Life can be sometimes so very hectic. Jobs can become demanding, school work may pile up, while your social obligations spiral out of control. To grant respite from that syndrome, we celebrate Labor Day. A day in which we stop working so we can spend time doing other, more pleasurable things that will re-charge your batteries and celebrate the lives we lead. It was exactly that sort of weekend for us. Fortunately for Katy and me, life doesn’t change too much. We constantly live into this chaos and love it (most of the time). This weekend was no exception.
On Friday night, Katy and I went out on a date. It was a double-date with our friends Dan and Teresa. We got Leila a babysitter (the lovely aunt Betsy) and we drove out to Grand Rapids to have dinner at this new restaurant called, “The Electric Cheetah.” As strange as that name might sound, it was one of the best restaurants we had been to in quite some time. The food was delicious, the atmosphere…well… electric, but most of all, it was good to just head out and celebrate the weekend with people we love. Leila did well that night!:)
Saturday opened up quietly. Beula and her friend Becca stopped by to say hi and meet Leila. Beula is getting married in January and has requested that Leila be her flower girl (even if she can’t walk by then!). I (JP) will also be involved in the wedding as the emcee. It was good to see the bride and her flower girl getting to know each other. They got along splendidly. Later that afternoon, Katy and I were joined by our dear friends Chris and Lindsay Zeller. Our destination this time was the zoo! This was Leila’s first excursion into the zoo. She has lately preferred to ride on daddy’s backpack (versus the stroller) as she can get an unobstructed 360 degree view of everything. And for those of you who have gotten to know Leila, you know that she is VERY curious about EVERYTHING!
Sunday came along. We were still not ready to breathe normally. We took Leila to the nursery in church. Handed her over to the lovely people at the nursery, slapped on a name tag on Leila, picked up our pager and made our way to the sanctuary. We were able to sit through the whole service for the first time since October of 2008, without a baby that was ornery! I must admit, Katy and I kept looking at each other and wondering when that pager would go off! It did not. Jayme Aalberts took wonderful care of Leila that morning. In the afternoon, we headed back up to Grand Rapids to have a barbeque with our dear friend Lori. The food was spectacular. Katy and Lori can cook up a storm together. I benefited greatly from that partnership.
Monday…yeah… we are not done yet. Monday, the Wings had a family get-together at a park here in Holland. The menu was chicken, both grilled and fried, from KFC! Leila’s cousin Eleanor was there to join in the festivities with her parents. We had, again, GREAT food, relaxing walks, and just good ol’ fashioned family time which was good for the heart. Monday night, my friend Miki joined us for a couple of days. Miki and I went to college together over 10 years ago. She is from Japan but currently just finished up some grad work at the University of Washington. Before heading back to Osaka, she decided to make a quick jaunt over to the mid-west to meet up with us. It was truly special to have her with us. I enjoy introducing Katy (and Leila) to people in my life who were such an integral part of my college experience. Miki was an important section of that chapter.
Miki left this morning. We have a “quiet” week to negotiate now. Sunday begins the first of many Sundays when I will be speaking in places all over the U.S. It was truly the perfect way for us to celebrate with friends and family. We trust that regardless of where you are, you have weekends like that (even if it is not that busy or full). Here are a sampling of pictures… enjoy!