We have just returned from an exciting weekend of many firsts for our family – our first trip to Washington DC together, Frances and George’s first time in a big city, and our first night away from the children since January of 2009 (that's 27 months, folks).
That last first was made possible by my incredible sister, her wonderful husband and their two adorable boys. Katherine and crew volunteered (yes, that is what makes them so incredible!) to babysit Frances and George for a Saturday night so we could attend a wedding in the city and spend the night at the hotel where they held the reception.
The four of us all stayed with Katherine the first night and did some minor city exploring the next day before Will and I headed out for our date night (As an aside, we did not get nearly enough pictures from the weekend as I had hoped. Oh well...next time).
Aunt Katherine and George bonding.
Throwing pennies into a fountain near the National Aquarium
Henry, Frances, James and George
Katherine and Dave definitely have the coolest toys around (including a drum set – brave parents) making our departure very smooth and tear-free.
Will and I had such a great time at the wedding! It felt like we were on our second honeymoon when we checked in to the hotel because for the first time in over two years we weren’t lugging around a pack n’ play, a stroller and two more suitcases for some very tiny people. We didn’t have to make sure Frances wasn’t wandering off and George didn’t go up and down the stairs too quickly. We didn’t have to set up the room for a three-year-old and a toddler when we arrived, set out all of games, toys and coloring books within easy reach or ensure we knew what tv station played cartoons in case of emergency. So, what did we do with our new found freedom? Will and I collapsed on the bed and dozed in and out of consciousness to the sound of pregame Final Four commentators. It was in a word – HEAVEN.
The wedding and reception were wonderful. It was Will’s college friend (the groom) who got married and we knew hardly anyone in attendance, which made it very much of a date night for us. We caught up on about three weeks’ worth of conversation, ate chocolate peanut butter wedding cake (!), and danced as late as my tired feet would let us. So much for catching up on our sleep, but it was well worth it.
Sadly, this is the only picture we have of the two of us from that evening (taken by Will’s Inspector Gadget arm).
Weddings have taken on a whole new meaning for me since we’ve had Frances and George. I have always been emotional watching the bride walk down the aisle, watching the first dance and listening to the toasts. But seeing a wedding through the eyes of a parent makes me even more pathetically sappy. Will is convinced that Frances’s wedding will be much harder for him – I am convinced I am going to be a blubbering mess at both of our children’s weddings. But to Will’s credit, there is something innately special about that last father/daughter dance at the reception. The bride at this wedding chose a song written from the father’s perspective about being the first man to love his daughter; the first to watch her breathe, hear her cry, hug her, kiss her and help her through life. Seriously?! I cried the entire dance. And not just a tear here or there – but that frog in your throat, tight chest breathing, napkin drenching, highly embarrassing cry. And I didn’t even know the lovely girl and her father dancing.
Our date overnight was over much too quickly before we were heading back the next morning to pick up Frances and George (who didn’t miss us at all – but boy, did we miss them!)
We spent a short Sunday morning in downtown Washington DC trying to take in the cherry blossoms among the massive crowds and then headed back home.
The children were…exhausted.
FYI, Frances does not usually get a "paci" - but it does wonders for convincing her to nap in the car!
Will and I were beyond exhausted, but happy and grateful.
And before I close this post, I would like to again thank my incredible sister and her overly-generous family (primarily because she is one of several people who actually read this!). I count my blessings every day that I have a sister like Katherine – she has always been my hero and someone I have tried to be like (and failed miserably). When I grow up, I want to be my sister!
Cue the blubbering cry.