Maryland was wonderful.  Since summer began, the girls have been counting the days for this trip. They love their cousins so much, and even though we don't see them nearly as much as we all would like, every time we are together the smiles, laughter and hugs are nonstop.

The big  morning had finally arrived and everyone bounded out of bed, (if you can believe that) and quickly got dressed and ready.  We jumped in the car and got a nice early start...4:20 to be exact! We were feeling good...really good...we were even ten minutes ahead of schedule.  But then, we heard something dreadful  from the backseat...

"Oh No! I forgot my ________!"
You can pretty much fill in the blank there with anything you choose...nothing could be worth turning around right???  Especially now that we were already on the highway!

What did you forget Janey? {frustration}
My pipe cleaner bracelets. {cry...sob}
Can you make another  with the 50+ pipe cleaners you have right next to you? {begging}
No this one is special {more cries and sobs}
Ok...we'll go back! {DRATS!}

But they sure are pretty right!

{Have any "crazy turn around trip stories" of your own?}

after our second start of the morning we were smooth sailing.  
playing silly games
dreaming of the fun times ahead
smiling and laughing

the second half of our trip was filled with more sillies
and even some sleepies

Finally we made it.  Of course we were all too tired to grab the camera for first hugs, but the kids were loving on each other in no time and headed to the basement for fun. Jessi, Emily and Michael really know how to love on our girls and make them feel special.  They danced, did a show, played in a band, did flips over mattresses and all camped out in the basement...and that was only the first night!
On Friday (after lunch at Chick-fil-A!!!) we went to Boyd's Bears.  What a great place. Lots of cute things to cuddle and touch.  I would have loved more time to browse, but we had two girls on a mission.  A mission to build .

This was so much fun.  We have never done anything like this before and the girls were really looking forward to it.  They each picked out an animal, got their hard hats on, punched-in and then began building their new furry friends.  You get to fill up a cup with colored beads that represent the qualities you want your new friend to have.  It was interesting to see what they choose the most of...Janey's cup had a lot of laughter in it...no surprise there!

meet Janey's new dog Annie
and Checker, Riley's new giraffe
aren't they cute?

We spent Saturday at a water park nearby.  
Water and cousins....what could be better?
{and yes that is me on the water slide...Riley captured that one}
this is one of my favorite pictures from the trip
Aubrey was such a trooper
but finally could fight it no more
must have been the sound of the water and the cool shady breeze
even though my arm (and butt and back and neck) was completely numb
I loved every minute of that hour and a half nap

speaking of favorite pictures
here is another

Riley and Janey played non-stop with their cousins
mostly in the basement
not the best of places for a 14 month old
but Aubrey and Riley managed to sneak in a  snuggly moment 

there were lots of other snuggly moments too
dinners on the patio, watching movies and working on Power Point presentations????
who knew?

fun at the park
I think this is a vacation we will always remember.
so much fun and love crammed into those four little days.
we love you all so much and miss you terribly
we can't wait to be together again soon

After lots of early morning tears and hugs we dragged ourselves back into the car for the LONG ride home
Some of us slept

some of us just trashed the car
remember that super organized packing picture
look at it now
and of course those two very content and happy pictures happened after I begged to drive the final hour home
one more game of peek-a-boo was going to send me over the edge!:)


  1. looks like a fun trip. it's always fun to see kiddos of different ages having so much fun together

  2. We are so organized before the trip, and by the time we are headed home, everything is a mezs too! Your trip looks SO GREAT. I love all of your pictures. I can only imagine how fun it was for everyone.

    Have a good weekend!

  3. looks like so much fun Cindy! i bet the girls had a blast with their cousins...there really is nothing better!

  4. Looks like you guys had a wonderful time. Would have loved to see the show. Love that picture of Riley sleeping!

  5. Cindy,
    What a great post and close to my heart! Our family is in md. and we have been to Boyds Bears several times. We don't live near them anymore and we do the same cram a lot into a few days. We are here visiting this weekend before school starts. Thanks for sharing your adventures good to know we're not the only ones who has these travel adventures LOL :-)