Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Family" Beach Trip 2014

As usual, I'm playing catch up on my blog! This post is about a month late, but I didn't want to miss it. We went to the beach in early August with some of our dearest friends, the Tuckers and the Flemings, and the pictures and videos are worth sharing!

Kristy, Josh, Carly, & Archer Fleming

[We took our good camera and "gifted" our friends with family beach pictures while we were there!]

Carrie, Chris, Ruby, Mae, & Jane Tucker

Sometimes in life, you get blessed with "family" that you get to pick. These people aren't blood related, but they are just as much family to us as our own siblings. Rusty and Josh have been friends for 23 years. Rusty and Chris have been friends for 33 years. They're practically brothers. Rusty has been friends with their wives since they started dating his friends 14 years ago, so Carrie and Kristy might as well be his sisters!

The Jacksons, The Tuckers, and The Flemings - 2014

These people were some of the first that Rusty every introduced me to, and I knew meeting them was as important as meeting his parents! When I married him, I "married in" to this group, but I didn't realize just how lucky I was until recently. These people really are like brothers and sisters-in-law to me, and I can't imagine loving a real niece or nephew more than we love their little ones!

Goody baskets from Uncle Wusty & Aunt Ewicka! (Jane-8, Mae-5, Ruby-3 months, Carly-5, Archer -2)

The only sad part, is that we see them so rarely. The Tuckers live 10 hours away, and the Flemings live 7 hours away. We're lucky if we see them once a year. We've talked several times about how we should spend more time together, and how we should vacation together, but we never made it happen until now. Losing our dear friend Ben earlier this year turned our lives upside down. His death made us all realize that life really is short, and time together is sweeter than we ever knew. So when our schedules lined up, and we found an incredible deal on a condo, we jumped at the chance to be together. (Oh but Ben... we so wish you, Amanda, and Ella could've been there!)

There were 6 adults and 5 kids all under the same roof for one week, and it was beautiful chaos! Rusty and I slept on the sleeper sofa, so we got a front row seat to the "Frozen - LIVE" show several mornings (it's a good thing we like to "Let It Go" and we always want to build a snowman! ha!), and the occasional snuggle bug sneaking into our bed!

My morning wake-up call!

Archer man loves his Uncle Wusty

Carly and Archer holding their "cousin" - Baby Ruby

It wasn't relaxing, and yet, it was wonderful. I barely made it through one of the four books I took, we never slept in, and I ended up covered in sand (I hate being sandy!) and carrying toys and snacks every time I went to the beach - but I wouldn't trade that week for the world. We finally got to be with the friends we love for more than a day "here and there", and spend real quality time with our "nieces" and "nephew" before they grow out of the snuggly phase and their adorable speech impediments. (Oh how I'll miss hearing "Uncle Wusty and Aunt Ewicka" when they learn to pronounce their R's!) I'll take being sandy and sticky and sleepy any day if it means we get to make memories like this!

It was a special time that I don't want to forget. Someday, I hope we're able to make it happen again when our sweet Kate can meet her "cousins" and be a part of that beautiful chaos! To the Tucker and Fleming crews - thanks for a wonderful week! We love you!

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