The Best Labor Day Weekend EVER!!!

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I was so excited when my sister Lauren called last week and told me she was coming to visit over the long weekend, like sooo excited! My sister lives 7 hours away in the rural hills of Kentucky, so we can’t exactly visit her (there’s literally no where to stay), and since she works full-time and has 2 small children, visiting us isn’t possible but once or twice a year. I was really surprised when she called to say they were coming this weekend because they had just come to visit at the end of May and this weekend just so happened to also be my youngest niece Madison’s first birthday!

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I was thrilled to hear that she wanted to stay at our house the entire time! Usually, she splits her time between my house and my other sister’s house, which is only 5 minutes away. I like when she stays with me because I feel like I get more time with her than when she stays at my sister’s and I just go to visit with her for a few hours. My girls really like getting to spend the night with their cousin Bailey (who is Trini’s age), too. I know she doesn’t like having to pack up and move houses, even though they aren’t far apart, but I really hate when she doesn’t stay at our house any of the nights that she comes. I guess I’ll just have to get over it because she’s decided to take turns from now on. I told my other sister I’ll just have to send all of my girls to spend the night at her house when they come to visit next time! Haha!

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Anyway, they started their journey here after Bailey got home from school and my sister got home from work, so they didn’t get here until 11pm. We set the baby up in the living room with my sister and put my brother-in-law and Bailey in the bottom bunk with Taylor, who was asleep like the rest of the girls (Trini passed out at 4:30pm! #KindergartenIsExhausting). The next morning, everyone woke up super early, except me. They were kind enough to let me sleep til 10am. I needed it after staying up late all week painting my kitchen (which still isn’t finished). My sister had some returns to make at Children’s Place and Carter’s and we needed to find a birthday cake for the birthday girl’s party!

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I love that no matter how much time they’ve spent apart, they just mesh together when they see each other again! #CousinsMakeTheBestFriends

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After we finished returning her items, we made a pit stop at Chick-fil-A (since my sister and I both were so excited to go shopping we forgot to eat…and the kids are always hungry for chicken nuggets ;)), then we went to Kroger and found cupcakes, an ice cream cake, a smash “cupcake,” and some other stuff for the birthday party.

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When we got back to the house, I set up a back drop and got a couple outfits and accessories ready so we could take Maddie’s first birthday pictures! I haven’t been able to take all of my nieces’ birthday pictures, but I’m glad I’ve been able to do some!

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We dressed that baby up all purdy and began hooting and hollering our best to try and get a smile out of her. This was the best we could do. Sad, I know. She was smiling up a storm afterwards! The little stinker!

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I don’t go gaga for babies anymore (I’ve had my fill I guess! LOL!), but I couldn’t get enough of this little doll!

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Isn’t she precious???

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Soooo stinking precious!!!

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Of course, she wanted nothing to do with her smash cake. Nothing. She kept staring at us like, “How long must I sit here avoiding this thing???”

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We did get her to touch it once on her own…

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…then we helped her of course 🙂

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And she did end up sticking her foot in it after a while, haha!

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She ended up getting more cake on her dress than in her mouth, but that’s OK! It was still cute as can be!

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As the birthday girl, she was entitled to do what she pleased 😉

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This one would  have been my favorite had it not come out blurry 🙁

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I wanted to capture her “smashing” her cake during the photo shoot on video, so I gave Taylor my phone. She ended up taking a couple of cute pictures! This is one of them.

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This was another one.

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Which I thought also looked nice in black and white 🙂

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After the photo shoot, we loaded the van up with kids, drinks, mac and cheese, and chips and headed to my sister Monika’s house. The kids swam (in the freezing cold pool…glad I decided to drain mine instead of trying to keep it clean another week!) and played while the rest of us watched MoMo cook.

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Maddie enjoyed chewing on my necklace 🙂

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One of the most exciting things about that day was getting to celebrate Maddie’s first birthday with my PawPaw (my mom’s dad). Up until a couple years ago, he wasn’t really apart of our lives. He and my mom had a falling out when I was 8 or so and because they’re both stubborn as mules, we didn’t see him again until I was 19. Over the past 15 years, he’s spent a lot of his time working and caring for his wife who died last year, so in that time, I’ve only seen him 4-5 times, and 3 of those times have been in the past year. I’m thankful for his presence in our lives now. The kids couldn’t be more excited to have another PawPaw! And now he’s finally met all 11 of them!

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Once the burgers and hot dogs had been grilled, we ate! Then we sang ♫Happy Birthday♪ and ate some more!

