Sunday, September 23, 2012

Summer Vacation Part II



The plan this year was for Ben to arrive half way through the trip so he could come to Sunlakes, attend the family reunion, and celebrate my birthday, however my anxiety put a wrench in that plan and he brought his camera to Seattle so he could get some work and then fly home with us. Although it annoys me that I was unable to handle it on my own I am so thankfull that I have a husband who is so wonderful and supportive. I knew 10 years ago when he attended my orientation for me at Hunter because I was out of town, that he was a keeper.

He arrived a few days before Sun Lakes which just allowed him enough time to get settled and help me shop and pack for the trip. I am not used to the extra adult so packing was a breeze. This year Sun Lakes was special because my entire family was able to attend. Normally someone is missing, either a spouse or one of my siblings. We were lucky that there were no injuries this year but my little Morgan did get sick and had to see the doctor. She is fine but Bran had to deal with a bit more whining and  crying than usual and put a damper on her trip. We had a lot going on everyday. The kids loved the boat, swimming in the pool, jumping off cliffs, hiking, golfing, boarding and playing games. It was great to have Ben there because it was hard to do everything all on my own and sometimes the kids wanted to different activities. Coolidge finally reached an age that he can participate in all the activities that his older cousins do. He tried knee boarding and I was so nervous for him. It is hard to be so much younger than your older cousins and constantly be 3 steps behind. His cousin Tyson told him how to do it and we all watched him give it his first try and get up without much struggle. The whole boat cheered him on and my eyes filled with tears. I was more proud of him in that moment than when he rode a bike for the first time. I am so blessed to be able to spend my summers in Seattle and go on a family vacation with all of them.

My little Brody has always been young enough that what his older brother and cousins are doing haven't really mattered. Well this year that all changed. He needed to do everything they did no matter how scary it may have looked. He was diving into the pool with floaties on, begging to jump off a 10 foot cliff and ride the pocket rocket his cousin Henry brought. It is hard for me to let him try these things so fast. I couldn't stop him from diving because he just did it whether I liked it or not. Ben showed him how to use the mini motorcycle while I closed my eyes.
I drew the line with the cliff jumping. I was worried he was pushing himself and would feel scared like his brother did after the fact. He seemed to understand. He still talks about it and I have a feeling it will be the same thing all over again. He is definitely a tough cookie and extremely coordinated but don't let his looks fool ya because he is quite sensitive.  This year a few of the dads took almost all of the kids on a hike that Henry led. Brody started off strong but once it got a little tough and he got tired Brody became the biggest baby and Ben was wishing he never brought him. That is the thing about my little 6 year old. Sometimes he acts like a teenager and sometimes like a 2 year old. You just never know what you are getting that day.










Coolidge on the other hand was ready to try it all and only complained if his age/height got in the way. He wasn't able to do wake boarding but I'm sure he could give it a try next year. He loved the paddle boarding. He road on the board with me last year but this year he was able to do it all by himself. This was the first year that Coolidge didn't struggle to much about feeling left out. We have so many kids with so many different ages that there is always something to do and play. This was Jaxon's first year. There are always struggles with the first year and lots of fun to have a little one to squeeze. Coolidge and Brody's first year was not one I loved. It is nice that you don't have to worry about them wanting to be on the boat, pool, and run to the store but you have to constantly watch them they are into just about everything and they get over stimulated very easily. We all just loved that Jaxon's only word was   BUH and we all were saying it to each other by the end of the trip.
We spent a week in Sun Lakes and always by the last day we are ready to go home. Our clothes and towels are filthy, our stomaches are stuffed with junk food, we all have headache from all the fun cocktails and beer, the kids start to get sick of one another, our backs are killing us from the cheap beds,  and the dry air is making our skin look bad. The last day is a race in the morning to get our cars packed and we are all on the road to drive 3 1/2 hours back home. As soon as winter hits we begin to miss Sun Lakes and start dreaming of what the next year will be like. I love my family.

When we got home from Sun Lakes we were greeted at my mom's house by Ari and Heather. They drove up from Reno and stopped at my moms to stay until Randy got there house in Vancouver ready for them. The kids were very happy to see them and so were we. I only get to see them once a year.

We were lucky that Asher and Ashley moved to Idaho and came and stay at my mom's house for a weekend. I haven't see Asher since my wedding and never met his wife and 3 other kids until that weekend. I knew all their faces from facebook but it was so nice to hug them and get to know who and what makes them tick.

I have to admit I was worried about how crazy it was going to be with 14 people staying in one home. You never know how the kids are going to get along but all the kids got along great. Brody and Abigale became to peas in a pod. If you were looking for one you knew they were with the other.  Coolidge and Christopher also had a great time together. I wished we lived closer to them so we could do more fun stuff together.

Thank goodness for my mother's big beautiful house because it allows us to create such wonderful memories every year. I pray daily she will never have to sell it but I know that the day will come eventually. Well, even though that was a lot of fun we are only half way through the summer. Part III will be coming soon. 

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