We've done this scene so many times before. Getting together at someone's house. The kids running around playing. Tons of food and a drink in everyone's hand. A football game on - jokes, chatting, kisses on cheeks. There was a time 5 of them were in diapers and high chairs were lined up. It's always chaotic but the look of the chaos has changed over the years. You would think I took it for granted, but I never really did. I always told the kids how lucky they were to grow up with their cousins. And that group of 9 kiddos is really a special group. A wide range of ages that doesn't matter at all when they get together. It's nothing but love. I love watching each of them interact and how much they all impact one another's growth. And this was the last get together (well as us as California residents anyway). Like everything lately, it was surreal. I kind of felt like I was watching it in the third person - floating above it all, observing. It was like any other get together, except that a heavy sadness weighted the day.
The kids painted frames and gave them to their cousins as a good bye present. Nathan painted Ryan's red and yellow because they are his favorite colors - I love how excited Ryan was about it.
I'm bummed for Nate because he's kind of getting gipped in time with the group. :(
A typical scene
Krissy (as always) did a fantastic job planning this going away party for us. The kids had a blast with the front yard water fight!
This is a miracle - we took two photos on auto, one turned out blurry...and everyone was looking in the in-focus one. Everyone!
The kids were out playing in the front yard and I went outside to watch for awhile. I love this memory of the evening. It was so peaceful, at sunset - a perfect childhood moment.
They bought us this awesome piece of art, so we'd always be reminded of Ca. I love it. It hangs in our office and we've had multiple people comment on it.
I learned that night that I really could not say good bye. It was the start of me saying, "I'll see you next summer". Which was my mantra to get me through the many good byes we had to say over the next few weeks. Luckily the kids and I got to see everyone one more time after this. It was really hard watching Adam say his good byes though.
Such a special day with a special family. We really are so lucky.