Monday, April 01, 2013

one of the best weekends I've had in a very long time

my fourth birthday just before Mary Beth snagged my candle and ate it

One of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me was my sisters.  I am fortunate enough to have four younger sisters, and while we definitely were not angelically inclined towards one another throughout our respective childhoods & adolescence, it has been delightful getting to know them as adults and developing into dear friends (now that they are old enough to be cool.  Heh heh).

My sister Mary Beth is just a couple of years younger than me, and we were absolutely inseparable for our first decade or so.  She played the Seven Dwarves to my Snow White, and every good childhood memory has Mary Beth smack dab in the middle of it.  When I was expecting Juliet, I was fervently hoping for a little girl so that Abigail would have a little sister like I did (and as soon as I found out that Jules was a girl, I bought Best Friends for Frances right away for Abigail.  It warmed the cockles of my heart when I was reading this to Jules last week and she said, "Oh Mommy!  Just like me and Abigail!").

Halloween--I think I was four and five and Mary Beth was two/three

family photo when I was five or six
These days, all four of my sisters live in Utah and they get together for family dinners and shopping expeditions and lunch and whatnot.  I'll be honest, it makes my heart ache to miss out, and it is so hard to be so far away from them (I still haven't met my sweet niece Evelyn and she is six months old!).  So I was absolutely thrilled when Mary Beth (who is now a grown-up lawyer and no longer modeling princess crowns sans pants) called me up and asked when she could come visit this spring.

 We decided on Easter weekend and my parents planned to come too.  I wrote it up in big huge letters on my calendar and counted down for months!  So thrilled!!
hanging out in the flower garden of our home on hidden springs

 I swear, Mary Beth had the greatest kid smile ever--and she still retains her cheerful disposition even if the smile is toned down!  (If you have any upstanding, attractive, intelligent, good-humored, hard-working single men in your life, she is equally upstanding, attractive, intelligent, good-humored, hard-working, and single, and hopefully she won't be mad at me for saying so.)
a little older here--I think I was eight or so

Anyway, so Mary Beth flew into Chicago on Thursday, visited her firm's Chicago offices and met with a few people there, and then she and my mom drove to our home and we welcomed them with much rejoicing.  We stayed up late talking and then the next morning we went to the children's museum with the kidlets, who were on spring break.

We've been to the Children's Museum so many times that I've sort of stopped taking/posting pictures, but I loved these ones on the carousel.

Happy boy:

and "I do not know what to make of this but please get me off NOW" boy.

 Of course, about 4-5 thousand other people also had the same bright idea to visit the museum that day (I'm not kidding; the lines were winding out the doors to the street--I would have been way more stressed about it had I not had my mom & sister there with me making it so fun!) and so one of my favorite parts of the day was visiting the sculpture garden as we left, because it was not crowded and hot!

Plus I happen to think that these are some of the most adorable little people in the world.

 On Friday night my dad joined us AND Neil stayed home from work, and we just had so much fun playing games and eating Garrett's caramel corn.  It seriously was so wonderful spending time with people I love so much.  Neil also took the ENTIRE day off on Saturday--which has not happened since Christmas Day--and having him around plus my parents plus my sister and just focusing on having fun together was so magical.

On Saturday we went for a walk in the woods, had a picnic catered by Panera (thanks again, Mom & Dad!), and then stayed up late again playing more games and eating more deliciousness.  (Did I mention that this weekend was magical?  Because it was.)

 The kids got so filthy on our walk--Isaac really wanted caramel corn but insisted on eating it out of Mary Beth's hand (like a little animal) because his own hands were too dirty.
 Luke totally zonked out halfway through the woods...


 I snapped a few photos throughout the course of Easter dinner.  Neither of them are particularly well-lit or composed, but they are lovely to me nonetheless (Mary Beth made this really magical cake that was the height of all chocolate ganache-coated deliciousness).
 Oh, did I mention that 3 iPhones came to visit us too?  :-)

 And last but not least, this weekend I moved Lukey into his big-boy bed; I sewed his bedding a few weeks ago (everyone's quilts have been so much simpler since this one!), but I've been putting off the actual transition. We wanted to be done with all the ruckus occasioned by new sleeping arrangements before the baby comes, but I've been dreading it.  I finally had the impetus to make the switch when I realized that Abigail was exhausting both herself and Juliet by keeping them up every night, and those two needed to be in separate rooms.  So Abigail currently has her own room (the baby will join her in a few months when he is sleeping well), Jules is in the Owlery, and Isaac & Luke are sharing bunkbeds.  Everyone was thrilled with the changes, so I'm hoping it works out well!  (So far it's pretty good; we have had some issues with Isaac and Jules keeping Luke up, but nothing that I didn't expect...and Luke is doing a super awesome job at naptime.  And I've only found him asleep on the floor once.)


Meghan said...

Such a fun weekend! Thanks for letting us descend upon you and for feeding and housing us. And I learned 3 new games!

Elise said...

i was so hoping that you would post about the weekend. it sounds like you had so much fun! wish i had been there!

Mary Beth said...

What a great post. Thank you so much for sharing! I had been looking forward to this weekend for a LONG time and it was so, so great to see you and laugh with you--I loved playing with the kids but it was especially wonderful to have those game nights and just have fun as adults. I cannot WAIT to see you again!

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