Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Weekend to Celebrate

When you sink into bed with that familiar feeling of exhaustion and over-the-moon joy, and your husband says he thinks that was the best birthday weekend he's ever had, you fall asleep with a smile on your face.  We had lots to celebrate this weekend - Cruz's last day of kindergarten, our ten year anniversary, and Beau's 36th birthday, and we so much fun on the agenda.  Since our March and April were filled with some pretty great adult trips, we decided to stay put this weekend and do some of our favorite summer things together.  Here's a look back at our celebration, by the day...

Thursday | The return of date night.  We cracked open our first date box and enjoyed playing bartender and muddling, shaking, and pouring four different mixed cocktails on the deck with cards, snacks, and the sweet conversation starters on our coasters.  Have you heard of date box?  I did this for the two of us as a Valentine's gift right after we started our weekly date night.  Each month, you get a box in the mail with plans and supplies for a fun and unique date night at home.  Our box this month included a cocktail shaker, a stirrer and muddler, a new card game, a fun recipe book with cocktails and mocktails, and two coasters complete with conversation starters.  It was a beautiful night to sit outside and a perfect way to reminisce over the last ten years and the adventures we've had.

Cruz took a picture of us before it was bedtime for the kids and date time for us! 

If you're interested in date box, sign up here and get $10 off your first box!  

Friday | After picking Cruz up for the last time this school year, we went home and packed up the car for a family date night that would take us downtown.  We walked the parkade, sat in a back booth at Tony's for our favorite Italian Tradition pizza, and almost called it a night when the kids decided to lose their minds over a chocolate milk and an accidental scribble on Cruz's coloring sheets.  It got real for about ten minutes and we thought we might have to give the kids their first spanking in the Tony's bathroom.  

After bribing them with Movies Under the Moon (we are not above a good bribe), we got through our pizza, skipped the ice cream treat, and got out of there as fast as we could, taking our leftover pizza to Overman Park for Movies Under the Moon.  The night was just too nice, one of our favorites, Big Hero Six, was rained out last year, and I did not want our anniversary night to end on a sour note.  We set up camp under a setting sun, got popcorn, cracked open our canned cocktails, and got our snuggle on.

There are few things I love more than our town's Movies Under the Moon.  And it was as if the kids knew they had some work to do in earning their parents' love back after a failed dinner date because boy did they pour it on before the movie started.  They were back to what they do best, loving on each other in the best of ways.  After a free popsicle from the night's sponsor, they laid out their blankets, shared the same pillow, and cuddled hard.  And when Cruz fell asleep five minutes before the movie started, Mila covered him up with her precious blankie, laid cheek to cheek with him, and every so often we caught her rubbing his back and sneaking a kiss.  Family date night turned out a-okay. ;)

Saturday | Saturday was all about the adults!  In honor of summer, my hubby, and a great group of friends, we threw a seafood boil party.  We purchased the corn, potatoes, sausage, and shrimp, Andy donated ten pounds of crawfish to the cause, and we asked every couple to bring a pound a crab legs to throw in.  We drank mojitos and Jeremiah Weed sweet tea and lemonades, sat around with plastic bibs on, and cheered Beau on as we made us an Old Bay feast for the taking.  And just as we envisioned it to be, it was quite the sight when he dumped pounds of seafood on a newspaper lined table and we all just lined up around it and ate like kings!  Or good old Iowa kids who don't get seafood very often!

The seafood boil was a hit to say the least.  Yes, we could have grilled burgers and hot dogs and still had fun, but I'm all about creating experiences that are a little out of the ordinary.  And with a traditional Iowa barbecue, I would have never mastered the proper crawfish shelling technique with Tom, or had Brian help brush loose hairs off of my face when my hands were covered in crab, or heard things like, "I literally have seafood juice running down my leg!"  We had so much seafood, ate so much seafood, and then celebrated well into Beau's Sunday birthday with chocolate cake under string lights, a fire, and a game of salad bowl I just can't stop giggling about.

Sunday | Daddy's birthday!  We celebrated with tacos at Pablos (of course), and an entire day at Lost Island Waterpark.  Although it's just on the other side of town, we hadn't visited this waterpark since before Cruz came along.  But since that one summer I bought a waterpark pass and traveled out to Lost Island to sit in a beach chair all summer and read my books, this park has grown in size and stature.  It was even named the second best waterpark in the US, according to USA Today.  We were expecting big crowds on this opening weekend, but were pleasantly surprised to walk right in to the ticket booth and see a sea of open beach chairs waiting for us to claim.

We spent a little over five hours exploring this great place and boy did we have a blast.  Much to our surprise, the crowds were small all day long, quite a change from what we're used to at the Falls.  Beau wasted no time corralling Cruz to the waterslides, and I camped out on a chair while Mila explored the little kid area with its own mini waterslides.

Cruz loved the waterslides, the wave pool, and floating on his own tube on the lazy river.  His favorite slides were the belly racing slide that timed you against your opponents, and of course, the water roller coaster that was hard not to go on again and again.  And Mila, who started off a bit timid, refusing to go on even the little kid slides unless she was on a lap, grew in bravery and surprised us all by the end of our day.  Thanks to some creative Little Mermaid make-believe where I convinced her Ursula was chasing us, she went down a waterslide on her own, which soon led to this same waterslide over and over again, and then later, a trip down the big yellow slide in a raft with our whole family.  There were big turns and even bigger waterfalls, and Mila didn't skip a beat!  In fact, she squealed, "Again, again!" as soon as our raft hit the water landing!  There were so many cute little nooks and crannies at the this place - so much so I'm considering a pool pass here for next summer!  We'll see what the kids think after a few visits to the Falls.

Daddy braved the big one!  I wouldn't let Cruz go, although I'm pretty sure he would have tried it had I let him!

After a big day of waterslide riding, Cruz laid his towel out in the middle of the walkway and collapsed!  

After a long day of swimming and a lot of sun, we ended our day with pizzas at Your Pie, blood orange and salted caramel gelato, and the kids giving their special presents to Daddy.  It wouldn't be a birthday without $5 Dollar Store presents picked exclusively by Cruz and Mila.  This year, Cruz purchased a matching set of squirt guns, and Mila picked a matching set of margarita glasses.  With aloha flowers for a bit of festive. :)

It was a wonderful weekend and a perfect kickoff to sweet summertime!     

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