Father’s Day Weekend

It’s been a pretty incredible weekend, and the sun hasn’t even gone down on Sunday yet (though I think it’s fair to say we’re pretty tired, and ready to stay in for the night).

We’ve had good food, spent time with good friends, and had an awful lot of good times on the water this weekend. Here are just a few pics from the weekend.

Sunrise SUP on Saturday

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Beach day on Saturday with friends — a crowded day at the beach! Guy got a haircut immediately after this. No, really. 

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Sunrise SUP session on Sunday. Managed to get in and out before the kids woke up! Glassy water today aside from some large rollers that came in from a passing barge ship.

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Today, of course, we celebrated Father’s Day. We got G a giant fish balloon (Guy destroyed it less than an hour later playing chase around the house with Nell), a cake, a sweet (if I do say so myself) dock bar shirt, and a beautiful day on the water. Mom and Dad very, very nicely offered to watch the kids for the day so G and I could head out on the boat, so I dropped them off, got G Starbucks, and off we went.

Taylor Island

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Our goal was a restaurant on Slaughter Creek off Taylor Island, but the tide was lower than low today, and we decided it was too shallow to head into the creek, so we turned north and headed to Tilghman Island, which turned out to be an excellent choice.  We boated over to Knapps Narrows, which was packed with boat traffic going back and forth under the drawbridge, and found a great restaurant right on the Bay side of the bridge that happened to have a boat parking space right out in front.

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(This weekend is subtitled “Happy Father’s Day, let’s see how much shrimp we can eat in one weekend.”)

Our funny little route today took us by all sorts of great scenery from Taylors Island to tiny James Island and Crab Cove to the Sharps Island Lighthouse.

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The Sharps Island Light is actually the third lighthouse to sit in that spot. It was constructed in 1882 and was only deactivated in 2010. It has been leaning since 1977 when it was damaged by ice (though, the structure before this light was actually forced off its foundation by an ice floe and floated five miles down the Chesapeake–with its keepers still inside–so, really, the lean isn’t that bad).

The Sharps Island Light is on the National Register of Historic Places and also one of the features along Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.  I had been hoping to do a mini lighthouse tour this summer, so I guess we’re starting with this one!

As for the kids, they had a fab day fishing and playing in the water at Mom and Dad’s. Nell has officially caught way more fish than I have this season. Or ever.

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Father’s Day Weekend

I didn’t get a post up last night because I scratched out the beginnings of several drafts and ended up throwing my hands in the air and hoping inspiration would strike overnight.

But I think it’s impossible to put into words how special days like this are.

We had a wonderful weekend full of family, starting with the kids’ show at daycare (you’ve watched a million times, right?), ending with a fabulous Father’s Day brunch at Mom and Dad’s, and sandwiching a very windy day at the beach between.  (And I know it was Father’s Day, but paddle boarding AND champagne before 10am make me pretty happy also…)

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Guy says, hey, it’s windy, and you should see YOUR hair!IMG1950

After brunch on Sunday, we said goodbye to Mom, Dad, and K, and we headed back home for the rest of our father’s day.

It’s probably pretty telling about our life when the first thing that comes into my mind is a quote from Frozen, with Olaf explaining what true love is:

“That’s when you put someone else’s needs before your own.”

But that’s about as close to G as you can get.  He works tirelessly to keep one wife, two kids, and three pups happy, and there really is no other mushy way to say that Nell, Guy, and I are incredibly lucky to have landed such a devoted husband and father.

Our day wasn’t splashy or fancy.  It was a corn on the cob, cold beer, cupcakes kind of day.  But it was the best kind of Sunday — the kind of Sunday that leaves reminders around the house.  Like colorful beach towels strewn over the deck railings, sand (everywhere), drippy coolers clinging to melted ice and empty water bottles, and a stack of flip flops outside by the door.

That’s what the perfect day looks like. All three in one shot, with G out on the board enjoying the world.

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On Father’s Day, we caught the sunrise.  G paddling out on the Chesapeake Bay at 7 am.Greg paddle boarding the Chesapeake

Father’s Day ended with the four of us piled into bed.  Sleeping, reading, watching Olivia, watching the Spurs game.  Exhausted, but hanging on to the weekend like we always do.

What you missed while I was offline.

I took a week off.  Off from the blog, off from my computer at home (except for recipes), and even off from my camera, which is so unusual.  I didn’t grab it out during swim class or at the beach when Nellie’s friend (and family) came to play or even to take pictures of G’s continued renovation domination.

It was nice.

To just enjoy in the moment and not think about preserving the moment.

Though I eagerly awaited pictures our friends took over the weekend, and I realized, I’m crap at shutting off entirely!

The most important thing that happened over the past week, of course, was Father’s Day.  Nellie and I practiced saying “Happy Daddy’s Day” for several days, though she didn’t shout it out from the rooftops on Sunday morning like I had hoped for.  So much for 2 year olds being trainable!

Nellie and baby boy each got something for their dad — from Nellie, a framed 8×10 of a very favorite photo of the two of them for his desk at work; and from baby boy, Darth Vader and Son, a hilarious book that reimagines Darth Vader as an impatient father to his son Luke.  Baby boy also threw in a related (and totally not nerdy at all) shirt that G had found and liked when we were out one day a couple months ago.  Who doesn’t need detailed diagrams of the Death Star on their chest?

