There was a time when planning for a visit with my sister's family - with the beloved cousin Lucy - meant making a guess as to how long the girls could "last" without breaking down in a fight or tears from hurt feelings, misunderstandings and exhaustion. Four days used to be our absolute maximum, and even then it meant we'd weathered a lot of Ani getting left out and at least one meltdown with the "big girls" (and for the record, I'm not talking about me or my sister).
Last week was so wonderful - and normal, 'cause you can't have 3 kids together all day and all night and not have the usual squabbles - that I think we've gotten over the hump. Ani and Lucy played together as much as Eliza and Lucy, and the three of them figured things out like they haven't managed before. Yahoo!!! It made for a pleasant, easy week for all of us...
The girls and I planned a surprise late-birthday party for them both, at a cabin in a nearby park. It was lovely.
We were only there for a night, but it was long enough for a long hike, some egg decorating (wooden eggs this year), a birthday dinner, henna, and a game of Apples to Apples in front of a fire in the fireplace.
The morning brought an egg hunt...
...another short hike, and horsebacking riding, the other part of their birthday present!
Eliza was still not ready to ride, but was loving being around all the horses, and pretended like she worked there, giving a tour of the barn to a family who showed up while the guide was out on the trail. Her sister also gamely tied herself up as a horse for a while...
The week was wonderful, all 'round. (the following glut of photos is for the grandparents!!)
|thinking up stories to write|
|morning couch snuggles|