The craziness only continued the day after we went to the aquarium! We got up early again but this time to head home. Robyn and Lorelai were going up to visit her sister (Matt was meeting them there later after work) so that meant I was driving home solo with Kye as Mom and Zach would be coming home after work that day as well. I have NEVER driven a long distance with Kye on my own. I was pretty dang worried about it!!! I got the car all organized: plenty of snacks within arms reach to replenish his stash and arranged the dvd player situation so I could easily change them out for him. It was a rather easy ride, he behaved wonderfully, but it was still tough as I was exhausted from all the weeks adventures.
I was looking forward to a TON of our family coming to town that weekend, but while driving home I started freaking out. How in the world was I going to manage getting home, getting all our stuff unloaded, getting it all unpacked, getting Kye fed and down for nap, getting myself ready and getting the entire house clean for everyone to see it?!? I ended up calling the one person who I KNEW, without a doubt, would drop everything and help me. Mrs. Charlotte. It is SUCH a blessing to have someone like her in my life for times like those. Zach and I both feel strongly about not taking advantage of his moms giving heart. She’s one of those people that will literally do anything for anyone and we feel she often does waaaaay too much for others and not enough for herself (especially with her bad health!). I felt guilt calling her but I also knew I needed the help and that I rarely ask her for any favors 🙂 Duh, she went right over to my house and started cleaning it for me before I even got home!!!
Thankfully we got done with everything at about 2ish and I decided to skip getting ready and just SLEEP. I was so, so, so tired that I didn’t even wake up when Kye was awake crying or when my cousin, Ben, called to say they were here (luckily they went to my mom’s house!). Mom and Zach ended up not getting in until late so Kye and I went over to Mom’s and hung out with everyone until his bedtime. I sent them all to Smokin’ Pig to eat dinner and they LOVED it! It really is a great place to go with a big group and I thought it was pretty cute that everyone bought t-shirts to take home with them!
Saturday morning some of the guys came over to our house to help Zach get started on the ribs. We planned a big cook-out at our house for everyone and Mom bought 9 RACKS of ribs. We had sooo many left overs haha. Zach enjoyed the “guy time” and the help getting it all ready! I went to visit with everyone else (with Kye) at Mom’s for a little bit then we went over to Seth and Crissy’s to spend a little time at Neela’s birthday party. I hate that we couldn’t stay longer but we had a lot of entertaining to do at our house!!!
Jason, Ben, Josh and Zach workin’ on the ribs
Once we got back pretty much everyone came over to our house for lunch and ended up just staying the rest of the day. The whole weekend originated with my Aunt Michele and Uncle Chip who decided to come this way from California. They wanted to come see Mom and her new life here and we thought it’d be a great opportunity to invite any of the family who wanted to come! It was such a wonderful surprise at how many people ended up coming!!! For dinner that night at our house we had 21 people!!! Ready for the list??? Me, Zach, Kye, Mrs. Charlotte, Mr. Rusty, Mom, Uncle Chip, Aunt Michele, Ben, Liz (his gf), Josh, Uncle Jeff, Aunt Lauri, Jason, Liz (his gf…yes they both date girls named Liz!), Sabrina, Caylin, Aunt Amy, Uncle Joe, Brandon, and Chrissy. I was super pumped that we had enough seats for everyone!!! 😉
Seth snapped this picture of me at the party – proof I did attend!
grubbing out on lunch
Ben and Liz’s dog, Bo. After past dog instances with Levi we were a little leery about letting them bring him over but he is SUPER sweet and has some mega separation anxiety issues so we didn’t want them to have to be at Mom’s all day with him. Luckily he and Levi did pretty well and once Levi had enough Bo went back to Mom’s 🙂
Zach and I had a BLAST with these two! The more we get to know Liz the more we simply love her. She impresses me every time I am around her. She was non-stop help for me ALL day without me ever once even having to ask and Mom said she was the same way at her house. Zach said that Jason was also mega helpful for him with all the rib stuff. They are SUCH a perfect couple together and are just overall happy people which makes it impossible not to be happy too when you’re with them. I wish they lived closer b/c we’d spend a lot more time together for sure! Maybe someday 😉
Zach looks thrilled about all his cooking duties huh?!? 😉
Josh, Liz (SO glad we had so much time to get to know each other better!) and Ben!
Ben and Liz have just moved to Gainesville for him to go to law school so I’m excited to be so close to them!
When we decided to have the cookout I knew that it would be a lot on me. I knew I’d have a busy week and that I needed the event to be low-key. Low key isn’t typically my style. In a normal “Emily World” I’d have cooked everything myself and had cute little desserts and everything served on pretty platters. In “Pregnant Emily World” I only made one thing and that was simply heating up some frozen tubes of creamed corn 😉 Mom, Zach and Mrs. Charlotte provided pretty much all the other food so my only real task was playing hostess. I assumed we’d be spending the day out by the pool (the greatest benefit of having a pool in your backyard…free entertainment!) but good old RAIN tried to spoil it for us!
Even in the down pour (and hearing us onlookers over and over again say that we heard thunder…) a big group swam and played basketball and volleyball in the pool. They had a blast while the rest of us enjoyed just watching 😉
It was a great opportunity to catch up with Liz!
