Greetings friends and family,
These past two weeks are difficult. I am without my love. She is resting peacefully at home while the twins and I take over Ouma and Oupa's house. I'm working every day so evenings and weekends are gleefully full of daddy time. I took Layla for an afternoon of ice skating so she could have some public skate fun while keeping her skills sharp. I skated with her as long as she would let me. Then she met some new friends and off she went.
As a surprise bonus, Uncle Casey and soon-to-be Aunt Barbie showed up to skate with her. That was a happy moment for Layla to feel the love from their interest in being a part of her world (queue the Little Mermaid music).
One of the cutest moments of our weekend was when she skated backwards pulling Uncle Casey along to show him how to skate. Seeing this little package of dynamite pulling along tall Casey like it was no big deal shows how strong she is on the ice.
and the bonus of the bonus was that GG came to watch too. GG sat on the cold seats next to the ice watching and cheering as Layla showed off everything she had in her arsenal of moves. I am happy for Layla to have these memorable moments with her great grandma there are many kids who don't have any great grandparents in their lives. I joked with GG by asking if she was interested in lacing up some ice skates to go onto the ice.
Barbie worked at a roller skating rink some time ago so when she laced up a pair of ice skates, she was a natural. She was so fast that after Casey and I wore out our legs, she kept on skating like a speed skater lapping everyone. I'm thinking hockey could have been a really good sport for Barbie. We had to track them down on the ice to get the two ice queens to stop for a quick pose.
Speaking of ice queens, this rink was awesome! they had great lighting and a DJ with interactive games on the ice for everyone. This was the most enjoyable public skate I've ever seen. Layla's smile is my proof.
Another cool thing they had was a Disney Frozen-themed covering with LED lighting inside. Layla skated through it over and over with her tricks.
Layla's day included ice skating, watching the movie "inside out" and dinner afterwards. The move and dinner was only for her and I to spend time together. The movie was OK, but I had to do some damage control afterwards. Inside Out portrayed anger as one of the five useful emotions. I completely disagree that anger is a useful emotion. Righteous anger is in the Bible, but that applies to about 1 out of a million situations where anger is really the correct response. There is another important attribute called "self control", which is much more valuable in protecting and maintaining relationships than anger. Anyway, other than a little detox from the movie, Layla and I had an outstanding day together. The difference in how she interacted with me was like night and day. I knew she just needed a little one on one time to make things OK.
Easton had his day on Sunday. I came up with the idea of renting a kayak on the lake. We stood in line at the aquatic center making silly faces.
We took a two-person kayak onto the water and had a blast. He wasn't too sure about the fun level of such an outing, but as soon as he was comfortable knowing we weren't going to drown, He loved every minute of it. We paddled around into coves where he stood on the end of the bow and picked wild blackberries from the bushes hanging over the water. Perfect temperature, slight breeze, plenty of sun and lots of sun screen to protect our skin.
Easton didn't want to spend much time out around town. He wanted a specific Lego man from a store and then playtime at home. I said, "OK! if that's how you want to spend our time together, then let's do it!" At one point he gave me a big hug and said, "I love you, Dad". It was completely out of blue and made my whole day worthwhile.
The other thing we've been up to is bike riding. every evening it cools down enough to get on the bikes and ride. Ouma and Oupa live in a house very close to the main roads and businesses in Folsom. We took full advantage of the proximity. I had to buy them helmets because I forgot to bring theirs from Arizona and it's the law here in Cali.
One evening we stopped by the greek restaurant for a snack. We had some lamb kabob to go along with pita and hummus dip. The outdoor patio is covered with grape vines and makes for a wonderful ambiance... as if the twins even cared about that. They noticed a birthday party next to us brought several bottles of bubbles. Layla smiled and batted her eyelashes at the party table and they came over to give the twins their own bottle of bubbles without us even having to ask.
There are still kind, generous people in the world. After they left, we grabbed four bottles from the table and took them home to continue the bubble blowing fun at a later date.
Easton and Layla are getting some quality GG time in this trip. I'm very happy that she comes over often to hang out with us and do mundane things like watching baseball and cuddling. These moments are completely un-exciting from an adventure point of view, but I stopped to take a picture because these are the special moments they'll remember for the rest of their lives. Just doing life together is such a blessing.
See you soon!