Sunday, November 7, 2010

Beach Picnic in November

As the keeping of the family together becomes the responsibility of my generation, I realize ever moreso the gift that my parents and their siblings gave us in making sure we had friendships and memories with our cousins over the years of our childhood. My cousins feel more like brothers and sisters than cousins. Some of us even dream of a family compound someday, a place where we all can live within walking distance to one another across many acres of farm land. I love my cousins so much, and I hope that we can always be an example of a family who is loyal and loving to its own, of family members who never leave one another, of one unit who will always rally the wagons and search to support one another even as we must make difficult decisions together.

After music class on Friday, I drove the kiddos to my cousin Hannah's house in Oceanside. She lives right next door to Aunt Diane and Uncle Brad, and my cousin Kd is minutes away in Vista. We planned a beach picnic and hoped to get as many cousins as possible with us. Bethy was able to meet us, and we all ate, watched and played in the ocean, and marveled and rejoiced at the beautiful day. We thought the beach might be crowded given the weather, but we happened to be on a stretch of sand with almost no one but the seagulls hopping about.

November in California has its advantages!

Eric's first glimpse of the ocean. He loved watching the tide...I dipped two of his toes in but not for long, as the water was somewhat cold.

Katie plays on the beach.

Beth and Katie.
Picnic time!
Kd and Hannah give Eric love.
A golden moment.
Dancing in the water together.

Hannah and Eric at our picnic spot.

Eric got to visit with his Grand-Aunt when she got home from work. I got to visit with both my aunt and uncle, and I just thought it was really awesome to feel so welcome at their house without it being a family party day or without my parents, like just dropping in. I love having so many parental figures in my life, not only my parents but also my aunts and uncles---and I am thankful that my parents have made decisions to ensure that this would be the case.

I love this picture of Kd, helping to build the sandcastle.

When I give my gratitudes each day, I am always thankful for my cousins and my family. They are my treasure.