Our "laid back" summer is really starting to get exhausting! We have been busy with lots of different kinds of activities. In one week, we will have hosted three parties for 20-40 people at our relatively small house. We were able to have my mom's birthday party here and it was nice to just sit and visit for the evening. Then we had Ella's birthday party. The afternoon was a success! We had a bounce house and good friends. She was truly blessed by her friends and their families. Tomorrow night we are hosting a party with both sides of our families to celebrate Connor's and Ella's birthdays. I did my final grocery shopping tonight. I won't miss that part of the party planning! I do love setting up the house and serving all the guests. We are reminded of how blessed we are to have so many close friends and family that love us and our kids.
In the midst of all the partying, we have also been participating in our town's 4th of July Stampede activities. Randy and I were able to go to the Professional Bull Riders rodeo on Friday night. These were tickets that I ordered in December for Randy's birthday in March. Poor guy had to wait a long time to enjoy his present! We had such a good time that we decided the kids would want to see a rodeo too. So Monday night we dropped Lilly off at my parents' house and headed to the rodeo. The kids were so cute in their cowboy hats. Owen waited patiently all night to see the bull-riding. He got it in his head that the best part would be to see the cowboys fall in the mud (we've had lots of rain) and say "Yuck, that's gross!". He definitely got to see lots of cowboys fall in the mud! Thankfully our seats were far up in the grandstands and we didn't hear what the cowboys actually said - LOL!
We have also spent lots of time with friends. We had our friends' two boys stay with us overnight while our friends were out of town. Then for two days this week, we had another friend's son all day. I have really started enjoying having a house full of kids. It used to stress me out a little bit, but now I love that our kids get to spend so much time with their friends. All of our friends have great kids that I enjoy being around. I absolutely love having our dinner table full of kids giggling and having fun together.
All in all, it's been a great past couple of weeks. On the 4th of July, we will be going to the big parade in the morning and then on to my parents' house for a huge party. However, Randy will be taking the boys to Nebraska for a family reunion of sorts. So it will be a girls' weekend. I'm looking forward to it. I will be helping my mom set up for the party and then helping out as much as I can on Saturday. It's always a long day, but well worth the work. We always pass out before the fireworks start! I'm sure this year will be the same.
On the downside, my mom will be having surgery next week. I am trying to be prepared for whatever is going to happen. I am holding on to hope that the surgery is not terribly complicated and her recovery will go smoothly. But in all honesty, I'm also having lots of anxiety. There are so many unknowns right now. And there are things that I just cannot accept. I wish I could wake up from this bad dream. But since it's a reality, I'm just moving ahead each day and choosing to focus on hope. I'm planning on making some meals to put in my parents' freezer. I have babysitters lined up for each day next week. And I am hopeful that my next entry will be full of good news and relief. I would much rather be having angst over Ella going to school all day than this!
Ah, the next two weeks . . . mom's surgery, Connor's birthday, kids' well-child checks, a two night camping trip, a 4-day visit from a dear college friend, a white water rafting trip, lots of time at my parents' house, and more?? Oh, and if I can squeeze it in, I will eventually get pictures off my camera and on to the computer and start adding them to my entries again!
Happy 4th of July everyone!