Monday, August 9, 2010

An Early End to Summer

We decided to end our summer with a bang.  Just days after leaving the beach and washing the sand out of our swimsuits we packed the car and headed to New Jersey for Jon's Nana's 80th birthday celebration. 

Nana is "aged to perfection."
What should have been a 5 hour drive ended up taking 7.  Let me tell you - long drives and congested highways are 10 times more frustrating with two babies in the backseat.  Jude is a fairly good traveler, but the carseat doesn't seem to hold the same sleeping powers that it did with Jack at that age.  And although Jack will take a nap in his carseat, it's never very long and he wakes up even crankier than usual.  So we pulled into the Lake House with two grumpy boys in tow.

But if there's one thing I've learned over the past 5 years, it's that when my mother-in-law's side of the family gets together bad moods don't last long.  Jack was soon running off the carseat wiggles with the cousins and Jude was dishing out smiles to all the ladies.

Nana and Papa have 6 kids who, with their spouses, have 18 of the grandkids and 8 of the great-grandkids.  The few times that the whole clan gets together are full of fun and energy!  It's a privilege to be a part of such a diverse, yet close, huge family!  And I love watching my sons soak up all that rich family heritage.

35 of us crammed in to two houses on Lake Hopatcong, NJ.  With a boat, jet ski, kayaks, rafts, swimming hole, air hockey table, yard games, delicious food and superb conversation there wasn't a moment left to boredom.  The weekend flew by and before we knew it we were back in the car and back on the road. 

The boys weren't so happy about that and, after being stuck in several different slow-moving traffic lines for no apparent reason, Jon and I weren't either.  We're done with traveling for a while.  It's time to put the suitcases in storage and vacuum the sand out of the car.  No more nursing sessions in a restaurant booth while trying to eat my own meal, and no more diaper changes on those sketchy rest stop changing tables.  At least for now. 

We're hanging up summer activities a little early this year.  Jon started back to work/school today for the first time since we moved.  It was just me and the boys all day and it actually didn't go that bad.  Soon I'll have things in ship shape.  It has certainly been wonderful to enjoy such a long term "vacation mode" but I'm beyond ready to turn our days into something a bit more predictable.  And now that the beach and lake are behind us Jon and I both agree that fall is looking very enticing.  I can't wait to see how "Jumping Jack" takes on a crunchy pile of leaves, to wear jeans and sweatshirts and to try out my new and improved pie crust making abilities which, I believe, can only be attributed to the new climate.  So even though the days are still hot and I can still hear the neighborhood kids playing in their yards, I'm in full-on fall mode now!

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