I had a wonderful, albeit busy, Easter weekend - although busy (maybe even crazy) pretty accurately describes the last month. I've been missing in action from the blog far too much and have such an intense need to write at the present time - hopefully this is the first in a string of posts, but I make no promises.
I sent dad a text on Friday afternoon that I'd want to get in a walk that evening if it wasn't raining - about 2 miles - and he should come with me or just suggest a route. We had dinner with mom as soon as I arrived on Friday and then headed out with Sammy, dad's dog, for that walk - which ended up being about 2.5 miles. Mom and dad's place is technically in the city, but within that 2.5 mile walk we were standing at the edge of a field enjoying a pretty glorious sunset.
Saturday was for errands. Mom and I hit the grocery and then met up with Dad for lunch at Frisch's - for the express purpose of picking up a Red's baseball schedule - bring on opening day! We all ran a few more errands and then dad and I got in another walk. I made dinner and Susie stopped in for a visit. Over the course of the afternoon I think there was a nap and then there was some prep for Easter lunch - dad grilled meat, while Susie, mom and I prepped some other stuff. I can honestly say of all the family dinners we've done this one was, from my perspective, about the simplest I've done in a while which was good considering how busy these last few weeks have been. Family is always there to fill in all the needed pieces!
Mom, Dad, and I started off this morning at their church. The choir sounded wonderful and the bells were nice. It's also always nice seeing my former church family - but I desperately missed my church in Indy.
After church, it was time for family time. We had 19 people in for lunch - a pretty normal-sized family dinner for us - that often also includes friends and families of in-laws as today's lunch did. Without a doubt, the star of the show was Lucas, although Miss Lauren was a close second. Lots of favorite memories from today...so I'm just going to capture a few...
Mom asked to hold Lauren almost as soon as Amanda and Steve came in. As soon as Amanda put Lauren in her hands, there were at least five different cameras shooting pictures - we're all making a huge effort to get pics of mom and the kids together now.
Even with 18 people there we were missing quite a few folks including Lucas's cousin "auntie" Ashley - so we shot a quick video for her. His ad lib in the last second - priceless! Grabbed a few other videos and lots of pictures to share with family who couldn't be there today which helped connect us all together.
Lucas LOVED picking up Easter eggs - and even got pretty good at taking them and their contents (after opening them and dumping their contents into the grass) - back to Aunt Susie and placing them in the basket - which she was holding for him. He told us what color each one was, and opened each and told us what was in them. They included, in Lucas speak, monies (quarters and dollar bills), me-mes (M&Ms), gummies (self explanatory), and McQueen socks (Lightning McQueen socks).
And the entire family had fun watching him. Everyone got in on calling out colors, reminding him to pick up the contents of the egg and put it in his basket, and even helping him hold all his loot when he didn't want to return it to his basket. Good thing he's only 2 or he might realize he didn't quite get all the M&Ms or gummies back as some of those got eaten as refreshments while we watched him.
His Nana got him some McQueen bubbles so Great Aunt Susie blew bubbles for him while he and great grandpa ("Grandpa Frank" in Lucas speak) chased them around the yard. Other people got in on the chasing too - but they were the main players. [Note: That second photo - the one with Lucas looking up at the bubbles - my fave - and I shot it with my cell phone no less!)
You could tell it was a long, cold winter inside as this little man wanted NOTHING to do with going inside- and it was hard to blame him on such a gorgeous day. We talked him into getting a drink under promise that I'd take him back outside. We both got drinks and then headed back out. Great Grandpa joined us shortly. We took a brief break to go inside to find out where the yellow ball was (the photo that led off this post) but then back out and were probably out for about an hour in total. I need to talk for a minute on the incredible increase in his vocabulary. It's been six weeks since I saw him (entirely too long) and about a week since he and I video chatted (thank you Nana!). I could tell in the video chat that both his vocabulary and his pronunciation had improved - today really showcased that. I had no trouble understanding at least 80% and likely 90% of what he said - a number I'd say was around 60% just six weeks ago. His naming of objects and his descriptions of both objects and events are much more detailed. He's also naming people more specifically and more directly than ever before - I'm now solidly Aunt Nicki and Grandpa Frank is clear and perfectly understandable. He's also mimicking EVERYTHING...so we all have to now be very careful what we say.
Donna and Amanda also thought to set up a four generations shot which I was glad someone thought to do - thanks for sharing your pic Donna! Note to everyone in the family who reads this...we're due for another full family photo at our next gathering so come prepared!
I was personally a little disappointed in the pictures I got today. I need to continue to work on shooting action shots - lots of blur, weird eye and hand positions, bad shadows, etc. I need to just shoot more regularly (note to self). The shot above though was another favorite - thanks to Steve for tossing Lucas up in the air several more times so I could get the shot as I didn't have the camera on the first time he did it! But, with such a fun little boy and sweet beautiful little girl to serve as the stars of our show - there are still plenty of wonderful pictures - and even more amazing memories to go around.
Happy Easter to everyone!