Anniversary Date

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During the past week, Dan and I realized a few different things:

1. We had yet to take our belated anniversary date
2. A recent doctor’s visit revealed the first warning sign that Baby 2 could be born early
3. The next four or five weekends are all full (weddings, moving, church events)

We concluded that if we wanted to get in our special date before Baby 2 is born, we were going to have to take it on Saturday. (We realized this on Saturday morning)

After a few quick phone calls, Dan had made arrangements for a family from church to watch Lydia for us all afternoon. This was only the second time that we had left Lydia with anyone ever. And, it was the very first time we’d left Lydia with anyone to go out on a date, just the two of us. Was I excited?

I was excited.

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So we dropped the Munchkin off and soon she was happy playing with her friends from church. To be honest, there was a part of me that wondered if it’d feel weird not having her with us. I even wondered if we would run out of things to talk about. When we got back in the car, there was a moment of silence and we realized we hadn’t driven anywhere together without Lydia since she came home from the hospital over two years ago.

Soon, however, we were chatting away and the GPS on Dan’s phone, Waze, was taking us back to downtown Plymouth for our date. We were well on our way to the restaurant when all of a sudden I glaced up to see a ferris wheel in the center of the road! To our surprise, this weekend also happened to be the Plymouth Fall Festival, a relatively huge carnival that takes place right in the heart of Plymouth. So, we ditched our plans to sit by the lovely fountain (because of the extremely loud music, crowds of high school couples, and cheerleaders) and found a cozy little bench just outside of all the activity.

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On our way to this bench, we noticed some obscenely large stuffed animals, and kids abducting aliens (a funny twist you don’t often hear about, we thought). Anyway, we enjoyed just sitting on a bench, not carrying a diaper bag, not chasing a toddler, free to chat away for more than three minutes without interruption.

Don’t get me wrong. We love Lydia. We love having her around. We love chasing her around. And we get plenty of time to talk when she’s napping, in bed, in the car, or during meal times. But, well, we loved this too.

Eventually we decided to head over to our chosen restaurant, a highly recommended Italian place. We opted to sit inside to escape the Festival noises, and enjoyed a much longer and much more expensive dinner than we usually eat. Everything was delicious. And I particularly enjoyed sitting and waiting for the waiter to bring the bill because that meant I wasn’t trying to entertain a Munchkin with a much shorter attention span than her parents.

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After dinner, Dan offered to buy me a frozen lemonade or other treat of my choice. Having spent a lot of money already, I opted for our favorite not too expensive Starbucks drink (I’ll tell you all what that is in a later post). There are three flavors to choose from and (don’t get weirded out), the green one actually tastes the best.

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Our two-hour parking limit was about to run out, so we drove back to a park near the home where Lydia was having the time of her life without us. (For someone who never gets left with anyone, separation anxiety is definitely not a problem for her) We walked a little, and found a picnic table where some child had forgotten his or her stuffed animals. Both of us found it humorous that even without the Munchkin, we were hanging out at a playground.

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So we wrapped up our date chatting away, and sitting in the quiet, enjoying some uninterrupted time together as the sun was just starting to sink in the sky, making everything glow in a way that reflected the happiness of the day. Our third anniversary date was belated, and it wasn’t exactly what we’d planned, but it was absolutely perfect.

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Labor Day Adventures

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Dan had the day off for Labor Day on Monday, and we were able to enjoy our first day-off as a family without traveling since Dan graduated! The day started with some sleeping in, a late breakfast, and then plan-making for the rest of the afternoon.

We decided to check out downtown Plymouth, since we’re planning on moving soon and had never gotten around to spending some time down there. It’s a lot like downtown Traverse City (where we grew up), but bigger.

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We walked the streets, looked in the windows, and pushed Lydia in her stroller. Eventually we came to the fountain, and took a nice break there sitting in the shade and watching kids walk around the edge of the fountain and then sneak in when their parents weren’t looking.

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After a while, we continued our walk, touring all the streets of downtown Plymouth. We ended up in a historic area, where we gave Lydia a history lesson on the American wars. Dan and I remembered an embarrassingly small amount of information about any of the wars. So much for straight A’s. Dan’s side of the family is somehow related to Abraham Lincoln (17th cousins or something like that) so we were sure to get a shot of Lydia with Abe. See any resemblance?

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It was pressing in on nap time and we still hadn’t eaten lunch, but we made another stop at Starbucks to get some free drinks (story to come later…). Dan got an iced coffee and Lydia and I shared a smoothie as we headed back to the fountain one last time. However, just as I was about to take a picture of our smoothie-sharing, I realized my camera was gone!

We retraced our steps back to Starbucks. No camera. Then we went all the way back to Abe, where I thought I may have forgotten it on a bench. But there was the bench, and no camera. Just than a tall man ran up and asked us if we had lost our camera! This kind gentleman (Jerry) had turned it in to the police station. So after a while of knocking on doors and snooping around the station (which was pretty deserted), Jerry found us an officer who located our missing camera. That ended the trip on a very happy note and we headed back home for lunch and naps.

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The weather was absolutely perfect, so Dan worked on his computer outside and, after a long nap myself, I joined him. When Lydia woke up we all headed to the playground, where Lydia mastered the tunnel-slide, and then went down it 13 times, insisting that Dan follow her down every single time. We spent a good long while at the playground and, when everyone was satisfied, made our way back home for dinner. After a couple innings of baseball (our current Monday night tradition while Lydia gets ready for bed), we tucked Lydia in.

Then I gave Dan his first violin lesson, which went really well. I’m thinking of giving violin lessons from home starting sometime after Baby is born, but I’ve never taught before. Dan has very little music education, so he is a perfect first student. And so far, he does great. We’ve had two lessons in a row and he’s been practicing in the mornings.

So, after mastering the “D string”, we watched a little more baseball, and stayed up far too late talking. (Dan really is a happy camper on his days off) Eventually we had to call it a night. I can’t remember ever having a more full and happy Labor Day.