Kickin It Dutch Style

For Mother's Day my family and I took a day trip to a historical little town called Pella. Every year they have a tulip festival, which we missed by one day, because seriously, who holds a festival on only Thursday, Friday, and Saturday? Lame. But I just really wanted to see the town, so I made my sweet family all go with me. Since it was Sunday, everything was closed, but we still had a wonderful time just wandering around this little Dutch village.

It's a bit of a drive from where we live, so as we got close, we stopped off to get some lunch. And since it was Mother's Day I decided to make our lunch extra special by spilling my freezing cold glass of iced tea all over my sweet little boy. Ugh. He was so wet and so cold and I felt so bad. Luckily, there was a Walmart in the same shopping center, so James ran over and bought sweetie pie a whole new outfit and saved the day. Disaster averted!

And then we were off!

Pella has the cutest street signs ever:

They also have the tallest working windmill in the United States.
Bam! Iowa continues to rock it again and again.

And some really cool fountains:

And tulips:

And a church:

And a little village:

And more tulips:

And a real cannon!

And more tulips:

And basement windows that I thought only existed on Lavern and Shirley:

And the Molengracht canal. They dye the water dark blue:

It's so beautiful it doesn't even seem real.

And more tulips:

And beautiful painted tile:

And did you know that Wyatt Earp's boyhood home is in Pella?

And then on our way out of town we came across the West Market Park, in the Dutch Market area:

So we HAD to stop and play. My kids had the best time at this park! It's all wood and metal and it is the coolest park I've ever been to. Seriously. We could have spent all day playing here.

And then we drove home and I got to open some wonderful Mother's Day gifts.

Peyton's card:

Ella's card (she drew Mom Mom (my mom) and me):

I love board games. Love them! My kids are just getting to the age where we can play the kind of games that don't drive me slowly insane by sucking out my will to live. (I'm looking at you Candy Land.)

So my husband let them each buy me a non-crazy-making family game for Mother's Day. Isn't that so sweet and thoughtful? Thanks, honey!

Peyton picked Sorry.
Ella picked Sorry Sliders. (Have you played this game? It's totally fun!)
James picked Operation.

The best part? James promises to play with us on our new Friday Game Night! Yay! He's always hated games, but he's making a serious effort for our kids' sake. Oh, the sacrifices!

Anyway, a few days before Mother's Day, Peyton had given me one of my gifts that he had made in kindergarten. This awesome banner, complete with flowers and bugs (it's a cricket and two ladybugs):

But he said he was saving the other gift for Mother's Day, because "It is very, very special, Mommy." He was so excited about this special gift. And James told me that he even hid it in a special secret hiding place in his room so that I wouldn't find it when I tucked him in at night. So sweet.

My special gift? A wonderful little box that Peyton had decorated. He said, "You don't even need to open it, Mommy! It's filled with hugs and kisses and lovin's. And you hold it to your heart so you can feel it." Oh my Lord. It cannot get any better than that.

Thank you, my sweet family. It was a beautiful day.