Monday, September 29, 2014

MacFest 2014

At the end of August we had a family reunion in Lodi with my Dad's side of the family. My Dad is the last of eight kids, so when we all get together, we're quite a group! This year was especially fun because most of my cousins now have kids of their own, so it was neat to see our kids all running around together the way that we used to when we were little!

While we were in Lodi, my Dad rented our immediate family a great little house with a pool where we could all hang out together since we were staying a few days. The reunion was hosted by some of my Dad's family who actually live in Lodi and they did a fabulous job with everything! Among so many other things, we were welcomed with a bag filled with goodies for the weekend: towels, a movie for the kids, snackies, home-canned pickles (that were amazing), etc. They had thought of so many tiny details to make our stay comfortable and fun...and really, who doesn't love a great welcome bag? Icing on the cake!

My parents hosted a BBQ at "their" house on Friday night for any family that was already in town. Because Nathan needed to finish off the work week, he and I left for the reunion early on Saturday morning with Tanner. The big boys, however, managed to convince Auntie Jenn and Uncle Burkie to let them hitch a ride with them a day early to go see Lala and Poppi and to be a part of the BBQ.  From what I heard, there was plenty of fun, cousins, lizard catching, glow sticks, and running around that happened on Friday night! Thanks to Jenn and Burkie for trekking along two extras for all the shenanigans!

On Saturday, we had the family reunion out at the lake on my cousin, Julie's, family ranch. She was married at this lake years ago and it is just beautiful, with a beach, dock for fishing, and a huge lawn area for the kids to run around on. For the reunion, they had also set up a bounce house/water slide/kiddie pool for the littlest cousins to play in....big hit!

All of my boys (Nathan included) spent most of the day fishing (surprise, surprise).

Collin caught a fish early in the day and Nathan caught a few throughout the afternoon... 

...but Drewski spent his entire day on the hunt for those darn fish and boy, were they elusive!

It wasn't until the very end of the day that he finally caught a fish when Daddy took him out to fish from the paddle boat. That fish was hard earned!

Showing off his fish to my cousin's little girl, Giada 

Aside from fishing and just hanging out, the lake had a paddle board, lounge float, paddle boat, and canoe, so we were never in short supply of things to do! The little guys played with the toys in the sand on the beach, ran around out on the lawn, and even got to play with a parachute someone had thought to bring, which was pretty fun!

Drew and Collin fishing with my Uncle Jamie and their Uncle Burkie

My cousin Julie's son, Gino. 

Collin and Gino together were cracking me up!

My cousin Julie, her hubby Mike, and my Dad

More cousins' kids! Stella and Giada

Collin, Gino, Tanner and Stella

My niece Elsie

My cousins Julie and Steph

And just in case you were thinking he had been left out, Tanner had a turn fishing for a bit too.

More lake fun!

My cousin's family produces ahhh-mazing olive oil (Calivirgin. Go look them up. Seriously.). We would like to think that we were super special and therefore given our own personal olive oil tasting unlike any they do for anyone else, but the reality is, their family is extremely nice and probably do tastings like these, often. (Its what makes them great!). The personal tour of the olive oil plant where they make everything, though? I'd like to think that one was just for us! ;) 

My Aunts: Mickey, Katie, and Ran

Tan Tan

And what get together would be complete without Cornhole? I mean, really...

My cousin Wes and his son James

Elsie and Ty Ty

After the official family reunion on Saturday, we had a few encore family reunions on Sunday! First, a BBQ at my Aunt Ran and Uncle Bud's house in the afternoon and then a dinner BBQ in the evening at the house my uncle Jamie and his family had rented. (We'd go home to change or nap kiddos, but really, most of our free time was spent just hanging out together at one house or another).

Little Cousins

My Cousins

My Dad and six of his seven siblings (and their spouses).

The crazy part is, we were still missing people in these photos! I think someone along the way said there were 56 (!) of us total and 37 had made it to the reunion.

My dad and Uncle Jamie playing guitar and singing together after dinner Sunday night.

The littlest boys discovered the floor vents for the AC in the house Uncle Jamie had rented and just thought it was hilarious to watch their shirts...

...and shorts, puff up when they stood next to them!

If the pictures aren't doing the reunion justice (and they probably aren't since I majorly slacked on taking them for most of the trip!), it was so, so much fun and great to see everyone we hadn't seen in a while! A huge thank you again to all my Lodi family for pulling everything together and for all of your hospitality! Love you guys!

Thursday, September 18, 2014


We've had a busy past few weeks! I have plenty to blog about, but lots of photos to upload and go through first!

In the meantime, soccer has started! This is the first year both the boys have played and so far they are loving it! Since we will most likely be sacrificing our Saturdays for a game of soccer or another sport for a good long while, I had been holding off the boys playing sports for as long as possible (selfish, I know). Kindergarten was my give-in point though, and once Drew was playing, I felt like there was no harm in letting Collin play too (we would already be on the field).

So, Coll's team is turquoise and Drew's is red. Both are still deciding on an official name. Each had their first game this past Saturday and let me tell you, the boys had quite the entourage show up to watch them! They, of course, loved that, and for us, it made sitting on the sidelines watching/cheering even more fun! Their games are shorter compared to regular soccer games (35-45 minutes with a break), which is nice because by the end of it, the little guys especially, are starting to loose interest. Collin's team plays just to play, there's no score keeping.

I loved seeing how excited both boys got before they played on Saturday; they were buzzing. Listening in on their conversations was both hilarious and adorable as they pumped each other up.



Emmie and Tanner: wild and uncontrollable super enthusiastic sideline soccer fanatics....Clearly.

At the end of the game, both were hot and tired, but amped on the idea of soccer. Looking forward to the rest of the season!