Paul took vacation last week - not to go anywhere, but to just stay home and relax. Which I turned into a "Now that you're home for more than two days in a row, I've got a bunch of projects for you...." vacation. And also a, "Well, if you're taking a vacation from work, then I am, too!" and was gone for most of two days having some much-needed girl time.
We did get a lot done. We tilled and weeded the garden (it had gotten out of control) and cleaned the shop (it was awful - we couldn't even pull both cars in, it was so full of crap!). Those two things were huge jobs on their own. We also expanded the boys' play set; this was phase two - next step being an actual playhouse.
I was gone most of Wednesday with my sister-in-law Elizabeth on a belated birthday trip. We went out to eat and went shopping, ending the day at Godiva Chocolatier (oh my....). The next day, Paul and I took the boys to eat pizza with my family, my grandparents, and my great aunt and uncle visiting from Chicago. The boys spent the afternoon at my parents' while my sister Lurenda took me to the mall to get a pedicure - a first for me, which I totally enjoyed. My best friend Brooke met me up there after Lurenda had to go, and Brooke and I did even more shopping, and went to see the movie Bridesmaids and went out to Chipotle afterwards. It was kind of a deluge of girl-time over two days, and not a whole lot of family time, but considering the last kid-free girl time I had was last October.... I don't feel too bad about it.
Paul was going to use his kid-free time on Thursday, while my mom was watching the boys, to get the yard mowed and weed-eatered (ate?). But the mower cracked a spindle in the middle of the job, and then the weed-eater wouldn't start. He was a little less than happy. We were able to borrow his dad's equipment to get our yard done before we had a party Saturday.
After having a bit of a stuffy/sneezy nose Wednesday and Thursday, I woke up Friday with a full-blown cold. This was not cool. We were having a party Saturday night, and the house was a complete disaster area. Paul's mom came over Friday night and helped me get my kitchen and dining room cleaned, and my mom came over Saturday morning to help me get some outside stuff done, and the bathroom cleaned. Mom and I picked beans, which Paul (with help from the boys) started snapping while Mom and I weeded some flower beds. Paul and I froze 6 gallons of beans (quart bags just aren't big enough for us anymore, since the boys have decided they like green beans) that afternoon before our guests arrived.
The last 5 years or so, we've had cookouts on our around Independence Day, depending on Paul's work schedule. We don't invite absolutely everyone we know (not that everyone's not welcome! we only have one bathroom, though. :P ), but they've gotten bigger and bigger each year. This year, we had over 60 people here! I thought it was a great party. I was a little uptight about how long the food was taking (we really needed two grills, or at least one big one), and totally wasn't tracking on some things (due to my cold), but after we ate and I could sit down, I enjoyed the evening. I didn't get to talk to some of our guests before they had to leave, though - the problem with a big crowd.
We have been shooting guns the last few years (what better way to celebrate?) and at one point I went out and there were 8 guns lined up shooting as the clays went into the air. (I had to laugh.... Eight guns, 3 clays in the air, and only 1 got hit. Tee hee!) Nathan had his little play gun out there - it was so funny. He'd hear them start shooting, and he'd start pulling the trigger on his.
It was supposed to be hotter than blazes, but thunderstorms popped up all around us. We never got the rain, but the clouds and breeze cooled things down. And we got a pretty amazing lightning show on the horizon behind where Paul and the guys were shooting off the fireworks. (Secretly, I was hoping it would rain us out. It's been two weeks since the last rain, with near-100 temps and hot wind ever since . The garden and crops are desperate.)
Now it's Monday, the real holiday, but it's back to real life for us. Paul has his normal 12-hour shift, I have bills to pay, a kitchen to clean, and two sleep-deprived, semi-sick kids to wrangle.
I'm taking a nap, though. The best cure for a sinus headache is unconsciousness.