My cup overflows with happiness. This was a GLORIOUS long weekend for us. It started with being able to leave work 2 hours early on Friday. Typically when we get "early release" something happens and I can't leave. By some weird miracle, this time, I was out the door at 2:05! This gave me time to chat with my wife before she left for work. Time together for us is treasured. We work opposite hours from each other a lot of the time. In large part, this serves our family well as one of us is always around to meet the needs of our brood. But it also means carving out relationship time has to be thoughtful and to some extent, truly planned. Those 2 magic hours when I was home early were a rare and unplanned bonus to us. After she left for work, I was able to do a few errands that typically happen on Saturday.
Saturday morning we shopped for our BBQ 2 buggies worth of shopping. We also got the decorations for the canopies. I am truly incapable of gathering people together without doing some kind of decorating. I love to do it. It is welcoming. It is something the kids like to help with. And I usually use supplies purchased at the dollar store. So it is inexpensive and I don't feel compelled to make things I need to try and store and re-use.
At about 10 we left to head out to the western part of our state. The trip, which should have taken a bit over 2 hours took us over 3. Holiday traffic and a large accident slowed us greatly. Luckily we had sort of planned for that possibility and the extension of the trip did not make us late to our venue. We headed to Jacobs Pillow to see a dance presentation. We saw Che Malombo, an Argentine dance troupe. The performace was amazing and we all loved it. Best of all, my wife was unexpectedly able to join us. She had not thought this would be the case and at the 11th hour I scrambled to get her a ticket to the nearly sold out show. She could not sit with us--we had seats right near the front in the center. But we were able to share the experience. The kids adored the performance, especially my dance guy, KC. Watching an all male dance company was very empowering to him. As you might imagine, guys are the minority in most local dance schools. Our school has more than most, but the guys are still vastly outnumbered.
Sunday we spent getting ready for todays BBQ. I had a flag cake to make and a "mexican pasta salad" Both recipes were from The Pioneer Woman Both were amazing and enjoyed by all. We had a ton of food. BBQ chicken, veggie burgers, hot dogs, potato salad,green salad, chips and dip, fresh strawberries for shortcake, the aforementioned cake and delicious thumb print cookies made by my friend Laura. We had about 15 people all told and it always amazes me how people can gather from different walks of life and just enjoy each other and have fun. If it can happen in my back yard, can't it happen elsewhere too? If we bring our laughter and our recipes instead of our preconceptions, the world would be a happier, gentler place.
We had about 5 or 6 kids here and they all played together and had a blast. One of them successfully negotiated themselves an invite to come camping with me when I take the kids in August for our next to the last campout. I am fine with that, and his mom is as well. One more kid is not ever an issue for me.
Now I am trying to prepare myself for "re entry" The regular world will come knocking on my door at 5:20 tomorrow morning.