We had our last night in Utah. My wonderful sister Megan and her hubby Jared took us out to eat while their kids watched our kids. It made me all too aware of how much I was going to miss all these cousins and fun and spoiling and help. Ruth and Will were in heaven riding jeeps and playing all night and I was SOOO sad thinking that it was their VERY LAST night playing with cousins. They had grown so much! When I left, they were bouncing around on the trampoline, Ruthie pulling all sorts of tricks, Will wasn't crying that older kids were on (this took the entire trip to get to that point) and it was just so BEAUTIFUL. Sigh. We slept at their house because it put us one hour closer to Miami and my parents had been gone to Canada since we were at the cabin. So sad to leave.
Luckily, to brighten our day (which needed brightening, since we started at 3:50am) we knew we were headed to my brother Wyatt's house in Des Moines. It was really odd not having him around all summer, so I was glad to get a chance to say hi. Unfortunately, we got there super late. Fortunately, Wyatt and Lindsay Ann are the bomb and just stayed up ridiculously late chatting with us. It was an awesome night. So we slept in a bit later than we had planned and ended up heading out the exact same time as Lindsay Ann (who was headed to spend a few weeks at my sister's house in Pittsburgh.) We said our goodbye's and headed out the door. We pulled out of the driveway and Sterling said "Why don't we just drive to Pittsburgh?"
And I said "YEAH!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!"
So we looked it up and it only added about 3-4 more hours on our trip. We called up Lindsay Ann and asked her if we could join her road trip, and, because she is so awesome, she was just as excited as us!!! So instead of another long day of driving, we had an awesome day because we were so excited to surprise Kayli and because we traded kids back and forth between vans at every stop and that kept them much more occupied and happy. Good, good times. Also, we gorilla glued our side view mirror together, and that was pretty sweet.
We FINALLY found her place (Pennsylvania is so weird and windy and they have the tiniest little roads that you feel like you are going to fall off of) and then we sent Ruth and Will in with Lindsay Ann and her crew to see how long it would take her to notice. She noticed right off the bat (Ruth's red hair is hard to miss) and she was SOOOO excited!!! It was an awesome surprise.
Initially, we had thought we'd just keep driving the next morning. But that seemed like a big waste. So we stayed the day, played hard, and left that night and drove through the night. Stopped at a rest stop to sleep from 3-6am like we did on the way to Utah, and our kids did AMAZING that night. So glad we got that many hours behind us while our kids were sleeping.
But back to Kayli's house:
|So we had those pictures of Nicolas, Will, and Oskar, who are all the same age. But we were missing Wyatt! Wyatt is three weeks older than Will.|
|The other pictures you can't really tell cause Will is slouching, but we determined he was slightly taller than Wyatt.|
|Jack and Jethro on the motorbike.|
|Lindsay Ann, Kayli, me|
|They have ducks. There was a lot of chasing.|
We went to the most beautiful lake. At first I didn't want to go (tired and ornery, I know) but Hazel saved the day because she DID want to go, and I am so glad we went!
|Sterling, Lindsay Ann, Brett, Kayli|
That reminds me. Brett is my brother-in-law and he is an amazing biomedical engineer. But he works on cars as a hobby, a lot, a lot. Sterling mentioned something about our a/c (maybe? I don't really know the story--it could have been a gear slip, or a few other things or van is dealing with right now) and really had no intention of Brett looking at it, and within seconds Brett had the hood up. Which bought us extra time at their house. You can work on our van anytime, Brett! THANK YOU!
|Jack and Orrin|
|Natalie is such a cutie. I can't believe how big she's gotten!|
|Cassidy, Hailey, Hazel and Jethro|
|Seriously. Cutest baby EVER. OH how I love that baby!!!!!|
|Will, Jack, Wyatt|
|I had to crop this photo because....|
|This photobomber in EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. It is hilarious.|
|She ate a lot of sand, but she seemed super happy about it!|
|These two rebel cookie eaters. When they left to go play, Ruthie left a neat little stack of filling-less oreo's. That girl.|
A day on the beach is not complete without a sand castle.
|Molly kept standing up and taking one or two steps all over the place. She is getting too, too, too big!|
|Love the sand teeth!|
|Sterling saw that headband and acted all annoyed, but I told him Will was playing with a truck, so we're all good. Haha.|
|Kayli's flower garden.|
Kayli fed us a DELICIOUS dinner (she actually fed us a pretty delicious lunch too!) with vegetables out of her garden, and then we had to say goodbye. First though, a picture of all the kids (there was some major dress up going on):
|Back row: Cassidy, Talmage, Hailey, Jethro, Hazel, Ruthie, Natalie|
Front: Orrin, Jack, Ethne with Molly, Wyatt and Will
It was SUCH a blast to stop there! Thank you so much for having us Kayli! (since, ya know, you knew about it and everything) I wish wish wish we lived so much closer!
With that stop, I got to see every single one of my siblings this summer! And Ruth and Will got to spend time with ALL of their cousins! YAY for family! Yay for our Utah trip! It was so great to enjoy EVERYONE and build so much stronger relationships for my kids and their cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. Family is the best.