A Big Year

My sister's birthday was right around the corner, and her boyfriend, Chad, had a surprise for her. He wanted it to be special, so our family (and his) decided to spend the day at the lake and then have dinner together.

We headed to Lake Mead, loaded up the stroller with baby gear, and made our way to the boat.
Fortunately, it was a beautiful day on the lake. As soon as we got to the dock, Grace remembered feeding the fish in December and wanted to do it again. We grabbed a couple bags of popcorn and the feeding frenzy began. I've been feeding fish at Lake Mead since I was a kid, and I still can't believe how crazy they are every single time.
We ran out of popcorn pretty quickly with miss Grace face throwing handful after handful as quickly as possible to the starving fishies.
We headed to the boat to meet Papa Rick. Everyone else was on their way but not there yet. The girls watched Wreck it Ralph on the iPad and shared Puffs while the guys enjoyed a couple of beers.
Rick's friend, Jim, came by on his boat and wanted to go check out Hoover Dam. We got the girls' lifejackets and jumped in.
They both loved riding on the boat. Grace kept asking them to go faster, while Charley just enjoyed the wind blowing in her face. Once we got to the dam, we took a couple of pictures. The new bridge over the dam is so scary and big.
Grace would say, "Go by the mountains. Go faster. I want to stand and watch the water." She loved watching the water splash as we sped through it. Charley fell asleep in Papa's arms once we started moving again.
Once we got back to the boat, Charley finished her nap and then played with some sand toys that Grammy brought. Grace opened the package of buckets and shovels and said, "what am I supposed to scoop?" We were just keeping the boat at the dock instead of going to a beach, so there was no sand.
Charley had fun chasing Grammy around the kitchen and trying to open Geni's present.
She played with Auntie on the porch and carried her sippy in her mouth.
We hung out upstairs enjoying the view and the weather.
Grace loved the boat so much, that we took her for another ride. This time, we took Papa's boat, and he let her drive.
Rick taught Isaac how to drive, too, so we would be able to take it out for a spin without him.
(I was terrified. Ha!)
Grace ended up falling asleep at the end while we took a long, super fast ride.
When dinner was ready, Chad made sure to put Geni's present upstairs so she could stare at it the whole time we were eating. Mom found a cake recipe on Pinterest complete with crushed pineapple, vanilla pudding, and toasted coconut. It was amazing and the perfect cake for warm weather. Grace even helped (kind of) put the Cool Whip on top.
In true Charley fashion, she passed out in Daddy's arms.
Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for, Geni got to open her gift. It started out as a big box and moved on to smaller boxes inside. She finally made her way to a message in a bottle and the rest was history.
I totally just got all teary-eyed looking back at the pictures. I'm so happy for my baby sister! It's been a big year for her. She started dating a guy that she quickly fell in love with, got pregnant with a baby boy (the first in our family), and is now ENGAGED. That just sounds weird, because no matter how old we get, I will always think of her as my kid sister.
Congratulations, Geni and Chad (and Chase)!
We love you guys and couldn't be happier for you <3

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