One of the highlights of our summer was a visit with our family from Mississippi. Shannon's brother, sister-in-law, and our nephews came to California at the end of July for a family vacation, and near the end, stayed with us for a few days. It was wonderful! It's been 3 years since we'd all been under one roof, so to say it was a reunion long overdue would be an understatement. It was great catching up, sharing a few of our favorite local spots to eat and visit. But if you were to ask me what made the visit especially memorable, I would have to say it was watching the cousins catch up.
I said it had been 3 years since our children had seen one another~we were in Tokyo at the time. But you wouldn't have known they'd been apart for so long. They picked up right where they left off and spent every waking moment with one another. For Jackson, it was a wish come true: two other boys to play with around the clock. He was on cloud nine!
It was good for Madeline as well. She was being pulled between her early morning cross country practices and family time, and the three boys were so busy with one another, she usually had a few hours of down time before rejoining in their shenanigans. This brings to mind the cousin pictures we were all determined to take!
Three years ago while while we visited Tokyo Disneyland, we had all four children stand one in front of the other for this picture:
Goodness were they little! At the time, their heights were perfect for a shot like this. Now, however, they're at ages and heights where they have to do a very Brady Bunch pose to accommodate all four in a picture. All three of the older kids ad to bend over for these pictures to happen. It certainly gives you an idea of how tall they are now! It's so sweet, but it's also pretty darn funny. Take a look!
Jackson seems to have a favorite "go-to" for all pictures these days. I just hope he doesn't pull the face during school pictures this year! That would be something else.
It's been almost two weeks since our family returned home to Mississippi, and we miss them very much. We experienced Jackson's first real meltdown with their departure. He didn't want his new best friends to leave. I know Madeline and Jackson are blessed to have one another; they have a very special relationship. But I think this visit with our family was important. It reminded them how lucky they are to have such wonderful family, especially in their cousins. We've been "tagged", meaning the ball is now in court to visit Mississippi in the near future. We're crossing our fingers that we can make it early next Summer. Until then, we'll look at the pictures from our fun visit and think back on the wonderful time we all had together.