Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day Weekend

This weekend, we celebrated.  We celebrated the start of summer and we celebrated the great daddies and grandpas in our life.  We are blessed with a lot of them.  There's Grandpa Merle, who proudly gave me the title of his favorite (ahem, only) grand-daughter my whole life, spoiling me with cuddles, weekend trips to La Crosse, and his black oldsmobile with yard sticks to hold up the sinking ceiling when I turned 16.  Living just up the street, he and Grandma were two of the most involved grandparents one could have, and we're so blessed they continue to be active and involved with their great-grandkids.

Then there's Papa Ray.  He raised one of the most important men in my life, and instilled in him a lot of strong values I admire in him today.  Like the new Weber grill Gabe and Beau purchased for him for Father's Day.  When Beau called to see if he received it, Ray thanked him for it and said it will be nice to have when his other one decides to bite the dust.  And instead of purchasing a brand new pontoon when the boys were growing up, he put the time and resources into a hand-me-down one that used to belong to his grandpa.  Beau always said he could have afforded a pretty nice new boat by the time he fixed that old one, but we've learned that according to Ray, if it's broke, you fix it.  

And then there's Papa Curt.  My dad is very special to me and has lived a life of hard work, sacrifice, and love for his family and kids.  I always remember him working hard to provide for us, but also remember him always around to be there for us.  He coached little league, never missed a school event, and still seems happiest when his kids are at home.  I love the ease of watching him as a grandpa and smile when I think he's exactly the way I pictured it.  

Endless 'tractor' rides and all.

And finally, my Beau.  At first I may have fallen in love with his wit, his sweetness, and his big blue eyes, but soon discovered qualities far deeper and unique.  He's smart, he's kind, he's devoted, and he knows me and loves me exactly as I am.  He would do anything for our family, and loves Cruz with every fiber in him.  I'm so lucky he's mine and so blessed I get to spend forever with him.  

Father's Day last year.  One of my favorite pictures of the two of them...

And this year!  And we thought Cruz couldn't get any more rambunctious!

And because my man deserved the world this Father's Day, we decided to start with a good breakfast.  Cruz and I surprised Beau with a very special breakfast in bed, complete with a yummy bacon, potato, and egg skillet, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, and Beau's favorite Donut Shop coffee.  We gave him a homemade photo card from Shutterfly for his desk at work, and surprised him with a new Cubs shirt and travel mug.  After breakfast, we got ready for church and Beau fired up the Big Green Egg.  We were off to a good start.

Some after-church pictures and play...  

We spent the afternoon at Mom and Dad's, soaking up the perfect summer day with cousins, picnic food, blow up pools, and a makeshift home run derby in the front yard.  It felt so good just to relax outside, sit in a lawn chair, and watch Cruz, Charly, and Hayes have a ball with the sprinkler in the pool.  We ate watermelon slices, raved over Beau's smoked pork loin, and laughed, and then consoled, one child after another.  And after Dad kept putting the lawn mower away, only to get it back out again, we decided it was finally time for bed.  Cruz cried for 'tractor rides with Papa Curt' halfway home!

The night was perfect.  After a hot and humid day, the night eventually cooled as the dusk settled in around us.  It was still, and quiet, and felt like barefoot toes on the pavement, sun-soaked skin, and pajama'ed kids running through the thick, soft summer grass.  We gathered in the driveway and became a picture of my dreams, of another Iowa summer just as it should be.    

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