In the midst of everyday stresses and stressors, it’s always nice to have a little break from the things that are just…making you feel so BLAH about life and what you are doing with your life.
For me, this week, it was having my beautiful sister, Karla, drive up from Birmingham, Alabama, with her eldest son, my nephew, Landon. I didn’t know how much I needed her and the distraction of having her and Landon here to really just allow me to relax, smile, and be me again!
Family, especially my sister, is, apparently, the cure to what ails, troubles, and bothers you. I’ve been having…a not so amazing time these past few weeks…and, unfortunately, it’s something I am not really allowed to discuss. Censorship sucks, yes? YES! But…just trust me…the type of personality I have and the person I am…it’s been bothering me on a fundamental level, which, has added a lot of added stress to my already chaotic life.
But this weekend…was amazing. I love spending time with my sister…and it doesn’t happen often enough. So, her texts and calls that ask what I’m doing on certain weekends means…she’s coming to visit. And I LOVE when she comes to visit. She and I are best friends and sisters and just…have always been close. So, me living this far away for 11 years (YES…11 years as of Friday)…has not been easy on either of us. But here is some of the mischief that we got into this weekend, helping me to not even think about the bad and sucky things that have made a certain portion of a time of my day…a thing I have resented and even loathed at times over the past couple of weeks.
Here’s to sisters…and nephews…and family…and general FUN! They make the world right again.
1. Fish in the Water
One thing Karla and I had discussed for Landon to do while here was to go to the new water park in New Albany. Unfortunately, Friday left us with thunderstorm warnings and the threat of pop-up storms. So, at around 3:30…when she arrived and we left the office…the lifeguards were being sent home and the park was closing. So, Plan B…go to the YMCA and let him swim. He was swim tested and given permission to go to the life guard chair in the lap pool and to go down the slide in the kids pool. So, for a good portion of the afternoon…about an hour and change, that’s what he did. Cathy, Karla, and I all sweltered to death in the humidity of the pool area of the YMCA while he played and cooled off in the pools. It was worth it to see the smile on his face!
2. SUSHI TIME!
My sister commented a week or so ago about how delicious my vegetarian sushi looked when I Instagram-ed it and posted it to Facebook. And then…I had a brilliant moment of brilliance. My nephew, Landon, is a very, very, very picky eater. BUT…he does love cheese things. Cheese quesadillas, cheese sandwiches, mac & cheese….ALL THE CHEESE! With the excitement over sushi on my post, I thought of the perfect place for us all to grab dinner, that even Landon couldn’t turn his nose up and refuse to order anything. Dragon King’s Daughter to the rescue! For those of you who are not local, Dragon King’s Daughter is an Asian-fusion restaurant with two locations…one in New Albany, Indiana, and one in Louisville, Kentucky. The menu includes traditional fare from the Far East, as well as contemporary fare with a unique twist. They offer classics of Japanese dining such as lemongrass miso, vegetable, and sushi rolls, as well as a multitude of new creations including a mixture of East and West forms and flavors. On the kids menu…a cheese quesadilla…and for the adults…we all went sushi. My sister and I figured we could get a roll each and split one…so I got the Vegetable Roll, she got the Buffaroll, and we split the Green Acres Roll. Cathy went for the fishies…and got the Shrimp Tempura Roll and the Dragon King’s Daughter Roll. And after that…a trip over to the Comfy Cow for an ice cream dessert. What a great first few hours.
3. Playtime at the County Fair
It just so happens that the Floyd County Fair happens across the street from where I life. Convenient, yes? After dinner and dessert, we came home and walked over to the fairgrounds to scope out some rides and the barns with Landon. He went on three rides (he had 4 tickets, but he wanted his mom to ride with him on one he wasn’t sure about). He loved going to see the animals. And one of the highlights for me was seeing my sister crack up every time the goats bleating. Her laugh is so contagious. We all shared lemon shakeups and just walked around. After that…it was time for showers and then we were all down on the couch to watch Zootopia and then…they took over my room and went to bed and I crashed out on the couch so I could get up early and head out for my 12 mile run and get it done before too much of the morning was passed.
4. It Runs in the Family
One of the best things we decided to do, was to go for a short run together. After my 12 miler, I got home and Karla and Landon put on their running clothes. We hiked up to Sam Peden Park and ran a loop. It was hard for Karla, as she hasn’t run in a long while…and she’s not used to the crappy air quality of the Ohio River Valley, but she was a trooper and pressed on. I ran right there with her to encourage her…and Landon…he was busy chasing down the Army men who were running there. He beat quite a few. It was awesome. Landon has amazing speed and gorgeous running form. He’s a natural and I love watching him run. Needless to say, it was a great way to start the day as a family.
