so we arrived at the Portland home of Ava, Ezra, Andrea, and Ward after 4+ hours in the car and what a welcomed sight! Luxie immediately begged to be released from her car seat and ran to embrace her long lost cousin. Nate and I were out quick as a flash too, and little Zaine wondered what in the world we were all so excited about. It had been a long four months without our friends and it was a sweet reunion.
I dont think we saw Luxie again until the 6 day event was over. She spent the entire time sealed up in Ava's room drawing, playing Littlest Pet Shoppes, dressing up in big girl clothes, and giggling up a storm. Ezra and Zaine were thrilled to have someone to play with after being ostricized by their older sisters and got along perfectly. If I could only do "Ezra speak" as well as Andrea I would duplicate his sweet conversations with her and her "toddler grunt" replies as proof of their ridiculously cute friendshiip. We quickly fell into our old comfort zones and the visit was soon reminiscent of old times.
I should mention that one of the great parts of the trip was getting to officially meet (although it felt like I already knew them) Joy and her family of scrapalicio.us fame. They made the trip down from Seattle for Ava's birthday party that weekend and helped make the BBQ a success. I have to say, however, that that was one of the most exciting, thrilling, exhausting, crazy, explosive, energetic, fun filled events I myself have ever experienced...eight kids running on 10 for about 5 hours and crashing into a heap of tears, a pile of sugar overloaded emotion (namely Luxie). It was definitely a party to remember and a great time spent with new/old friends.
As the visit came to a close I think we were all painfully aware of what little time was left. We wanted to end on a high note but the weather thwarted our big plans. Still, aside from the minor frustrations that come from traveling with kids (Ive never seen so many meltdowns in such a short period of time) we were so glad to have made the trip. I think it was strange for Nate and I, and probably Andrea and Ward too, to realize that this was there new home. Portland is where they will stay. Life was different there, and it was odd to not be familiar with their new surroundings in the way we had been in the past. I think that was the hardest part. Realizing we had all had to move on, but still treasuring the familiarity that remained.