February 22, 2013

Just perfect

We had the perfect afternoon and evening.

No . . . really.  Sometimes I write things like that and people assume I'm being sarcastic.

This afternoon really was perfect.

Kyle's on call this weekend at camp, so when Jack got home from school, he had to go over to camp to check on our groups staying in the lodges.  On a whim, I said, "Hey!  Do you guys want to go with him and go sledding?!"  I'd seen pictures on facebook all day of friends sledding with their kids.  Stupid peer pressure.

As soon as the words left my mouth, I wished I could take them back.  4 - 7 is the hardest time of day.  The kids are hungry, tired and cranky . . . as are we.  I knew that any sort of outing involving layers of clothing, traveling and braving the elements was a recipe for disaster.

But I said it, and there was no going back.

I scrounged to find the boys' old snow play clothes for Claire and Kyle got the boys bundled up.  Claire fussed all the way to camp and I was picturing myself having to sit with her in the car while Kyle broke up fights between the boys over who got to sit in the front on the sled.  I commented to Kyle that I must have been insane to suggest sledding with all three.

I was wrong.  It was the perfect afternoon. Sure there was some whining and one meltdown, but we had SO much fun.  Snowball fights, climbing the hill, sledding down.  There was plenty of snow, but it didn't really feel that cold.  We laughed.  We played.  It was really good.  Claire just laughed at her brothers (with the exception of one face-first dive into the snow).

Today was what I needed.  Over the last few weeks, we've started to sell and give away a lot of our baby equipment.  This has been so difficult for me.  I know that we're done having kids, and I'm happy for that, but there's still this sadness over that stage of life being over.


This afternoon, I felt a huge peace about our family being complete and enjoying the phases we go through . . . and even the completion of those phases.

After sledding, we stopped at the Cedar Center for hot chocolate and then picked up soup from the Beach Bar for dinner.  We all sang and laughed on our way home and at one point I asked Kyle, "Can you believe this is OUR family?!" 

We're so blessed.


February 10, 2013

Bennett turns (er, turned) three!


Bennett turned three in September and we had a firefighter birthday party for him!  It was a lot of fun and Brian brought over a fire engine from the local fire department.  The kids really enjoyed seeing that.  SEEING it.  The sirens, however?  Not so much.  Let's just say that there were tears.

We served chili and let everyone roast their own hot dogs. 


Along with Maria's cupcakes, I made a little cake with a firefighter's bad on it.  It was lopsided.  It tasted okay, but it looked like Ben made it.  In retrospect, I should have just told everyone that he did.  It was not good.  Thank goodness we had lots of other sweet treats to make up for it!

I think, of all of the birthday parties I've thrown, this was the most fun and the one that I was most on top of.  There really wasn't anything stressful about it and it kind of all fell into place.

As usual, Ben wanted no part of having his picture taken, so this was the best one I could get of my sweet little three-year-old.