Family Fun, Holidays, Kids, Summer

The hug of all hugs

 Oof that was a lot of activity this weekend! After months of hanging out on the sidelines, figuratively speaking, I felt like I was suddenly thrown back in the game this weekend! Haha.

Ethan said to take a pic like this to remember that this was a #covidbirthday!!

I think I mentioned that Friday night we were at a friend’s house for a bonfire, with a late night for me to start the weekend. Then Saturday was just BUSY getting ready for Sunday and running errands and doing household chores… It felt pretty non-stop all day.

Sunday was THE BIG DAY for Ethan and it did not disappoint!!! Again, it all felt very full and busy to me, though wonderful. We did the muffins for breakfast with candles and singing. Then we packed everything up to go river tubing! We brought along their best neighborhood friend as well (the one who is moving away next month!).  

We stopped for an outdoor Culver’s lunch on the way out of town and drove about an hour to the tubing place by 1 pm. The tubing was a major hit! The water really wasn’t too cold and the kids had the best time floating down the river, swimming along, jumping off their tubes and just having fun. I think next time I would pick a place with a slightly longer route!


I might go back by myself some day and just float and float and float in the sunshine… feet kicking in the cool water….my eyes closed…..ahhhhhh……

Oops, back from my daydream. Sorry, I’m still here. 😊

Anyway, it was all great fun. Things like this always feel like sort of a lot of “effort” to actually go and do in the moment, but I was talking with Ivan last night and saying how I’m always (usually) glad after the fact that I went and DID whatever the thing was. Yes, you have to pack up bags, sunscreen, snacks, water shoes, coolers, load it all up, deal with waiting once you get there, then deal with changing out of wet clothes and getting sand off of you, driving all the way home (tired out) and then unloading everything….it’s kind of all a lot of work!

But the memories are worth it, and after a little while, I think we forget about the “non-fun” parts. I think our minds tend to focus in on the good, looking back, anyway. We gloss over the “bad” parts in our memories, like the part where we were just getting in and the water felt cold at first, or at the end, walking all wet up to the shuttle lugging our tubes and feeling the cool breeze in the shade, causing goosebumps on our arms.

Instead, we remember this:

When we made it home, the fun wasn’t over! I quick whipped up some sloppy joes for dinner (and Ivan sliced up some onion and habanero peppers in lime juice for us to top them with! OMG game changer. SO GOOD).
Our neighbor girl stayed for dinner and the kids somehow had energy to still play outside before coming in for key lime pie and presents. Ethan was all smiles by the end of it all. He made out big time in the presents department, getting a couple of key items he was dreaming of but didn’t really think we’d get him. 😊 He was over the moon excited about the entire day.

At about 9:45 p.m., I was in the kitchen. We had just finished cleaning up the wrapping paper, the pie plates, etc. and I was rinsing some forks in the sink (feeling VERY ready for bed). Ethan came up behind me and said, “Mom, come here a sec.” I told him I couldn’t right now, that I was washing some dishes. He said, “Just real quick! Please. Dry your hands for a second.”

I complied, and turned around….”What’s up, buddy?”, I said.

He stepped forward and wrapped his arms around me and gave me the biggest, tightest hug he’s ever given me and said, “Thank you, Mom, for everything!!” I squeezed him back so hard I thought I might squash him.

I think I will remember his golden 12th birthday, and especially THAT HUG, for a very, very long time.
Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for that hug! I am grateful that despite the disruption of the pandemic, we were able to give Ethan a super special 12th birthday celebration. I don’t think he could have asked for or wanted anything else. He is a sweet, super special kid and he isn’t really one to ask for too much or even really expect too much usually. I’m so grateful that he appreciatedit all, too! He didn’t seem to take any of it for granted. I’m grateful for the memories that we made as a family yesterday, too. 

5 thoughts on “The hug of all hugs”

  1. Awww, that hug at the end of the day and his thank you is the best! You are raising such a wonderful little man! Sounds like he had the perfect day. Floating down the river sounds wonderful to me!!I actually had a similarly busy weekend. I got dinner with friends on Friday night at a local park, went for a walk on Saturday am with college friends, and then yesterday afternoon I met 2 wives of my husbands friends at a local park. We sat in bag chairs/blankets and caught up which was so nice. Then Phil's mom came over after our son's nap since it was finally not super humid. We sat in the backyard and grilled steaks, potatoes, and asparagus for dinner. It was nice that I only had one thing/day. It was probably a little bit too much but it didn't feel overwhelming – probably because I really needed some time away from our house. I'm just never gone these days. Friday night was the first time I missed dinner/bath/bedtime since late February I think!!!


  2. It was a great day! Thank you Lisa for the kind words! I'm so glad you had a wonderful weekend too. That all sounds SO nice!!! It is so funny about the not missing bedtime thing- so true. We are all just around all the time lately, it seems. Nice in a way, I guess- but I'm sure dinner with your friends was a perfect reason to miss bedtime. 🙂


  3. soooo sweet of him!!!! i bet you'll remember that hug for a long long time. and yes, i agree, most of the time our mind focuses on the positive good part and the non-fun part is easily forgotten. 🙂 I think that's our mental survival mode to keep us happy.


  4. This is the type of stuff that makes me want to have kids. Thanks for sharing. Love hearing about appreciative kids. You’re a great Mum. Cheers!


  5. It is pretty great! Certainly not every moment with kids is like this- way more are exhausting and frustrating and overwhelming, probably! But these are the moments we parents live for 😉 Makes it all worth it. You guys would be great parents, I'm sure. You have such a great life philosophy to share with a child. 🙂


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