On Saturday, I got up early to meet up with parts of my family for some fun at Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA. I saw my beloved sister-in-law for the first time in about a year and a half (she lives in Cali), and hug my dear little nephew for the first time! Sister didn't want to travel with him until he was a year old (and I can't blame her), so it was very exciting to see them both (as well as her husband, who is obviously a very good daddy). Her twin, the beautiful lady responsible for my wedding bouquets (oh, yeah, and also my wedding), was there with her little boys who are not so little anymore. Both of my SILs are very protective of their children's privacy, so in place of a picture of my cutie nephews, I will show you the bouquets my wedding photographer said were the most beautiful he had ever shot:
(click on the picture to see them in all their glory)
My brother-in-law was also there, along with his betrothed and their beautiful, thoughtful little angel baby. Little Angel is no stranger to paparazzi, so I will show you a sight never captured before on "film:" Me, holding a baby:
She is in love with her Aunt Natalie and the feeling is mutual - she is so precious! She is the most pensive baby I have ever seen...contemplative, even. It's quite amazing to watch. In any case, I carried her around for most of the weekend, so I should have my Madonna-arms in no time.
After a fun morning at the farm, I excused myself to teach, then returned home with every intention of purchasing the items on the grocery list I had carefully crafted the night before. However, Mister, who had not eaten in days (literally) due to whatever plague he has now was actually hungry so I made dinner instead. We had the Mandarin Tofu but without the spinach salad, since I hadn't gone to the store yet. After dinner, I ran to Whole Foods for half my groceries and still made it out 10 minutes before they closed.
No rest for the wicked; the next morning, I got up early and ran to Superfresh to complete my grocery shopping and started to make the pasta salad I was taking with us to Wildwood to celebrate Father's Day with my father-in-law and family. First, though, while the dressing permeated the pasta and broccoli, we went to Estia with MY Father. I'm pretty sure he was making up for my birthday brunch at Mi-Lah because he got an omelet with sausage and bacon and probably one more kind of meat - it was impressive.
Mister took a short nap while I finished assembling the pasta salad, then we headed to the beach. Things didn't go completely as planned, so we came back with the same 3.3 liters of pasta salad we took off with:
We had a wonderful time with my FIL, MIL, and the same crazy crew from Linvilla. The minute I trekked through the sand in my new Nine West sandals, Angel Baby was reaching for me and trying to launch herself off of her mother to me. I have never had a child react to me like that. It's usually the opposite: trying to get away from the scary lady holding him/her captive while screaming like a banshee. I have held one of my nephews exactly once because it was so traumatic for him and for me.
You have to admit - as flats go, those are some pretty edgy sandals. I found it amusing that I was leaving little Nine West logo prints in the sand. If you go to Nine West's website you'll find that these babies retail for $69. That is not what I paid for them, since I got mine at DSW, but it struck me as funny that most people probably would not consider wearing such "nice" shoes on the beach. For me, though, that was actually the primary purpose in buying them and breaking them in - they didn't actually stay on my feet very well until I baptized them with sand; now they work just fine!
In any case, there was no Grill-Off, so we took our pasta salad back to Philadelphia, stopping along the way to have a nice, quiet dinner at Godmother's in Cape May. Quiet was kind of important after we were reminded just how noisy four children under the age of 10 can be. We can probably add my bro-in-law to that list, since he acts like he's not too much older than 12, but he and Mister had a stimulating conversation about video games...
It goes without saying that we had gobs of pasta salad for dinner tonight. I'll let you know, though, that it was very refreshing that the prep work took about 5 minutes and consisted of setting the table, stirring the pasta to make sure it was evenly coated with dressing and then scooping it into bowls and hooting "Dinner!" at Mister.