And so, my friends, I leave you with part I. It was a vacation that we will forever remember as one of the best... where my entire immediate (and growing) family... all eleven of us... vacationed on an eighty-five foot houseboat for five days. Complete with private bedrooms, a hot tub, a slide, kitchen and two bathrooms, we cooked, relaxed, fished, swam, and enjoyed the simpler things in life (things that can only so perfectly happen when there is no television, internet, and business that we all get too easily wrapped up in).
And it all began right here in the main room of the boat.. where my mom presented my dad with a gift - only on loan - from my dad's dad... his captain's hat.
And yes, this was a big deal for our Poppy to loan out his captain hat.
And Dad was really excited.
And besides the fact that yes, we did get stuck after docking one evening and yes, I did call Poppy to let him know of this occurrence, Dad did quite well as the Captain of the boat.
And still claims that the reason that we got stuck was because of a mechanical issue with the boat, not the way we were docked.
The littlest ones quickly adjusted to the week's new schedule.. beginning with early morning fishing the minute the sun was out.
We have certainly had a lot of "firsts" during these last two years... one that might be at the top of the list was witnessing Little Man's first catch.
And the moments of extreme happiness that followed.
If you ask the little ones how big the fish were that they caught, they will open their arms up as wide as possible and tell you "this biggggggg!"
Side note: No fish were actually harmed during this week. They were captured, released, and even given a little bit of love in the process.
And meet Dana. We love the fact that you packed an evening dress just in case we got fancy one evening, adored how you fit right into our family so perfectly, and are so happy about the fact that our littlest brother found the most perfect (and gorgeous and smart and funny) girlfriend... Jacob continues to ask about when he will see "Justin & Dana" again....
It's not everyday that you are able to spend an entire week with the people that are most important in your life...
And how fortunate we all feel that we had this week to do just that.
There were funny moments....
moments that made you say, "awwwwwww"....
and moments that you knew you would cherish always.
Of course, more to come from the vacation.
And a very happy 33rd anniversary to my parents.... that continue to show us how to love and always put family first...
It's hard to believe that it's already the end of July.... we've been melting in this heat, enjoying ice cream almost every single day, attending soccer practice, and staying as cool as we can.