Besides, the sights and smells of September tug at my heart strings more than any other month. The way our three-season porch smells on a cool fall morning or the sound of kids unloading from school buses near my house reminds me of being home with Tory in the days after she was born. I felt so vulnerable then, so alone as I watched my parents pull away from my drive-way and I couldn't help but feel those same emotions yesterday as they left for Nebraska again.
Yesterday I tried to focus my mind on the great memories we made at the lake cabin this past weekend. We had a really fabulous time. The entire weekend was just perfect. My parents arrived Thursday afternoon, along with my Grandpa George (my dad's dad) who's never been to Minnesota before or seen our life here. Andi was coming off his three-day juice cleanse so he made a fabulous dinner for all of us on Thursday night (my favorite Caprese Chicken recipe, salad and grilled potatoes) and we all played with Tory and her new kitchen set which was a birthday present from Nana and Papa (my parents). Tory was in seventh heaven having my parents here in her own house. She was literally bouncing off the walls, dragging every single toy she owns out of the play room to show them. My dad and grandpa played hide and seek with her for at least 45 minutes before dinner. She just couldn't get enough of them being at "Tory's house."
My sister and her family arrived at our house late Thursday evening and we all caravaned to our Wisconsin lake cabin early Friday morning. We stopped along the way at Eichen's Bistro for cheese and snacks, then spent the rest of Friday lounging in the lake. Friday was Tory's actual birthday (though we celebrated her birthday party on Saturday) and while she's two and doesn't have a preference, I can't think of a better way to spend a birthday.
I decided to be a nice mommy and let Tory stay up past her bedtime for her first ever bonfire. It was her birthday, after all. (Note: THIS WAS NOT A SMART MOVE.) Andi built a bonfire in the yard and we all gathered 'round after dinner for s'mores. Tory a bit scared of the fire ("hot!" she said over again and again) but she was a big fan of her first s'more. #justlikeherdad
The "not smart" part came afterwards when Neeley went to bed and Brooke and Tory cozied up in our bed watching an episode of Super Why. Brookie quickly fell asleep, but Tory was wide awake and super over-tired. I tried to lay down with her to read books and initiate our regular bedtime routine, but Tory was having none of it. She screamed and SCREAMED for two hours. So, lesson learned. Don't be a "nice mama" and let the birthday girl stay up way past her bedtime. Girlfriend needs to keep to her scheduled routine. Even later that night, my brother Adam and his girlfriend arrived at the cabin from Nebraska.
Andi's parents joined us at the cabin on Saturday for Tory's ladybug birthday party. The weather was fabulous that day as we celebrated the birthday girl and relaxed by the lake.
Sunday, the weather turned a bit cooler so Andi took the men shooting somewhere nearby the cabin while the ladies stayed back at the cabin with the kids. Sounds like the guys had a really fun time together. My dad couldn't stop talking about how much fun he had which made Andi and I really happy. It was neat to find something all the guys enjoying doing together -- my grandpa, dad and brother, Andi and my brother-in-law, Jason.
Everyone but my parents left for home on Monday. Since the weather was cloudy and cooler on Monday as well, my parents, Andi and I took our time closing up the cabin and then came back to our house in the Cities for the night. My parents have only been to my house a handful of times, so every time they're here feels special. We ordered in Chinese food and put together my new bookshelf for the kid's playroom. We don't get to spend much alone time with my parents, especially on our turf, so it was a nice end to a fun-filled weekend.
Sigh. And now our fun Labor Day weekend has come and gone. The next big event on the docket is Baby Boy's birth which means the return of my family to Minnesota once again. That visit will be much more chaotic with the arrival of our new baby, so I'm really glad we had this time over Labor Day to relax with my family here. A great weekend of memories, for sure.