Yes, you read that title right.
We pushed Camden's 4th birthday party back a few weeks so it would coincide with baptism day at our church, which also happened to be Mother's Day 2014. It was a jam packed weekend of fun that all started when my family flew into town on Friday.
We picked them up at the airport and returned to Cam's favorite lunch spot du jour. I love this picture because you can clearly see how much we love when they are in town. Gammy and Gampy are always full of funny tricks and jokes that I remember from my own childhood. It's a blessing to be able to watch my own children live some of my memories. Whenever G + G have been around, my kids spend weeks singing old time cartoon theme songs, blowing their straw paper in your face, or telling you that you have a stain on the front of your shirt. It's good times.
That afternoon we hung out in our backyard, shot some arrows at the target, and enjoyed a Baskin Robbins treat. Baskin Robbins is Gammy's favorite. Any ice cream is Camden's favorite.
The next morning, Gigi, Papa, and Lolo arrived, just in time for Cam's birthday party. They came bearing awesome gifts like this new fishing rod from Aunt Lo.
Cam chose a swimming party this year which was a big hit with all the kids. We just paid the general admission fee for about twenty people and then spent almost two hours splashing and playing.
Riley was our lone fearless water slide rider.
While we swam the Grandma's set up the party table. Cam chose a Dusty Planes theme this year. I actually took him to the party store at the beginning of April and let him shop for his own supplies. The party favors were all swimming toys from the dollar store. Have I mentioned they opened a dollar store in our part of town? I love it.
I am fortunate to call some very talented women my dear friends. One of them made this amazing Dusty cake for the party. I loved that she put his name on the Planes logo. It was perfect.
Double the grandma love before it was time to eat that cake!
He either wished for a Dusty airplane (which he got for his birthday already) or to go to the moon. Either way it was his standard mantra for the first half of 2014.
We loved having both sides of the family in town for the big weekend - even though by this point I was already exhausted. We went to the mall after his party for more of Camden's favorite activity of shopping for things for himself. Gammy was too happy to oblige. I even got a new gym water bottle, after I lost the first one I purchased somewhere in our shopping travels that day (thanks Dad).
That evening we all rested after our busy day. I made chicken and dumplings for dinner for everyone and then spent the rest of the night agonizing over the right words for the baptism of our babies. At our church you speak words of encouragement for your children before they are baptized. I already am terrified of public speaking, but to find the right words to tell these little people what they truly mean to me was overwhelming. I gave up and went to bed before I could assemble my thoughts into something coherent.
The next morning we were up early to get everyone dressed and out the door. Thankfully, all my jitters about speaking over my children melted away as they handed me the mic. I used my notes and TG and I spoke from the heart and then our favorite pastor baptized each of them. It was an emotional moment, but there were moments of laughter because our pastor is so good at engaging young children. He asked both of them questions that they answered in a way that had the congregation roaring with laughter.
Riley of course, was born for the spotlight, she was right at ease with all eyes and attention on her and she knows how to make a joke.
We were worried about Camden, because he's generally more shy and wary of new situations. However, when our pastor asked him how old he was, he firmly replied, "I'm 7." When everyone started to laugh because clearly he is not 7, he interjected, "No I'm not kidding. I'm serious." which of course made everyone laugh even harder.
It was a beautiful ceremony and we were so thankful to have our family, who love our children as much as we do, there to support us on an important day. Not only that, but we were able to celebrate this event on Mother's Day with both of our mothers with us.
My family wasn't scheduled to fly out until Monday afternoon so we had some time to kill before we had to get them to the airport. One of the things that I love about them is that they are always up for some adventure, whether it be snow tubing, laser tag at Thanksgiving, or this time a local farm that my kids love. We ended up being the only people there and we had so much fun racing each other on the tube slides, posing in the photo ops, visiting the baby goats, and bouncing on the moon pillow. We ran wild around there for hours, trying every activity, before it started to rain and we called it a day.
As usual, eventually the end came and there were lots of tears (mostly from me) when it was time to say goodbye. I spend so many days looking forward to their visits and then we are so busy laughing and enjoying each other's company and it's over all too soon. It's so hard to let them go when our time is up. I always want more adventures and memories; just more time. But I am thankful that we have the opportunity to be all together like this in meaningful ways no matter how short the days.