After much needed sleep in time (and by sleep in, I mean after 8 am) we ate some breakfast and then wanted to see baby nephew. Unfortunately, Uriah kept M&D up pretty much all night so we decided to let them all rest while we went on a tour of Mankato.
Back story- My family lived in Mankato until I was 13. I was born there as well as my younger sister Hannah. We lived in the exact same house and in the summer would ride our bikes around the neighborhood. I have many, many fond memories connected to my childhood in Mankato.
When we went on our tour, it wasn't some grand, extensive trip around Mankato. It was the places that were familiar to us. Obviously, when I was 13 I wasn't able to drive so I had a very small area that I was able to be in. I referred to this trip as the 'Amanda' tour. We started out and the city pool and then drove up the hill that I rode my bike on hundreds of times up to my house. My beautiful white house with the porch and two-car garage that my dad (and friends) built with his two hands. We drove to the public library and past the soybean plant down the road from my house. We toured Bethany Lutheran College and MSU-M where every 4th of July we'd watch fireworks. We drove to Sibley Park where we had countless picnics.
It's not that Mankato is the greatest town ever but it's mine. It's where I learned to walk, where I learned how to ride my bike on the sidewalk in front of our house, where I learned how to swim in the city pool, where I grew up. I have never felt like I've been able to say good-bye to my little town-but I don't think I ever will get that chance. Nothing is that same in my little neighborhood--in a way, everything looks smaller. My house looks really close to the garage even though when I was a kid, the concrete sidewalk seemed to stretch to far. The backyard looks so small due to the lilac bushes my dad planted becoming huge. The people who live in my house now don't keep it up as well as my parents did. There are old dandelions all over the yard-something my dad would never allow (he used to pay me a penny a dandelion to dig them up), the wood siding is starting to show through the white paint-another thing my parents would take care of when they'd get all the kids to help put a couple coats of white every couple years. The people cut down the old tree by our garage that we used to climb on via the old rusty red shed next to it. They took pride in the upkeep of our house which is something I never noticed until looking at the opposite. The neighborhood has changed too. The local playground got rid of the metal equipment and replaced the large metal burn-your-butt-as-you-slide-down slide with some red and yellow contraption. They even took down the swings that my friends and I used to have jumping off contests on. Even my school looks smaller. I feel like a giant in the kindergarten room, though 15 years ago I felt completely overwhelmed by the desks and tables that surrounded me. My dad's old office looks tiny with it's glass fishbowl look. The gym still looks gigantic and still has the same musty smell that I remember. All I hope for is to bring my children there when I'm older and have them exclaim their shock when they see where I lived. I want to drive down Riverfront Drive and show them the Motors Unlmtd and the Pizza Hut by my house along with the Kato Ballroom and the giant lilac bushes surrounding my childhood. That's my wish.
Back in reality, we got back from the hotel and had nephew snuggle time before mama had to leave in order to begin her MOH duties. We then went to the ceremony to celebrate Rob and Kate's marriage and then wen to the reception site. The reception was simple and full of the couple. The father of the bride, a friend of the family's, delivered a simple speech that got both his daughters tearing up. He simply said thanks for coming and "thanks to those of you who helped us raise Kate." Laura fulfilled her MOH duties nicely delivering an excellent, endearing speech to Rob and Kate and the evening followed with a whole lotta dancing. Kate is really into swing and that really showed through when Rob and Kate had a swing group perform, did a swing dance tutorial, and had a swing dance be their first dance. The night was lovely and full of old friends and kisses to the babe. We went back to the hotel and swam for a little bit in their bath-tub sized pool...then kidnapped Uriah from mama (much to her relief) and brought him over to our room (much to our joy).
(my sister's little family)
(what i get to look at every day)
An early day started with church and showing off Uriah to all the people who hadn't seen him (or even knew Laura was ever pregnant). I think some people thought that he was mine and Chad's especially during the wedding when Chad carried him out of the church, or when Laura and Eli sat up in the balcony during Sunday church service and left the baby with us. Maybe not, but I felt like they were:) Went to the familiar Perkins after church for one last family group time before we left to go back home. Chad and I went on the road listening to the new Green Day album. We pretty much went straight to Hannah's choir concert at church and then to Chad's parents house for our traditional Sunday night supper.
*So there you have it-our fun-filled exhausting weekend! What did you do? :)