Friday, July 23, 2010

Fourth of July...

We headed up to NoVa for the 4th and had a wonderful time (of course!). I actually left a few days earlier (sans kids and husband) and went up to spend some quality time with my sister, brother-in-law and nephew in Richmond.
Luke and I at story time
Then I spent a couple days with my parents and two other sisters. It was amazing. It's impossible to describe to people who don't have kids what a few days with out kids are like. For four days, instead of waking up to a 3 year old in my face whispering loudly "WAKE UP, MOMMY!!!", I woke up when I wanted to. One morning I woke up and went running with my youngest sister and then went kayaking with my mom in the lake for a couple hours. At meal time, instead of feeding a ravenously hungry one year (seriously- his appetite is insatiable) and a picky 3 year old, I just fed myself. I could drink my coffee slowly in the mornings and not worry about whether or not Chase was going to knock it over. My schedule was my own. I could go where I wanted to when I wanted to and not worry about how that affected nap time. I went to see Eclipse (what!? I'm not ashamed of it. Loved it!) with all of my sisters and my mom one night.
Pre-Eclipse sister pic.
I went to Starbucks one day and drank an iced coffee slowly while reading a magazine while sitting outside and stayed as long as I wanted to. I got to hang out with my parents and sisters and have conversations that weren't interrupted on a regular basis by "Know what, Gigi!?" or "Gpa, look what I can do!" It was glorious. =) All of that to say...I was so excited when Alan came with the boys! I was actually pacing by the glass front door waiting for them and really savored the hugs and snuggles I got when they arrived. I loved the time with out them and felt very refreshed by it, but there is nothing I love more than being with my husband and kids.
I's hard to resist these faces...

 My youngest sister, Becky wasn't there for the 4th festivities and we missed her a lot, but we managed to still have fun somehow. =) We did the usual stuff...
Dad did the grilling. 
We ate yummy food!
Luke was really cute.   
The boys hung out and talked about crazy the Blecksmiths are. 
Lizzy and Matt decorated the pear salad.
Chase practiced his walking.

Sister time.
Dad and Mom were the best hosts in the world.
We headed over to the golf course to watch fireworks over the lake.
Aaand we set off a few of our own.

Chase's Birthday Party...

Here is a brief glimpse of Chase's party and guests. He had so much fun being the center of attention (those moments are a little hard to come by when you're the second child).
The very happy birthday boy riding his new present!

Awkward picture of Alan and I displaying the decorations!

Papa, Nana, and Chasey.
My fabulous Mom and I!     
My sister Anne and my adorable nephew, Luke.      
Chase's Nana and his Gigi sitting at the kid's table. =)
Chase demanding his cake!
"Look at my cake!"
He finished every bite. =)

 And now a run down of the guest list: 
Auntie Annie and baby Chase. 
Auntie Megan
Auntie Liz
Auntie Becky.
Great Granny 

Last, but not least, his brother Jackson (showing off his new FBI action set because he wants to be an agent someday like his Gpa).
It was a really special day and Chase had a blast. We decided just to invite family this year because I remember Jackson (who was very social) being somewhat overwhelmed on his first birthday and also because even "just family" adds up!