Of all the things I could think of doing on a weekend, this past weekend encompassed the best of the best! We had such an amazing holiday weekend and absolutely none of us were ready to start the week again this morning.
Our weekend started off on a high note with Friday. This is the day that I got to drop Colin off at my neighbor's house (as she was watching him for me for the afternoon) and head to the airport to pick up my sister and her family of FIVE. In case you haven't been following my blog for long, or in case you just weren't aware, my sister's family just got back from their trip to China where they picked up their adopted two-year-old daughter, Khloe. Their journey is amazing; if you haven't checked it out, definitely take some time and visit her blog here.
I arrived at the airport nice and early and ended up sitting to wait for them, as international arrivals do not come into the regular baggage claim area as national flights. I waited about an hour for them to arrive, deplane, go through Customs (as this is where Khloe officially became a US Citizen) and get their luggage. As I waited, I chatted with a very nice guy who's wife and son were coming home from Chicago (and you could tell he was missing them dearly!). It made the waiting go by much faster than it was, which was a blessing. When Tanya and her family finally walked through the doors of international arrivals and into the baggage claim where I was waiting, I jumped up to hug them all! This was a moment I had been waiting for for over two weeks. I realized just how much my sister's family means to me when I had two weeks with only minimal email communication with them ... I missed them dearly!
They loaded their luggage into my Suburban, we all piled in and off we went to face Memorial Day weekend traffic back to their home. I sat next to Khloe in the backseat on the way to their house and I'm certain that I fell in love with my new niece in those couple of hours! We played games and she giggled and we had such a great time passing the time in the car. What would normally be a little over an hour drive took almost two and a half hours, so I think Tanya's family were all feeling completely relieved when we pulled into their driveway! My mom, brother, niece and nephew were waiting there to greet the family (as we were having a small "welcome home" barbeque for them that evening). We were later joined by my sister-in-law, my dad, my husband and kids and Tanya's neighbor and family from across the street. We had the barbeque, cleaned up and chatted for awhile before everybody headed out to give their family the rest they so desperately needed. On the way home, Claire, Iain and I stopped through the McDonald's drive-thru to order some shakes as a sweet treat for their great attitudes about their drive up to my sister's house in that crazy traffic!
Saturday started off to be a fabulous day as well! Monte, Iain and Ellis woke up at the crack of dawn to head out fishing (as this is becoming an annual tradition for the fishing opener!). I got up around 7:30am and started getting ready for my breakfast "date" with some of the moms in my MOPs group. I got Colin ready and gave him breakfast and drove him out to the dock at Surfside beach where Monte and the boys met us in the boat (as Colin was going fishing with them, but is too cranky when he gets up early in the morning). After dropping him off and kissing Monte goodbye, I headed to Eden Prairie to have breakfast! Though only three of us were able to make it that morning, it was such a wonderful time to get to spend time with and give undivided attention to these fabulous ladies! The food was good, the conversation was great and I can't wait to do another breakfast with them!
After breakfast, I did some quick shopping at Target and then headed back home to spend the rest of the day with my family. The kids and Monte were all home, so after a quick lunch, we decided to walk down to Surfside (the local beach) and spend some of that blistering hot day in the water. We had a lot of fun while we were there, though our outing ended when Iain was hit with a dead fish that some kids were throwing back and forth (he didn't mind so much, but we were getting close to snack time for everyone and the other people at the beach were being too crazy to manage a family of six alongside!). So we packed up and headed home to enjoy the remainder of a relaxing day.
Sunday we went to church and enjoyed a great sermon by our Student Ministries Pastor, Brian Suter. He spoke about the importance of praying for and blessing your enemies. While the series they are on is speaking more directly toward your work life, I really love how this specific sermon applied to our entire lives. Monte and I both came out of it feeling very refreshed, which was a blessing in and of itself! Sunday was kind of a cloudy and chillier day, so we spend a majority of it inside doing some unpacking of the things we had just retrieved from our storage locker (which we no longer have to rent ... YAY!!).
Monday consisted of the most fabulous way to end a weekend. We spent the start of the day cleaning our house in preparation for our Memorial Day BBQ. This has become an annual tradition for us, though this year's barbeque was the best one we've had so far! We invited family members and close friends and spent the afternoon through the evening laughing and sharing stories, food and drinks with these fabulous people. The food was great, the kids were great, our guests were the best! We both agreed that this is something we need to do more than once a year, as we enjoy it so thoroughly!
So that was my weekend in nowhere-near-a-nutshell ... man was it amazing! :)