Saturday, June 17, 2017

"A Week With Jay Makes Everything Okay!"

For the past three years since Jay's been completing his doctorate (which to this day makes my head spin just thinking about it) he has a summer tradition of spending a week with us.  This trip was another one for the books!

It's like time stands still when he's here.  All the craziness goes away, and the blanket of calm that is Jay takes over...and all is right with the world.

Going to pick him up at the airport is like entering the Disney World gates in Florida; you know you're in for a crazy fun time, even if you already realize that the days will pass far too quickly.

When we got back in town Jay went with us to pick up Emerson, and she leaped right into his arms.  "Uncle Jay!!!"

For Christmas last year one of Emerson's gifts from Jay & Laura was a matching game.  We totally underestimated how good she would be at it.  She has beaten every single member of our family by a landslide multiple times, and we're not even letting her win! We're actually trying.

Of course the game is more fun while wearing your Sophia princess dress.  Obviously.

The many faces of Sophia when she knows her win is secured.

That Friday we took our first trip in a while to South of the Border!  I have no idea why it took us so long to take Emerson there; she loved it!

While backing up to take a picture I tripped over one of those lousy cement parking blocks and almost had a terrible fall.  I'm fairly certain that it would have caused the crack of all cracks in the sidewalk.

After crossing the bridge we came upon an area called the "Pleasure Dome."  What is that exactly?!?  I don't think I want to know.  As for me, a pleasure dome would consist of a candy warehouse with nintendo stations and board games set up in various corners.  THAT'S a good time.

Since Jay came last Christmas I have been begging for all of us to go in the big sombrero if it's working.  It's kind of like having to ask if McDonald's ice cream machine is operating, but that scenario poses much less of a threat.  The last time I went in the sombrero was during senior year of high school when our class convinced our Spanish teacher that we needed a "cultural day," so we got permission to go there during school hours.  I wonder whose idea that was?!?

Anyway, I was trying every trick in the book to get Emerson to ride up there with us.

1) Want a mermaid doll?
2) How about some ice cream afterwards??
3) An undetermined bed time???

No can do.  She was not having it and instead wanted to jump in a big bounce house while Uncle Jay looked on.  So my parents and I bought three tickets (they didn't charge us for 3.5 tickets even though my stomach is getting fairly large these days, and I'm just loving all the comments about it).  Ahem.

So up in the hat we went, and the elevator ride was a little scarier than I had anticipated.  It is 300 feet high, and as soon as we got up there and started looking around we could actually feel the structure swaying.  

If I could have peeked inside my womb at that very moment my son's face would have likely resembled this...

After about five minutes of taking in the views we were ready to go back down, so we did what any normal person would do at the top floor of a structure: press the 'down' button on the elevator.  We waited...and waited....and waited.

Finally my Mom said that she could see the elevator coming up through the CRACK in the door frame area.  You know what they say...crack is whack.  That's elevator talk, in case you're wondering.

I hadn't been so happy to see doors open since the last time I went shopping on Black Friday.  Our ride had arrived!  Three more innocent souls got off as we darted into the elevator.  

"Sir, we've been pressing the down button.  Did you know that?"
"Umm, yeah.  That thing doesn't work.  I just kind of guess when you guys want to come down."


We later wondered how long we would've been left up there if the next few people hadn't bought tickets.

"Yes, is this room service?  Do you make sky deliveries?"

Uncle Jay and Emerson seemed to be the smartest of the bunch by staying on the ground.

Look who showed up on our trip.  I can't believe that we will be meeting him in about 2.5 months!!!

The next morning we were going swimming at the Coleman's, and during a recent stop at Target I went a little loco in the pool toys section.  You can partly thank me for any economic boost.

That's the largest pineapple I've ever seen.  It's material for the front page of the Dillon Herald, for sure.  My Mom always saves a stack of those for me so I can see the latest happenings since my last visit.  These usually include pictures of a large, homegrown fruit or vegetable.  If you're from the area you totally know what I'm talking about.


These two were adorable!

That evening I played piano for Hannah and Justin's sweet wedding!  

Special fact: Hannah was the guest of honor/white rabbit at Emerson's first Birthday party.  When she told Justin she would meet him at the altar in white she was clearly not talking about this costume...hahaha!!!

Hannah, you looked just as beautiful in white on your wedding day as you did at Emerson's ONEderland bash.  

Birthday cake cake later.

While we were chatting and eating away, Emerson was having the time of her life at Dorothy's.

She even got to see Audrey for a little while!  

On Sunday evening Jay cooked one of his phenomenal meals.

At some point during the trip I realized that this was his last time with us before he's married.

"It's kind of like your unofficial Bachelor party, Jay!"

And as you can see, he is clearly partying hard.

On Monday the fabulous five went to the beach for the day! (Ryan stayed at home to handle house showings, etc).

Nana put a small fortune on a reusable card so that Emerson could enjoy the rides, and they were SUCH a hit!  So was the Tropical Sno place that I tracked down and remembered from last summer.

Emerson was Jay's little sidekick everywhere we went.

One day I greeted her with a big hug and "Good morning, sweetie!!!" which was followed immediately by her asking... "Where's Uncle Jay?"  When I would always respond to that question by telling her he was still sleeping (before the hours of 11:00 am) she would insist on going into his room and waking him up.

It's been almost a full year since our last trip to the beach, and it gets more fun every time.

If you could see inside my heart you'd find these images.

On Tuesday we came back and had lunch with my grandparents and uncle.  We always cherish our time with them!

Bottom pic: a pooped Nana and Emerson not understanding why she's so tired.  Hahahaha...

We knew it was going to happen as much as we tried not to think about it.  Uncle Jay had to leave the next day.  I pray with all my heart that he and Laura will be closer to us when he finishes his doctorate.  Can't you see how much joy he brings and how much we love him?

Philosophical Jay once said that you can never step in the same river twice.  The logic behind this is that the water is constantly flowing, and nothing will ever be in the same place as it was.

So for a few hours one afternoon we stepped in the ocean.  We will never get to re-live that day (or the past week with him) but we hold on to each moment and remember the good...and the wonderful.

My grandmother's nickname for Jay since he was a toddler was "Mr. Wonderful."  That couldn't be more accurate.

Here's to you, Mr. Wonderful.  We can't wait to celebrate your wedding day soon and know that as incredible as the years have been to this point, some of our greatest memories lie ahead.

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