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Joe Daddy got off work just in time to eat dinner with us, but he had to get home to load up his trailer to bring a bunch of stuff down to the hunting land he leases for his company picnic the next day. All 3 of the guys decided to make it a camping trip. They loaded up tents, air mattresses, guns, food, and beer and headed out.

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They all said they had a super fun time together and can’t wait to do it again next time!14258178_10207142445895079_1140452971196038519_o

After we got home from the party, we bathed the kids and made them a pallet so Maddie could have the girls’ room to herself. They started a movie and passed right out! It’s funny. We have enough beds in the girls’ room to sleep 8-10 people and yet all of them slept in the living room so one baby could sleep in the room, in her pack and play! LOL! Taylor ended up sleeping with me since her daddy wasn’t there and she wanted to read before bed.

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The next day, I went out to grab breakfast at Chick-fil-A so my sister (who doesn’t have a CFA where she lives) could try the new Egg White Grill (which is delicious if you haven’t tried it yet), and realized halfway there that it was Sunday (not the first time I’ve made that mistake). So I took a detour and got us some Bo-Berry and country ham and egg biscuits from Bojangles instead. I popped a Stouffer’s mac and cheese in the oven (yes, another one), along with a frozen apple pie, and got myself and the rest of our crew (minus Bene and Maddie, who stayed home) ready and loaded up to head to the land for Joe Daddy’s company picnic. This is the second year they’ve had one out at the land, only this year they had it near Labor Day and not on Memorial Day when it’s miserable outside. The weather was nice and there was plenty for the kids to do: fly a foam airplane their Pa brought, take rides in the fishing boat on the lake, fish, and take rides on the trailer behind the 4-wheeler. There was a whole pig cooking, and everyone brought side dishes to share (we brought mac and cheese and pie).

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Unfortunately, my poor sweet sister’s allergies went haywire and started flaring up her asthma. She was weak and had chills and couldn’t even eat. We tried to hold out til the pig was done cooking, but she started having difficulty breathing, so we left a little early. Pa offered to take Joe Daddy home so he could stay and enjoy some time outside of work with his coworkers.

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Taylor really wanted to introduce LuLu and BayBay to snoballs, and since I thought they might actually help her feel a little better, we stopped (I made sure she wasn’t going to stop breathing on me if we did). They really enjoyed them (DUH!)!

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When we got home, I dosed my sister up with Flonase, Mucinex D, prednisone, and albuterol and sent her to sleep in my bed so the baby could nap in the girls’ room. Monie came over with her kids for one last visit. Unfortunately, Lu slept the whole time they were here 🙁

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After my sister and her kids left, we ate a simple dinner of pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans (which I always get compliments for, LOL!). Lu actually got up and felt well enough to put some food in her belly! Then she laid back down when we put the kids to sleep.

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They really loved getting to spend the weekend together!

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They left the next morning at 6am. My sister wasn’t 100%, but she said she felt much better (YAY for my medicine cabinet!). All of us girls got up to give them one last squeeze (the boys were content having said their good-byes the night before). I’m especially gonna miss that sweet baby because I have a feeling my sister’s not gonna make that difficult journey again any time soon. They had an awful car ride down (Maddie gets car sick so she cries and throws up and has to take breaks), my poor sister gets sick every time she comes (that Kentucky air is just so much cleaner!), and Maddie’s just in a difficult stage of life right now (she eats, sleeps, poops, and plays on a schedule which isn’t easy to keep when you’re not at home). The next time I see her, she probably won’t be a baby anymore! I’ll miss my BayBay and my sister too, but at least we can FaceTime.

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I’m so grateful for all the precious memories my sister and nieces gave me this weekend! I truly treasure them! I just wish they lived closer!!!

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We spent the rest of our Labor Day not laboring. That was our only rule.

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I went back to bed after my sister left and slept in til 11am. When I woke up, I made everyone bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches for lunch. I had mine on an Ezekiel sprouted grain English muffin, which are sooo good, and sooo expensive, but still cheaper than McDonald’s! Then I spent a couple hours blogging before I cooked dinner.

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Since we had already eaten a bunch of junk over the weekend, I decided to make a healthy dinner: Bruschetta stuffed balsamic chicken with sweet potato and Brussels sprouts hash.

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Mine ended up like this, ready to mix! The chicken was great, the veggies weren’t spectacular. I don’t care for them roasted. I prefer them sautéed…in bacon 🙂 After dinner, I helped the girls pick out their clothes for the week (best idea ever!), pack their bags, bathe, and tucked them in bed. Then Joe Daddy and I enjoyed a little TV on the couch before bed, our usual. It was a very relaxing day at home with just the 7 of us, exactly what we needed after a long weekend with our extended family!

It really was the BEST Labor Day weekend EVER!!!

 

 

 

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