Yesterday, being the summer solstice, was truly a day to celebrate. Don't YOU celebrate the solstice every year? Well, we sure do! First of all, the 21st of June is the day of my first date with Troy, this year being the eleventh anniversary of that fateful event. For the record, we drove up Guardsman Pass with a Mr. Jim Schnepel and his date, about whom I remember nothing, except that she had red hair. Maybe. Anyway, it was fun, and ended sort of early in the morning of the 22nd. My parents were in Belgium at the time and knew nothing about it except that by the time they got home I suddenly had a serious boyfriend. Surprise! The other reason we always celebrate is because we have a group of friends who always celebrate. The Stringhams generously hold an annual shindig in their back yard, complete with a couple of grills, a bounce house, the guys performing in their band, and at least a thousand children. I'll get to that later.
The day started off adventurously when I went on the back porch. I looked up at my hanging baskets, which I am notorious for planting every year and subsequently neglecting so they are generally dried up little twigs by mid July. This year would be different, I promised myself, and so as I looked up at my lovely little plants I noticed that one plant was all fat and happy and the other was little more than a twig. Observe:
Upon closer inspection I found a large, green, horned and disgusting caterpillar-ish thing happily chomping away at the plant. My first thought was, Hey, it's Saturday! Aren't you hungry little caterpillars supposed to be eating through one slice of salami, one cupcake, one piece of chocolate cake, etc...you're not supposed to eat through one nice green leaf until tomorrow! Of course what I actually felt was a combination of fury at the beast and sorrow for my plant (I had actually been watering this one!) and so I thought of the best punishment I could. "Hey Stomper! Come look at this!" Yeah, I'm not sure the little thing made it through the encounter, but it surely kept my children occupied for the morning.
Following the release of a somewhat less-than-fresh looking "Catty" (as dubbed by Stomper), it was time to take a dip in the pool. You always know summer is really here when we inflate our rather large back-yard pool. I'm so proud of us. Troy and bought this pool before we even had kids, like six years ago. I can't believe it is still in one piece. The kids had so much fun. They both begged me for goggles for about three weeks, so I finally got them each a pair, and Bitty especially loves hers, no matter how uncomfortable they appear. They were like two little fishies romping around in our very own pond.
I won't pretend that the end of the day wasn't the part I was most excited for, and not just because of the big Summer Solstice party. Oh no. What I was excited for was that my sister had my kids over for a sleep-over. Yipeee!!! Troy and I don't do too many evening dates together because there are no local sitters in the 'hood that I'll let put my kids to bed. This is in part due to my own traumatic memories of being a young babysitter and being expected to know how to put a gaggle of kids, including small babies, to bed. I can't even get my own small babies to go to bed. So I pretty much ask only my mother or my sister to put my kids to bed. And since I don't actually pay them and they have lives of their own, I don't ask them to do this very often. But my kids adore going to my sister's house, and it's so refreshing just to take off with my boyfriend and not worry about getting home or anything. We decided not to hit the party early enough for dinner. Instead we grabbed dinner to an old favorite - The Pub at Trolley Square (mmmm...nachos....) Well, I got a really yummy crab cake salad and Troy let me pick at his nachos. (Tangent - does anyone else miss the Nachos Mañana at Crompton's up Emigration Canyon?) We then arrived fashionably late to the party, and were able to enjoy some tunes from the band:
From left to right: John, James, Shawn and Zach
Trivia question: which of the four people pictured here did Rachel not go out with at least once? (There's a prize for the winner!)
Luckily for all those guys as well as me, this is who I ended up with:
Yes, Troy and I really loved hanging out, chatting with wonderful friends, and not keeping one ear tuned toward the mass of screaming children to detect the cries/crimes of one of our own. We just sat there and enjoyed ourselves. So much so, we didn't head home until after midnight. We had plans to go catch a late show or maybe even set up the projector in our back yard and watch a movie that way, but it turned out to be too much fun to be one of the last few and faithful along with James Jardine, Jared Madsen and of course the Stringhams. You know, every time I think of how blessed I am in my life with my perfect-match husband and piles and piles of beloved friends whom I truly adore, I want to shout for joy. I love my life.