I think this is always going to be one of my favorite photos.
This was such a fun day. Cadence was about 3, and we’d spent a day out in the yard at the old house raking about a billion leaves. When Stevie busted out the leaf blower, Cadence thought it was too much fun to run away from his as he blew stray leaves into our piles. I grabbed my camera and caught gold.
I bought a large canvas for Stevie for his birthday, and it has been in his office ever since. After his office was rearranged (and the only photo-hanging wall was made into a giant whiteboard), he finally decided to bring the canvas home. For the last week or so, he has been cleaning and rearranging in the basement, and he told me he was going to hang this downstairs, to which I replied that he most certainly was not, and I promptly swiped the canvas and took it to my office.
Time to do a little decorating!
It was adorable how excited Henry was to buy Cadence a birthday gift this year. He talked for days about going shopping, and kept insisting that Cadence wanted a Buzz Lightyear rocket. (We warned her ahead of time that she might get something Buzz Lightyear related if we weren’t able to talk him out of it at the store, and she was cool with it. She’s such a good sister!)
Luckily, there were no Buzz Lightyear rockets to be found, and after a few laps around the Target toy aisle, Henry finally settled on getting his sister the game Pie Face! And for the last 6 days, he has been asking nonstop to play “the cream game.”
I don’t know exactly what he thought this game was, but when we finally busted it out to play today and Stevie explained that he might get slapped in the face with whipped cream, Henry suddenly didn’t seem so sure about the whole thing.
And you know hilarity ensued.
After my Aunt Jean passed away last year, my Uncle Harry decided to move back to Nebraska. He’s only been in town a few months, but he’s already making it home–throwing dinner parties, making fast friends and all of the local restaurants. My Grandpa Carl was a charmer, never knew a stranger. Throughout my childhood I lost count of the number of times my family would be out somewhere and Grandpa would run into some random person he knew from sometime somewhere, and they’d start joking and laughing as if they were lifelong friends who’d never spent a day apart.
Harry inherited his father’s charisma and exuberant zest for life. He’s fun and kindhearted and delightfully witty, and he’s just got this vibrant, positive energy that has a way of filling up a room.
One of the things my Uncle Harry loves to do the most is cook. He’s taking cooking classes here and there, but I think it’s more of his passion for food that has turned him into a regular amateur chef (though Uncle Harry’s every day cooking could outmatch at least half of the restaurants currently operating in Lincoln). And somehow, in the few short months since he rolled into town, he managed to talk the local restaurant Dino’s into making one of his favorite signature dishes–a gourmet pizza made with smoked salmon, goat cheese, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese–a pizza so good some of the staff did a taste test and started talking about how they’d like to get that pizza on the menu.
But the even crazier part was that tonight, Harry reserved us a couple tables, and had the Dino’s chefs make his recipe for us to have a family dinner together.
And damn, it was divine!
And as we wrapped up, H-man was getting restless so we grabbed one of Cadence’s markers and started practicing our letter tracing.
You know I could’t resist. #SSDGM
Impromptu date night after Stevie wrangled a couple extra tickets. Even though the team I was rooting for didn’t end up winning, but it was so much fun to have some drinks and dinner with my hubby, Dad, and Uncle Harry and watch some Husker Basketball.
Best parts of the night:
- Being surprised when our selfie ended up on the big screen during a timeout.
- Seeing two of my students on the big screen when they were scanning the crowd with the dance cam.
One of the interesting side effects of all the writing and the letter writing I’ve been doing the last few weeks is a clearer realization of just how easy it is to fall out of touch, how quickly time is passing. It hit me this week that Henry is just about the same age my youngest brothers Beau and Collin were when I reunited with my birthfamily and met them for the first time.
Blows my mind to think those little boys are in college now, that’s been more than 17 years since I stepped into their lives.
How things have changed! There have been a lot of twists and turns in the 17 years since, but the best part of the reunion has been building new relationships and watching my three different families slowly melt into one. I was having a conversation with some folks at work a few weeks ago, and they were intrigued by my very unique definition of “family,” as I explained that my family doesn’t just include my husband and kids and my closest biological and adoptive relatives, but all of the close friends and people in my life that I feel a deep, emotional, and somewhat inexplicable connection to. My family is the people I was born to, the people I was raised with, and all the people that I invest my time in and love deeply.
And it strikes me sometimes, as time keeps marching on, that I have been unimaginably blessed.
Sometimes I sit here at the end of the day struggling to find something to write.
See what happens when you procrastinate?
But here’s the thing. It was a long day, a good day. And I don’t think I need to make myself feel guilty for not sitting down and coming up with something witty and clever to share on my blog today. Here’s what I did instead…
I enjoyed my time at work (and didn’t have any idle downtime where I felt bored or unfulfilled). I made progress on a few projects. I spent some quality time with my kiddos, working on homework and reading books before bedtime. I cooked a delicious dinner (why thank you Blue Apron!). I exchanged messages and shared some fond memories with old friends. I watched a couple episodes of The Office for a few laughs after H-man went to bed. I snuggled with the dog. I looked up options for flights to New York if we can manage to swing a trip out East this summer. I had some great conversations. And I laughed, a lot.
It might not seem like much. I didn’t write the great American novel or solve world hunger or break any impressive world records. But the little things, the little moments, those all have a way of adding up to a pretty great day, a pretty great life.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.