We’re home for a bit…

So, we’ve had quite a busy summer. When Ella & I have been home we have taken time to visit with friends. We’ve also been gone three different weeks!

The first was in June. This was our first time traveling with Ella for more than 3 days, so it was quite an undertaking. I had no clue what to take with us so I just took most everything. We took a box of toys, her bathtub, lots of clothes, lots of pampers swimmers…you get the idea. We also decided it was way easier to buy diapers, wipes and food once in the OBX. This was true.
We never did use her bathtub, so that was nixed for future trips where both Jeff and I will be.
It was vacation with my side of the family. That consisted of: Jeff, Evelyn & Ella; Ken (Pop) & Sandy (GrannyMac); (Uncle) Warren & (Aunt) Rachie; Louise (Granny, GG) & Aunt Evelyn (now EE); Aunt Carla & Uncle Mike; Davey, Debbie, Zachary, and friend whats-his-name; Brad, Patty, Eric, and Patrick; Corey, Angela, Rosella, & Sammy; Carl & some friend another whats-his-name. Count it up people: 26 people! Wonderfully we were divided into three locations. Mom & Dad stayed in their trailer…Granny, Aunt Evie, the three of us and Warren & Rach in an older house…and the rest of that clan (my aunt & uncle, their 4 boys and their families) in the “big” house which had a pool. It was great fun, though we never did make it onto the beach to play. It was just so easy to play at the pool where we had the indoors right there. We did take Ella for walks on the beach, but no playtime in the sand. It was busy and great to spend time sitting up playing games with Warren & Rach. I (Ev) even won at putt-putt against Jeff, Warren, Rach, & DADDY! Of course, we didn’t start play until around 9 p.m. which is past dad’s bedtime, but that is just a small detail. It was a great week and really made us wish Warren & Rach lived closer.

Then in July I had Music & Drama week at Oak Hill. Jeff had taken a week off for the vacation in June and another week for vacation in August (more to come), so he couldn’t take the whole week in July off. That meant that Ella became the M&D mascot for about 5 days. She had fun watching the teens sing and dance, but didn’t enjoy that mommy was nearby, but not always available. Luckily, my mom is a dean of this week, too, so she had mommy & grannymac alternating. I was worried about her staying in the cabin and I’m sure she cramped the style of our cohabitants, Christie, Mom, & Carol, since we couldn’t just stay up talking and laughing at night, but we made it through and now she’s officially stayed at Oak Hill. That was special to me. She got picked up Wednesday at lunch by Jeff and taken home for daddy time Wednesday – Sunday. Talk about breaking a daddy in! I don’t know many other dads who have stepped up to fly solo when their first child is 8 months old. Yay, honey! She didn’t even act like she’d missed me when they arrived on Sunday…she barely came to me! My feelings weren’t hurt, I just thought it was funny.

In August (last week), we went on vacation with Jeff’s side of the family. This time we were all in one big house. It was 14 people: Jeff, Ev, & Ella; Jerry (PaPa) & Mary (Nana); (Uncle) Jerry & (Aunt) Krissy; (Uncle) Gabe; Nanny; Aunt Margaret & Kenny; Ian, Lydia & Noelle. It was a great house with a beautiful pool. Ella is most definitely a water-bug. She also enjoyed playing with Noelle who will be 5 at Christmas. We had big breakfasts & dinners and even got a visit from GrannyMac, Aunt Carla, & Michelle Mende who were all at mom’s trailer for the week. I’m pretty sure that climbing the 3 stories of steps just wasn’t enough to work off all the food we put in. On Wednesday night of the week, the “youngins” – Ian, Lydia & Gabe – convinced (Uncle) Jerry, Jeff & me to go with them to karaoke down the street. I made it until 11:30 before I was nearly falling asleep. At least we got to see Jerry sing “Home Sweet Home” and Ian & Gabe sing “When You Were Young”. The house was on Rt. 12 right at the sound. It was a 10 minute walk to the beach so (yep, you guessed it) we didn’t go play in the sand this week either. Ella did get her feet in the sand a couple of times, but we didn’t spend any real time over there with her. Jeff went a couple afternoons to play in the waves with the boys, though.
On the last night of that trip Nanny took us all out to eat at The Black Pelican. The food was taking a while to come so we took Ella outside walking and went over on the beach. Jeff was walking her along the shoreline and I managed to tell them to move in plenty of time the first time the waves got close…not so the second time. Jeff and Ella had their feet washed over by a wave – now, this was no big deal for barefooted Ella, but Jeff was in tennis shoes and socks. I felt so bad that he had to eat dinner with wet feet. Ella barely reacted to the water, so we’re thinking she’ll take to the beach like a pro next year.

And now we’re home…at least for a spell. Ella & I will be traveling to Tennessee in October to see Warren & Rachel. I’m excited because it will be 2 weeks before her 1st birthday. It will be great that they aren’t missing out on everything! Maybe she’ll be walking by then – or maybe she’ll walk on that trip. She is really trying!

Hope all is well with you, too! Keep in touch!

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