Happy Birthday Grandpa

What a whirlwind these last two weeks have been.  I feel so behind on everything that I've had on my to-do list, but I'm ok with that.  The memories that were made, the mouths that smiled, the friends that were hugged, and the tears of happiness that were shed were a thousand times more important that anything on any to-do list.  Unless, of course, your to-do list was filled with friends and smiles and tears.  But no one really write those kinds of lists, do they?  Maybe we'd be happier if we did!  

Two weekends ago, after the first wedding of the summer, our whole family made the trip up north to the cottage on the Ottawa River, for some more celebrating.  Not only was it Father's Day, but it was also a birthday party for my aunt Jacky, and my grandpa Del.  Grandpa turned 80!  Thankfully, even though the morning was a little chillier than we had hoped (or packed clothes for) the afternoon turned into a lovely sunny day.

Serene shores of the Ottawa River
Ice cream cakes are a tradition in my family.  This was a personal favourite of mine (Oreo and raspberry!), even though I didn't have a slice, just a little bite of my mom's, because of that stupid lactose intolerance, and a rushed drive to Toronto that evening.

The birthday boy!
Candle blowing, father and daughter.
In our (extended) house, we enjoy food.  Lots of food.  So this weekend, there was definitely no shortage in the food department.  Breakfast at the (new, long, one that fits ALL of us!) table was loaded with bacon, sausage and egg sandwiches.  And Grandma's red pepper jelly, which is so so delicious.  My goal this year is to learn how to make it, so that Josh and I can enjoy is sweet spiciness at our house too!  Dinner was a huge, glorious, juicy hunk of beef on the BBQ, which I was so so excited for.  Josh and I still don't have a BBQ at our house, and I've definitely been finding myself with mad red meat cravings.  Sorry little George Foreman grill, you just aren't the same as steaks and roasts.  

Stuffing our faces with goodness.
My sister, again being a total ham.  Seems to be a photo trend of hers when she's in front of my lens.
Giant plates of bacon and eggs consumed in mere moments.  Ron Swanson would be so proud.
Soaking up every little moment of sunshine we could.  Also, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.  I guess you take the good with the bad.
My grandpa Del has only three grandkids, and we are all girls.  We spent most of our childhood being called boys, boy names, and generally getting teased by him constantly (in the most lovingly way!)  I think he was pretty happy when we all started bringing some boys around his house.  Immediately he went right into farmer grandpa mode, taking the boys out to learn 'man' stuff.  

One thanksgiving, I came into the kitchen at my grandparents house one morning, only to look out the window and find Josh and Grandpa out in the backyard with the cross bow.  Josh was getting a hands-on lesson, something that my sister, cousin, and I had never gotten.  Grandpa is all about getting us to learn by our own mistakes, so he never told Josh about the huge kickback on the crossbow.  When I went out to check out Josh's skill, he looked up at my with blood dripping down his face.  The kickback resulted in the scope hitting him above the eye, giving him a nasty cut.  The rest of that weekend, and years since, the joke has been that Grandpa shot him with the crossbow.  Needless to say though, Grandpa still let Josh marry me.  He loves Josh like he's one of his own.  And I love that.

Grandpa and his girls.  Jessica, me and Ali.
We couldn't just have this weekend be about the birthdays, it was also a celebration of our fathers.  I love my dad so much, so it was great to be able to squeeze in some relaxation with him.  Even though our conversations were constantly interrupted by him complaining about and swatting at the mosquitoes (they love love love him!), I enjoyed every moment, every word.  I'm definitely looking forward to the end of this month when he and mom come up to visit.  It's been too long that we've visited them without other plans occurring at the same time.

The greatest dad. 
The greatest grandpa.
Special shout-outs to this pretty lady.  It's such a treat to spend time with my cousin, Jessica, as she gets older.  (Starting her second year of University this fall...where has the time gone!)  I love the visits with her so much.  We (her, my sister and I) are the only cousins on this side of our family, and given the age differences, it was a little harder playing well together growing up.  Somehow though we definitely still managed.  (Hello mutual Spice Girl love!! Many days singing on the boat together, and dancing to Spice Up Your Life all day!)  But now that Jess is older, we get a whole new side of her!  She's become a great friend, and I learn new things from her every visit.  She taught me to use a hair wand!  And I thought that I was the hair know-it-all.  

My beautiful cousin, Jessica.
Even though this really has nothing to do with the birthday/father's day/family celebrations, I just had to share this picture of Sky, Jessica's cousin's (on the other side) pup.  Look at her eyes!!  She was definitely enjoying the water, and the added attention from the boys this weekend.