Thursday, July 27, 2017

Casinos and Cousins (aka Nationals)

I'm riding this "cousin themed title" train for as long as I can, because gosh these kids were lucky to have so much cousin time this summer. Our next adventure brought us to the shimmering lights of Las Vegas for Kylie's dance nationals. They have worked so hard to get to this point and performed flawlessly. Unfortunately they didn't place as well as we had hoped, but we still made such a fun girl's weekend out of it. So after the reunion, Janessa offered to take my boys with her to stay at Troy and Sam's house in Mesquite then I could just pick them up after Nationals since it was only an hour away. Troy and Sam were so nice to host such a huge crowd (and my boys for the second time this summer!) and Troy was especially nice to offer to watch 9 crazy boys for a night so that the girls could come and watch Kylie dance. It was so fun having them there to cheer her on and then party the night away together. There were so many highlights this weekend, and one low-light when we stopped in Kingman at Taco Bell. I had to run in and go to the bathroom, Kylie said she would just wait in the car so I left the car on so she could use the AC. As I was washing my hands, she walks in. I started to freak out that she left the car on and that somebody would steal it, but she proudly responded, "don't worry mom, I locked the doors". {Insert banging head against the bathroom wall}. So we spent the next 45 minutes at Taco Bell making friends with the nicest guy who helped us get a hold of a locksmith and talked me through my semi-panic attack. In case you were wondering, I do not handle crisis very well. $50 later we were on our way. But of all the many highlights, one of my favorites was sitting in the hot tub that night with Kylie. Sometimes teenagers are hard to talk to. I think we exchanged maybe five words the whole drive up since she was busy catching up on Vampire Diaries. But there was just something about that night where she opened up and talked non stop about anything and everything until they kicked us out and the pool closed. I absolutely loved it. Like, one of my all time favorite memories with her. And then came competition time. I absolutely love watching her do what she loves and do it so well, I'm going to really miss these dances it was sad to see them perform them for the last time. Janessa was so nice to take all these pictures of her so that I could just sit and live in the moment. 






 

















It was Disney day, they were Lilo and Stitch, very fitting.



The thing I love about girl's trips is that you walk away with so many inside jokes so that years from now when we see a half empty glass of coke we'll look at each other and say "free samples!" and still die laughing. They were originally only going to come for the day but we decided around 8:00 that night that they should just crash in our room with us, which meant browsing the corner CVS for toothbrushes, only ordering one extra pillow and blanket from housekeeping as to not arouse suspicion (and waiting forever to change in case they knocked right when I was changing, finally changing and of course they knocked right then), stuffing dirty clothes into a pillowcase for an extra pillow, Janessa and Sam spooning on the tiny pull out and Sam remarking, "I always have to be the little spoon!". A spontaneous dance party where we couldn't talk louder than a whisper or we would drown out the quiet music from our phone speaker. And then the best comment when Janessa drove home in her swimsuit and accidentally left her clothes in the hotel room, "well, I guess you know it's a good weekend in Vegas when you come home with no clothes." Yes, yes it was.


















 
 


Soaking their sore feet in the hot bath from all that walking. Girls weekends are the best.





Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cabins and Cousins part III

The last evening was spent at the park where the weather was perfect and the angle of the sun made everything so vibrant. There was a rousing game of kickball, a picnic dinner on the lawn and a lake perfect for kayaking. Just your typical "can we freeze time and never let this day end" kind of evening. 








 



















We were sad to pack up and say our goodbyes but it wasn't quite time to say goodbye for some of the kids. Janessa was so sweet and hatched a plan for the cousins to spend even more time together....which of course is another post for all it's own :) But for now, so grateful for all the memories made in this cabin in the woods and so grateful for this family of mine!