I’ve said it before…relationships can take a lot of work to be successful. And one of the best ways of making those relationships successful and stronger is simply spending time together. We need to spend time with our family and friends if we hope to build lasting relationships. It’s even better if you spend quality time with family and friends when you spend time with them. I’m not talking about just watching TV together or eating dinner and not really talking. I’m talking about spending quality time together where you’re actually engage with them in whatever you’re doing.
My family and I were given a great gift this past weekend that helped my family grow closer together and have that quality time. A gift from my brother-n-law and sister-n-law, that brought our family closer together. I’ll refer to them as J & N. They gave us something money can’t buy. Here’s the story…
Happy Birthday & Happy Anniversary!!!
This is a true story. This past weekend, my wife and I celebrated 24 years of marriage. I’m truly blessed to have her in my life. I also celebrated my 47th birthday. Man the time is flying by. We got married the day after my birthday. It’s a good way to never forget your anniversary!!! Though that first year I made the mistake of thinking our anniversary was the day before my birthday. Dumb!!!
Anyways, it can be hard to celebrate in times like these. So, not making too much of it, my wife and I were content with just having a weekend at home, spending time with each other and our boys. But then we get this text message titled, Amazing Race – Anniversary Edition. “Huh,” I thought. It was a text message to me and my wife from my J & N. Apparently, they put together a surprise for my wife and I for our anniversary weekend. This sounded interesting!!!
Quickly explained, they put together an Amazing Race type game (like on CBS), for me and my wife to experience for our anniversary. My wife has always said it would be fun to try the Amazing Race, and I guess J & N were listening. We could invite other teams to play if we’d like. After the race, J & N offered for my wife and I to go back to their house where they would make us an anniversary dinner, if we felt comfortable with that during these COVID times. We accepted their surprise gift and the challenge.
The race was this past Saturday. We figured the teams would be my wife and I, versus our three sons (21 y/o, 19 y/o, and 12 y/o). We tried to add one more team, so we reached out to a couple friends, but everyone was busy. No big deal. We decided this race was for bragging rights!!! So, parents vs. kids it was.
The game was played using the Goosechase app on our iPhones. It’s a fun, race type app. J & N provided 19 challenges where we had to race, within a 20 mile radius of our town, snapping evidence of locations, finding answers to questions, or performing a challenge snapping evidence of completion. It was awesome!!! We were originally told the game would take two hours, but the day before the game, we were told it would take three hours. Speaking honestly, my wife and I are pretty tired when the weekend comes, from a long, productive week of work, and usually have more low-keyed weekends around the pool. But this was a gift and sounded fun, but three hours seemed long. It didn’t matter though, we were going to do it and win!!!
It started off with a physical challenge of filling up a large water cup, using small shot cups to transfer the water over a distance of about thirty feet (I’m not good with estimating distances). Once we filled the cup up to the line, we could start the race. It was exciting. I think the boys may have beat us by three seconds, but we were right there with them. And there was three of them!!!
The race included lots of challenges like snapping a selfie with a couple kissing, jumping fully clothed into a body of water, pushing your partner in a wheelbarrow, and even acting out the famous scene from Castaway, where Tom Hanks loses Wilson in the ocean. We also had to find a legitimate property with a Sold sign on it. This was just a few of the more exciting things in the race. I have to say that I’m glad we were given three hours, because it took us about two hours and fifty minutes to complete it, with the longest part finding a property with a Sold sign in our town. We looked for that thing the entire race, including over 30 minutes looking just for the sign as it was our last task.
We could see the progress of our boys in the race because the app showed each other’s progress. They ended up finishing the challenges first as I saw their last challenge completed posted while we were looking for the ever elusive Sold sign. But the good news was that the race wasn’t won by who finished first. The goal was to complete all the challenges, with one, the Castaway scene, providing the opportunity to win bonus points. So even though the Sold sign challenge caused us not to finish first, we still had a chance with bonus points.
The Castaway Challenge
Our family were all familiar with the movie, so we all had a good idea of what to do. Making it even better was that we actually had a Willson volleyball, like the one from the movie, that we bought and use to dribble and kick around the house. We all knew we had the ball and we had a pool, so we had pretty much everything we needed to make the scene great, and win bonus points. My wife and I decided we would knock out a couple quick challenges and then go home, get the ball, do the scene, and hide the ball.
So we got home and searched everywhere for the ball. We felt pretty confident the boys hadn’t done the scene and beat us there because they hadn’t posted any evidence of completing it. We searched high and low, but could NOT find it. We searched every room from the the bedrooms upstairs to the entire basement downstairs. No ball. Crazy!!! So I had an idea. We had another weather-beaten and torn ball in the basement that was kinda dirty-white. I took the ball, put barbecue sauce on my hand, and put my hand on the ball as my wife helped finger paint the sauce on the spots that were not as well covered. It looked pretty good. We did the scene from memory and was well on our way, taking that ball and another small volleyball we had with us so our boys couldn’t use them. We were feeling confident!!!
The Race Ends
We completed all the other challenges except for the Sold sign. It was the one thing we had been looking for since we started the race, but no luck. So we began driving in and out of developments hoping to find one. After about 15 minutes of looking for the Sold sign, we see our boys post the completion of the final challenge, the Castaway scene. And they had the Wilson volleyball we were looking for. How’d they get it? What in the world???
After about 15 more minutes, we found the Sold sign. We rushed backed to J & N’s house. Our boys were already there, holding Wilson perched in the air. Though they beat our time, they didn’t know we created our own Wilson ball, which my wife and I believed was more creative and the challenge said bonus points for creativity. We had a strong chance.
So, who won??? Well, sorry, but you’ll have to wait for this Happy Thursday to find out. I will post the rest of this story then as it is a testament to what happiness is all about. But for this post, time together is what builds relationships. It can be times of stress, happiness, or sadness that can bring families closer together. And this race brought our family closer together. We made great memories, along with tons of pictures we’ll never forget. We laughed and celebrated together. All thanks to J & N having an idea of doing something nice for my wife and I on our anniversary. They made that day happen and I’m forever in their debt for it.
This Thursday I will post who won and talk about the events after the race that made the day even more special. J & N truly went out of their way for us, and we’re gonna talk about that too!!!
What a great day!!!