Eric suggested that we take the kids to the new Pixar movie "Inside Out" as part of our weekend plans. Great! We figured getting to the first show of the day made the most sense and getting there 25 minutes before the start time would be plenty of time ... we were so wrong! We wound up sitting in the 4th row of the theater, which was MUCH closer than we normally sit. Fortunately, it all worked out and we all enjoyed the movie. It was funny, touching, goofy, and insightful... what more can you expect from a Pixar movie??
After the movie, we went home for lunch, caught our breath for a few minutes, and then high tailed it to the pool for Annika's diving class and then swimming lessons for both kiddos. As soon as the kids were done with their lessons, we bolted for the family changing room, where we had the kids quickly shower and get dressed to have dinner at my brother's house. WHEW!!
Because there were MANY moving parts to the day (including our nephew and brother-in-law going to the Mariners game and my sister/nieces driving back from a wedding in Pullman), we initially weren't sure if the timing to have dinner together would work out, but it did! Everyone arrived within 20-ish minutes of each other. In fact, my sister and nieces pulled up to my brother's house just as we did. An added motivation to make the dinner plans work out was me being able to retrieve my car from my sister. Bonus. :)
We had a lovely and very relaxed dinner as an extended family. It gave my heart such joy to see our kids playing with so many of their cousins. I can't help but wonder if any of the day will stick with our kids as long-term memories, but I truly hope it does. As my parents' grandchildren grow into more and more independent people, getting everyone together will become increasingly difficult. We know they love our kids and vice versa, but having the ability to share air and take up the same space is the icing on top of the proverbial cake.
|Troy, Emily, and Eric ... the guys are sharing a beer that Emily |
brought home from her recent 3-month stint in Europe
|Conor and Eric getting in a little frisbee time|
|Mama and Annika|
|Conor and Emily|
|Annika getting a big hug from Uncle Randy|
|Apparently, Robert still isn't too big to sit on his big sister's lap|
|Suzanne and Randy chillaxing|
|Mellow Anna sporting her dad's hat|
|"Conor, what're you doing?"|
"Oh, just hangin' around with big cousin Robert."
I couldn't ask for a better man to teach us what it means to be a dad and act as a role model for what a truly caring, responsible, fun, and loving man can and should be. Knowing that Conor has Eric to look up to as he grows into a man in his own right gives me great hope for his future. Likewise, having Eric show Annika what it means to be a reliable, loving, father and husband on a daily basis gives me courage as she develops into a woman who will (one day looooooooooong from now) will look at potential life partners of her own.
Our children are incredibly blessed to have Eric as their dad, and I feel beyond fortunate to share the journey of parenthood with him by my side.
|Eric and newborn Annika|
|Eric and newborn Conor|
|Annika and Daddy... he'll always be there to lift her up|
|Daddy = Horse|
|Eric teaching Annika life skills|
|Daddy is so much fun|
|My favorite trio in the whole world|
|Daddy teaching Annika more life skills (aka beer brewing)|
|"Once more around the lake, Daddy!"|