Well, we had not only a long but a busy weekend this weekend. After hearing that my parents were not going to be able to make it up this past weekend, I was pretty saddened but I did look at it as an opportunity to do some things we would otherwise not have been able to do. (Even though Friday had to be the worst day I had had in a LOONG time - and I'd like to keep it that way - I will discuss more pleasant things.
Scott's sister and her family came in from Missouri Friday night. We got up early Saturday and went to cheer his brother on at the Firecracker 5K race. He made pretty good time, 00:25:19 (I think) so we were back in the car and headed to the house by 8:00. My car desperately needed an oil change, so we took her to the Jiffy Lube and then to the car wash place. Even after all that, it was still only 9:30, so we couldn't eat anywhere that we wanted. Of course, we headed to Sam's for some good G-F deli meat and cheese and chips (of course).
We got to the house, had some sandwiches, and I went to take a nap (at 10:30)! Anyway, I got up around 12:30 and Scott and I headed downtown to meet up with the Smiths. We had a great afternoon just relaxing with them - something that we do not get to do often. We headed to the house for Scott's niece's birthday party.
We had some excellent hamburgers that Scott's brother-in-law grilled and then, of course, sang happy birthday, ate ice cream, and opened presents. We got Grace some adorable gardening tools and watering can to help her dad outside with the plants and such, which I OF COURSE got at The Wonder Place!
On Sunday, we all went to mass together and then had brunch afterward. I love doing that! It always reminds me of when we would get together every Sunday at Maw Maw Lou's house as kids and have dinner. I miss that sense of family...and I'm glad that Scott's family has given me that opportunity to have that with them. They are just so great!
After everything was all cleaned up, everyone but Scott, his brother, and I had left for a movie/ babysitting, so we all decided to take naps! (I don't think I've napped so much in a month much less a weekend before! - ok, so when I got back from my summer in Italy I did, but that doesn't count!)
We headed to a 4th of July party, where I FINALLY got to meet Scott's childhood best friend and his family. It was great...I'd heard so much about them it was like I should have known them but didn't! Anyway, it was such a wonderful time (again) just relaxing and talking and eating and drinking and having a good time - things that we love to do, but don't usually get the chance of. We got back and I ate and then I crashed at like 9:30 because I was wiped out from all that relaxing!
The next morning, we got to go to Murfreesboro, where the Crater of Diamonds State Park is located. We got there with our buckets and shovels and started digging. After about two hours of finding not much but dirt and rocks, our biggest find was a plastic purple beach shovel that some kid had probably left behind...oh well! Maybe next time we'll find "The Big One," right?...right? Oh, well, maybe not...especially with my luck!
Anyway, I couldn't think of a better way of celebrating our nation's independence than the way we did, so it was wonderful despite the whole purple shovel thing. Family is such a wonderful gift that I've been blessed with, and I am thankful for it!
Thank you, God, for the freedoms we enjoy everyday, and thank you, God, for the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep it that way!
That being said, I'll leave you with a line from one of my favourite national pride(?) songs!
"Oh Beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesty above the fruited plan! America, America: God shed his grace on thee, and crowned thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!" Let's do everything we can to keep it that way!