Welcome home, Jake and Stephanie!
Happy 3rd Birthday, Kendra Byrd!
I’m sure that you can guess why those opening salutations are in that order for me, but Kendra’s birthday is noteworthy for future reference, and this year; I want to make special note because Zack and Leah were both invited to her party – along with quite a few of the other kids that will be future classmates with Kendra – and starting school together the same year that I’ll be heading off to college with my friends. While I didn’t have any involvement in Kendra’s special day, the weather was great for an outdoor party; so that party has likely been the place to be for all kids their age – and everyone else in Kendra’s family.
Compared to that, spending a bit more than half of my day doing yard chores with Dad – and with Mom, Ethan, and Ehlana some of the time too – hasn’t been very exciting; but we did have fun together even with all of the work. The yard looks great too; and all I’ll have left to do ahead of the long weekend is another round of lawn mowing that I’ll likely do next Thursday instead of working at the Inn. We worked until nearly two o’clock to make sure we got everything done; had a quick lunch outside so that we didn’t mess up Mom’s clean house; and then it was time for me to hit the shower and get ready for a fun rest of the day with Michael and his family. He was finished at the Inn for the day by then too, and came over here shortly before I was finished; so Ethan and Ehlana kept him entertained until I was ready to go. We had time to spare because Jake and Stephanie weren’t quite back to town yet, but it wasn’t much longer until they did get here; and we were sitting on the front porch of Michael’s house when Stephanie’s father pulled into the driveway – and the crazy welcome home adventure began!
The round of hugs and kisses didn’t actually last very long because Jake and Stephanie had orders to get over to the furniture store and the Inn to reunite with the rest of their parents; but Michael and I did get to help out with their luggage – and show them to their new room for the first time. Stephanie’s Dad was officially in charge of springing that surprise on them; and I’m happy to report that Jake and Stephanie both really loved the room – and finding out that they’re going to have a bit more privacy than they expected over the next three months. Michael and I stayed behind when everyone else left for ValleyView Furniture. We didn’t want to be in the way for that reunion, so we ended up wandering around town for a while after leaving Michael’s house. Since dinner was at the Inn, we went there in time to be part of the welcoming committee for everyone that had been invited; and we were using one of the new dining rooms – the one at the back of the Inn with the river view windows. Having that as an option now is really great; and it also allowed us to have a bit of a social hour before dinner while we waited for the store-owner guests to close up shop for the weekend.
Jacob and Miranda couldn’t take the time off from work, but they did take turns spending time in the dining room when they could do that so they could spend a bit of time with Jake and Stephanie too. Michael and I weren’t exactly on kid control during dinner, but we did hang out with his younger cousins; and Jessica, Ryan, and Sophia were all very happy to have us sitting with them for dinner – along with Rebecca and Lucas. Rebecca helped out with the dinner rush first before joining us – including delivering the orders to everyone in our group; but then she was done for the night. Okay, that didn’t keep us – and Michael – from helping out when it came time to clearing the tables between dinner and dessert and then after Jake and Stephanie headed on to her house for the rest of the welcome home party, but that didn’t take too long; and then we headed over to the Wingborough’s house too.
Grandpa Grant and Grandma Eleanor had been in charge of getting that party ready while Stuart and Samantha had both been busy either working or doing the airport run, but they had friends and family support for that; and most of the treats were of the Olde Bakery variety. More friends were invited to the evening fun, and while Violet and Dillon were multi-tasking while busy with more wedding-related fun that was at Sheldon’s Pub this time; they stopped in for a visit with their best friends too – as did most of their local friends. Add in neighbors and friends of the family; and it was quite the little party!
Michael and I were definitely on kid control while we were there; and that meant keeping the younger kids entertained and mostly out of the way while Jake and Stephanie were busy getting toasted and roasted. It’s funny that I haven’t really thought about this being the first time they’ve been home since their wedding; but that was mentioned a lot this evening; and the changes in the happy couple are fairly dramatic. They are still the same people we know and love, though; and I’m seriously looking forward to finding out some of the things Jake’s learned under the tutelage of some of the great chefs of Europe!
The party at the Wingborough’s house didn’t start wrapping up until around midnight, but Michael and I were drafted to take Jessica, Ryan, and Sophia home at eleven o’clock; and we stayed with them until their parents got home at twelve-thirty. That got us out of helping with the party clean-up; and we were back at his house in time to welcome his family home and have a short visit with everyone; but then I came home after that – even though I was tempted to stay there and have a sofa sleepover with Michael. We mostly decided not to do that so that Jake and Stephanie didn’t have a house full of company for their first night at home; which is why Lucas went home too – even though he’ll be back here for breakfast in the morning.
I’ll be at Michael’s house for that breakfast too, and it isn’t that many hours before I’ll need to get up again and ready for Tai Chi by the river, but I had a bit of work to get done that came up in my email; and I decided to get that out of the way instead of saving it for tomorrow night. Since I’m going to work a full shift at the Inn tomorrow too, it’s going to be a long day, and the extra sleep would have helped with that; but I’m glad that I won’t have the extra hour or so of work to do after working in the kitchen all afternoon and evening.
It’s really great to have Jake and Stephanie home, and I’ve had a lot of fun today, but it’s time to get to sleep now; so, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!