When I was little, my dad and I always shared a birthday cake. His birthday is the 25th of October and mine is the 26th. Its been a long time since he and I have shared a cake and because he isn't in very good health (and because I will always be a Daddy's girl) it was very important to me that we do just that this year. So we drove down for a fast and furious weekend trip to see him. My step mother had this sweet cake made for us.
It had been over 6 months since we'd seen my dad, so he couldn't get over how big the kids had gotten.
London kept giving him hugs and kisses. I know that meant the world to him.
Dylan was excited to tell Paw Paw all about playing football, as Dylan has heard about how he was quite the football star back in his day.
Dylan was also quite excited to get to wheel Paw Paw around.
One of my favorite parts of the day was playing bingo. My dad can't see very well and has trouble using his hands sometimes, so Dylan helped him out a lot.
It felt so nice to do something as normal as playing a game with my dad in the middle of dealing with visiting him in a nursing home, which felt anything but normal. I was not emotionally prepared for how hard that was going to be. Maybe one day I'll put my thoughts about it all into words, but its just really hard to see your parents get old sometimes.
After seeing my dad, we spent the night with Daniel's parents. The kids love being at Memom and Umpa's house more than anywhere else in the world, I think.
This is Captain Hook, Daniel's childhood cat.
And this is the cabin that Umpa built!
London and umpa split some fire wood. I think she'd make a fine little country girl.
And this guy says he IS a country boy. He was born in Mississippi after all! In Fact, he told me over lunch one day that he has chicken and dumplins running through his veins.
Umpa's monkey bars are the best!
And Umpa got a new toy that the kids were super excited about..
Daniel's grandmother, Momma Ree, came over to spend the weekend with us.
We were all so excited to see her, especially London.
Friday night we all sat around the fire and played the camp fire story game. Basically, someone starts the story and then the next person builds on that, and then the next person adds more, and so on until the last person to go wraps the story up. It was so much fun and my kids still talk about it. I hope its a memory that they have for the rest of their life.
It wont be long until Dylan catches up with Memom.
Momma Ree makes a quilt for every single one of her great grand kids and she gave London her quilt that weekend. Its so special because its made of pieces of scraps that were Momma Ree's mothers and also pieces of Papa Joe's (Daniel's grandfather) old shirts. Momma Ree pointed out some special pieces to London and sometimes when I cover her up with it, London will point to those pieces and talk about who's they were. I think its such a special way for London and Dylan (he has one too) to feel connected to their great and great-great grandparents.
And a few pictures that I just love.
I don't know why I don't have any pictures of it, but the Saturday night we went to my sister's house and stayed the night there. We had dinner for my birthday at one of my very most favorite restaurants in the world, Montes with my big sisters and both of my nieces. It was the perfect way to end our trip!