I finally have chance to post a few photos of our recent family reunion trip to Pittsburgh & Cleveland. The hospitality of Aaron's relatives..many of whom the kids and I have never met, truly overwhelmed us.
We left for Pittsburgh on Ben's birthday, which made his day more than memorable. The pilot and crew surprised him by wishing him a happy day over the speaker on board. Ben, so much like mom, blushed and smiled in embarrassment.
When we arrived at cousin Micky's beautiful home were were covered in hugs and kisses. It was so sweet to see our shy Zibby trying her best to be outgoing. She really did an amazing job.
Aunt Rege and Nana ordered the biggest birthday cake in the world for Ben. The house was packed with cousin's, aunts, and uncles all singing happy birthday with as much love as if they had known Ben all his life.
The next day we drove up to Cleveland to visit with more family and celebrate Aaron's cousin, Jason's, 40th birthday. Both Jason and his wife Anna have recently come to know the love of Christ. The kids enjoyed meeting Jason & Anna's new baby girl, Taylor. I think the best part of the evening was when Abby Sue, Ben, & Zibby sang happy birthday to cousin Jason on the karaoke machine. It was hilarious!
Nana made sure that we drove by the beautiful stone covered house she grew up in. And Grampa took us by the Catholic boys school he taught at when he and Nana first met.
We visited with Uncle Mike, (Nana's brother), & Aunt Linda, who had a basement fully equipped with a dart board (magnetic~whew!), pool table, nerf guns, and plenty of "I Love Lucy" episodes, which has now become one of the kids favorite shows.
Our trip was a short one, but full to the brim with precious memories. Aaron and I both agree that one of the biggest blessings of making the move to New England is having the chance to connect with a side of Aaron's family who we would not have had the chance to meet if it wasn't for taking the step to live out here.
(these photos were taken with my phone...for some reason I didn't have the chance to pull my camera out.)
Nana's House & the high school that Grampa taught at in Cleveland.
As chaotic and unpredictable as our life has been over the past 10 years of being parents, Aaron and I, by God's grace, have always taken the time to pray over the kids when we tuck them into bed at night. In fact, if we miss this nightly tradition, the kids are clearly unsettled and do not let us get away with any laziness on that account.
That being said, the other night as we tucked in Ben, we reflected on how much he has grown and asked him if he still wanted to be an astronaut/archeologist when he grew up.
Apparently his plans had changed and we were not a little surprised when he replied,
"No....I'm moving to Paris when I grow up. I'm going to have 50 cats and live under the Eiffel Tower. I'm going to wear one of those french hats, smell cheese, and eat salami. I'll sell my art and become a chef."