Tag Archives: family


The hardest thing — in fact, one of the only real downsides to living in England — is how far away we are from our families.  We miss them.  A lot.

Matt’s parents came to visit in October and it was so great.  Although we did lots of tourist-y things, we also just hung at the house a lot and enjoyed some time together.  We played dominoes and the kids and their grandparents did the entire Harry Potter movie marathon — all eight movies — over the course of the week.  Big events are fun, but the down time is even better.


My parents are coming tomorrow and will be here for Christmas and we are all so excited.  We have plans, again, to do some sight-seeing and touring a bit, but I’m also just looking forward to hanging out and playing cards.  The only thing that could make it better would be if my sisters and their husbands and kids were here too.

I hope you all have your favorite people by your side over the holidays, whoever they are, and you just soak up every minute of it.

Also, this was our last visit with my sister and her kids, and here’s my thoughts on what’s really important.


Lions and Tigers and Bears and Airplanes and Fossils

IMG_4310Before we made our big move, way back when we still lived in DC, my parents, one sister, and my nephews and niece came to visit us. It was a last-cousins-hurrah before we headed overseas, and it was awesome.


Literally my two favorite girls in the whole world.

We spent that weekend hitting my top three recommended places to go with kids in Washington D.C.: a day on the National Mall, checking out monuments and memorials, a visit to a few of the Smithsonian museums, and another day at the Zoo, checking out lions, and tigers, and bears.  That’s a good weekend right there.

IMG_4303 You can also just put “seeing my parents and sisters enough” right at the top of my list of things I don’t get to do enough, so a weekend with my family always makes me smile. IMG_4315 We drove downtown and managed to find parking, which is always a fun challenge, but it’s definitely easier than schlepping seven children on the Metro.  And then we just walked.  The kids ran, and jumped, and climbed, and skipped, and played. 

IMG_4324We saw the Washington Monument, walked past the White House, stopped to relax and cool off at the WWII Memorial, and then headed back toward the Capitol Building and the air conditioned Smithsonian Museums.

IMG_4325Obvi, though, we got ice cream first.

My personal favorite Smithsonian museum is Natural History.  Even with the dinosaur exhibit closed, it’s still the coolest.  There’s an exhibit on the lower level called Qrious! that we just love. 

IMG_4343Full of fossils and specimens of plants, animals, and bugs, you can touch and handle and learn about it all in a completely hands-on way. 

IMG_4336Everyone from my 3-yr old niece up through my Dad was engaged and interested. 

IMG_4340 My 6-yr old nephew who wants to be an archaeologist or a paleontologist was just entranced; he spent half the time pretending HE was the scientist who’d found the specimens we were looking at, and telling us all about what we were seeing. I highly recommend checking out the Qrious! exhibit if you go to the Natural History museum — it’s one of my top DC-with-kids suggestions.

IMG_4346We also went to the Air and Space museum, which was so much more interesting than I remembered!  We hadn’t been in years, but I was so glad we went back.  I remembered it as very technical and kind of boring, but it completely wasn’t — there were so many interesting exhibits, AND we took the kids on a flight simulator ride, which was just so fun.  

The next day we went to the National Zoo, which is one of my very favorite things to do in DC.  It was cool and a little rainy, but not enough to make it miserable — just enough to make it NOT crowded and not too hot.

IMG_4374We saw all our favorite animals, and quite a few that were surprising.  The Komodo Dragon took us all aback when we realized that it was not, in fact, a fallen tree trunk, but a ginormous lizard who had earned the name “dragon” quite honestly.

IMG_4377We roared at the lions and watched the pandas nap.  We marveled at the elephants.  We ate a picnic lunch, and, naturally, more ice cream.

IMG_4370 We filled that cousins weekend up with memories and adventures and laughter and hugs, picnics and ice cream and miles and miles of walking.  We ended the days with children snuggled together watching movies on the couch and grown-ups playing card games at the kitchen table: the best kind of weekend there is.


my seven dwarvesMy mom and dad, my middle sister, my two nephews, and my niece are here visiting for a few days and we’re playing tourist in our own town.

These seven kids make my heart so full; I love when they’re together.  We’re soaking it up.

And D.C. is so fun when you can see it with fresh eyes!  I hate to think we take it for granted, but when you see it a lot, it loses a little of the thrill.  Not this week, though. 

Everything is better with cousins!

His, Mine, and Ours

crossing the creek

I went to NYC this past weekend for a baby shower.  Matt was home for the weekend with the kids.

When he mentioned that to someone at work a few days before I left, they were stunned — he’d have all four kids all by himself all weekend?!?!?

It made me mad.

I don’t think anyone is surprised that I take care of the children by myself when Matt has to go on a business trip.  It annoys me that it’s shocking that he would do the same thing when I go out of town. 

These children are absolutely equally mine and his.  Why couldn’t he care for them on his own?  Why wouldn’t he be able to do that?

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