Monday, August 12, 2013

It takes a village - family vacation

I can't believe it's already been a week since our guests left Minnesota. Jesse's brother, Rich, his wife, Susee, and two boys, Mason and Cade, flew in from Luxembourg on Saturday 7/27 for 11 days. I just had to go back and count out those days because it certainly didn't feel like it was that long. Not to sound cheesy, but time does fly when you're having fun.

They've been living in Luxembourg for the past year so it was a little over a year ago that we last saw them before they headed over seas. My mother in law, Suzie, and father in law, Michael, were able to go visit Luxembourg already in May and we were going to go in September but realized it coincided with Riley switching to preschool so we are going to wait until next spring to visit. So looking forward to that (minus traveling with a 4 year old such a long distance - any traveling tips welcome).

I won't go over every detail of their time here, but I'll give you a taste of what we did. Be prepared for lots of pictures.

~ The day they arrived, jet-lagged and all, we carted them off to a benefit for Jesse's aunt that has cancer. They were tired, but it was a good opportunity for them to see the extended family. I would have liked to socialize a bit more myself, but I spent about an hour outside with Riley because she found the live auction guy too loud before we just headed home. So tired of her fear of noises (except she's not scared of any of the loud noises she makes, of course - that I could do without).

Giving goodbye hugs to her cousins.

Um, almost forgot grandma.

~ One of the days they were here they spent to whole day at Jesse's mom's house and we never worked it out to connect.  Jesse and I both took the day off of work so we took advantage of the chance to have some immediate family time. We headed over to the Westwood Hills Nature Center near our house. Love this secluded piece of nature in our neighborhood, but we sort of made a couple mistakes while here: 1. we let Riley lead the way which meant we ended up on the long path and about halfway through our kid was begging to be carried and complaining about her legs. We had to bribe her with a treat, but also had to carry her for awhile. 2. we put the bug spray on a moment too late. So much for her wearing a dress in family pictures later in the week. Her poor legs had huge welts all over them.

 ~ My nephew, Mason, attended a week long tech camp where he got to learn Java. At the end of the week we got to go to a graduation ceremony where he got to show us the game he created. We missed him while he spent each day there, but I'm glad he got to have this experience, and it was cool to see the outcome of all that time away.

Riley was chasing after Richie as we were leaving. So loved having them here just to see how happy it made her.

 ~ We went on the boat! This was a small miracle. The last time we took Riley on the boat was as a baby and she hated the life jacket we stuffed her into. A few weeks ago Jesse tried and couldn't get her past the dock. BUT apparently if her cousins want to do something she does too and so this time it was no problem. No problem at all. She even sat at the front of the boat with me yelling "whoo hoo!" over and over. It's clear to me that she doesn't trust anything Jesse and I say when it comes to this sort of stuff, but she will trust her life to an 11 and 14 year old. Go figure.

Yup, that's my man.

Turtle hunting

Found one (and then put it back in the pond).

~ Then there was a lot of eating out, walking, playing (monster!) and just hanging out. We love having these guys visit. Not only are they easy to entertain, but they are so great with my kid. Mason and Cade impressed me with how much they played with Riley. Big kudos to them for being so awesome and Richie and Susee couldn't be a better uncle and aunt.

Riley isn't usually into girly dress up stuff, but actually asked to dress like a ballerina this day.

Lol. Typical scene... peeps just hanging out with various media devices in between a game of Monster.

 ~ Family Photo! We also had some family photos professionally taken. I was worried about getting a large group together, but it was great. Look for another post with the final pictures. They turned out great!

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