Father's Day Farewell

The day has finally arrived. Today, my folks depart and, after traveling south to visit some more family, will head home to their native New Jersey. Their stay here in the Rocky Mountain west has been surprisingly wonderful. Normally, we argue and bicker, due in no small part to my own over-sensitivity and general family-related crankiness. This time, however, despite a collective stay between my parents for more than a full week (a challengingly long visit for me), we had a lovely time. Overall, I really enjoyed them being here. Isn't that awesome?

My parents even participated in two of my eating disorder therapy sessions, since these mental illnesses are usually rooted in childhood issues and can arise from family dynamics and childhood issues. The sessions were very helpful, and I now feel able to relate to my mom in particular in a much more healthy and less self-focused manner. What's more, instead of being relieved at their departure, I instead felt sad and also excited for our next meeting. How the wheel turns. I blog amazed.

We began our final hours together by attending our church on Father's Day morning. Then, after singing, sermon-soaking, and schmoozing with friends post-service, my parents, the Best Husband Ever, and I enjoyed a brunch out. We decided on a diner-ish place, staying in line with my parents' tradition of a weekly Sunday morning diner breakfast, that the folks have enjoyed during past visits. I ordered a hummus plate (complete with olives, feta, pita wedges, and fresh veggies -- yum!), Mom ate a roast beef and crumbled bleu cheese sandwich, and the men chose traditional breakfasty items. As the hubby would say, nom nom.
The day's dad-exposure did not end there, however. We parted ways for the afternoon, enabling my parents to nap, the hubby to enjoy some much-needed weekend rest and movie-watching, and me to elliptical and read at the gym. I also made the most of my kitchen access by baking two loaves of peasant bread from my favorite cookbook of all time, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. As you know, I adore this book's bread recipes and so do my in-laws, so I took some over to the Father's Day dinner they hosted. I also baked a loaf for my own dad as a gift to share with my mom and the family they are with as I write this. As always, the bread did not disappoint. Can I get another nom nom?

The dinner itself was, of course, delicious. My mother- and sisters-in-law turned out some tasty flank steak -- and that's a huge compliment coming from me, because I despise steak. Still, I tried a few pieces and found it quite good. They also served a lovely potato salad, fresh veggies, rolls, and my own parents contributed some beautiful fresh strawberries, grapes, and -- my favorite -- cherries. Maybe the Best Husband's Ever's nom nom should go here, too. This certainly is turning out to be a lip-smacking kind of post.

Visiting and watching all the parents swap stories was so much fun. Even more fun, though, was taking some silly photos with my folks . . .

. . . and one of my sisters-in-law, who is also heading south today after a long visit with her own parents.

(We were being bunnies at our niece's behest. I'm not sure what kind of bunny the Best Husband Ever is supposed to be, though . . . .)

What a week! What a visit! What a wonderful family I've been blessed with, both by birth and by marriage. Let's hear it for the folks, folks.

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