Monday, November 11, 2013

Celebrating Birthdays in New Jersey

We just got back from an extra-long weekend on Molasses Hill.

Visiting Michael's parents is like being on retreat, for we're far away from the sounds and lights of civilization.  At night, the warm glow of the house windows cascade on the lawn and faintly tickle the edges of the surrounding woods.  I know this because I savor and take it all in with a deep breath of fresh, cold air when I walk outside with Macy for her nighttime pee.  At those moments, I can see every star in the sky, each twinkling and reminding me how very blessed we are to be alive.

We gathered because it was time to celebrate Michael's 33rd birthday and his sister Jennifer's 34th.  The weekend was full of family, great conversations, lots of toys, and melt-in-your-mouth meals that left me happily full and delightfully groggy.

On Saturday night, we got a special treat.  Grandma and Grandpa kept the grandkids, while four of us parents dressed up and went out to a fancy restaurant for divine delectables.  It was our first-ever double-date since Liam's birth.  We had a marvelous time and got home quite late, but the grande finale was the giant smile that brushed over Liam's face upon our return.  He had missed us!  And, oh, how we had missed him!

At the encouragement of my sister-in-law Cindy, we kept up with Liam's routine of Elimination Communication, despite the fact that we were away from home.  I'm so glad that we did because he kept up the signaling and pooped twice on the potty!  Hooray!  It was so cute to see him sitting on the froggy potty, his eyes focused on the pages of the TIME Magazine he was holding.  But I figured that I'd better not take a picture, lest he be embarrassed later.  You'll just have to imagine it.  :)

We spent a leisurely afternoon at the mall, giving each other gift ideas for Christmas, but not before fueling up at my favorite California Pizza Kitchen.  Whenever we sit down to eat, Liam and Addie always insist on being next to each other, even if they do sometimes argue over who should get to hold the spoon or the napkin or the crayon or the...the list continues.   :)

On our walk through the Pottery Barn, Michael and I decided that we simply MUST have a dining room table that looks like this some day, and so we both took lots of pictures of it from every angle.  :)

It's funny how our routines change when we go away for the weekend.  Gone went Liam's afternoon naps, and gone went his sense of bedtime.  I tried three times to put him down one evening, only to give up and let him eat and play until Midnight, when he had finally had his fill for the day.

But we shouldn't have complained.  When we're at Molasses Hill, we snack all day and we all stay up late, and this meant that we should all sleep in, which--thanks be to God--we did every day.  Liam would have kept sleeping, I think, if we didn't wake him at 10:30 and insist on breakfast.  What a special treat for us!  :)

But today, it was time to pack up and head home.  Leaving Molasses Hill is always bittersweet, but we'll be back again soon.