This has been such an incredibly wonderful weekend! Darren's mom and aunt drove all the way from Amarillo yesterday for an overnight visit, and since the kids so seldom get to see their Nana, she brought with her not only Dylan's birthday present but ones for each of the girls to open early, too. What fun! After presents, we went out to eat at La Posta (our favorite!), and since there was about a fifteen minute wait, we had plenty of time to admire the birds and fish...and to make wishes in the fountain!
Before leaving town again this morning, Darren's mom and aunt were able to join us at Gym Magic to watch Caitlyn and Dylan in their dance and gymnastics classes. This was such a special treat for the kids! We really enjoyed having them there, and they appreciated the opportunity to see our little darlings in action! With hugs and fond farewells, we parted ways at the gym and Darren and the kids and I headed home.
We all chatted happily on the way home about what a great morning it had been, and then, as we slowed to turn into our neighborhood, we noticed a mom and her young son sitting in lawn chairs in the median of the main street of our subdivision. "Strange," Darren and I thought out loud. "I wonder what they're doing?" A second glance back in the rear view mirror revealed a box that said "FREE", and being the ever curious sorts we are, we just couldn't resist turning around to see what, exactly, was free. "I think it's kittens", Dylan said excitedly from the back seat. "I see some long skinny tails!"
Oh, no. Kittens? Too late. We had already stopped. Darren got out to chat for a bit with the friendly lady, (figuring it the polite thing to do, as we had stopped at the curb), and inside the van, as we watched hopefully through the windows, Dylan was talking about what good care he would take of his brand new pet. Our hearts fell when Darren returned to the van empty handed, but after a brief discussion (very brief, because my husband is such a big softie!) we decided that one little kitten would indeed make a very nice addition to our family. Oh, the joy! The glee! The loud and happy squeals of delight! I have never seen my kids more excited. Ever. About anything! And from the moment we walked through the front door with him, they have been so loving and gentle and patient with their new little kitten. Not long after arriving home, I loaded the kids back up into the van with me for a quick shopping expedition, and I was so touched and amused by the mental shopping list Dylan recited all the way to the store. ("Let's see, we'll need food, of course, and litter, and toys, and what else? Oh, and ....") Dylan and Caitlyn were so proud to pick out all the necessary supplies for their new pet, and even Meghan seemed excited to be helping! I am so happy with the impromptu decision we made today. Our home is filled with such joyful exuberance! And isn't he just the cutest little thing you've ever seen?!
Finally, as if this hadn't been enough excitement for one day, I had been planning all along to attend the 5:30 Mass tonight because that seemed to really work well when we tried it a couple of weeks ago. But I had forgotten until late this afternoon that the music was to be provided by special guest Josh Blakesley and his band, who were performing in concert on the back lawn immediately afterward. I didn't have tickets to the concert (nor did I have the time to stay), but hearing him sing during Mass was treat enough for me!
And, because Caitlyn wasn't feeling well and Meghan was in meltdown mode from lack of naps these past two days, I had only Dylan with me so we were able to sit right up front. I had forgotten how much more awesome Mass is when experienced from the first pew! And I love that Dylan was able to see everything so much better tonight, particularly during the consecration. He really seemed to enjoy the experience more, too.
Tomorrow promises to be another beautiful day. Dylan has CCD in the morning, Darren will attend Mass, and after lunch, we'll get to visit with my aunt and uncle, who are here visiting this weekend! I am so tired tonight, but happy. My heart is filled with quiet joy. The rest of my family is sleeping, and I, too, will soon climb into bed. But I'll be up just a little longer, counting my blessings and offering silent thanks and praise for days like these.