We went straight from the DR to a family reunion on the Oregon coast. Yes, the timing was crazy, but we couldn't bear to miss out on either event, so we endured exhaustion and made it happen. I thought Noah would be in meltdown mode with all of the traveling, but he actually did great. Sometimes I think I underestimate my kids or decide in advance that things will be hard for them. I'm trying not to do that so much!
The reunion was so much fun. Sometimes when we are all together, the little kids just fight and make things pretty miserable (there are eight of them under the age of five), but they did so well during this trip, and it really was a perfect time. My mother-in-law rented a beautiful home with a view of the ocean (and a hot tub out on the deck--score!), and we spent a lot of time on the beach as a family. The water was bitter cold, so we didn't swim, but we played in the sand, flew kites, searched the tide pools for starfish, played Slammo, and flew kites. It was just so relaxing.
As always, we attempted to get a photo of the grandparents with their brood of little ones, and as always, this is how that went:
Ryan and his siblings. A group of stunners right there!
I love this one of the little cousin besties, and of course my peanut Sally is losing her pants even though they are size 12-18 months. Ha! These girls are full of fire and spunk, though they look pretty stinkin' sweet in this photo:
Uncle Tanner is such a good sport to put up with eight littles who all want a piece of him. It gets super loud and crazy at these reunions, and he is so patient with all of them.
And finally, BEHOLD! Not all of the kids are looking at the camera--but hey, none of them is crying, which is truly a miracle, so we will take it!!
And speaking of the grandparents, one afternoon the little kids wanted to stand in the surf and let the cold water wash over their toes, so Grandma stood with them for almost an hour as they watched the waves come rolling in. I couldn't believe how long they wanted to stand like that!
Can we just talk about their cute Grandma for a minute? This woman is incredible. Looking at the photos of her with the grandkids almost makes me emotional. She just loves them so much, and they are so lucky to have her. We all are! She planned this entire vacation so the family could be together, and she prepared for the trip while also watching Sally for us while we were in the DR. She drove with Sally (who is not a good traveler) for 12 hours so we could meet up with them there. There is no end to what she sacrifices for us. She made all of the little girls matching dresses for the family photos--yes, she sewed them--and she bought them all festive 4th of July outfits for the big day. I am so grateful for her and for the memories that she makes happen for our family. She brings us all together, and she makes everything special for us.