Columbia in June
We were really grateful to be able to spend so much time with Jacob’s parents in South Carolina. His grandmother, Dona, also stayed with the Allreds for most of the time we were there for extra fun. We went on plenty of adventures: blueberry picking, the lakeshore, the local children’s museum.
We hung out with Ryan and Emily a bit, eating out with them and having them over in the evenings after they got off work. Anna loves their dog, Maggie, and could pet her for hours. It was fun being with so much family. We even skyped Christy and Emily a bit as a family. Anna loved getting to snuggle her grandparents so much.
The Allreds recently moved into a larger home so this visit Anna got her own room, with her own little bed. Her room was also filled with toys and clothes. She even had her own little children’s table in the living room which she would eat at and play with her playdoh on, or color or make jewelry. Grandma Dona brought a suitcase full of clothes for my kids including some beautiful dresses for Anna. She also gave Anna a princess set and Anna could not get enough of clacking around the house in her heels. Oh man. Dona also brought a case full of pandora beads for Anna to string. Anna was so patient and happy to bead with her great-grandmother. Anna would listen to her, and repeat herself several times when Grandma Dona couldn’t understand her. It warmed my heart to see the two of them playing together so joyfully.
Anna and Grandpa spent plenty of time in the back yard. They would feed the birds and check on the plants. Anna helped water the trees and bushes and strawberries. One night she went out in her bathing suit to help. She came in saying, “I’m soaking wet. Oh, that crazy old grandpa.”
Anna was a big helper with Isaac and for me too. During one of her baths, I brought Isaac in for a quick dip and she gently cleaned him off with her wash cloth! She liked having the water on the door of the refrigerator. When I asked for a refill of my water glass, Anna kindly and immediately got me some water and ice in my cup. Upon her return with the cup she told me, “here it is with a lot of water and a little bit of ice. I filled it all the way up to the top. But this time don’t drink all of it because I’ll be busy.”
At the lake, we swam and built sandcastles. Isaac was comfortable by the shaded picnic tables with Grandma Dona and whichever adult was taking a break at the time. Anna waded into the lake and built sandcastles on the shore. She just loved being in the water and so did Jacob and Grandpa. Jacob and I really appreciated going out into the deep water by ourselves and having a bit of time to just talk and not correct or hold someone. We enjoyed it so much that I let Jacob talk me into a late-night date night to go see Edge of Tomorrow. It was fun getting out!
Linda and Marty wanted to show off the grandkids at their work places. They both took the entire vacation off of work to be with us but we went in for a few minutes one day for a visit. Everyone loved meeting the kids at Linda’s office. They just fawned over my chunky boy and dressed up little girl.
Coworker: “You are adorable!”
Anna: “Yes.” (Me: “Oh, you are supposed to say ‘thank you’.”) “I’m always beautiful, even in my bajamies.”
We went blueberry picking. We each had a bucket, well not me. I was carrying Isaac and holding an umbrella to protect us from the sun and the heat. But Anna just ran from bush to bush plucking away. It was a blast. We went to a wonderful local BBQ place, Doc’s afterwards for their scrumptious southern lunch buffet. And later we tried our hand at making jam with the berries. They were tastiest just the way they were, by the handful!
It was a fun time to visit the Allreds since we celebrated both father’s day and Marty’s birthday. Anna loves birthdays and we got to make a huge cake with cupcakes too. Yum! Of course we sang, and Grandma made him wear silly glasses for a while too. Anna had fun taking pictures of the birthday boy.
Our last full day there we made some artwork and had a big water balloon and water gun fight. Anna and I versus the Grandparents. She is so happy with water and bare feet. I love her free and joyful spirit. Isaac got very strong while we were on vacation, holding his head up with such strength.
We were all sad to leave but we had a great week and a half exploring and relaxing, celebrating and just being together.