Friday was field day at school. Thankfully the weather cooperated and it was the perfect mix of cooler temperatures and cloudy skies which offered us teachers some relief as we ran from one station to another with our kiddos. Since field day was a bit hectic and chaotic, our principal announced they were "paving the parking lot" at 3pm. In other words, us teachers were free to go home early. Woot woot! Since Kevin had to work Friday night, I hightailed it home so I could get in a good hour hanging out with him before we had to go pick up Harper doodle from daycare. We spent our hour alone curled up on the couch, watching Family Feud, and chowing down on a Tostino's pizza. And in all honesty, it was perfect. Long gone are the days I long to get dressed up and go out. Now the perfect date night is being able to cuddle on the couch, in something comfortable, with absolutely nothing on the agenda. It's heaven.. But like everything life returns to normal and when our hour alone was up, we headed to pick up our favorite little girl who greeted us with a huge smile on her face and a quick hug. When we arrived back home, Kevin only had about thirty minutes before he needed head into work. So we spent his half hour at home doing one of the things Harper loves to do most... played with her mega bloks she got from Aunt B.
Since Kevin had to work, just Harper and I met my parents for our usual Friday night dinner. Since we didn't have as many people to sit, we headed to a local vegetable place that could easily accommodate us four. As we were finishing up dinner, my friend Brittni, otherwise known as Aunt B, called us up and asked if we were still eating. Since we were, she headed over to the restaurant and enjoyed some dessert with us. Since she's practically been adopted by my parents, we sat a while longer at the restaurant while Mom and Dad caught up on what has been going on with her. By 8pm, the waitresses were beginning to start cleaning up; a clear sign they were ready to call it a night. So my Dad quickly paid for our meals and then we carried the party back to my house. While Mom worked on tacking some of Harper's way too big shorts, we all hung out in the living room and watched a Hallmark movie before calling our Friday night to a close.
Because I knew Kevin would be sleeping in Saturday morning after working a long twelve hour shift the night before, I made plans to do a little shopping in Greensboro with Brooke, my brother-in-law's girlfriend, to pick up a few items I've been wanting for summer. We headed to Marshalls first to look for some new workout clothes. Thankfully we got lucky and I ended up finding some new workout tops and a couple of pairs of capris for the gym. Since Homegoods was right next door, we swung by there for a few minutes but not really being in the mood to shop for the house, we walked right out the door without purchasing anything. But that wasn't the case when we headed across the street to Target. While there we grabbed a drink from Starbucks, Harper's favorite 'ice cream', before doing a little bathing suit shopping. And it goes without fail that the dollar spot got me once again. When everything is a dollar, it's so hard to say no. I ended up with some cute patriotic decorations and grabbed up a few things for an upcoming cookout we'll be hosting for our closest friends in a few weeks.
Saturday evening, while Kevin was working and Harper was hanging out with Kevin's parents, I headed to the AFJROTC military ball with my parents and siblings for an awards banquet and retirement party. One of the instructors I had the privilege of learning under was retiring and he was the guest speaker for the night. The whole evening was pretty much dedicated to MSgt Monroe and he deserved every minute of recognition he got. I am so honored to have had the privilege of knowing him. I pray that in all of my years of teaching, I'll be half the teacher he was to all of us cadets over the last 19 years.
Sunday morning, Harper and I slept in way later than usual. On most mornings, I'm up no later than 8am but having gotten home way later the night before, I guess my body was more tired than usual so I found myself still in bed at 9:45 in the morning. By 10 o'clock I finally crawled out of bed and got myself ready for church. It's a wonder that we even made it to church on time but by God's good grace we made it. Following church, we headed to Mom and Dad's for Sunday lunch where we stuck around for most of the afternoon.
Around 4pm, we finally left and headed to Lowes where we went to order some more flooring (yes, that project is still happening!) and grab some paint samples for our bathroom and Harper's big girl room. As a side note, we had headed there Saturday evening to do the same thing but upon our arrival, someone walked, well ran, out of the store stealing some merchandise so in the craziness, there were no representatives to assist us.
At 6 o'clock, Kevin headed back in for another long night of work. Since it was just Harper and me at home for the night, I decided to ride out and pick up dinner. For some reason, I was craving fried chicken, something I haven't had in ages, so off to Bojangles we went. After I'd devoured my chicken and Harper had consumed half my fries, some macaroni and cheese, and most of my biscuit, we settled in on the couch to watch some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I knew Harper was getting pretty tired by evidence of the fact that she used her little hand to prop her head up as she watched tv, but I had no idea how tired she truly was until she crawled up on my chest and fell fast asleep.
As I laid on the couch with her on top of me, her little fingers wrapped around my arm, her eyelids fluttering, her chest rising and falling, I couldn't help but get a little emotional when my heart swelled larger than I thought even possible. Not two hours earlier she'd peed in her potty for the first time. Despite how excited I was for the milestone I was a bit sad that she was getting that much bigger and more independent. But in that moment, holding her as she slept, I was reminded that she still needs me. She's still my little girl no matter what big moments she has today, tomorrow, or ten years from now. So if she wanted me to hold her as she slept, that's exactly what I was going to do. So for two hours, I laid with her just like that. For two hours I prayed over my little girl, for the life she'd have, the journey she'd take, and the problems she'd face. When it came time to lay her in her bed, I felt like a piece of me was missing. It was my other half. The part that made my heart whole. And that part was sleeping just ten steps down the hall...