Sunday, June 16, 2013
We started out the weekend by traveling to Medicamp on Lake Martin for Jena's work outing on Friday afternoon. After a short 2 hour drive, we arrived ready to hit the lake. We checked in our room at the nearby lodge and changed into our suits.
The kids and I played in the shallow water, along with another set of 8 yr old twins - Sam and Kelly, who belonged to one of Jena's coworkers. I took turns throwing and spinning all of them for an hour or so, while Jena chatted on the shoreline. Cason and Kiley sure have changed since the days of floaties, and total dependence on you. All of the kids got along great and helped entertain each other. We all had a great time swimming and playing in the beautiful, clear lake. The water and air temperature were perfect after some recent rainstorms.
It was soon time to change out of our wet clothes and get ready for dinner. We had a buffet style dinner in the grand barn overlooking the lake. Boiled shrimp, baked beans, corn on the cob, and grilled chicken. All of the food was delicious as we listed to Jena's doctor and associates present their new building plans and upcoming mission trips. The kids played great with some of the other kids there (especially little resident Emily), playing duck-duck goose and other fun games. The time slipped away on us and it was soon 10:00 - way past bedtime for the twins!
The twins and I must have overdone the fun, as we slept in Saturday morning until 9:30. I awoke to Cason looking for Mommy. She'd slipped downstairs to get breakfast and he was mildly concerned about this fact. We drove back over to the camp for swimming and kayaking. It was soon time for a barbecue lunch (also delicious) and to say our Thanks and goodbyes.
Back in Birmingham we met up with Greg, Carrie, Hadden, Spencer, and little Nash over at Linden and Gene's. I personally was greeted by Mr. Nash at the door. I asked him for a hug and he didn't object as I picked him up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He stared me down the whole time but I considered it a winning encounter.
The twins truly love playing with their cousins, especially when they get to follow Hadden around and hang on his every word. Meanwhile, Greg and I shared a post-Lake (me), pre-Beach (him), round of celebratory toasts in the basement, as is customary in these situations. Sufficiently fortified, we soon enjoyed juicy steaks, sweet and baked potatoes, corn on the cob (can you really get enough?), spinach salad, garlic bread, and Linden's famous chocolate cake.
We woke up early the next morning to attend the 8:00 AM service at Church of the Highlands. Jena woke me up with "Happy Father's Day!", and the kids also Chris Hodges returned to deliver the morning message. We really missed hearing him our pastor the past few Sundays while he was on vacation. He spoke about fractured relationships with our earthly and heavenly Fathers, and that God has a solution to every problem. Sunday morning is always an important time for personal reflection and a time to count my blessings.
Jena worked the 9:30 kids church with Kiley, while Cason and I shopped for the week's groceries at Publix. At the grocery, Cason was a big helper and listed to all of my instructions. He pushed the cart and helped me load each of our items. He asks questions about what we're buying, why, and his personal opinion on a few things. I really enjoy "Daddy/Son time" with my buddy.
We soon picked up the girls and headed home to unload the groceries and eat lunch (Pizza and Strawberries!). After lunch we met at the YMCA to work out and swim with the kids. Papa even came up to swim! We all headed home and ate an early dinner of leftovers from Sat night - still delicious, while I watched the end of the US Open (not again Phil Mickelson!). After dinner the kids gave me special Father's Day presents and hand drawn cards Jena helped them with.
Below was the content of one of my presents...
Let me tell you about my Daddy. If I had $100, I would buy Daddy (a new golf club - Cason; a new coffee cup - Kiley). When I am at school, my Daddy (is at work - Cason; picks me up - Kiley). His favorite food is (green bean casserole - Cason; chicken - Kiley). His favorite drink is (Coke - Kiley). My Daddy is the best Daddy because (he helps me with stuff - Cason; helps me with everything - Kiley). My Daddy is happy when (I help him and he says "excellent, good job Cason"; when he gets home and I help him drive the car - Kiley). My favorite thing to do with him (Daddy and Son time - doesn't matter what we do - Cason; when he tucks me in at night - Kiley). If I could go anywhere with Daddy (swim at Ross Bridge pool - Cason; Auburn game - Kiley).
It was hard keeping it together - what a special gift!
I sit here tonight with the realization that my life is very, very good, right now (perhaps even GREAT?), and I am truly a blessed Dad after a perfect weekend on this Father's Day.