Resemblances, Reunions, Road Trips!

Take out an atlas. (Unless you're little brother eric. in that case, pull out a globe.) Find a toy car, attach a trailer, then begin to pull the car across Wyoming. You have just turned into Brandon. And Lindsey. They are, as of yesterday morning, on their way. And as of noon today, they will reach the top of the mountains just outside Laramie (Lincoln in the shower, for you natives) and it will literally be "all downhill" from there.

We have spent these last few days and nights with even more people we love. First, we all found ourselves at Uncle Dave's for a relaxing evening of yummy pizza and salads Thursday night...Dave has a beautiful new home in Cache Valley (some detailed proof in this dimpled shot),
and remember, he's storing 60+ of our boxes in his unfinished basement. We really appreciate Dave. Here he is, with Walt and goofy Emmy:

Also joining us for the evening were mommy Jean's sister Ginger and her husband Jim (no pictures of you this time Jim, you lucked out!), then our favorite Callaway cousin Katie (here with my mom prepping some artichoke spinach dip):
I am too exhausted to be able to think of the right words, but just know that this was REALLY a perfect evening. Wonderful people, a brewing storm to cool things off, a gorgeous view of said storm, good food, easy entertainment, sigh, just perfect. Here are the ladies.. 
Sisters in the middle with the next generation on the outer parts...and look at that scene behind us. BEAUTY!

Oh, and here is Katie doing one of my favorite activities the next morning:

Then Friday and Saturday we found ourselves back at the hopefully annual Stone "cousin's party" (who knows what it's really called..Brandon started saying that long ago when we were discussing travel plans. "Okay, so we know we have to be here for the cousin's party..." etc.) up one of the beautiful canyons in Cache Valley. Cousins Maria and Corey were the hosts, and man, do they do it right. Friday night was just visiting and s'more eating, then Saturday was a day filled with yummy hot cakes and fruit for breakfast, jumping off bridges, tubing, pooling, four-wheeling, more eating, outside gaming, visiting, and just enjoying each other in general. My family is so chill and cool; this is a perfect get-together because we can catch up casually, mingle easily, and there is just an overall feel of luv and interest. We snuck out perhaps a little early after an afternoon meal because Zane had almost reached Zombie state (he took a 3-hour nap starting the ride home. Later, he woke up and said, "Oh darn it. I woke up and it's still dark outside! Maybe I should go back to bed." Amen yo. Please, sleep.) but no one worried about it. We had seen and loved, and all was well. Thank you, host Maria:

Now, here are the rest of the pictures, in no order because of how sleepy I am this morning:
Annie on Friday night:
Saturday, Nick and Zane enjoying the kiddie pool. Ahem, nick. did you hear "kiddie"?
Me and the pretty girl. I have big belly shots from last summer. It was fun to have Annie "change" so much since then:
Audrey continues to be a great honorary big sister to Annie. They had lots of cute giggling moments:
Believe it. Zane found his way to the mini four-wheeler. While he was riding I said, "Okay Zane, let's go back so other people can have a turn" he yelled, "No I don't WANT other people to have a turn!!!" I think he enjoyed himself:
Wet people. These are the crazies who enjoyed many hours in the freezing cold river water. Not for me, although they DID look like they enjoyed themselves:
Annie sat and was pleasant for a LONG time yesterday:
Jumping off the bridge...think "wall of ice" and you might understand the looks on their faces:
Nick got Zane to tube with him. Zane adores Nick. Very special to me:
Val was so sweet to Emmy, and Emmy was willing to be crazy with Val, so it all worked out:
After Annie woke up from her morning nap, she was very snuggly. Here she is with bampa Walt:
There we go, the REAL reason we got out the kiddie pool:
Here they are again. Remember, Nick can do (almost) no wrong.
Another sleepy shot with favorite uncle BT ("untul bt untul bt"). Truth be told, BT JOINED annie for her morning nap...they were very cute together. BT and Val, we WILL miss you:
A little boy now, isn't he? I'm still in love:
3 of the 5 brothers, and the real reason we're all together. It should be called "THE BROTHERS' PARTY" not the cousins' party, but oh well, these things get strange nicknames. Hopefully by my next post, someone will have sent me a shot of all 5, as well as a big group shot. Until then, here are 3 of my 5 favorite brothers: (walt, mark, and dan) 

Oh, and two more favorites, cousin Julie and her littlest, Tyler. They were both so kind to us. In fact, that is my childhood memory of Julie..Always so kind to me. It looks like she's passed on some of that sweetness to her own babies. Thanks Julie and Tyler:

And finally, although Brandon and Lindsey had to take off right after breakfast, we were able to snag them both for a couple of pics before them set off..thanks again linds, for being the co-pilot. Seriously, my life is happier because of you:

And a family shot:
I fly out on Monday for a week of fun with Jon and Tina. Then we meet back up in Orlando next friday. Finally, we seem to be ON OUR WAY! (the mission of the day, starts when we say rocket, "ROCKET!") (sorry, a tiny "little einsteins" shout out seemed to be in order there.)


Starmaster said…
Amazing posts like this make me feel like 300 emotions at once. I miss my family! I am so proud of my family! I love my family! I miss my family!

It makes me so happy to see everybody having a grand ol' time together. But it makes me so sad that I have never actually been to the "cousin" party. :( One day we might not live so far away (or one day we might actually be able to afford traveling!).

Love you Michelle. Can't wait to see you and your sweet kids in a few days--check that--tomorrow! (I'll be pat-pat-patting all day if it helps your rocket get here any faster.)
What an awesome long post with lots of great pictures! It's fun to hear about your adventures, makes me wish I could have joined. Especially all the tubing and brigde jumping. You know me!!! Enjoy your week with Jon and Tina!
Michelle said…
Good luck! I know I say this every time I write, but I am really missing you Michelle! How you put this choir together on your own, I don't know. Wish you were here, but have fun in Florida!
Lillie said…
I'm sort of jealous of this crazy, big, transitional place you're in. And of how gorgeous you look in all these pictures with your new hair, especially the family one at the end. And your little Annie seems so OLD. I could have sworn our babes were closer. I think my little chunker is boycotting crawling. I feel like she's almost there but just refuses to try. Prefers being nicely upright on her bum. Safe traveling.... glad IL is treating you well-- you make me want to go just HANG with some good family. Can't wait for you to hang with my Lacy and Joe!