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Friday, October 20, 2017

Family Photos 2017

One of the highlights of the trip is these family photos. Well, okay, maybe not a highlight of the actual trip itself because getting the photos taken was a little crazy with all these people... more like a souvenir I'm super grateful to have. Sea Mist Photography managed some amazing shots despite the chaos and the heat and the humidity and the BUGS. Seriously, the mosquito bites about did me in. But if you're in Maine and need photos, definitely contact Heather! She has extremely reasonable rates for large groups and for travel time.

WORTH IT. Family photos area always worth it for me. Just look at these cherubs!

My younger brother has to be a big jerk and live across the country, so I cherish these silly photos of us all together.

The cute little siblings! The adorable cousins! I can barely stand it. 

My brother and SIL were gracious enough to let me schedule these photos on ^that^ little baby's first birthday. It was one of the only full days all my siblings were in Maine at the same time. 

And now I feel a tiny bit caught up since I never blog anymore.


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Freeport, Maine 2017

Walking the trail behind my parents' house. It was then I re-learned how buggy it is in Maine. I got so many bites on this vacation, my body had bruises. I know I'm like a sensitive special snowflake, but it was bad! We all scratched some of them enough that they bled. Other than that... great vacation ;)
It's a little surreal to take the kids to my old elementary school so they can play. And from that school, you can see across the property to my old high school. It looks like they're finally getting an outdoor track and field! In my years at FHS, we didn't even have football.
I always enjoy a visit to the Portland Headlight and Fort Williams. It's a small, rocky beach, but it's all free! And the views are unbeatable. I take the same photos almost every time I go.

Next time we visit, I'm going to work sea glass into the budget (sea glass I don't have to search for myself).

We also spent a lot of our time at Winslow (below) because I'm lazy and cheap and prefer the little tiny beach in my hometown... it's so convenient! Who wants to spent hours in the car, driving to and from the beach, when you could spent 15 minutes instead? Not me. Imagine the sand in every crevice of the rental car!!! The horror!!!
It's not a bad little beach. And it's attached to my memories, so it has an advantage.

We also enjoyed downtime at my parents' with all the cousins running around like crazies. I'm glad they didn't light anyone or anything on fire when they finally got to use the giant sparklers Kev bought for Aspen's birthday.

I could go on and on about this trip; but I won't. It was fun, it was full, and it simply must happen again!

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Lake House Vacation 2017

I worried about the cost of our two-week visit to Maine this year, but even with credit card debt looming over me (JK I hardly think about it and just make the monthly payments without looking at the stupid interest accruing because YOLO!), I'm so glad we went! Almost every single day since, Linc will wistfully say, "Mama, I want to go to Maine! I wish we could go to Maine again." And I've spent a lot of time conditioning the kids, telling them that taking trips to see family and to have adventures is way better than getting presents at Christmas... I'm trying to teach them that trips ARE presents. I'm brainwashing them to be excited about the possibility of going somewhere for Christmas (not this year, though) instead of getting lame toys they will eventually outgrow/break/get bored of. And since they both have summer birthdays, I'm hopeful that will translate to taking trips in the summer instead of having big parties.

For this trip, we took a red-eye into Boston and the kids did pretty well. Linc slept most of the flight, but Aspen stayed awake and only slept the last hour or so. I was awake nearly the whole. freakin. time. It was too hard to get comfy and I expected to be miserable so it wasn't a surprise. Once we got to Maine and made it through the day, Linc fell asleep eating a tortilla chip at the kitchen table and it was the cutest, most hilarious thing I've ever seen. He was literally chewing the chip, and taking more bites, even after his head started bobbing and he was asleep.

But just look at these pics! Kev, the kids, and I spent a few days at my parents' house before Jeshua, Sophia and their families arrived for the Lake House. And yes, it must be capitalized because the Lake House was perfection. Worth the sleep-deprivation, and the cost.
It's an Airbnb located in western Maine, nearly in New Hampshire. It's just a couple of hours from my parents' and it was a slice of heaven.

We spent Monday-Friday here, and the kids LOVED the freezing cold lake. They caught tadpoles and they used the body boards and boats and spent every minute they could out there.
I loved doing yoga on the dock over the water, and watching everyone do their thing while I had a few minutes to myself. It was heaven. It was quiet and just the right temperature and it had all the amenities would could possibly need for all 15 of us. My brother and his wife were so angelic and let Aspen bunk with them and their three kids... I can't thank them enough for letting her have that time with them! The rest of the trip she had to share a bed with Linc and she was so disappointed. Ha! It's okay, Aspen, I remember having to share beds with my siblings and I eventually forgave them for having scratchy toe nails.
I want to make this trip a tradition, even if it's like, every five years or so. The Lake House was extremely reasonably priced and my parents spoiled us by covering the cost of the rental this visit.

And, honestly, the cost for the trip is worth it when I get to look through the photos and talk to the kids about their time spent with cousins/aunts/uncles.

It's not often we can all get together in beautiful weather and spend lazy, quality time together. It's worth every single penny, and all the lost sleep.

Our Penny-girl got to have another birthday celebration on her actual birth date, and this freakin cake was so good, and worth the tummy ache, and the drive into the Maine wilderness to find the bakery.

Everybody better save up so we can do this again in 2022!

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