Speaking of family, one of the most positive tangents of Jason's NY employment has been the opportunity to spend time with extended family. During the month of July, we lived next door to my Aunt Alison and Uncle Bob on Mill Pond in Centerport, New York. The neighbors were vacationing in Europe and generously allowed us to vacation at their place during their absence.
|Our temporary home was lovely, but Aunt Al's house had the pool. Naturally we migrated next door often, particularly during July's heat wave. Here are the sisters, Cathy and Alison, hanging out on the deck.|
|And here is Alison's daughter, Kathryn, soon to be a high school Junior.|
|This photo adds in Alex, the recent high school graduate. This fall, he will be studying Computer Science in Pittsburg.|
|Daddy Jason becomes reacquainted with his baby girl.|
|Aren't my boys handsome?|
|Talia Lily, our resident fish.|
|What does this munchkin have in mind?|
|Let's do it again!|
|Eli was hesitant at first, but grew to love his tube. (He quickly become fiercely protective of it.)|
|Here's my lovely cousin Alesia, Jay and Janet's eldest daughter who is currently earning her Masters in education at Columbia. As you can see from her shirt, she and I are kindred spirits.|
|Eli wages a wet battle with Alesia.|
|Better watch out, she's armed!|
Not only were we fortunate enough to live close to our Long Island family, but we were lucky enough to have visits from friends so great that we wish they were family. Despite an extremely crazy summer schedule, our friends Bruce and Brittney drove up from Philadelphia to spend the fourth of July weekend with us. We were so happy to have them visit!
|Here's Brittney with her adorable daughter, Eliza.|
|And here's Bruce with their son, Zabien. Zabien is only a month older than Annika, but as you can see from the photo, he's got an awful lot on her in size. Judging by the Dads, I guess that's not all that surprising. :)|
|Wrangling babies during our Fourth of July dinner. As the eldest of thirteen, Bruce is pretty experienced.|
|When we first met nearly six years ago, it was just us adults plus baby Brooklyn. We're definitely a clan now.|
|Aw, Annika and Eliza share some baby kisses.|
|Nothing says "Happy Independence Day" like hamburgers and fresh corn on the cob.|
|Annika Mae celebrated the fourth by sampling her very first solid food. As the fourth child, a baby spoon was now optional.|
|Kathryn and Brooklyn display the Fourth of July fruit pizza.|
|Dining together with family and friends in our borrowed home. Life is lovely!|
My Aunt Alison hosted another Fourth of July celebration in her backyard on the fifth.
|The backyard, all decked out for the festivities.|
|Annika and my Uncle Jay hang out together.|
|Jay's son Gregory, back from college for the summer.|
|Nope! That's all natural chlorine.|
|The party was great, but by the end of the night, everyone crashed--especially Eli.|
New York must be the place to be if you want people to come visit. Not only did my Mom drive out with me, but my sister flew out from Washington to spend three weeks of her summer vacation with us. It was wonderful!
|Her husband sent these gorgeous flowers to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary from afar. Thanks for sharing Callie with us, Adam! I do have it on good authority, however, that she was caught flirting with a younger man.|
|Jason's sister Christy also came to visit us on her way between Paris and Florida. It was so lovely catching up on all of her adventures in England and France. My only complaint? The time passed far too quickly.|
And a Birthday Brother!
|That's right, Uncle Lance drove up from DC to join the Long Island family reunion. At first he wasn't quite sure what to do with Baby Annie...|
|...but they soon became good friends.|
|As Lance is the ultimate party planner, it seemed only appropriate that the girls pulled out all the stops in decorating for his special day.|
|I see a bright future in construction paper centerpiece creations.|
|The birthday boy himself.|
|Playing pin on the donkey.|
|Some tails were closer than others.|
And a few more...
|Talia, with her snaggle tooth smile. She's showing off the Mardi Gras beads my Mom brought back from her IB conference in New Orleans.|
|And last but not least, here's my Mom spending some time catching up with her brother.|