Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's Always Fun When Siah Comes

This is my brother, Josiah. I'm number one and he's number three, but only by birth order, because really, he's much cooler than I am. He brought his family out to California for a Disneyland excursion, as he did last year, and luckily, he worked us into the itinerary. I was so looking forward to seeing him and his adorable wife, Sarah, and their four beautiful kids. I don't have any family around, so it's such a treat when we get to spend time together, and I love when my children get to know my side of the family. They have oodles of cousins, but we all live so far apart.

When they arrived and I welcomed them in and hugged Josiah, I almost started to cry. Teared up, choked a bit, and then thought, "You are so dumb, get it together!" But it just felt good to see my family. I am so proud of my brother and his family. We had one afternoon and evening together and I wanted to soak it all in.

This is the lovely Sarah. She is so fabulous. She offered to make her fettucini alfredo with chicken for dinner, so we went to the store together to get what we needed and then I watched while she worked her magic in my kitchen. I helped where I could (salad), and tried to stay out of her way. The girl can work some magic with a whole lot of butter and heavy cream, let me tell you. Delish. With cheesy garlic bread and steamed broccoli to boot.

After dinner, Sarah and I went with Lyndsay to the track and did our walk/run. Sarah looked much more the runner than I did, and she way out-ran me, but we walked several laps together and got to talk. I love talking with her. I don't think she ever judges me. She is a fantastic listener.

When we got home, we had brownies a la mode, with brownies I'd made earlier in the day from a recipe in the new Bon Appetite issue. (They turned out great, I thought.)

The kids had a great time together. Aiden and Dylan took the boys outside and taught them how to ripstick. In fact, all the kids ended up outside playing together, which was cool. They weren't even loud enough to upset the neighbors (which sometimes mine can be by themselves) and nobody came in crying.

Josiah was thoroughly entertained by Conor, who loves an audience, especially an adult audience.

The younger kids loved the play kitchen. What is it about play kitchens? They always draw a crowd! Love that.

Aiden played some piano for everyone, and then he and Camden tried their hands at a duet.

We forced Lyndsay and Dylan (who had either already showered or removed make up and gotten PJs on) to sit in on a Cousin Photo.

And then Conor snagged the camera and snapped a whole series of photos of his cousins. This one came out not blurry. He kept saying, "Mom, I love my cousins!"

Lyndsay and Dylan had homework obligations, but the other kids gathered around the Lego bucket and had a great time building robots and machine guns and hovercrafts and the like.

And when it got quiet, I caught them all perched on the stairs around the laptop watching an episode of Wipe Out and laughing periodically. They just enjoyed one another so much.

As always, I hated to see them leave. I could spend every day with Sarah and never tire of her, and her children are a delight. Having Josiah around is comforting to me, reminding me of our family memories and the bond that we share. I don't get much time with my family, but when I do have them around, it absolutely fills me to overflowing.

Love you guys!

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