For years, I’ve begged my sisters to come and visit us.  Years.  But always with an understanding of the difficulties of the logistics.  When your older sister has eight children and your younger has five, it’s understandable how it might be tricky for them to all pack up and come out to New York.  Time, money and ability all come into play.  But the wish was always there, because my sisters are forever (my Dad’s saying), and a few days ago, that wish was finally granted when my younger sister Sarah’s family took a 15 hour drive from Michigan out to see us.  I was so delighted when she told me a few months ago that they had decided use their family vacation to come and visit us.

Of course we had to do our best to make their four day stay as much fun as possible, but also taking into consideration that the oldest of their five was only seven.  So on Thursday morning, Christian woke up and made everyone pancakes from scratch.  And because we wanted to be extra fun, we decided to let our kids stay home from school.

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After morning naps, we packed up a picnic lunch and headed for the ocean.  Jeremy took Don and three of the kids in our boat and the rest of us piled into Sarah’s van for the drive out to Cupsogue.  It was the most beautiful day you could imagine.  The weather was perfect and the kids (and adults) had fun just soaking it all in.  We probably had a little too much fun, since pretty much everyone came back with sunburn, but it was worth it.

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After coming home for afternoon naps (for the youngest ones), we sent Sarah and Don on a probably much needed date night.  You can imagine that it’s kind of hard to get away when you have five little ones.  Knowing this, I had made plans for them to go out so that we could watch their sweet kids and give them a bit of a break.

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While they made their way to the Cheesecake Factory, we enjoyed a night of delicious chicken tacos (thanks Tuttles!).

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We finished just in time to be joined by my dear friend Gayle and her lovely daughter Kate for a short walk to the playground.

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The kids had a blast.

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It was so sweet to see our kids running around and playing with their cousins.  It’s not something that happens often, but when it does, we make the most of it.  I’m proud to say that we enjoyed a great evening before heading home to watch a few shows and then start to get ready for bed just as Don and Sarah got home from their night out.

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Today (Friday) was spent shopping out at Tanger.  We met up with Jeremy for lunch in the Food Court where all of the adults enjoyed subs from Charley’s.  They have the best $4.99 Chicken Sub with a side of fries, if you’re ever in the mood for a delicious sandwich.

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Then it was in and out of a few fun stores.  All five kids held up pretty well, considering the shopping was more fun for Sarah and I than it was for everyone else.  We finished strong at the Lindt Store where a few sweet sales associates made everyone’s day with yummy chocolates and sweet frozen drink samples.

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After a fun day of shopping, we headed back home.  I made some Italian Sausage Spaghetti  and was so happy when everyone enjoyed it.  You can imagine that it’s a little nerve wracking to feed five littles ones, wondering if they will like what you make.

Afterwards, Uncle Jeremy was super fun and built us all a beautiful fire to end the night with.

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Nothing says “Welcome Summer” like an evening campfire with family.

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Everyone was cozy.

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And we all enjoyed some delicious S’mores.

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My heart could have burst seeing everyone all together.  Living far away from family is hard sometimes, but times like make everything just a little bit better.

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Thankfully, the fun isn’t over.  We have two more amazing days with our sweet family and we could not be happier to share some more fun memories with them all.

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Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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