As for me, I cooked all weekend.  Sunday morning brunch included homemade buttermilk pancakes with bacon in them, yes, in them, and real maple syrup, as well as baked beefsteak tomatoes stuffed with eggs, cheese, and corn.  They were DELICIOUS even if Nellie did throw hers to the dogs.  G took a couple food pictures because he was excited about real pancakes and real bacon.

Shortly after brunch, Nellie’s best buddy and his family showed up for a long day on the beach.  I made roasted shrimp salad wraps; baguette sandwiches with prosciutto, tomato, basil, and mozzarella; and lemon bars for dessert, all of which we packed up into my wicker picnic basket and enjoyed on the sand.

The tide was high this time, so there was no sandbar for the kids like our last visit; as a result, Nellie’s friend was less inclined to join her in the water, and mostly stayed on the sand. Nellie, however, took it to herself to wade in as far as we’d let her go, where she wanted to play catch with shells.  She’s pretty sick of swim class (and that whole “having to actually swim” thing), but this kid’s love of water is growing.  And, though I’ve never gotten her to back-float at swim class without complaint, she fell into the water at one point when she was wading, and ended up in a back-float on her own.  So it seems she is learning after all!

We spent nearly five hours at the beach, with the kids running around nonstop the entire time.  Nellie and her buddy got to take a bath and play boats when we got to the house, which would have lasted for two hours if the kids had their say in the matter.  As it was, they were running late to a Father’s Day family dinner, so we had to finally say goodbye.

Nellie promptly went upstairs, crawled into (our) bed, and put herself to sleep.

It was the first time in 22 months of Nellie-land that she has ever put herself down for a nap.  And while I’d like to mark it as the remarkable milestone that it was, all I can really say is, That’s a high benchmark to have to hit each weekend.  I don’t have the energy to do that everyday with her!  Of course, as a result of her late nap, she was awake until 11pm… on a school/work night.  So, yanno, you win some, you lose more.

And in one other piece of weekend (non Father’s Day related) news, G took it upon himself to install our new beverage cooler where the old 80s ice maker once lived.  It took stud-cutting, floor-cutting, and I imagine a lot of swearing (Nellie and I stayed away from it due to the dust), but it turned out AWESOME.

He also ordered an outdoor shower to install in the square near our front door, which I think has something to do with the sand Nellie and I dragged in on Saturday while he was installing the above-mentioned cooler.

Nellie and I consider that a win!

Happy belated Father’s Day!  Here are the rest of the pics from our Father’s Day with friends:

Dad and Nellie spinning in circles. If she approaches you and says, “My turn!” this is what she wants.

Splashing!

With her friends. There is a baby in this picture, but Nellie decided to claim the front seat.

Father’s Day family pics!

Fathers and Daughters

Nellie is a lucky baby.  She has a father who spends as much time as possible with his daughter, and who is as engaged in her everyday life as any father I know.  He gives her a bath every night.  He reads books to her.  He takes her to sporting events.  He wakes her up and gets her ready for daycare every day, transforming her from cranky morning Nell (not a fun version of our baby) to happy, cheerful Nell by the time they come swooping downstairs.

You can see his pride and excitement when he carries her around.

I love watching them together, and I love that I get to watch them together.  It’s father daughter magic.

So it goes without saying that Nellie and I were thrilled to celebrate G’s first Daddy’s Day this weekend.  It started off like any good celebration: with presents.

The theme Nellie and I chose for our gifts was Doing Things with Daddy,  celebrating some of their favorite daddy-daughter activities.  There were things from Nellie and things from me.  My favorite (from Nellie) was a custom board book for them to read together (or, yanno, for her to chew on).

See that cover?  That’s the cover of Nellie’s first book (just in case she decides she wants to be a writer one day, which I would be totally okay with).

The book, which Nellie did an excellent job writing, features some of the best pictures of G and Nellie over her first nine months, with a sweet little story to boot.  You should hear G read it to Nellie.  It will melt your heart.

My gifts to G were slightly less sentimental (but also awesome, obvi).  A baby Manning jersey for football season and a Yankees dress, which already made an appearance, of course.  I am pretty jazzed about the fall when she can wear the jersey with her football baby legs (on the days when she is not sporting her Ravens outfits, of course–let’s not get crazy here).

And of course, Daddy’s weekend ended with the Yankees Nats game on Sunday.  I already posted some of the pictures from my phone, but here are just a couple more we took with the camera.

Nellie was super intense, as you can see.

Or maybe distracted would be a better word.

I held the squirmy monkey for a good part of the game while she banged on the seats and shrieked with happiness.  See that guy behind us?  Yeah, he was super serious about the game with his little scorecard and everything. I bet he LOVED us.

Even though we can’t shower him with presents every day, G is basically the best dad ever.  And even when I forget to mention it, I hope he always knows how much he means to our little family.

Father’s Day Baseball

I didn’t even turn on my computer this weekend. Sometimes that’s liberating. But this weekend wasn’t about choosing to be offline and off the grid – we were just too busy. In fact, I’m posting from my phone on our commute into the city.

How is the commute? you ask. Eh. Rainy. Slow. Monday.

I will post a real post. With pictures from a real camera. But since I’ve got some cute ones on my phone, why not share those?

Yesterday we went to Nats stadium for Yankees Nats. We had amazing shady end seats next to concessions, and if the Nats hadn’t been swept this weekend, it would have been perfect. Nellie, of course, was rooting for the Yankees since it was Daddy’s Day.

She was pretty active throughout the game, but was finally happy to settle down…after I gave her my seat.

Nellie couldn’t make it through the game, though — she was out in the fifth.

This picture makes me giggle.

Nellie is the luckiest baby ever.