To keep this post as succinct as possible, I will forego a day-by-day vacation description and instead provide a top 10 list.
Top 10 Things That Could Have Gone Horribly Wrong, But Didn't:
1. Having to pack almost everything we own to take ourselves and 2 children for a week to Pentwater, Michigan. We never could have fit everything if we didn't have a van. Lucky for us, we do...and it all fit.
Just not the kitchen sink
2. 6 hours in the car with a 2 year old and a 3 month old. It could have been a L-O-N-G trip. Instead, there was sleeping. There was playing. There was coloring. There was snacking. There was video watching. Fortunately, there was minimal crying. Hooray for my road trip troopers!!
Playing with Dora characters
Taking a little road-trip rest
3. Living in a house with 7 other people (3 uncles, 2 aunts, and 2 cousins). Staley and Adelie LOVED playing with their cousins, reading with their aunts and uncles, and always having someone to provide attention. And Zach and I loved the shared meals, conversations, game playing, and movie watching.
Cousin book time with Aunt Carrie
Hanging with Uncle Ethan
4. Staley, Adelie, Zach, and I all sharing a room. I envisioned sleepless nights. Instead, both girls slept great (except for Staley's 2-hour wide awake time from 1:00-3:00 a.m. on our last night). Adelie didn't wake Staley with her early morning feeding and Staley didn't wake Adelie when she got up in the morning. We all slept soundly.
5. A 3 month old on the beach. Luckily, Adelie was her usual easy self. She hung out in her cabana, enjoyed the company of aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, grandma, grandpa,... She napped every day on the beach and woke up happily smiling.
Cabana fun with Aunt Melissa
(Someday she'll hate me for these pictures.)
7. Two cold, rainy, overcast Michigan mornings. Staley and her cousins got to enjoy a story time at a local bookstore and some strolling/shopping in a nearby town. And both days cleared up to provide more time on the beach.
8. A 4 year old, two 2 year olds, and an infant with only a small living room and a few of their favorite toys. Lucky for us, the cousins played GREAT together. They ran around in the yard, read books, colored, played trains, played princesses, went to the playground, watched videos, and took baths together. Every morning, Staley couldn't wait to get out of bed and play with her cousins.
Adelie and Elliott
Liam and Staley
9. Spending our days and some evenings with my whole extended family (my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids.) It could have been overwhelming. Instead, my family ROCKS and it was great!! We kept up all our usual Pentwater traditions--spaghetti night, smores night, and lazy days at the beach.
Adelie and Grammie
10. Our first Pentwater week as a family of 4. There were many things that could have gone wrong. Instead, it was a perfect Michigan week. We got to spend part of every day at the beach, which both girls loved. We got to enjoy time with family, immediate and extended. We had beautiful weather, great family time, and lots of fun.
Chilling in the cabana
Staley spent hours burying herself in the sand.
Adelie 'swimming' with Daddy
...until next year.