First and foremost I want to wish my sister Dana a Happy Birthday! I hope you’re having fun with Brad in Leavenworth and can’t wait to see you next weekend for Elise’s first birthday. We love you so much!
Grandpa Rick arrived from Iowa on Wednesday to spend the holiday weekend with us. He spent the whole day working on our house yesterday and we now have a much upgraded master closet and laundry area to show for it. I’m looking forward to working with him tomorrow on our TV area. The plan is to lower the TV (which I mounted on the wall when we first moved in) and install a shelf above the TV for our cable box and peripherals to sit on. This will get everything out of Ava’s reach and will clean up the mess of cables we currently have.
First, however, we need to continue enjoying the great day we’re having today. I must admit it didn’t start off all that great though. Jessica and I were up with the girls very early in the morning. We all fell back asleep until our rude awakening when every smoke detector in the house went off. Grandpa was frying up some bacon to make breakfast for everyone, and even though he had every window and every door open, it got too smokey. I don’t know if you’ve ever been awakened by a fire alarm but it’s not the most pleasant experience. Anyway, once that was over we were good to go and ready to enjoy the day.
We started off with a long walk around the neighborhood. The girls love going for walks and its fun to get to know our new area. After that we decided to go to a park, so we ended up visiting Forest Park in Everett. We hadn’t been there before but really enjoyed it. There’s an animal farm, splash park, playground, tennis courts, and a huge field that Rick and I played frisbee on for a while. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a really nice time. Elise impressed us by standing on her own in the grass for the longest we’ve seen. I’d say it was a solid 5 seconds. I assume she’ll be walking in no time. Ava was 13 months when she started walking and Elise seems to be on the same course.
After leaving the park we stopped by a farmers market to buy some fresh produce, then came home for lunch. Rick is smoking ribs for dinner tonight and I’m sitting down to watch the World Cup Quarterfinal match between Brazil and Columbia. I’m definitely pulling for Brazil in this one. I can’t explain how much I love the World Cup but it’s definitely my favorite sporting event to watch. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that it only happens once every 4 years, but the frenzy that it causes upon the world is not lost on me. I’ve loved it ever since the 1994 World Cup when I happened to be on the East Coast for a school trip and stayed in the same hotel in New York as the Irish national team. I’ll never forget watching the 1994 Championship match between Italy and Brazil with my Dad. It came down to penalty kicks and Roberto Baggio, Italy’s star player at the time, missed high and cost Italy the championship. I cried.
Last weekend Jessica and I took the girls up north to the Tulalip Reservation so I could get some fireworks and then we could go shopping at the outlet mall. I haven’t bought fireworks in at least 15 years, but we’ve heard from a few of our neighbors that there will be a couple of block parties going on throughout the neighborhood so I thought it would be fun to contribute a bit. I don’t know if this is still the case, but when I was a kid you had to go to the reservation to get the good firecrackers. I’m pretty excited about everything I got so hopefully the girls will have fun watching them. We live on a nice little cul-de-sac and it’s a perfect place to set them off.
We’re getting really close to Elise’s first birthday and I can’t wait to have everyone over to celebrate. The house will be looking good thanks to all the hard work by Grandpa, so I’m excited to show everyone around. My Mom will be coming to visit, as will Amy and Tom, so it will be a nice full house for a few days. I’m really excited that my Uncle Jim and Aunt Brenda are going to make it, and of course having Dana and her family over is always great. Amy is going to stick around for a couple weeks after the party, so hopefully Jessica and I can get out a bit. I also just got invited to a work dinner in celebration of the FC Tours project I worked on a couple months ago. It’s during Amy’s stay with us so I’ll be able to make it. Definitely looking forward to that.
Work has been going really well lately and I’m already enjoying the fact that I can study things that I’m interested in, rather than work on homework every night. It still hasn’t fully sunk in that I’m done with school but I’m definitely enjoying my new-found freedom. I’ve been looking forward to the summer of 2014 for a while now and it has definitely started off very well for us. Guess that’s all for now. Wishing everyone a very safe and Happy 4th of July! Here’s a few photos from earlier today.