Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Celebrating With Family

It started with a party and ended with a wedding. And everything in between - well we celebrated a lot with family. 

It seems like holidays are always crazy times at the newspaper and in family life, and until today, I hadn't had a chance to sit down and write a blog. But we had a wonderful time celebrating America's birthday this July 4 week with our family and friends.  And it really was a week-long celebration. 

On the Saturday before July 4, we headed to St. Louis for our nephew's second birthday party.  And of course, we were running way behind schedule (getting lost on the way didn't help matters), but it was a great day to spend with Kyle's family. Quincy is definitely into Lightning McQueen right now, so we enjoyed a Cars-themed birthday party.  Both girls loved all the attention from Kyle's aunts, uncles and cousins, who for some, it was their first chance to meet Charlotte. 

Herschelman family photo at Quincy's birthday party.
Charlotte's new Tigger from Uncle Shane.
Before we left, we took one final photo of Kyle's siblings, their spouses and kids, before the newest Herschelman would arrive later in the week. 

After the party, we headed back home, only to head out to Raymond for the community's annual Independence Day celebration.  Kyle and I had to cover the parade and queen's events for the paper, but we also had a chance to watch Charlotte's first parade with Kyle's family. The girls looked so cute in their patriotic Minnie Mouse dresses.

Patriotic princesses
Typically, we celebrate the Raymond festivities at Kyle's grandma's house, and even though the numbers were smaller this year, the girls still loved all the attention. And it's always so much fun to be together and catch up.

Believe it or not, we actually had a third event that same Saturday, as two of my cousins were visiting my Aunt Janice and Uncle Doug. And since we couldn't be everywhere at the same time, we felt lucky that my cousin, Dru, and his daughter, Evee, stopped by our house Monday night for dinner.

Hanging out with Dru and Evee at our house
While the grown-ups shared some pizza, Evee had a ball playing in our new playroom.  I was so excited to see all the toys played with and listening to her stories.  It seems like we don't see each other as often anymore, but it also seems like no time has passed when we get together.

Since Tuesday was actually July 4, Kyle and I both had to work a little bit for the paper.  He covered the biathlon and I covered the cardboard boat regatta, and we both enjoyed two really nice events in our community.

The girls and I headed over to my cousin's house for a mid-afternoon Fourth of July picnic. Since Kyle's biathlon started so early, he stayed home and took a nap. But the girls and I had fun talking to everyone, and I enjoyed all the food!  Even Dru and Evee came over, so we got to visit with them again.

Three sweet cousins (Evee, Gracie and Isabel)
The youngest two cousins (James and Charley) on their first July 4
It was awfully hot that day, so Kyle and I opted to keep the girls at home instead of going out to the lake for music and fireworks. Instead, we enjoyed an evening at home together, just the four of us, snuggling and watching movies.

And if our week hadn't been eventful enough, we got to meet our newest nephew on Friday. Daniel and Monica welcomed Kolston very early Thursday morning, and we couldn't wait to snuggle him on Friday. It worked out well because they were at the hospital in St. Louis, and we had to pick up Grace's new braces for her feet. It's hard to believe that the next generation of Herschelmans now number five!  We even made our best attempt to get a photo of them all together.  They are all in the frame, but that's about it.

All five Herschelman grandchildren (Quincy, Charlotte, Grace, Kolston and Keelen)
The two newest Herschelmans with Kyle
Before heading for home, we stopped to have dinner at Fitz's with Kyle's sister, Mikaela, and her son, Quincy. We even made room for a root beer float before we left.  Grace liked sharing her ice cream with me!

Grace shared a root beer float with me!
Charlotte wanted Aunt Mikaela to share with her.
Charlotte checks out the bottling at Fitz's.
Quincy cheeses with Uncle Kyle
Before closing out our holiday week, we had one more big event, Charley's first wedding! Our family had been invited to the wedding of two coaches Kyle covers, the new Matt and Mallory Millburg, and it was fun to get the girls all dressed up for the big day. We also got to see lots of friends, and even have dinner with Kyle's cousin, Marcus and his girlfriend. Both girls were so sweet the whole evening, smiling at anyone, who stopped by to visit with us.

Family photo op at Charlotte's first wedding!
Cheesing with mommy
Selfie with mommy
Beautiful girls at the wedding
I have to say we were exhausted by the end of our holiday week, but I can honestly say we wouldn't have changed it for anything.  Spending time with family and friends is always worth the time and effort, and we loved every minute.  And we can't wait to do it all again.