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The Fourth and Friends

It’s so wonderful being able to spend time with friends again; being able to have backyard parties, being able to see Reese play with our friend’s kids, and just generally seeing people breathe a sigh of relief after having a year spent in isolation. I did not get to go home to the cottage for the 4th of July this year and that is always a bit tough on me mentally and emotionally, but we still had a wonderful long weekend celebrating summer and our freedoms.

Before we picked Reese up on Friday, Bryan and I took the opportunity of being slow at work and the wonderful weather to go on a bike ride just the two of us. We did the 24 mile loop from our house and around Mercer Island and back. I felt good on the ride until the end when I was spent but it was nice to get in this beautiful ride with Bryan. We got back home just before having to pick up Reese and took her to the park for some time before heading home for the free Pagliacci’s Pizza I had picked up earlier in the day. It was a great start to the long weekend.

Saturday morning was like our usual Saturday mornings and Bryan made us bacon and pancakes and then Reese went to her last soccer class (I thought last week was her last class but we had one more). Reese actually did really well in following directions at this class and really seemed to enjoy it. I took her to the nearby Magnusson Park while it was not yet too hot before heading home for nap on the couch. Saturday afternoon we had a free one-hour pea pod (rowboat) rental at the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union. We got our suits on and boarded our boat and each took turns paddling on the lake. The lake was active but surprisingly not as busy as I would have thought and was really pleasant both in views and temperature. The one hour was about all that Reese could do without jumping into the water but she seemed to enjoy it. She requested to go to one of the nearby parks we have been to together (completely out of the blue), so we headed there for more park time before heading home for our dinner and a movie before bed.

Sunday, the 4th, was a busy day. We hung around the house all day, minus a quick grocery trip, but were busy with our party preparations for the BBQ we had with friends later in the afternoon. We got the house ready and finished off the 36 hours of sous vide of the brisket in the morning before moving it to the grill for a smoke finish. I made some potato salad, peri peri chicken with aji verde sauce, and a kale salad along with some fresh lemonade and iced tea. We ended up having 16 adults, four toddlers between 2 and 3 years of age and three little newborns over and I’m telling you, we cannot fit anymore people at our house outside than that. We managed to borrow a long table from a neighbor that allowed some people to eat at and others were scattered around the yard. There was so much food and desserts from dishes our friends brought over that made it quite the potluck. We had a great time, Reese in particular was in full party mode, and by the time our last guests left just before 10 pm, we were exhausted. Reese couldn’t fall asleep until 10:30 pm and, as I expected, kept getting woke up by the fireworks that people were doing until far too late in the morning so she ended up sleeping with us. But we managed to get pretty much completely cleaned up before going to bed (largely thanks to Bryan).

Monday was recovery day for all of us. We were all in the need for some R&R after such an eventful previous day. It took us quite some time to get ourselves awake and ready for the day. I didn’t get dressed until 4 pm in the afternoon. Reese and I walked to a park while Bryan managed to get a workout in and then he met us by foot and we decided to pick up Thai food nearby and ate that in another park. It was a glorious day and evening and we got back home around 7:30 pm, still in a slightly tired stupor.

I was not ready for the holiday weekend to be over and be back at work. I love seeing my friends again and love being able to give Reese playdates. We had glorious weather and good food and my enthusiasm for being back at work is just not too great this week. This week is pretty standard but then Bryan has a guys trip coming up next weekend and then we will be figuring out how best to celebrate his birthday next week. I’ll probably still be using these next few days to recover from the party on Sunday.

Chelsea

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