Monday, June 8, 2015

Nebraska Trip: Week 1

Tory, Aden and I flew to Nebraska for two weeks to visit my family. My aunt, uncle and cousins from Pennsylvania and Texas came back at the same time, so we all spent five full days together. It was wonderful to have everyone together again, but it was also super chaotic with so many little ones in the mix. There's 11 kids under the age of seven now and I don't think everyone (ahem, the grand-parents) are accustomed to that much screaming. Ha!

Last Saturday was an exciting day. My cousin Jen was in Lincoln, in labor with Baby Benjamin, while everyone else was at my parent's house for a pizza party. The kids ran circles around my parent's house and played together like they'd known each other all their lives (they haven't; most of them have only met once before as babies).

Sunday, our group headed to Hannibal Park for a picnic lunch. It was the perfect place to let the kids loose to run and play, and for the adults to hang out and catch up with one another. My brother Adam and his girlfriend Carley joined us for the picnic, and it was great to see them as well. Tory was especially excited; she idolizes my brother so much because "he's the tallest man in the world!" she says.

My niece, Brooke, is in youth softball this year and it's a true point of pride for my sister. My mom and my sister practiced hitting and catching with her at the park that afternoon.

Papa and Aden

My uncle Norman is the prankster of the family. He brought wax paper and slid down the slide on it causing the slide to be extra slippery for the kids. They shot down like rockets after he went through!

Something else to note from that day: Aden ate his first hotdog and was obsessed! I couldn't cut them into tiny pieces fast enough -- he scarfed them down as fast as he could. I guess there isn't anything like a grilled hot dog in the summertime. 

Monday, our crew headed to the Lincoln Children's Zoo for the day. I love this little zoo because it's the perfect size for small children, offers lots of shaded spots and is easily walkable for little legs. Plus, they have the cutest red train that circles the park. Definitely a highlight for the kids and I every time we visit. 

Nana and Tory

My sister Ashley, cousin Tara and little Thomas

My mom and her sisters, reunited 

The highlight of the zoo visit for Tory was the butterfly garden. A few butterflies landed on her finger, and she was in heaven! Brooke and Henry caught some, too.

Little Finleigh, in a happier moment early in the day. During our last stop, a goat bit Finleigh's finger in the farm area! It was in the petting zoo so I suppose that could happen, but I can't say I've seen that happen to anyone before. Poor girl cried so hard. She was okay though.

Tuesday, we all headed to Lincoln to see my cousin Jen and her kids -- Lauren, Reese and Baby Ben. We quickly took a picture of all 11 kids together before we overwhelmed Jen having just come home from the hospital. 

No one could get over Aden and my cousin Tara's girl Anna together. The two were born just 10 days apart and looked like twins with their blond curly hair. Adorable!

Later that night, we headed back to Hannibal Park to watch Brookie play softball. Henry, Thomas and Tory were all so proud of her. "You can do it, Brooke!" they shouted to her from the sidelines.

My Aunt Cindy, Uncle Bob, Cousin Tara and her kids left town on Wednesday. I extended Tory, Aden and I's stay for another week, so we'd have more "chill time" with my parents and siblings, and so I could visit some of my Nebraska friends. 

More to come from our visit to Nebraska ... 

1 comment:

  1. oh my gosh that is such a great visit! SO many kids. I love when we can get together with all the kids here. So far we are at 4, but 6 in a few months since two mamas announced their second are on the way. But 11! phew. hahah yes to all that yelling. Reminds me of when I was a kid and we'd go back 'home' to the family in Ohio and just have a slew of cousins playing at my uncle's house. Good times!