I have so much to share with you – about driving past the site of the accident for the first time, about today being the four month anniversary of Kalkidan going to heaven, of how tears are so close today…but what I’m going to tell you about is the fun we had yesterday with our kids. The other topics can wait a day or two.
Eby turns ten this Thursday and that’s a big birthday in our family. We always celebrate as a family, but the kids get a party when they turn five, ten, and fifteen. Thursday is packed with school and family events, and I couldn’t figure out how to even squeeze in a family dinner. Instead, yesterday we rented a room at a local hotel and celebrated poolside.
After church everyone gathered at our house for pizza (that I did not make!), then we loaded up and drove two miles to the hotel. A few of Signe’s kids came to join the fun, plus one new friend of Eby’s from school. The party was plenty big.
We kept it simple and appropriately junky for a ten year-old birthday party: cake, chips, soda. There was nothing remotely Pinterest-worthy about it.
The big kids left after a bit and the few friends were picked up by 6:00, which left just the three youngest in the pool while Russ and I sat in the jacuzzi. When they finally seemed to tire of swimming, everyone showered and we walked across the parking lot to WinCo. Mind you, this is the store I’ve shopped at for fifteen years, but when we walked in, all relaxed, with only three kids in tow, and said, “Choose something for a bedtime snack,” it felt nothing like a regular run to the grocery store.
Snacks in hand, we trekked back to our room with a box of Rice Krispies, a small carton of milk, and chicken strips from the deli. Dinner was eaten kneeling around the coffee table while watching Full House, an all-new experience for the kids.
Russ tucked the boys in at 8:00, Little Man on the sofa bed and Eby on the cast-off sofa cushions tightly covered with a sheet. Sunshine and I snuggled up to watch the last half of Princess Diaries 2. I felt miles from home and the work awaiting me there.
This morning we ate a yummy breakfast before packing up the room and then making our way around town dropping kids off at school. We had been away less than 18 hours, but we immersed ourselves in enjoying our family and it felt wonderful.
I’ll still cook Eby’s birthday dinner one night soon; he requested bacon, sausage, and “those little trees” (asparagus), with lemon bars for dessert. I’m pretty sure I’m up to the task.
I hope your week is off to a good start, friends. We’re having a quiet, sad day, but it’s so full that we don’t have much time to dwell on our feelings.
I am truly so thankful for all of you.
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