Two months have already passed since our epic trip to North Dakota for the Fourth of July. Lots has changed- a new auntie has been added to our family, a new friend has been born, a beard has been lost... but I still need to pause and back up to that weekend among great friends and family before I move forward!
We are grateful that Patrick and Anne went to school so near Ryan and Maggie, because we could make just one drive and see eight amazing people! The first day we were there, Patrick and Anne generously offered to babysit all the kids so we could go out on a double date for possibly the first time ever. What a treat! Ryan and Maggie took us to a delicious spot for dinner in downtown Bismarck and we go to catch up without the interruptions from so many little voices... and Pat and Anne survived the evening. Good sign, good sign.
Audrey and Edith fell in love with Mara and adopted her as their big sister. They were never far from her side the whole weekend, imitating her mannerisms and asking her opinion on every matter under the sun. She is a big deal in their book!
We kept ourselves busy during this visit, making two trips to two different lakes, visiting a fish hatchery (fascinating!), swimming at the public pool, watching a parade, watching fireworks, getting ice cream, and just being together. I'm exhausted thinking about it, but I'd do it again in a second.
We were well-fed throughout the week with amazing breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Maggie was Superwoman, keeping everything running smoothly even when pregnant! Patrick and Anne joined us for as many meals as they could, and Audrey and I even got to go flower girl dress hunting with Anne and find the dress Audrey would wear less than two months later for the big day!
As always, the visit went too quickly and it was soon time to return home. Edith still talks about her friends "The Rells", and we can't wait to see them again!
|Renting kayaks at the lake|
|Feeding the fish at the hatchery|
|Soon-to-be-Auntie Anne painting nails on the Fourth|
|Red, white, and blue!|
Our sweet Godson, Kieran