We’re spending the weekend with my parents in Sterling, VA, leaving sometime tomorrow afternoon. It’s so nice that they’re just a two-hour drive away. We’ve been getting to spend a lot more time with them the last few years.

We came down amidst thunderstorms on Friday afternoon, but things were clear and warm as we made a stop by Crate & Barrel so that Melissa could get some wooden candle holders for our mantle. Mom and Dad got home a little early from work that day, so we hung out for a while and then had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Even though it was Good Friday, Melissa had made my mom a late birthday cake and we had some of that. After Ryan was down for the evening, we watched Prime, which was enjoyable. Definitely worth a rental if you’re in the mood for a romantic dramedy that plays a little with age and religious differences.

We got up early Saturday morning so that we could head down to Crockett Park, near Warrenton, to meet up with the Szwejbkas for the first time since they’d moved from the Hershey area. I’d visited them in January; it was certainly nice to get both families together. Ryan and Lily (seven months’ difference) acted like they hadn’t been apart for almost two years; they played great with each other the whole time we were at the park. Owen (2 years, 8 months) had fun as well and played with the bigger kids a bit more as the day went on. We had a picnic lunch, went paddleboating on Georgetown Lake, and threw football and Frisbee until rain moved in a little after 3PM. We’d only planned to be together until about 4, when we were each due to head back to our respective parents’ places (in opposite directions). We exchanged Easter gifts and then hit the road. Dad made an excellent chicken stir-fry for dinner. We watched Harry Potter 4 after Ryan hit the hay.

This morning Ryan found his Easter basket before Melissa and I had even rose. We all went to mass together at Mom’s new church, Our Lady Of Hope. It’s a new, very large church and it was difficult to get in and park, but the mass was respectful and musical. After lunch we went over to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Herndon; while it’s certainly not fully in bloom, there was enough color around to please the eye. Melissa bought Ryan an ornamental bumblebee-on-a-pole for the garden she’s planning to plant with him this season.

Just figured I’d get this all down before we eat our ham dinner. I found out from Mom that I have more extended-family readers than I thought; thank you all for giving her such a nice surprise birthday party last weekend! Happy Easter to all of you, and anyone else stopping by to read this.