August 28, 2011

It's a Surprise!

Last Friday we had a surprise visitor.  Well, for the kids it was a surprise.  For Allen and I it was a great chance to get one over on the kids!  They couldn't believe their eyes when Aunt Dawn showed up for happy hour.  All the way from Ohio.  We had actually been planning it for weeks, unbeknownst to the kids.  Dawn was at the hospital to hold Brianna when she was a newborn baby and she really wanted to be with us to celebrate her 16th birthday.  But with a big inspection going on at work, no one thought she would be able to make it.

When she said she'd be able to come after all, the three of us decided to make it a surprise.  Have you ever read any of my posts about how hard it is to keep a surprise around here?  I can not tell you how many times we almost said the wrong thing and gave it away.  But we did it.  The kids were completely and totally unsuspecting when Aunt Dawn showed up at the gate Friday afternoon.
 I was pleased that the kids remember the rule about the guests getting to have whatever toys they want, no matter what.  Dawn wasn't even through the gate before Carmella was in her arms.
 And that is where she stayed the rest of the weekend.  Being company and all, Dawn got dibs on holding her all weekend.
 All settled in, happy hour could now commence with some kind of fruity drink or another and a very competitive game of Bananagrams.
 When a thunderstorm came through and we were forced inside Ellie dragged Dawn into playing dress up while we made dinner.
 After dinner was time to see what was in Aunt Dawn's traveling box of surprises and some Winnie quality time.
 The girls served us eggs Benedict for breakfast outdoors Saturday morning.  After a walk through the garden we spent some time working in the vegetable garden.
 When it got too hot, we retired to the pool for Maryland crabs.
 As you can see we love a good old fashioned spell of crab picking.
 Ellie thought that kissing your crab was some kind of ritual you carry out before eating.
 The crab feast came to an abrupt halt when our neighbors showed up.
I can't imagine who these rednecks really thoughtful neighbors were who knew my kids would love to check out this toy, but they just showed up and all my kids hopped in.
Of course, there were periodic dips in the pool to keep cool.  
 Many rounds of  Bananagrams... and breaks to sip iced coffee and hold Carmella.
 When the sun set, and the bugs started biting, Allen grilled up an amazing dinner of ribs, corn, okra and watermelon.
 With the night upon us, we reluctantly moved indoors where we gathered for baby holding time until we couldn't keep our eyes open any longer.
 One of the things I really cherish during our visits, is our time to worship together.  Before heading out, Brianna took this photo for us.
 After church, we went to lunch at California Tortilla.  Our regular Sunday hangout.  This is the first time we have been since Carmella was born, so it was extra special for Allen who has been having burrito withdrawals.
 The afternoon was filled with naps and board games.  After dinner we premeired our latest kitchen invention.  A dessert sandwich commissioned by Aunt Dawn.  We named it the Buckeye in honor of her home state.  Recipe to follow in another post.  It met with her full approval and is now officially elected to be a menu item for Jacob and Sons.
Monday morning was upon us faster than we would have liked.  To keep her around a few minutes longer, there was a nice big breakfast.  (Yes, Terri, we are always eating.  And it's just to drive you NUTS!   I mean it's because we really love our guests and want them to be well nourished.)
 But, sadly, all things must come to an end.
 Just another picture...
...or two...
 ...or three...
 ...really this is the last one...
 ... before the baby hand off...
 Not wanting to say goodbye, everyone waited at the corner and watched until Aunt Dawn's car turned the corner and we could no longer see the red of her little car.
How can the time between visits seem so incredibly long and the time we spend together so awfully short? 

It is so hard for me to realize how many years we have been friends and what a gift that friendship has been to me and my family!  As always, my friend, thank you for the blessing of your friendship and a wonderful weekend together.

Until next time,



  1. 1. You look fabulous! And all those children are gorgeous!
    2. That baby made my uterus throb, I can see why Dawn had her in her arms the entire weekend.
    3. Your time together looked absolutely decadent!

  2. What a wonderful surprise! Looks like a perfect birthday gift, too!