|Church League Champions by the Bud Light sign|
|Alexa, Lara and Chad at a softball tournament|
One night Chad's younger brother came to our playoff games. I was smitten as I watched him confidently saunter up to the field. Introductions came at a post-game pizza party and by the end of the evening Curt had my name and phone number written on a scrap of paper. He went home and told his mom, "I met my wife tonight." Two days later we had our first date and a wedding followed fifteen months later.
|one week after we met - this time Curt was playing and I was watching|
And then life took us to Chicago. We all had to adjust to a new normal. Phone calls replaced dinner dates. Weekend visits replaced weekly softball games. Curt and I added baby after baby after baby after baby. Our times together as families were shorter and exponentially more chaotic, but the infrequency upped the value factor.
When we moved to Oregon, the distance became tangible. 2,300 miles, two families' busy schedules, and the monetary funds to cover the distance separated our families. Before we could blink five years passed. Alexa graduated from high school and started college. Madi graduated from junior high and started high school. Our kids graduated from diapers to elementary school to middle school. Five years was WAY TOO LONG for our families to be apart.
Two weeks ago Chad, Lara, Alexa and Madi drove all of those 2,300 miles to see us. We packed every second with fun - from the moment we stormed the driveway to attack them with hugs and shrieks of joy to the oh-so-sad moment we stood in that same spot and waved goodbye through eyes veiled with tears.
|brothers - Chad and Curt|
|this was typical at the end of each of our fun-filled days.|
|cousins being goofy at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood|
|cousins at Silver Falls State Park - South Falls|
|the whole crew|
|tired crew of hikers|
|photo with the snowboarders|
|Trillium Lake: Alexa, Chad, Lara, and Madison|
|at the parade|
|cousins at Cascade Head|
|magical old growth forest|
|never fear - he's armed and dangerous|
|Grant sandboarding down the dune|
|Lara, Dusty and I at the top of the giant sand mountain|
|view of the cape from the top of the dune|
|Alexa and Katie at Cascade Head|
|Grant likes being the only boy cousin|
|our whole crew at Timberline Lodge|
|Madi and Paige taking a break|
|tearful goodbye as they drove away|
I'm so grateful that I was on Lara's softball team so many summers ago. Thank you Chad, Lara, Alexa and Madi for coming to visit. We love you!