Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Abbotts come to Arkansas

Haven't had a chance to write much lately as I've had a busy work week and last weekend we had company. Not just any company- the best kind, my sister and her family!

As much as I love my sister - and I love her fiercely - the big attraction here is my super adorable niece Claire. Toddlers are natural comedians, and at two and a half, she's officially entered the "interesting little person" phase.

It was a beautiful weekend as fall weekends in Arkansas tend to be, and we did our best to take advantage of the sunshine. Friday was an at-home day for everyone but me (work!) so it was mostly hanging out, swinging in the back yard, and the midday nap that is a standard part of every toddler's routine. Actually, that was a part of the routine I'd kind of forgotten about - along with the twenty-minutes-to-get-out-the-door part of the routine. Being a toddler parent is hard, y'all, but the good news is that just a few years out of this age, you apparently don't remember the hard parts very clearly!

Around here, Saturday mornings in the fall start with soccer, so we all trooped over to the Lewis Soccer Fields, chairs, blanket, diaper bag, snacks and water bottle in hand. In a quirk of timing, it happened to be A&M/Arkansas football weekend. Susannah is a legit Aggie, and I and my kids have adopted Old Army, and we showed up in our maroon and white despite being smack dab in the heart of Razorback Country. Bold choice!
As precious as Claire is, I think my own kids are pretty darn cute, too! Caroline at the soccer game:
And ohmygoodness, my little man is getting so big. And so handsome.
John has such a tender heart and loves his little cousin. She loves him right back; all weekend long, I heard a lot of "hey John! Hey John!" and "where's John?" from the tiny little toddler voice. He is so patient with her, playing together in the playroom and then out in the sandbox for a while, too.
Their visit last year was on a similarly beautiful weekend which meant enjoying the sunshine. I happened to snap a really great picture of Susannah with all of the kids out on the front lawn last year, one of those iPhone pictures that you look at and wonder how you got so lucky. We tried again, recreating the scene and capturing smiles across the board again this year.
The big event of the day was mini golf - I guess Susannah had mentioned going for a round to John and once you say something like that, you know you have to make it happen! You never know how things will go with a tiny little person, but it ended up being so much fun for everyone.
Pretty sure Claire is a natural!
I was a bit behind as we finished up the round; as I walked toward the 17th hole, I heard John whooping from down below me on the 18th green. Big man got a hole in one on the final hole!! I'm pretty sure it's a universal rule in putt putt - a hole in one on the last hole equals a free round. Kiddo was grinning ear to ear!
There wasn't any big-deal event or major effort to manufacture fun last weekend; the awesome thing about my sister is that when she comes to visit, she's cool with just hanging out. Seeing the kids spend time together, hanging out just talking is totally our kind of fun. Of course, fall weekends are also football weekends, so it didn't hurt that we got to yell for the Aggies from the comfort of the couch. If you were watching, then you know the game went into overtime, with us nearly hyperventilating until the guys in maroon and white finally put it away.

Like most visits, it went by too fast and ended too soon. Sunday afternoon came and Susannah, Justin and Claire headed back home to Houston. Life is super busy, and seems to accelerate with each passing day. Last weekend was a chance to capture those fleeting moments.

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