My in-laws drove in town from Sarasota on Wednesday and will be heading back to Florida later this morning. We had this visit planned a few months ago but canceled our plans due to the pandemic and so we were extra grateful for this time together.
We majorly lucked out with sunny skies every day and made the most of our time with Diane and Les.
After spending Friday night close to home and filling the evening with backyard water play, we enjoyed pasta with some of Les’ amazing sauce (it takes 24+ hours to make and is incredible!) and then played several rounds of Mexican Train Dominoes after the boys went to bed. That game is so addicting and we owe Diane and Les a big thank you for initially showing us how to play because we’ve since introduced it to my family and my parents, sister and brother-in-law love it and have ordered their own sets, too!
Saturday morning began with a group walk around the neighborhood. The weather was incredible — upper 70s and low humidity — and it was so nice to begin the day in the sun without sweating our faces off.
We all eventually changed into our swimsuits, packed up some snacks, water and lots of sunscreen and headed out for a day of boating on Lake Norman.
(27 week baby bump! Hi little one!)
Don’t you love that beautiful zinc oxide glow? Haha! We have been flying through sunscreen like it’s our job lately and dug into our emergency stash of kid sunscreen that leaves a lovely white sheen over the boys’ faces. I typically prefer Badger Clear Zinc sunscreen — super clean and one of the most affordable natural sunscreens I’ve found — but I’m in the process of trying some different ones and if you’re interested, I can report back on the hits and misses since I feel like I’m in the midst of a natural sunscreen deep dive at the moment. Thankfully Chase and Ryder don’t care one bit if they look like Casper the Friendly Ghost and I have another sunscreen order set to arrive later this week.
We went on a 40 minute boat ride up to a little beach and spent a few hours floating in the water with the boys’ new Pool Petz (I’m happy to report they were even strong enough to support the weight of a grown-up!), swimming and snacking.
I think the highlight of our time on the water for the boys occurred when Ryan saw the ice cream boat floating in the distance and managed to flag it down so we could all get a cold sweat treat to enjoy on the boat before heading home.
Ryder ended up napping for the second half of our boat ride home and since a 20-minute cat nap is all it takes to ruin any chance we have of putting him down for a solid crib nap when we arrive home, we decided to do a quick change into dry clothes and make our way up to Mooresville for an early dinner at Alino’s, our favorite pizza place. The rest of the evening passed by in a blur of bath time, ice cream, more Mexican Train Dominoes and bed!
Sunday morning, Diane was kind enough to keep the baby monitor with her first thing in the morning so Ryan and I could take Chase on a solo walk with us while Ryder slept in a bit. Ryan and I always say “morning Chase” is the best because he typically wakes up in such a good mood and says the sweetest things. We ended up walking a little less than four miles with Chase and Sadie and Chase was in heaven when we saw FIVE foxes — a mama fox and four kits!
We arrived home to find Ryder hanging out with Nona and Papa and quickly headed back out to Birkdale Village where we ordered smoothies from Clean Juice and meandered around the outdoor shopping area. We eventually made our way onto the greenway where the boys enjoyed looking at the turtles. (We counted 32!)
By the time we arrived back home, the boat was calling our name again, so we changed into our bathing suits and did a slow cruise through some coves before docking our boat and bringing our stuff out onto a sandy beach by the marina.
The water temperature has warmed up significantly within the past few weeks (I’m SUCH a baby about cold water!) so even though it wasn’t crazy hot outside, I couldn’t resist joining the boys for lots of swimming, splashing and chasing.
Ryder, Chase and I were poisonous octopuses (freshwater octopuses???) and we had a lot of fun “zapping” each other and sneaking up on Dad, Nona and Papa to zap them, too!
Once we made it home and got everyone fed, I put Ryder down for a nap while Ryan, Diane, Les, Sadie and Chase went fishing off a dock in our neighborhood. I was bummed to miss the big fishing adventure but spent my alone time catching up on blog work (much needed!) until Ryder was up again and everyone arrived back home.
Chase was beyond psyched to tell us all about the fish he caught using Italian bread as bait!
We wrapped up on Sunday with a cookout, homemade cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream (my ice cream maker is making a run at our blender for our most-used kitchen appliance right now) and then we managed to get the boys in bed early before hanging out with Diane and Les for a bit before crashing hard.
I hope you all had a good weekend! The week ahead should be a good one over here because on Thursday we will be celebrating Ryder’s second birthday! Ah! I cannot believe our little guy is almost TWO. Phew! I hope to share Ryder update all about our almost-two-year-old soon so stay tuned!