My brother Shane and his wife Quenby just arrived from Montana with their three beautiful daughters: Kayla, Maggie and Sydney. We are looking forward to hanging out with them over the next week and a half. This morning we met them at church and had the privilege of introducing them to the amazing friends we've made there. We all dashed home to change and then out to Champoeg State Park for a day of fun.
My mom married Terry Hadlock two years ago in January but Shane and family have never had the opportunity to meet Terry's three sons, wives, and kids. We changed that today with a Meet the Hadlock's BBQ and play date at the park. You would think, since tomorrow is the summer solstice, that the day of fun would include sunscreen, water, shorts and flip flops, but I don't think the temperature ever topped 60 degrees. Instead we found ourselves grateful for the covered picnic area as we shivered in our jeans and sweatshirts and watched the very gray clouds periodically unleash light rain showers on the lush rain forest around us.
The cousins, all sixteen of them, rode skateboards, bikes and scooters around the trails, collected snails and banana slugs, threw the frisbee and football and generally just frogged around. By the day's end, kids who had just met hours previous were begging for sleepovers and were near tears at the thought of saying goodbye. How cool is that?
The adults took walks, threw the football (albeit badly), talked running/triathlons/sports, ate a lot and got to know each other. Turns out we're all a fairly athletic bunch with each of us loving one sport better than another. One of my brothers runs a 6 minute mile! Who does that? (You're a stud Jon.)
I was the general photographer but my camera batteries refused to stay charged so I fought with them all afternoon. Early on I made the mistake of retaking a photo because it wasn't "facebookable" and never lived it down. Those boys ridiculed me, but I can take it. Of course we took group shots and it was like herding cats to get all those kids and adults in one place and looking in the same general direction.
When I was growing up, I always wanted a sister. Not that I wanted to trade Shane in, but I just wanted a sister on top of having a brother. Of course my mom married a guy with three sons and Curt only has brothers, so now I have FOUR brothers and two brothers-in-love. Thankfully they all married really awesome ladies so I inherited some great sisters-in-love.
I bonded with my nephew Aiden today and that was a highlight for me. He's such a sweet, quiet little boy. We "talked" and snuggled and he played with my hair while he melted my heart.
I'm so grateful for this new family of Hadlock's and the opportunity to continue to get to know them. Thanks for a fun day and I can't wait until we do it again.