Now, lest you be confused by my last post, Sarah and family did not come just for my birthday.  Sadly, they came for the funeral of Zach's uncle.

The funeral was in Arizona, but as they were flying Space A, they couldn't be too choosy about their destination. After crashing for a day at my parents, they rented a car and drove the rest of the way.  But seeing as they also have five children, and cars are much cheaper to rent than vans, they opted for leaving their three oldest (6, 4, and 4) with my parents, while taking the 2 year old and three month old with them.

This means we had an unanticipated week of cousin fun!

Sarah and I were (are) such good friends growing up that's it fun to watch our kids enjoy each other as well.  Ella and Aly have a ball together (though as two "oldest" children, they can both be a little bossy), and Rico, Josh, and Isaiah play well together too.  Since Sarah took Elijah with her, I can only guess that he and Lou will hit it off, but the older kids were happy to include the little munchkin.  And all the babies are still to young to care.

Friday night my (very brave) dad took all three four-year-olds on a "father and son" camp out, while my (equally brave) mother had the older girls overnight for a "girl party."  They boys swung on a rope swing, roasted hot dogs and got filthy.  The girls painted their nails, put on make-up and made a cake.  Both groups had way too much fun.

Tom and I had a quiet evening with Lou (the babies were sleeping).  It was strange to just have one (or three).  Nice, but lonely. 

The worst part is always saying goodbye, and unlike their previous trips, this one was short.  Too short.  They left last night, and who knows when we'll see them again.

Thanks, Smiths, for a fun (if brief) visit!  We love you!


Mon anniversaire: with photos!

Once upon a time I had a birthday. And I intended to blog about it. And then a week passed. And now I'm blogging about it.

Tom and I, we don't get out much. I mean, between two nursing babies, five kids total, and the price of things (dinner! babysitters!) we mostly stay in for our dates.  But once in a while we splurge.

Birthdays are frequently just such occasions.  So we arranged with my parents to take the kiddos last Friday night while we had a (much deserved) night on the town.  (aka we went to dinner and a movie.  But it was on our own, so that's saying something.) 

The plan was simple: we would drop off the kidlets, eat some dinner, catch a movie, scrounge up some dessert, return to my parents where our kids would be blissfully sleeping, and we would return home in the morning.

Then, Sunday (my birthday--and my parent's anniversary), my parents and Jonathan (who was in town to photograph a wedding) would trek down to join us for church and cake.  (And dinner, but that's much less important than church and cake.)

Friday went down almost exactly as planned.  There was just one little (minute, really) blip in the form of a phone call.  I called my mom to check on some little detail, and she informed me that she had just gotten off the phone with my sister.

Now that fact is not all that noteworthy in and of itself.  Unless you factor in to the equation that it was insanely early in the morning in Japan.  And that she was calling to tell my mom that they were boarding a plane for Seattle.

As in they would arrive sometime mid-morning the next day.   Best birthday surprise ever.

That left Friday's plans unchanged, but threw the rest of the weekend's plans out the window.

Saturday morning Jon and I went to retrieve them from the airport and we let the kids play for a while before heading home. Sunday we swiftly returned for more cousin time, celebrating, and church in the afternoon.  It was a little sad to be missing Grant, but we survived. :)

I made a super awesome cake, and before you complain that I shouldn't be making my own birthday cake, let me reassure you that it was an anniversary cake, as you can see: