Geoff’s sisters husband (or our brother-in-law) Jason arrived home from Afghanistan early last month from his third deployment. With the long 4th of July weekend, all of Geoff’s immediate family (spouses, kids and all the necessities that come with them!) decided to head to North Carolina and give him a big, warm welcome home and celebrate the birth of our great country together.

It had been over a year since we had all been together at the same time (far too long!) and so it was a wonderful weekend of catching up, eating way too much food, playing games with the kids and making new family memories with one another. I am so grateful we all live within a long days’ drive from each other (see yesterday’s post for the details about our road trip down).


^^This is a rarity! It is soooo hard to get Taden to smile for any picture. If you are ever around him for more than 5 minutes the only words to describe him would be happy, energetic, and smiley. He is constantly running around the house, screaming with excitement and giggling at everything. I love it! But, the minute you put a camera lens in front of him he shuts down. That is why I rarely ever have a posed picture of him on the blog. Everything I shoot of him are always candid's so that I can catch that cute smile of his in action.

Well, since we had all the grandkids together everyone insisted we get a picture of them all. Geoff and I laughed at the idea of getting Taden to sit still and smile for more than .001 of second. After about 3 or 4 minutes of all the kids sitting nicely together, Taden decided to finally join them. At that very moment all the adults began making loud noises, clapping our hands and screaming “yayaya!!” in which he thought was funny or crazy (or both!) and just sat there and laughed and laughed at us. Hence a real smile from this kiddo!! I love it!


^^The oldest and youngest grandchildren. Emma is becoming such a beautiful, talented young woman.


^^He wanted to sit on the rock again and watch us act like crazy people in order to get him to smile and sit still!! Whatever it takes little man.





^^Geoff and his siblings.


^^Jason grilling for our 4th of July cookout.



^^Taden looks too big in this picture! He looks like a little man. Lately I have to have a double take on him because he is growing literally before my eyes!! I love watching my kids grow and learn, but sometimes I wish they would just stay little forever.


^^Olivia enjoying her snow cone. It was so fun getting her, Taden and their cousin Ben together. The three of them are all less than three months apart!


^^Sweet Anna and her mama! I love this picture because you can see her missing tooth!!




^^These two are just over a year apart and are best friends! Cousins really do make the best of friends.


We had an amazing weekend that went entirely too fast!! As usual, I took way too many pictures. I have been sorting through them all week and have many more to share. Check back on the blog later this week for more and more and more!!

Road Trip Pictures – here


What did your family do for the 4th of July?


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