I think I'm still in recovery mode following the wonderful holiday weekend enjoyed with my family. Where to even begin describing what we kept calling "The best fourth of July ever!"? (Okay, so I have to admit that the day did get off to a rather rocky start, but that was only due to my own petty selfishness and perfectionist tendencies. Once I got over myself, so to speak, the day was incredible!) We had purchased a big inflatable pool with an attachable sprinkler to set up along side our existing small kiddie pool, transforming our backyard into a water park of sorts, with water balloon games completing the theme! We let our children splash and play while waiting for my brother's family to arrive from Albuquerque, and they had a blast!
We ate lunch at our picnic table to give the children a chance to dry off and warm up, then went inside to work on some fun crafts. I didn't think to take a picture of our work, but you can see some of our finished products on the cabinet behind Dylan in this next picture. He's busy assembling some appetizers for which he had asked us to purchase ingredients. He had sampled some ham and cheese cubes on sticks at one of our favorite stores the day before, and really wanted to make some of his own for our party. Yum! :)
It began storming soon after my brother arrived, so we postponed any further water play in favor of smoke bombs and snappers. My dad joined us a little while later, and surprised all of his grandchildren by letting each of them have a turn churning the home made ice cream!
We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, served with beans and pasta salad and chips and dips, and then, since the skies had cleared considerably, let the kids play some more in the pools. The water was much cooler by that point, so they didn't stay in long, but they didn't mind when we called them out to dry off...because we were distributing the ice cream they had made earlier with the beautiful cake my sister-in-law had made!
Kristen was wearing red, white, and blue, but I forgot to take any pictures of her until she was already dressed for bed! She actually stayed indoors for most of the day, but did very much enjoy being outside with us as daylight gave way to dusk. She is always such a happy baby!
Once darkness fell, we moved out to the street to light the small arsenal of fireworks my brother and Darren had purchased earlier. These were just little ground displays that we all really enjoyed watching. It was late, though, and to my surprise, Meghan actually fell asleep on my dad's lap! She didn't even stir when he carefully transferred her to her bed! As I was rocking Kristen that night, I was thinking to myself that it had been such an excellent day. I was so happy, and so looking forward to the next two days, which I knew would also be packed full of fun and joy. I was not disappointed!
Saturday was just another low key, no stress day of family fun. The cousins came over in the afternoon to join my children in the continuing backyard games, and that evening Darren prepared a home cooked meal for us. I stayed up pretty late that night in anticipation of the breakfast we were hosting the next morning in honor of Kristen's presentation at Mass, assembling in advance as much as I could. My brother's family and my dad came over early Sunday morning and we enjoyed a feast of Crustless Bacon and Cheese Quiche, French Toast Casserole, Champagne Salad, and Dessert Pizza. Oh, my goodness. We ate. And ate. And ate. It was all sooo good!
Mass was lovely. We had reserved seating up front with the other infants being anointed that day. (At our parish, infants are first anointed with chrism oil and then baptized at a later date, generally after another three weeks or so. Kristen, however, has already been baptized.) I was a little worried about how my children might behave with their cousins in attendance, but they all did great! We said our good-bye's in the parking lot after Mass, then came home to laze away the rest of our day. It was perfect, the perfect conclusion to a perfect weekend. I want to do it all again next year!