We drove in on a Friday and headed straight to the beach when we woke up on Saturday morning.
Kaden is as much of a fish in the sea as he is in the swimming pool. He loves the beach so much, and I love watching him fall more and more in love with it.
Everett spent a lot of time under the shade canopy, since he isn't so sure about the ocean yet. It's a bit loud and scary for him, considering we're working on learning to like the swimming pool.
He did, however, like the Gatorade.
Chad laughs at me, because any chance I get to make my children's hair appear naturally curly, I take it. A combination of salt water, sweat, and a little sand does this to even my straight-haired babies:
Our family on the pier at Emerald Isle (You can't really see Everett, but he's in the Ergo on my back):
Kaden begged anyone and everyone to go out in the waves with him. He loves boogie boarding!
The kids passed out on the ride home:
The minivan packed with cousins arrived on Saturday night, along with Ken's BBQ that Nana and Papa had picked up earlier (the best!).
The kids got along so incredibly well on this trip. They didn't start fighting until the very end, and by that point they'd been together in close proximity for a good ten days. They played together for hours at a time without even a squabble, and, with the exception of a couple of small instances, didn't even do anything naughty. It was awesome, and it makes me so excited for when we are all together again at Christmas time this year.
We all got to meet baby Caroline, Meredith and Adam's precious new addition. She is sweet, perfect, and TINY. It's an unjust world, I tell you, when my sister in law gives birth to six and seven pound babies, and I get to pop out nine-plus pounders.
Both my boys loved their baby cousin, and Everett didn't even mind when I held her (Kaden used to freak out when I would hold other babies, when he was Ev's age). I loved snuggling her, and I may have shed a few tears when I realized my baby is definitely not a baby any more when compared to her.
We borrowed a couple of bikes from a friend in Kinston, and Kenzie and Kaden both worked on ditching the training wheels. Gigi and Poppy have the perfect driveway for learning to ride! I love that Kade is riding a My Little Pony bike in this video. It takes me back to my childhood for sure.
While we were in Kinston, we took both boys to get haircuts by the one and only Miss Alison. Kaden won't let anyone else cut his hair. He adores her! And how can you not? She is fantastic. Everett was so brave! He didn't shed a tear, and held pretty still, as long as I kept shoveling fruit snacks into his mouth fast enough.
I went to a consignment sale right before we left Raleigh, and scored this amazing sprinkler toy for $3.00. It was $3.00 well spent. The kids LOVED it. It was a royal pain to inflate it, but oh, so worth it.
Jess was wonderful, and we were sad to see her go! We tried to convince her to stay longer, but it wasn't meant to be. We are hoping she will come visit us again in December! For some reason I have no pictures of her on my phone. Probably because I am always chasing my kids and taking pictures of them. I stole this one from her Facebook page:
We made it to the beach a second time, this time with cousins added to the mix, making it even more fun! We went to Atlantic Beach and parked at Miss Beth's cottage.
The Reeses take sand castle construction very seriously. Full sized shovels are involved.
And overseen slave labor.
The finished products are pretty spectacular:
And baby Caroline was an angel the entire time, snoozing and cooing in the shade.
Meredith and Joy kept all the kids one evening, so Chad and I could go shooting with Bruce, Cameron, Jessica, and Adam.
And we tucked our kids in early one night, so all the adult kids could go out to eat at The Boiler Room. Gigi and Poppy were good enough to hold down the fort at home.
We took the kids to the nature center in K-town one day for a quick visit:
We spent quite a few mornings/afternoons at the Cutter Creek pool for some synchronized kid throwing and fun in the sun.
I got very emotional (I know, so shocking, right?!) one night as we were all going our separate ways after a dinner out. I seriously love my Reese family members so much. Every single one of them.
Looking forward to another reunion with the whole crew come Christmas time!