite the task to sort through all the pictures on my camera from the weekend, but here is the first batch. The first glimpse into how we gave thanks...
Cody requested a nature walk after dinner on Friday night. It was unplanned, dinner was later than normal, and yet we kicked off the holiday with a late walk down a gravel trail. Cody is really good at sneaking off and finding roads less traveled, and we spent a good hour just walking. There was a deer that crossed the path in front of us, two ducks chasing each other in a small pond and of course some wildflower picking by our youngest. We got home after dark, thus kicking off three straight nights of late bedtimes for our boys. Bedtimes just didn't matter this weekend.
I love this series of pictures. Of course they both chose to walk over the sand pile rather than around it, and once they started struggling, they both instinctively reached for the other's hand. At the same time. Without saying a word.
They both take such a different approach to nature walks. Jaden thinks everything is a race so we are constantly having to remind him to slow down as he often ends up way ahead of the rest of us. Brandon takes his time, sometimes a little too much time, looking for every little flower, picking it and adding it to the bouquet in his hand. And along the way, all three of my boys are looking hard for deer paths.
Saturday started with breakfast on the deck and a visit to see the brand new kittens at the shop. We had some yard work to do and needed to borrow some work equipment, and the boys love going out to Cody's office to play and run around.
(They were pretending to be the Statue of Liberty).
We spent the rest of the day outside. Crafts on the table, a dinner out for the boys with their Nana and Papa and cards and Puppy Chow on the deck with Nana Deanne until dusk. And just as the sun started to set, Daddy arrived home with our new toy...
We have ourselves a fishing boat.
(He immediately started singing "Row, row, row your boat.")
We're all pretty excited about this. I've never been a fisher, but Cody grew up fishing and is now so excited to create lifelong memories with his boys on this thing. And I'm excited for those evening cruises on the lake and days spent on the river catching a tan!
More to come!