My family has grown a LOT over the past 6 years. Not only have each of my sisters and I gotten married to our beaus, but we've also had seven kids between us, making what was once a core family of five now an extended family of fifteen.
Living spread out across the country makes it difficult to see each other as often as we'd like, which is especially sad for the cousins, who are all basically the same age (6, 5, 4, almost 3, 18 months and 5 months - I told you, it's been a busy 6 years!) and view our family get togethers as one giant playdate. So we're really trying to make the effort to make this happen more often and finding ourselves needing to get creative with where these get togethers will take place for all of these people.
My sister Jess and her family have spent the past few summers in Cape Cod. They rent a nice house that's within walking distance to a beach and a lake and set up shop for 4+ weeks. The house is perfect - plenty of bedrooms, giant pool, big basement and lots of room for grown-ups and tiny humans alike. So this year, for our annual family reunion, we all decided to join them, with half of us staying with the Kellys and half of us staying a few houses up the beach.
The travel days getting to and from there were loooooong. Dealing with three kids and all the crap that comes with that, plus incompetent airport employees, unexpectedly long lines for an early Tuesday morning at LAX, and a couple of full on melt-downs due to irrational reasons is no easy feat. But we took deep breaths when they were needed and the three days we spent there, filled with lots of lobster, perfect weather and family time turned out to be worth it.
My sister was a gracious host and I was impressed with her seemingly effortless ability to make lunches and dinners for so many people. The boys were definitely excited to see each other, naming their foursome "The Adventure Crew" and taking turns beating up on each other (sadly, Greyson and Gus always seemed to be the victim, although those two bruisers could sure handle the torture much better than their older brothers). The girls were like three ships passing in the night; when one went down for a nap, the other two woke up and so on and so forth. But we did manage to get some cute pics of the three of them in those rare moments when they were all awake and I'm eager to see how their friendship grows as time goes on.
The nicest part of the trip, besides getting to see the kids spend so much time together, was the quality time we got to spend with my sisters and their husbands. The house served as a nice home base and during the day, everyone was able to kind of do what they wanted to do, or in our case, whatever nap schedules dictated had to be done.
We spent the last night celebrating my dad's 68th birthday, with sunset cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a yummy dinner and cake. And of course, a few rounds of my new favorite game, Fishbowl, for the grown-up kids ;-)
|Happy birthday, Papa!|
|Oh, hi, selfie stick!|
We're thinking this is going to become an annual thing and I'm already counting down the days until next year. Here are some pics of our trip.
|Dylan on the left, June on the right...|
|Hayes and Gus surveying the scene...|
|First time putting her toes in the sand!|
|Napping on Nana...|
|The Adventure Crew ;-)|
|Nightly meeting for the crew... pants optional.|
|We were brave enough to take these maniacs out to breakfast one morning...|
|Lots of auntie love...|
|Right before his first time on a boat... He tolerated it but asked to come back to shore immediately,|
|Me and my crew...|
Til next year, my new friend, Dennis!