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Arkansas Vacation: Cousin Pictures

Team Cartwright has just returned home from our wonderful vacation in Arkansas!  Pat, Ben, and I loaded up the car and drove down to visit with Aunt Lindsay, Uncle Chris, Gramma, Grampa, and Ben’s cousins.  It was a long drive, but it was so worth it to get to see them all.  Gramma and Grampa recently moved down that way, which is great because we get to see everyone in a single trip!  Uncle Chris and Aunt Lindsay hadn’t yet gotten a chance to meet Ben in person, and Gramma and Grampa hadn’t seen him in person since Thanksgiving.  So this was a much needed vacation.  Family is super important to us, so I am so thankful we had the chance to visit with them.

Another exciting part of this trip was Ben getting to meet his cousins for the first time!  I grew up extremely close to my cousins.  We all lived in the same town, with two of my cousins living two houses away from us for awhile.  Pat also grew up very close with his cousins.  Cousins are our first friends, so we are going to do our best to let Ben and his cousins get to know each other as well as possible.

Everyone had so much fun!!  With four little kids, one being a baby, we had to stick to a bit of a schedule.  Ben still takes morning and afternoon naps, plus he goes to bed early.  I am pretty hardcore about keeping his schedule.  I understand that life happens and adjustments need to be made.  But Ben does so well having his nap and meal times consistent.  He is such a happy baby, and I do believe part of that is due to this consistency.  Fortunately the family was able to adjust and we were able to pretty much keep to Ben’s routine.  Yes, things did vary a bunch.  But he still got his naps and meals around the normal times.  As a result, we didn’t really get out and do that much in terms of activities.  We did get to spend a ton of time hanging out, playing with the kids, and just enjoying each other’s company.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was getting to watch the cousins play together.  Charlotte, Joe, and Ella were so great with Ben!!  They had no problem sharing their toys or playing gently with Ben.  They had so much fun watching him explore.  Ben had an absolute blast watching the three of them run around too.  I tried to get as many pictures of them together as I could.  Sadly I am not a great photographer.  However in my defense it is kind of hard to get a 9 month old, two 3.5 year olds, and 5.5 year old to all smile, hold still, and look at the camera at the same time.  Heck just getting them to hold still can be a challenge.  These are some energetic kids!  I did get a few good ones to remember this precious time when they are all little.

First cousins picture!!
It’s tough to get them all looking the same way.
Yeah, they all got bored with it quickly. 
Charlotte had Ben cracking up!
Charlotte built the towers, Ben knocked them down.
Joe caught me taking a picture.
The kids loved playing together.
I love these kids!!

We had a lot of fun in Arkansas.  Too much fun for one blog entry.  More to come soon!

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