Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - Part I

It's Memorial Day. I don't think you're supposed to say Happy Memorial Day. It sounds a bit contradictory. So, what I'll say to you is this... I hope you are enjoying a nice holiday weekend, spending time with family or friends, and taking the opportunity to reflect on Memorial Day and honor those who have fought for us and for those less fortunate than us.

What a week it has been. Cliff returned last Sunday from a fishing trip, meeting Gavin and Me at my sisters' birthday party on his way home from the trip. It had been a busy week and weekend for Me and Gavin. We sure didn't slow down though - we stayed busy throughout this week, enjoying every minute of it. Wednesday night Cliff was gone to his sporting clays league and my friend Steph and her son Luke and my sister Carrie and her baby Collin came over for a picnic on our front porch. It was a beautiful night and Gavin and I really enjoyed the company!

Cliff also blessed me with a couple of nights out with girlfriends since I needed a bit of a break after him being gone fishing and then another full week last week.

Thursday night I met a friend in Hudson to go to a quilt shop where she was looking for some fabric. After perusing the quilt shop / antique store, we walked around downtown hudson for a bit trying to decide where to eat. We had a lovely dinner at San Pedro and then walked along the St. Croix river, out to the end of the dike and back. There were a lot of people out on the beach and walking along the dike. The temperature was in the 80's, which is pretty warm for a Wisconsin evening in May. It was perfect - beautiful, hot, but slightly breezy. I got home just in time to kiss Gavin goodnight. Friday night I went out to the Nova wine bar with some girlfriends from River Falls. We sat out on their patio and listened to a musician with an awesome playlist. We had the most delicious baked brie appetizer and I loved my chicken alfredo pasta dish. After out dinner and a few drinks there, we wandered down to another place near the river and had a drink there, before driving over to the movie theater for the new Sex & The City movie, which was good, but not as good as the first one. I didn't mind. I enjoyed the night with the girls anyway!

Saturday Cliff and I got some work done in the yard. The lawn is finally mowed and Cliff picked up three ranger-loads full of bark mulch from the nursery up the road so we were able to finish the new flowerbed out by the road. Gavin was a good helper, riding the lawnmower with Cliff and helping me transpant flowers.

We got cleaned up Saturday evening and Cliff's parents came over to watch Gavin for us. We met our good friends Jeremy & Rita at their house and drove down to Vino in the Valley, one of our favorite places to eat in the summertime. As usual, there was about an hour wait, but we didn't mind at all. We ordered a drink and went for a walk through the vineyards and down along the Rush River. Just as we approached the dining shelter again, our pager went off and we were seated. As is the custom at Vino in the Valley, we also sang at least two rounds of "That's Amore". We had a fantastic dinner and delicious wine, followed by a relaxing hour around a bonfire before heading back to Jeremy & Rita's. It was a perfect night.

Sunday was another wonderful day. We've been taking mornings slowly this weekend. We've enjoyed quiet breakfasts of french toast, cheesy omelets, brown sugar breakfast sausage and fruit. Sunday morning Cliff brought Gavin into bed with us and we all snuggled in and watched CBS's "Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood", my favorite Sunday morning TV show. It was that snuggly kind of sleeping in, when you're not sleeping, but it's just as good. Gavin played games with the covers, he tickled our bellies and we tickled his toes. The three of us snuggled in bed like that for an hour.

Once we all got moving, we packed up and headed down to Cannon Falls for Nick's 30th birthday party. We stopped at the Dairy Freeze on the way down for corndogs & ice cream, not knowing what time they would be eating. We always enjoy being down there, but we don't spend enough time with Nick & his friends to know any of them very well. We recognize most of the people, but can't always remember everyone's names. Cliff knows most of the guys because they hunt together, but I forget who is who, other than Nick's family and Jamie's family. It was a beautiful day to be down there on Lake Billesby - they had the pontoon out as well as the jet-ski. The kids enjoyed cooling off in the (unheated today) hot tub, which sits at the top of a waterfall and overlooks the lake. They had grilled bbq wings, grilled brats & burgers, potato salad, my spinach salad, tuna salad, cookies, home made french fries and ice cream cones. In case Gavin hadn't had enough ice cream already today. We left Nick's just as the rain really started picking up and when we got home, all three of us got blankies and went out on to the screen porch to watch the rain. It was thundering and lightning and the temperature had quickly dropped to the point where we needed slippers and sweatshirts. We all snuggled up out there with blankies and just listened to the storm. When it got too cold and wet, we moved in to the living room and Cliff and Gavin rocked until Gavin fell asleep and I laid on the couch. It was 7:15, so we got Gavin into his jammies and let him go to bed. After Gavin was in bed, Cliff and I sat in bed, watching the news, and treating ourselves to a couple of scoops of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream that our friends Missy & Colin had brought over a couple of weeks ago. Ahh, what a day it was.

Today was even better. Gavin slept until 8:30 this morning. When he got up, we all went out and lowered our flag to half staff in honor of Memorial Day. Then we got dressed and went in to River Falls to watch the Memorial Day parade and the Memorial Ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery. It was amazing and moving and beautiful. To be continued...

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