So this weekend was the Family Day weekend here and we filled our time doing lovely things and being with lovely people.
On Saturday, Sean and I were lucky enough to get out on our own for a couple of hours for a lunch date. It was really nice and much needed. I think (I know) it is really important to have that connection time away from the kids (just as it is important to have that connection time with the kids). We talked about possibly taking a weekend away, just us two, once we get a few financial matters figured out, and that possibility is quite exciting as we’ve only ever been away together without our children once in our lives.
Later on in the evening, we headed out to another winter festival, Edmonton’s longest running, the Silver Skate Festival. We got there about 20 after 4 and walked around trying to figure out where everything was and what we would do. We saw some blacksmithing going on, which is always neat to watch, listen to a bit of music, and briefly checked out the snow sculptures. We noticed that there was snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and dog sled demonstrations amongst other things, however those activities ended at 5 and we missed out on them as we weren’t quite ready to participate. This wasn’t completely disappointing as we had come later in the day so that we could enjoy the activities that were taking place after dark. We made little LED light torches, warmed ourselves by the fire, and listened to more music. After a little while, some new friends of ours (that we met through our home-schooling community) joined us and we set out to walk the Folk Trails. The actors in character were fantastic. We saw Red Riding Hood, Baba Yaga, a king, and a troll. The forested area (the folk trails) were decorated with lanterns that upon closer inspection contained fairy tale themed vignettes. We also walked the labyrinth we came upon on the trail and marvelled at the snow sculpture of Baba Yaga’s house (complete with chicken legs). At 7:30 we headed back to the labyrinth to watch the fire dancers who were pretty fantastic from what we could see. Admittedly the area was packed and a good view was hard to come by. After the dancing, they led the procession to the burn area, where grass sculptures were lit on fire. It was brilliant to watch. We then again sat by the fire and listened to a DJ spin while the children climbed and explored the snow hills.
Unexpectedly we were invited over to our friends’ home for a late night visit. My girls don’t tend to be night owls but I’m so glad we accepted and headed over. The giggles and laughter that escaped from where the children played upstairs to reach our ears on the main floor where the adults sat chatting, was beautiful. C, said something that night, that I’ve been thinking about since. He had made reference to the fact that he had been to a number of events and outings where there are other families that they have met through the community, but that at such events it can be hard to actually get to know one another, which is why it is nice to have people over for a drink and a chat. He said something along the lines of treating everyone like old friends made that process easier (this is the part I’ve been thinking about). We stayed until about 11 and then figured we should get our kids and ourselves home, where we all fell into a quick deep sleep.
Sunday Sean and the girls went for dinner at his mom’s house. I had some work to catch up on, so I opted to stay on my own. And to be honest, it was lovely to have only me in the house for a few hours, but it was also completely welcome when my family finally got back home. I was able to get some work done and indulge in a bit of Scrabble playing online. The evening saw Sean and I staying up until 2 am, watching a movie, chatting, and just connecting once more.
Just after 11 pm, I got the most amazing message from my youngest brother in my Facebook inbox. I won’t copy and paste the exact message here out of respect for his privacy but the general message was one of love and respect and gratitude. I bawled. I was so completely touched by his words and the fact that he took the time to write and send them to me.
Monday, our Family Day holiday, saw us headed our for brunch and then to the zoo. It was far too cold and too busy to stay at the zoo for too long, but my R is always so happy to be there amongst the animals, it was still worth it. After we left there, we decided to go pawn-shopping, though the shops were certainly hit and miss. We are on the hunt for a trumpet and keyboard, but I think that we will have better luck in the classifieds than a pawn shop. Still it was an interesting way to spend the afternoon.We wrapped up our lovely weekend by introducing our daughters to the wonderful world of Indiana Jones. None of us had seen the newest one, so we started with that. I won’t give a review of the film at all, I will just say that I enjoyed the time spent with my family, and I laughed out loud heartily in a few spots. And for once I didn’t fall asleep while a movie was on! After the girls had both been tucked in and we said our I love you’s, I reflected on how tremendous this weekend had been. How lucky I felt for my day to day and extra day away from work for Sean to spend with us.