Most weekends are amazing. Lazy days of sleeping in (just kidding, although we did make it to 6:35 this morning!) and doing whatever we want together.
Now add in an extra day (Happy Labor Day!) and add in a surprise visit from our little brother.... and the weekend becomes just grand.
We headed over as soon as Justin landed (after a missed flight!), of course bringing Ellie, who Justin adores and threatens to steal every time he comes in. And while Ellie normally parks herself in the front seat for our drives, this afternoon she got nice and cozy on Jacob's lap for the ride.
Justin (or BOY as nicknamed to him many, many years ago)....
And after a few nights of guys-only bachelor party fun for our soon-to-be new brother-in-law Jonny, we settled back at home at our parent's house.
And Jacob was delighted to enjoy all of his big family in one place.
It's impossible to not smile when around this child. His laugh, his smile, is positively contagious. And the funny thing is, I remember many people saying that about my laugh when I was a little.
You see, the amazing thing about these weekends is that there's no true schedule, and certainly no rules. No strict bedtimes to follow and no place too dirty or too messy to play. We just let go....
We play with bubble guns that Yaya has found in her I-kept-all-of-the-toys-you-kids-played-with-when-you-were-younger-toy stash.
We wrestle with our puppy and only get mad when she really, really won't give it back to us.
We take rides on Pops' John Deere lawn mower. And not just rides on our own lawn... we head out all over the neighborhood.
And when we think why should the little ones be the only ones to have that much fun? we just hop right on ourselves to take our own ride.
We get crazy on the Pogo stick.
...and play catch with another ancient toy from our youth.
We continue to teach little ones how to ride a skateboard...
...occasionally forcing Mom to take a ride on it with Dad.
We give piggy back rides to little ones, moms, and even little puppies.
We teach the little boys about football...
.... and watch as Phil and Justin demonstrate some crazy soccer skills.
We take perfectly posed family pictures that we think might possibly be chosen for Awkward Family Photos.
Justin, when you move back to St. Louis, you can borrow her for a bit! (Now that's some incentive!)
And I love this picture because it's just the four of us siblings.... We are all close in age, with not more than two or three years between each of us. We have lived far, far away from each other and we have certainly lived many years under the same roof. We have bickered, physically fought (I was always the pincher when I was little!), and always made up. And while we each have our own special traits that make each of us our own individual, we are so very similar. We all enjoy a good bowl of Silky's ice cream, hate scary movies, and love, love being home with our family. There is something very special about the bond that siblings share and I am so very lucky to have these three people in my life.
And it seems that thinking about how special siblings are makes us start thinking about siblings for our own little one... Is Jacob ready for a little brother or sister?
To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. [Clara Ortega]
Happy Labor Day to you!