5. Wild Eggs
Breakfast was the next most important stop on Saturday. We stopped off at Highland Coffee for some coffee first…and then took the drive over to Westport Road to go to Wild Eggs. Landon already knew he wanted pancakes and BACON. He made sure to tell me that if I got an omlette, he wanted my BLUEBERRY muffin. Since I can’t eat the muffin, I was totally cool with this. It had been forever since I went to Wild Eggs for breakfast…but it was a nice return. They even have gluten-free bread and a gluten-free menu now. LOVE that. Yes…it even includes gluten-free pancakes, French toast and the like. That was exciting. But after 13 miles of running and a hike to and from the park…I wanted some protein. So I ordered the Surfer Girl Omlette (fresh spinach, wild mushrooms, tomato, cream cheese and onion and topped with diced fresh avocado, pico de gallo, sour cream and fresh alfalfa sprouts. Served with skillet potatoes). I got mine without the cream cheese and sour cream. My sister got the same thing, just without the mushrooms (she hates mushrooms). And Cathy got the Kalamity Katie’s Border Benedict (green chili cheddar corn cakes,topped with chorizo, two poached eggs and queso fundido, pico de gallo, sour cream, green onions and avocado. Served with skillet potatoes and an Everything Muffin). And, yes, I got a blueberry muffin for Landon. He was pretty full after eating the two pancakes that were as big as his face and the bacon he ordered…but he took a few bites. The rest…came home with us and then went home with them today.
6. Pierced Ears
Okay, here is something that I didn’t expect to happen this weekend. My sister and I got to talking about earrings…and she brought up how her daughter (she’s 16 months) had her earrings work out perfectly…and how my mom (whose holes closed because she stopped wearing earrings) had just gotten her ears pierced a few weeks ago. I said that I keep saying I need to get it done but just haven’t pulled the trigger. I think a part of me thinks it will fail again. As a kid, I gave the pierced ears a try about 5 times, but always and an allergic reaction to them. My sister was the same way, but it worked for her as an adult. So, she told Cathy to pull into somewhere that could pierce my ears. We did. And now I sit here with beautiful 4mm white gold studs in my ears. Karla taught me how to clean and turn the earrings every day (3 times a day)…and the rest is history. So here is hoping that they work out this time around…because I have wanted to have pierced ears for a long, long time. Leave it to my sister to get me to do something like this on a short weekend visit. HA!
A shopping trip to a few of our favorite stores followed up that little adventure.
Because you can’t just spend the day shopping when you have a 9-year-old boy with you, we took Landon to the Renaissance Fun Park. We had discussed Go Karts…but opted, instead, for putt-putt. It had been ages since my sister and I went putt-putting. It was a lot of fun. The easy holes on the course they put together there are actually quite challenging. But we had a blast. Afterwards, Landon and I took on some air hockey…which he won…and then he played a few more games after that…until the money on his card ran out. It was worth every moment to see him out there laughing and being a competitive little boy.
One of the main reasons my sister aimed for this weekend was that the local professional soccer team, Louisville City FC, was playing on Saturday night. And, since Landon is a HUGE soccer fan, and soccer player himself, we thought it would be fun to take him to a match. I said I wanted to get him a replica jersey for him to wear during the match and she picked him up a hat and then got a t-shirt for Chace. I made sure Karla wore the logo t-shirt I owned to the match as well. They got some pizza for dinner and we settled into our seats at midfield to enjoy. I have never seen Landon so into an event as that soccer game. Seriously, he was shouting at the players and the refs…and it was just magical and fun and amazing. I bought him ice cream at half time because…it’s my job as Auntie…to spoil him and get him hyped up on sugar. HAHA! In the end, after a horrible call by a ref, we ended in a draw of 1-1…and Landon had hoped that some of the players would come over to the midfield (they usually do) so he could get pictures and some autographs, but they all returned to the locker room without coming over. He was bummed, but he still had a fantastic time, and I loved seeing him light up the way he did when Louisville City scored the first goal of the match!
9. Home-Cooked Breakfast
I gave my sister and Landon the option of grabbing breakfast out at a restaurant before they hit the road…or having me cook breakfast for them. Landon really wanted waffles (with powdered sugar, which he now LOVES thanks to Wild Eggs putting it on his pancakes), scrambled eggs…and bacon. So, my sister and I hit the grocery store for bacon (this vegetarian does not have bacon on hand), eggs, and a gluten-free waffle/pancake mix. And then, this morning, I got to cooking. I started the waffles first, knowing that would take the most time. He wanted the Mickey Mouse shaped waffles…so I made that happen for him. And, because we adults weren’t too sure we wanted waffles, we had gluten-free avocado toast with our eggs. I started cooking the bacon before Karla emerged from the bedroom, but she took over that so I could focus on toasting the bread, doing the waffles, and scrambling the eggs. It all finished up at the right time…everything done when it should be. Breakfast was served. And I didn’t take a picture of it, but Karla and I cook epic breakfasts together. And Cathy now has lots of bacon in the fridge for this coming week. Which makes her happy.
After that…they had to hit the road and get home…
It was hard to let them go, but I know Karla’s husband and other two kids were missing her and Landon like crazy. I just was having such a good time and all the time together went by way too fast.
They got home late this afternoon…and she said that they missed me as well.
I hope we do it again soon.
Sisters really do make everything better!