Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Simple Family Fun

Well, it's no secret: 10 days away from home visiting extended family and special friends is not enough time. Not enough time to be together, play together, laugh together, catch up on life together, and enjoy life together. But, 10 days together is more than an average extended holiday weekend visit, and so we're thankful for the week we had together.
My boys were thrilled to spend several days with their cousin, Landon, and they wasted no time in playing all things sports-related. And, because Grady Lee and Landon share June birthdays we arranged a simple birthday party for the two little men. Tough stuff seven year-olds they are.
The weather was perfect all week, which meant everyday and all day was spent outside. An outdoor wedding, the zoo, botanical gardens, the beach, playgrounds, ice cream and walks, and lots of baseball and soccer in the backyard. So, yes, for the record, Michigan does have a sunny day occasionally. While it's cold and gray more often than not, this mid-summer week was an exception. But, my boys did ask me a handful of times "why are people saying it's so hot outside and we're not even sweating?" Answer: when the temperature climbs above 80 degrees, Michiganders panic and hide inside.
We took time to visit with great grandparents and aunts and uncles. Annalyse was a charmer and gave hugs and smiles to everyone. She took a liking to her Uncle Jeremiah, Uncle Tom, and Great Papa... something about men I guess.
My mom did her usual routine of going above and beyond to cook wonderful meals, plan fun activities, and rearrange her home to accommodate our loud gang. Although she's told me she already misses us and thinks her house is way too quiet and oh-so-boring now, I think that deep down there is some relief that she doesn't have to hear the unpleasantness that comes with little ones, like whining and crying and arguing and always being loud.
For a week of nonstop fun, shortened naps, late bedtimes, and lots of travel, my kids were great. The boys have mastered the art of road trips and have reached the point of finding the joy of discovery in them. Annalyse, well, she's still a road trip terror. My fingers are crossed that when she turns three a switch will magically turn on her ability to sit still for more than 15 minutes without needing a snack, a new book, another DVD, a stuffed animal, or a lollipop.
I've still got lots and lots of pictures to share from our time away. We've been home since Sunday evening and this week has been full with appointments, swimming pool fun, and playing with and picnicking with friends. Extended family, from Grady's side, arrives tomorrow, and on Thursday we're off for a few days in the Asheville area. Soon after that we're headed to the beach for a week. And maybe soon after that I'll get caught up on sharing pics from our fun in July. Oh yes, and Switzerland.

Snap. I still have pictures and stories from Switzerland to share.

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