Our two weeks in NC were fabulous. We were able to spend a week at the beach with my entire family and it couldn't have been better. Well, maybe if it had been two weeks at the beach with my entire family. Or maybe just permanent residence. ;) The boys were in heaven having cousins to play with constantly. I thought they would go through cousin withdrawals when we got home, but they've actually been playing together even better than before we left. Awesome. I didn't take tons of pictures (sometimes we're just having too much fun to stop and pull out the camera!), and I didn't take any on the beach (too windy! and wind+sand+camera = cuss words), but here are a few of my favorites from the trip:
Max snoozing away on the way there. Max turned 4 on the day we flew out so my backpack was full of presents for him to open on the plane. We would let him open one (which was usually two presents so that he could share with Quinn) every hour or so. It made flying a breeze. I read that security is sometimes weird about wrapped packages (are you saying the x-ray machine can't see through wrapping paper??) so the night before we left I sewed drawstring bags for all of the toys. There were Transformers, action figures, coloring books, fruit snacks... The boys were in heaven. But I was still glad that Max slept through our entire second flight.
Ollie was a champ the whole time. When he wasn't sleeping he would stare at someone on the plane, wait till they noticed him and smiled at him, then he would smile and flap his arms and kick his legs, and then move on to the next passenger. I felt like I needed to apologize to some of the people who were having a hard time going to sleep because they felt obligated to smile at Oliver. But really, come on. How can you not? And every time we landed I wanted to stand up and say to everyone, "Do you realize how lucky you people are?! You heard ZERO crying from my three kids. You can now all apologize to us for dreading seeing us get on the plane. YOU'RE WELCOME."
One thing I love about trying to take pictures at the beach - humidity. Always fogs up the lense. I'm not complaining. I really do love humidity. No need for lotion. No boogars in my nose. Seriously.
I love that face.
One of my favorite parts of the trip is hitting the thrift stores with these lovely ladies.
Top, left to right: Sister Erin, mom Pam, sister Juli.
Bottom: Yours truly, sister-in-law Mandi, sister-in-law Taya.
I'll be expecting emails from each of them, thanking me for not including the pictures of them wearing the ridiculous outfits we all tried on. I love laughing with these girls. Can you believe that between the six of us we've birthed 25 babies?
At the beach we stay in two different houses: Erin & Juli have one house with their families and Team Cowan, my parents, my brother Ben (married to Taya) and his family, and my brother Christian (married to Mandi) and his family are all in one house. One of the nights at the beach we took our house to play putt- putt. It was quite the experience. Lots of "balls" jokes from the parents (we're so mature), wading in the water from the kids (that's allowed, right?), Max hit me in the face rather hard with his club (of course he would swing it over his shoulder while putting. Why wouldn't he?). It's amazing I didn't get a black eye...
...Max gave me this killer face. I think he may be part owl...
...Quinn and Cora showed me how scared they would be if a plane really was crashing right over their heads (we played here, which has always been a dream of mine)...
...At hole 18. Love those sweaty faces.
We learned on this trip that when Quinn gets REALLY tired he turns into a total, 100% jerk. I'm not being a mean mom by calling my son a jerk - I'm being totally honest. He picks fights with people, accuses people of saying offensive things that they didn't say, makes super annoying noises... It's not fun to be around him when he's like that. So on the way home from playing putt-putt he was absolutely exhausted and went into his jerk mode. Finally I just said, "Quinn, you're saying mean things and making everyone in the car feel yucky. Will you please just be quiet till we get to the beach house?" To which he replied, "NO, I WILL NEVER BE QUIET!" When I turned around about a minute later I saw that he had zonked out. Zach and I couldn't stop laughing.
Can you spot Bodhi (Christian's 2 1/2 year old)? He fell asleep on the beach so they just tossed him onto the wagon with all of the boogie boards to come back to the beach house. That's how you know they've had fun and played hard.
Here's Nanny and Poppy with all 19 grand kids!
After we got a few good ones with all the kids smiling we told them they could make silly faces. So of course all the parents standing behind the cameras telling their children to smile are now making crazy faces (and noises) in order to get the kids to do it as well. Poor Oliver didn't know what the heck was going on, other than the fact that all his nice aunts and uncles AND his parents who were smiling at him now look and sound REALLY scary.
It took him a few minutes to recover. But I'm glad that I have this picture which captures him mid raspberry. You know Ollie's seriously upset when he blows raspberries with his lips. Which pretty much means whenever he's really sad, it makes us laugh. Poor kid.
Normally we go out on the beach to get a family picture but the wind was too nuts this year. While we were waiting for everyone to be ready for the big family picture (which I don't have a copy of yet) our family happened to all be on the porch at the same time. So I tossed Mandi my camera and had her snap a few pictures really quick. After taking the pictures it dawned on me that, not only was my hair still in the braid that I put it in to go down to the beach, but I also wasn't wearing any make-up. Oh well. We're all smiling at the camera in this one which is pretty much a miracle. I'll take it!
And I love this one with Oliver blinking. How cute is that? But what makes the picture even better is my sister Juli lurking in the background in a towel. I have about 10 shots with her back there. One of which is pretty clear in showing that she just finished flashing our mom. Real classy Juli. That would have been one for the Christmas card.
I have a few pictures from our time in Charlotte, but I don't know if I'll get around to posting them. Maybe someday. For now I'm patting myself on the back for actually blogging about vacation.
A few things I'd like to remember:
Taking the boys to Callahan's with my mom and letting Quinn use the giant nutcracker when no one was watching. It had a sign that said "DO NOT TOUCH" which means I won Mom Of The Year in Quinn's eyes.
Catching waves with Quinn for the first time.
Watching a lot of anime (Ponyo, Ponyo, Ponyo fishy in the sea!!).
Not being able to get this song out of my head for the full two weeks because my brother Ben and his 3 year old Jack seemed to sing it every 10 minutes.
Christian taking the kids for a walk and coming back so excited about the golden spoon his daughter Maizy found - unfortunately the underside of the spoon was totally black, meaning.... it had been used for cooking crack... they washed their hands REALLY well.
And my favorite memory - When we went to church at the beach our kids weren't too comfortable staying in Primary alone, so we stayed with them. For sharing time they were learning about reverence and the lady teaching was showing pictures body parts and asking how we can be reverent with different parts of our body. When she held up a picture of eyes and asked how we can be reverent with our eyes Zach thought he would be helpful and funny and said, "Is this a reverent thing to do with your eyes??" Everyone turned to him to see him crossing his eyes. And I thought I was going to die a little because apparently he hadn't noticed that the lady teaching the lesson was crosseyed. She even said, while all the children were laughing, "Well, I can't help it... because I am crosseyed..." I had to excuse myself after a few minutes because I was worried I wouldn't be able to stifle my laughter anymore. And he won't admit to not realizing she was crosseyed. Every time I ask him why he would make such an inappropriate joke he just says, "Hey, I just thought she needed to up her reverence." Zachary....
Maybe I'll add to this list as things come to mind. But for now, I'll finally hit Publish. ;)