17 June 2013


I love celebrating things. Be it a birthday, Father's day, Matt passing the bar, it being a Friday, I love finding something to be excited about, casting aside the daily grind, scrounging up some delicious food, chocolately dessert, and making it a "thing." I told Matt that we need to time our babies so that each one  is born during a different month when we don't already have a celebration. This means we'll need to have 5 more kids, assuming each one is born according to plan.

Father's Day was, as usual, was heavily dictated by nap time and a rigid budget. We grilled food (paid for out of our regularly scheduled food budget) at a nearby free park on Lake Michigan.

Grills, picnic tables, and shade trees were plentiful and planning the grill-out around lunch meant that we had most of the park to ourselves. Matt and I had never grilled at a park with a child before, so I made sure to overpack to my heart's content. We schlepped about a half dozen tote bags, full of food, paper dinnerware, blankets, balls, sunscreen, bubbles, and other assorted goods across the soccer fields to get to the "good spot," thankfully bringing our hearty jogging stroller, which handled the terrain as if it were paved.

My husband and I are big fans of delicious food, so I prepped a fruit salsa, made entirely with fruits on sale at Aldi last week. Pasta salad, grilled corn on the cob, grilled burgers with the fancy onion buns...ahhh, we love grilled food.

We were in official "IT IS SUMMER" mode and acted very much like sun worshippers who were recovering from their first winter in four years.

Which means we went swimming. Please someone remind me why I used to think there was anything great about a great lake that is still cold in mid-June.

I assure you, nothing above my knees got wet, but Abigail was pretty sure the water was the greatest thing since pudding cups and chocolate milk and bee-lined toward the water the second her feet hit the ground. She headed straight into the water, giggling as each icy cold wave washed over her legs, pulling to go in deeper. I'm pretty sure she would have swum all the way to Michigan if we'd let her.

I let her splash around until her toes wrinkled and she started shivering, but she never stopped trying to head back into the water once we let her down. Apparently you can take the girl out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the girl. Someone remind her that she wasn't actually born in Florida.

Not everything went smoothly, like how I forgot the bug spray (counting 7, no, make that 8, mosquito bites) and a lighter with which to start the grill, but we still had a great time. We drove around with the windows down and the radio up, sticking hands out the window to play with the breeze and stopping by an ice cream shop for dessert.

It was a super-fun, relaxing, family-building day. As the shadows stretched longer and longer in our urban neighborhood, we reminded ourselves that we can have fun without spending a lot of money. And we need to do more of this memory-making stuff. Way more.

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