Saturday, August 31, 2013

Family Visits

We've had a busy month...a busy summer, actually. I've got more updates than I can even write out, but I'll try over the course of the next couple of weeks.

We are blessed with such an amazing family, but so many of them live far away. Fortunately, some of them were able to make it out this way recently and we got to catch up and spend quality time together.

First up was David, Debbie, and Iliana (Josh's dad, stepmom, and sister). We haven't seen them since they came out in 2011 when Audrey was about 7 months old, so a lot has changed! They were here for a week, during which we took a few days and drove up to New York so we could meet some of the extended family. We had a lot of fun and the kids were really good about all the traveling. I think they just loved all the extra attention! Audrey loved hanging out with the girl cousins and playing hide and seek!
We got to meet Josh's grandma and grandpa for the first time. They are getting older and Josh's grandma's health has been worsening, so this visit was especially important. Unfortunately, she was hospitalized while we were there, so we didn't get to spend a lot of time with her, but I think it meant a lot to Josh to be there.
After our New York trip, we came home and rested for a bit and the next day we went to the zoo with the whole family! Maile (sister in law) was in DC for a work conference and she brought Marcelo, so Maria came down as well to spend time with him since they are so far away in California. We all had a great time watching the kids together. Marcelo was a very watchful cousin and Audrey was just in love with him. They were definitely more excited about each other than about any of the animals.
The Hernandez's left the following day, and then we went out to dinner with the whole Falcon clan before Maria, Maile, and Marcelo went up to Jersey. The very smart hostess at the restaurant put us in the far corner so we wouldn't disturb the rest of the guests, haha! Lots of fun and laughter but by the end Audrey was running laps around the place and we knew it was time to go...

The next day my mom came in town and she was here for almost two weeks. We had Lauren's baby shower that weekend (great turnout!) so mom helped me a ton with getting things ready, setting up, and cleaning up. While she was here, we took a short trip to Ocean City since she hasn't been to the beach in a few years. The weather was perfect - sunny, warm but not too hot. We even got a special treat when the tide came in and made a little pool where the kids could swim and play. Audrey made a new friend and they had fun pulling each other on the boogie board.
The rest of the time mom was here we pretty much just hung out, took trips to the playground and the fabric store (mom's and my playground). We helped Lauren go through her baby stuff, and we had a short visit with Grandma Dot. Mostly, it was good to see Mom and the babies playing together and really getting a chance to get to know each other. I know its hard on everyone being so far away and these little short trips are few and far between, but the quality time we get together during them is wonderful.
I think my favorite part of all of it was when mom treated Josh and I to a date night! She babysat the kids while Josh and I went into Arlington and had dinner at Stephen's restaurant. Stephen was such a gracious host and he really hooked us up with food that was to die for and drinks that kept us happy. :) It was AMAZING to be out to a nice dinner, in nice clothes...and just relax. No rush, no worrying, just us and some good conversation. I felt so rejuvenated afterwards. It was the first date we've had since I can't remember when.. years I think. We want to start doing it more often but its hard to find a sitter, they're so expensive!! For now I'll just keep trying to get Mom and Maria to move here. :)

It was a busy and hectic and crazy month that left us all exhausted and worn out but it was so worth it to be able to see everyone that we haven't seen in so long and probably won't see for a while again. Next time we will try to take better pictures where everyone is actually looking at the camera at the same time. :)