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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Visiting Virginia

With the summer in full swing, we packed up and headed to Virginia with a smile for our first visit since moving back to the US. It is amazing how much easier the trip is when; 1) the flights are short, 2) we are not traveling across the border and 3) the seasons are the same in both the origin and destination locations. This trip was extra special because the last time I was in Virginia with the kids back in February, my mom was just starting treatment for stage 3 non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She has since completed her treatment, and we found out during our visit that she has beaten the disease! She plowed through treatment and is in full recovery mode - take THAT cancer! Needless to say, it was good to be with family.

We spent most of our time at my parent's river house, a complete oasis of a place out in the Northern Neck. If I'm being totally accurate, it is actually their Rivah house (at least that's how everyone refers to it locally) but I'm not sure anyone is really wrapping their minds around that one.

We spent time grilling out, feeding the fish and swimming in the pool. We even had a few days together with Gran and Poppa, though I was (again) terrible about taking photos. Jon wasn't able to stay more than a couple of days, but he got a lot accomplished in that short timespan.

Long enough to become a master crabber with me. We caught, steamed and picked the crabs - who knew we are outdoorsy?!?

We caught the crabs right off of my parent's dock, it was super cool! Look at how brave Brook is holding these live crabs - she was right in the thick of things!

And we had a chance to finally recognize a huge milestone in my Dad's life, retirement! After 38 years, he completed his professional career back in March - and it's taken this long for the family to be together to celebrate. Congratulations, Dad, you deserve lots of rest and relaxation.

We also received the best news of the year during this trip - this picture was taken the night that we found out my mom is cancer free! Greatest. News. Ever.

Great enough to take a hilarious silly-face photo. My favorite part of this picture is Alex looking at his Papa Mas.

The captains in our family have come a long way from their boating abilities of last year. It was great to be out on the water, we got to see porpoises, eagles, ospreys, nature all around.

Gretchen loved going down to the little beach, watching the small crabs crawl around the shore and throwing snails into the water. It was great to share these little moments with our cousins from Austin - they joined us for the last few days of our trip. Gretchen is completely infatuated with Jenna and Brook and the girls are patient, kind and wonderful with the kids.

We had so much fun enjoying family and the outdoors. Gretchen keeps talking about wanting to go back to the beach - especially now that we are in the thick of a Houston summer. We are so glad to have such a fun summer oasis to visit for years to come!


  1. If you ever wonder if anyone is out there reading your blog, rest assured that I am! I am so happy to be able to catch up with your family news and see those adorable kids grow.

  2. Nothing better than a river house. Nothing!