Eventually it did for sure lightning and we were able to talk them into getting out of the pool so we could get started on dinner. We had a lot of cooks in the kitchen huh? 😉
One thing I didn’t have to worry about AT ALL was Kye. At first when I heard the fam was coming I worried about Kye being bored. When we all get together we do a lot of sitting around and talking stuff which a two year old doesn’t have much patience for. He’s the youngest one in our entire family right now so there aren’t little cousins for him to run around and play with. Or so I thought…Kye actually went through attention withdraws when everyone left! ALL the guys were in love with him. It was so cute to walk back to his room and find all these college age guys on his bed playing with his Buzz and Woody toys with him. We are going to have some AMAZING daddies in our family for sure!!! It made my heart so happy to see all of them interacting with Kye and to see Kye having such a great time. I never had to worry about him once and we didn’t have a single behavior problem the entire weekend (until the morning they left…Kye had a rough time with that!).
Ben with Kye
Mr. Rusty let us borrow his huge grill thing and Zach took his job of Rib Master very seriously!
Watermelon from Mr. Rusty’s farm!
Auntie Amy loved her some Kye 😉
Sabrina and Caylin
Zach, Josh, Ben, Liz, Liz and Jason
More Rib Faces!
Mr. Rusty. Mrs. Charlotte, Mom, Uncle Chip, Auntie Amy, and Uncle Joe
Even MORE Rib Faces!
Chrissy, Auntie Lauri, Uncle Jeff, and Brandon
I am the only person who doesn’t eat ribs haha but Kye enjoyed them for me
All day he kept saying “ribs ribs ribs!”
After dinner the storm had passed and Kye was dying to get in the pool. I really wanted Brandon to get to swim with him since Brandon is a lifeguard and I knew he’d be proud to see Kye’s swimming skills. They were fun to watch in the water and it was neat to get to hear everyone comment on what a great swimmer Kye is! Kye had a BLAST with his Uncle Brandon and Brandon told me a few days later via Facebook that he adores Kye and that meant the world to me. I really appreciate how close we are to Zach’s family but I often worry that our kids will grow up being way closer to them especially with cousins their ages and such and I want our kids to love being around my family too. I think this weekend proved that even without kids his age, Kye still loves the Bublitz clan!!!
getting ready to play Tripoly after dinner
family tradition getting carried on 😉
On Sunday we went to church then back over to Mom’s for a little bit before Kye’s nap so we could visit with everyone. She had 11 people sleeping at her house which was crazy to me especially with us having so many empty rooms at our house but I’m not complaining…I def needed my sleep! They didn’t leave our house until after 11 Sat night and who knows how late they stayed up 😉
Uncle Jeff parked his pop-up next to Mom’s house for extra space
During Kye’s nap the gang called me about making plans for the rest of the day. They said that they wanted to go sightseeing around Valdosta. Which is HILARIOUS if you think about it! I told them I’d go with them and let Zach stay at the house while Kye slept then we could all meet up for dinner. I took them on a tour of our town and told Zach we’d be done in about 20 min 😉 Robyn texted me while we were gone and I told her I was showing them the town and she said “where?” haha. Very true!
We basically drove straight down Patterson Street, saw VSU, then parked in downtown Valdosta and walked down Patterson then back up Ashley and across. It was a Sunday and we’re a Bible Belt town so mostly everything was closed but we still had a fun time! We went into some international grocery store place and got some snacks 😉
I was in a random posing mood haha
I wasn’t embarrassed of the town…but I did feel bad that there wasn’t more to show them. Our family is all used to Melbourne (Fl) where there’s the beach, a cute town, and lots to do. We just don’t have much here! We did stop by Murphey’s (our newest gas station…yes we’re pumped about it!) to all get slushies. I think it was some of the gangs third trip there haha. I LOVE this picture of all of us (I got one to take home to Zach).
That night we all went to dinner at Austin’s Steakhouse. I hadn’t eaten there in years but remembered they have a big room in the back so I thought we’d all fit in there. It was AWESOME. Uncle Chip said it was the best steak he’s ever eaten! Everyone liked their food and I highly recommend it to everyone. We rode with Jason and Liz and showed them Lowndes Stadium where Zach played high school football 😉 Everyone was pretty exhausted so we called it an early night and headed home.
Monday morning Mom and Zach had to leave early for work so Kye and I went to Mom’s to see everyone off. When we got there everyone was still asleep!!! It was a great opportunity to practice whispering for when Blitzen arrives and Kye did a wonderful job. We enjoyed visiting one last time and Kye really struggled when everyone left. After SUCH an exciting week it’s understandable! I ended up staying at Mom’s an extra hour after everyone else hit the road just to let Kye play with the toys there and let him adjust to being “alone” before taking him back home.
It was the end of a CRAZY busy but wonderfully fun week and I had such a great time visiting with my family. I LOVE that we are all so close and all have such a great time being together. It doesn’t get to happen as often as we’d all like but I’m proud that we all still make the effort as much as possible. Once both Papa and Nana passed away it’d be easy for everyone to grow apart, as that’s what happens in most families, but none of us want that to happen and I feel confident that it never will! Thanks to everyone who came to stay with us – it was a BLAST!!!!