I am deeply saddened to say that I forgot my camera. I felt pain when I was not capturing these moments - this is not an exaggeration, physical pain. This post will have to stand alone without pictures. Please do not be disappointed in me. I promise to do better.
We all get up and get dressed on a Saturday. Bay comes to pick up Jessa, Spencer, and me. We all drive to St. Louis to a mall where there is a Cabela's. All the men in our family are obsessed with Cabela's. The kids think it is way fun, too. Jessa was calling all the preserved animals and the fish in the aquariums "exhibits." She roamed the store at will. Spencer and I just followed her lead. She lingered at the fish tanks and named every fish. And with a birthday fast approaching I had enacted a moratorium on buying anything for them for the whole month. Yet, I still allowed them to pick out 1 surprise each. This caused many discussions with Jessa trying to negotiate for more and different treats. I stood my ground, and all was quiet.
We left Cabela's and went to the food court at the mall. Jessa led us all around looking at every choice. She was hoping for Chick-fil-A (OK, we all were), but there was not one. So she finally settled on Burger King. We have one 1/4 of a mile from our house. Heaven forbid we mix it up and try something new! We all sat at the table of Jessa's choice and ate lunch. Then we all proceeded to the indoor mall play area where Jessa and Spencer played for a good 20 minutes. Then Bay forked over $2.25 per ticket for the two of them to ride on a train for 3 minutes in a small circle.
On our way back to the car, Bay bought them fudge. Bay likes nuts in his fudge, but Jessa did not want nuts. So we left with nut-free fudge.
Once in the car, they chowed down on their fudge while Bay drove us to a park. We walked around to look at the Missouri River, and then spent another 20 minutes playing on the outdoor playground, at Jessa's insistence.
Then we went to an outdoor event, the Life is Good Festival. It was way fun with TONS to do. And it was mostly all free. Seriously, a kid's dream come true - a beautiful day with sunshine and kid-centered activities. There were like 5 different cool bean bag tosses, there were hula hoop areas, bouncy ball corrals, sack races, parachute play, ball tosses, soccer shoot-outs, obstacle courses, face painting, musical instruments, juggling, live music, tons of food - you name it. They were so crazy, trying to do it all. We let them try everything they wanted to try. We let them choose what they wanted to do. There was even a lollipop tree where you could just walk over to the tree and choose a lollipop! Spencer had 2. Jessa got her face painted, they both tossed bean bags and balls, they kicked soccer balls, they ran the length of the park and back. They got big beach balls. They got balloons. Bay bought them hot chocolate. They did some things more than once. We followed their lead.
It was a long and fun day. I enjoyed watching them play and have a great time. (I ached for the camera) But let's face it, most of the day was not about me - it was about them, right? I walked along, beside Jessa who was still sipping her hot chocolate, with my arms loaded down with her coat and her beach ball. And after this long and fun day, I said to Jessa, "We need to think about heading home soon." Jessa looked over at me and with a straight face said to me, "But Mah-uhm! Y'all never let me do anything fun!"