In case you feel like you were caught in a cliffhanger, the kids and I did survive the latter half of our trip. We bid good-bye to Virginia and the beautiful family which therein resides. And after two further days on the road were able to spend a few more wonderful days with my brother and his family. And because it's just plain easier, here is the photo recap:
- Joey got in a lot of quality cousin time, and many tackles and pokes.
- He also had great tickles from Aunt Kimberly. Yeah, family is pretty great.
- "How I Spent my Summer Vacation" by Micaiah - this girl is so plugged in, it's ridiculous. But she did also enjoy spending time with Kylie (who was generally more happy than this).
- Kim enjoyed the boys.
- In the car ride on the way back from Virginia, I noticed in the back seat Micaiah playing with her brother's Transformer and VW Bug, crashing them together. Meanwhile, in the seat next to her . . .
. . . her brother was brushing her "My Little Pony" and narrating a conversation between "Twirl Heart" and Thumper.
- Later, he and I played a little game. He would look at me like this.
- Later, all three napped in the car. Blissful silence.
- Joey then enjoyed more cousin play-time with his brother's favorite, Nella.
- I also had the privilege of spending a few hours playing Zombie with high school friends. Jen even held Joey (though she offered him gasoline to play with - ok, ok, it was just a playing card, but still . . .).
- I even met my good friend, Jamie's, beautiful daughter, Alexia, who enjoyed playing with Nella as well.
- Emmett made his rounds getting tickles. From Aunt Andrea . . .
Uncle Andy . . .
- Grandma and Grandpa bought the kids' favorite story book that they heard during their library visit in Virginia (the same one Emmett began reciting out of the blue on our road trip back to St. Louis).
- Grandma accompanied the kids and I to the zoo, where we survived the 104 degrees and even managed to enjoy ourselves!
- And Joey met a real life penguin. He may have been less excited than me.
- Micaiah felt the Penguin House was really cold. And she'll tell you about it if you ask.
- Joey composed his first piano movement.
- Emmett completed his tickle routine with Grandpa.
- Then, sadly, it was time to say good-bye.
- Though even the good-byes turned into play-time as Micaiah and Amie loved pulling their hugs to the ground and dissolving into giggles.
- Good-bye, everyone!
It was a very busy two weeks but, again, we all survived and I was grateful for the opportunity to spend so much time catching up and letting the cousins strengthen their friendships.