Our long-anticipated Columbus Day Weekend with our families is gone already, and it was a little tough waking up and realizing that it was just a regular day again. It's not that a regular day is so awful -- just that I miss so much having other family around. What I used to take for granted now seems like such a luxury.
The weekend began with the Bradys' late night arrival after a slow-going drive down 95 from Massachusetts. They dropped the girls off at our house so that they'd be there in the morning when Delaney woke up. We all thought she'd be delighted to see her cousins whom she hasn't seen since July. Tim even set up the video camera on a tripod to capture the moment when he brought Delaney downstairs, and she saw them waiting for her. Delaney's reaction wasn't quite what everybody expected, but I think at the age of two, a person's reactions aren't going to be what is expected. She was a little dazed. She saw them, they saw her, and then she sort of brushed past them and started talking about other things. I think I'd be the same way first thing in the morning, if someone tried to surprise me with their arrival. I'd say, "Oh hi.." and then I'd just go off in search of my breakfast and a cup of coffee. This is just too much to process right now, check back with me after I've had my coffee. Well, the girls were delighted to see her!
Eventually, both Tim's parents and sister Karen made their way over from their hotel room. Annalise was passed around, and she was happy with that. Delaney was awake by now and actually engaging with everybody, and having fun playing with her cousins. We went to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, which is right down the street from the main gate. For anyone who hasn't been there, the museum is quite beautiful and full of fascinating and lifelike exhibits. I wasn't expecting that much of a museum in Triangle, VA, but you could lose yourself in there. For those with kids, it's pretty graphic too. Poor Sofia broke down in tears at the Chosin Reservoir exhibit, which was appropriately cold, loud and bloody.
L-R: Delaney, Tim, Annalise, Juliana (6), Karen, Alexa (5), Sofia (5), Carolyn, Tim Sr.
Back at the house, we had lunch, then everybody took a break for the afternoon. The kids all took naps. My parents and my sisters Grace and Sophie arrived that evening from Ohio, and came over. We had grinders at the house -- those are subs if you're not from New England -- and just enjoyed one another's company. Our quiet little house was now loud, chaotic, and filled with raucous laughter. Delaney and Annalise went to bed with no problems amid all this distraction.
The next day was the baptism, which took place during the noon Mass at the chapel on base. It was such a nice day, warm and sunny. Annie looked so beautiful in the gown that was first worn by my sister Grace 19 years ago, and then by every other baby girl born in the family since. It so happened that the photographer who did our family pictures recently, had also been hired by another family for the baptism of their little girl at the same time and place. She took a few pictures of ours as well, and hopefully there are a few good ones. The ceremony was lovely, and it was special having both our families there to watch.
Annie was tired from the moment we arrived at the church, and she was passed out by the end. Back at the house we had a yummy lunch catered by Moe's, and then the men watched football while everyone else played outside, first in our backyard and then at the playground up the street.
Grandy Schlosser and Grandma Brady
Grandy, Auntie Sophie, Sofia and Alexa
Sunday night we had to say goodbye to Tim's family, who were leaving early the next morning. When they went out the door, Delaney began to cry, so we took her outside and we sat on the front porch. As they pulled away, Delaney shouted, "Bye, girls! I love you!"
We still got to spend the next day with my family, who didn't leave until Tuesday. We went to the museum, took an afternoon break, and then later went out to dinner. Delaney started out the day cranky, but brightened up by dinner. Because of her good mood, we allowed her to stay up late playing with her Grandy, Papaw and aunties. She put on her blue tutu, played the banjo (ugh, the banjo! I hate the noise, but the kids love it so much!), and relished all the attention. Annalise just took it all in with her big blue eyes, and went smiling from one set of arms to another. Wonderfully, she is still free of the moodswings that torment her big sister. She's happy to drool and play with her toes until she gets tired. Then she looks at me like, "Enough already, please get me out of here!"
I lost count of how many times I threatened that banjo with exile to the garage, over the weekend. That is the most annoying toy ever invented, and it got way too much play time when all the kids were over. I'm a grumpy old woman!
Annalise was at her limit here, can you tell? Great picture of Papaw, though.
We are so thankful that our families made the long drive to come see us, and celebrate Annie's big day with us. It meant the world to us, and our door is always open. Hint, hint!;)