Part of the busy-ness I mentioned before was that, on top of all of the things we had going on (including our home study update, a Fantasy Football party, a wedding - which Lucas officiated and I photographed), we were also packing for a trip to Nebraska! Instead of giving gifts at Christmas, my family has started contributing the money we would have spent to a bank account. We decided to have a special get-together every other year and use the money to offset the cost for the trip. This year was our first gathering.
The twins and I had planned to stay with my cousin (who lives roughly half way) on the way home from our last trip...but that didn't work out due to my injury. So we all stayed with them on the way out to NE this time!
Ryan and Allie playing with my cousin's youngest.
My cousin's middle children (I somehow didn't get a picture of her oldest).
They invited over my aunt and uncle and another cousin and his family who also live in the area. It was great to see everyone for a little bit (we got stuck in traffic, so it wasn't as much time as we had planned).
And all 7 of the younger kids had a blast playing in their big yard, climbing into the fort, riding their go cart, and swinging on the rope swing.
They had some kittens running around. The older kids had no problem catching kitties for the twins to pet, but Allie was desperate to catch one on her own. She waited and watched and finally caught one! She proudly carried it across the yard - dangling from her arms with her skirt partially wrapped around it.
We had a wonderful night, but it was time to get back on the road. Our trip was shorter than normal however since we were meeting Uncle Matt, Papa, & Gigi in Omaha! There are so many things we always want to do in Omaha, but it is just far enough away that the logistics keep us from going. This time we planned to stay there overnight and have our adventure before heading to my parents. The twins were so excited about staying in a hotel...because of the pool. They couldn't wait to go swimming. They were so excited that the door to our hotel room hadn't even closed behind us before they were undressing to change into their suits!
Swimming with the noodles.
Check out the sharks in his goggles!
Allie spent most of her time with Uncle Matt. Here she is
choking him catching a piggy back ride across the pool.
And here they are having fun together. He is such a great uncle.
One of my favorite things about the pool at this particular hotel is that half of the pool is 3 feet deep or less! Being able to stand whenever needed gave my children a lot of confidence. So much so that Ryan started practicing going under water. And the next thing we knew, he was swimming! He couldn't make it too far...he did once, but he wouldn't stop to take a breath and I told him if he didn't stop to breath, he couldn't keep swimming. After that he stopped to breath, but every time he would plant his feet and stand up. It was still amazing to watch!
We finally talked them into getting out of the pool long enough to go out for dinner. It turned out it was Kids' Night at the Texas Roadhouse. What does that mean? It means if you order one of the special kid's drinks that they get a toy. Of course, we ordered the drink. We were not expecting the giant drinks that emerged...
Allie didn't make it through hers, but Ryan drank every single drop. After dinner we went back to the hotel...and once again the kids were changing into their swimsuits as quickly as possible. We let them swim a little longer, and then we went back to the room to get them ready for bed. As you can imagine, they were out almost as soon as we laid them down. Which was great because they needed their energy for the next day's adventure...