We had an especially full and busy weekend. It's being followed up by an equally busy week for me as every day after today I will be going to the big city and even beyond tomorrow for work.
Unfortunately I got some disturbing news about a close family member on Friday and it hung a grey cloud over the events of the weekend for me as I pondered it and tried to wrap my head around what had occurred and what it means for their future. I have strong faith and believe that God has a plan for everyone, and it's not always meant for us to understand his reasoning for certain obstacles in our lives, but I find it's still hard sometimes to accept those purposes and understand the meaning that will come from our trials.
Friday night was our local Relay for Life. I started to talk about it here, but it was long enough already to merit it's own post, so I will do a separate post a little later on that.
Saturday we decided to beat the heat and go to our local pool. We didn't even go to it once last summer because the town to the north of us has a newer and better pool that they built about four years ago. Two summers ago we tried to take Austin to our pool, but he was bored since it's a standard pool and he kept trying to get out of it and go play with the gate of the fence, so we skipped it altogether last summer. This summer the newer pool is closed because they discovered severe structural problems because the contractor did not compact the ground enough during construction, so the city decided to close it until the issues have been resolved in court and their pool is fixed. Our pool ended up being very nice and Austin stayed interested because he was able to play and interact with us. It wasn't crowded at all and the water felt so good.
Saturday afternoon I had a book club meeting. I recommended our current book A Prayer For Owen Meany as I read it back in high school during Senior English and remembered that I really enjoyed it. I had forgotten the first part of the book is a bit slow and not so interesting as it sets the plot for the end of the book. Everyone in my club was having a hard time engaging in it, but I promised that it picks up and gets better. We met at a local ice cream shop. At first when I looked at the menu I was going to get something along the lines of my usual tastes which involve chocolate, but instead I went out a on a limb and got a dessert called "Miss Muffet's Tuffet, A Twist On Strawberry Shortcake. A Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream Sits Atop Special Bread Pudding, Covered With Fresh Strawberries" I don't think I've ever had bread pudding, but I can't say it was really great, just kind of bland, I wish I would have stuck with something chocolate.
Sunday we went to the park in the town north of us as they have a splash pad in addition to the playground equipment that is always at least partially shaded. At first Austin wanted to activate the splash pad and stand back and watch it. We finally told him he couldn't just waste the water anymore if he wasn't going to play in it so we went to the playground and he enjoyed the swings, slides and rock climbing wall. A little later more kids showed up at the park and got him engaged in the splash pad and then he was all into splashing around and got totally soaked.
That afternoon while Austin napped I finished cleaning out our old metal desk in our office and Dustin painstakingly moved it out of the house to his shop. It's a huge old Army surplus metal desk that weighs about a million pounds. I told him I remembered when we finally got it in our office that we swore it would stay with the house, but he managed to maneuver it out after removing two doors and banging up his body. It's amazing how much space it took up in that room. I still have some stuff to sort through and put away, but I should be able to finish up the clearing out of that room by this weekend. We are going to move everything out besides the full sized bed for now until we have company at the end of the month, and as soon as they leave we are going to get rid of that bed and paint the room so we can move Austin over. Hopefully we will have that all done so that Austin has a month or so to adjust before the baby arrives.
I also got Bountiful Baskets this weekend which is a produce coop where you can get a lot of produce for pretty cheap. This week I got a "tropical pack" as an extra item. It had mango, pineapple, lemons, a coconut, fresh mint, lychee, and two vanilla beans. I asked my boss if she ever used vanilla beans for anything since she likes to cook and she told me that you can make your own vanilla extract. She told me about how she did it, and I googled it and sure enough it's super easy. You sterilize a glass jar and lid then add some type of hard alcohol to it and chop up the vanilla beans and add them to the booze. Shake it up and put it in a dark place to sit and extract for several months. I went ahead and used vodka as the websites I referenced said that vodka just leaves the vanilla flavor, whereas other types of alcohol impose their own flavors on top of the vanilla. My boss said when she made it she used spiced rum. I have to admit that I went and bought the vodka myself and felt like I had a bunch of condemning eyes on me being that I am seven months pregnant, but maybe it was my own self-consciousness!