This past weekend was lovely. I'd taken off Friday and Monday so it was like a mini-vacation. Much needed, and very enjoyable.
Thursday night we ate dinner on the deck, and then Ian had to head out to a meeting at the church. Sam and I sat together talking for over two hours about everything under the sun.
Friday morning I dropped off our van at the mechanic for some repairs. In order to have the ownership transferred, it has to be completely certified and there were a few issues our mechanic needed to repair before he can sign off on it. Mom followed me there, then brought me back to her house for a visit with her and my aunt. I told Ian I was only going to stay for half an hour, but it was more like an hour and half before I left.
Friday night was youth group for Ian, Sam and Jules. I played in the backyard with Jordan and Matt, splashing in their water table right along with them. After Mattie went to bed, Jordan and I sat on the front porch waiting for Ian and the big kids to come home.
Saturday afternoon Sam and I went over to my mom's for a visit, then I left to take Sam to a birthday party, returned to mom's for my nephew's birthday dinner. Shortly after, I left to get Sam and brought him back in time for my nephew to open his gifts. We stayed until about 9:30 and headed home.
When we got home it was close to ten, and I called Julie upstairs and told her I was kidnapping her and she didn't have time to change out of her pjs. We headed over to Dairy Queen and ate our ice cream on their patio, talking and laughing.
Sunday afternoon the girls and I drove to Orangeville to shop for a bit. I needed a few more clothing items for work and Julie is my personal stylist. We found several pieces that would work well with my existing wardrobe and didn't break the bank. The saleswoman was surprised to hear that Julie was only 11 and complimented her on her fashion sense. Julie was glowing.
Sunday night we all headed over to the park. Ian played basketball with Julie & Sam while I played with the Jordan and Matthew. After awhile I sat down with Matt and a woman on the next bench struck up a conversation. She seemed so tired, and when she spoke to me she was very harsh and had a tinge of anger to her voice. We were talking about how many kids we had when she said she had three and was a single mother, and had to be all things to each child. One of her children has Down Syndrome and blood cancer. And then she sighed, and it was like all the air came out of her body as she admitted how hard it has been and how tired she was. I had no idea what to say to comfort her, so I just listened. I think that was all she needed, was to have someone just to listen. I've been praying for her and her daughter, and I'm hoping I'll run into her again so if she'd like to, we can talk some more.
Monday we went to the African Lion Safari. It was a beautiful day for it. Not too hot, not too crowded. We started and ended with the baboons, and in between saw lions and zebras, bird and elephant shows, had a picnic, ate ice cream, Jordan rode a horse, all three kids played in the waterpark. We were exhausted coming home.
And today it was back to work. I was very heavy hearted leaving the house today and had a little cry on the way to work. I'm so thankful that our circumstances have changed so drastically, and that we have a steady income coming in. So thankful. Which is why I get so frustrated with myself for feeling sad that I'm not at home. I miss being with Ian all day. I love him so dearly, and as much as I love and miss my children while I'm at work, I miss Ian on a whole other level.
Today is a very special day in our house: Sam turned 13. I always cry on my children's birthdays. Always. Today was no exception. I kept thinking of his birth day, and how scared I was to become a mother. Responsible for someone who was so tiny and so dependent upon me. I looked into his face and saw a million ways I was afraid I would mess up this kid. I remember his first cry like it was just moments ago. How his first breath was like my own, because at that moment my life truly began. He breathed life into me in a way that I was completely unprepared for. I had purpose.
Every year on the children's birthdays I tell my children about their birth days. Julie can't hear hers enough. I thought maybe Sam was too old this year, but I was wrong.
Sam's birthday dinner request? Meat. So, Ian bbq'd burgers, wings and ribs. Mom and my aunt came for cake and to open gifts. Lovely times. At one point I smiled at Sam and said "so much love in this house" and he smiled at me and just melted me.
And our poor Willow... he was neutered today and had a large cyst removed from his tail. The vet said it was benign which was a huge relief for all of us to hear. He's moving slowly tonight but is doing ok.
While I feel as though these four days passed by in the blink of an eye, they were packed full with family time and for that I am grateful. Family ti