The end of August we spent a week and a half in New Hampshire visiting family and soaking up the very last bit of the official summertime. Tate had just 2 days of preschool before we left and then we missed a few days while we were gone. Totally worth it, of course. The timing of our trip this year was based on a big reunion at the camp where Glenn spent his summers growing up. Glenn really didn't want to miss it so we made the trip a few weeks later than usual this year.
We had a wonderful time. Gregor and Amy's family were incredibly gracious, as always, letting us crash at their house for such a long time and put up with the crying kids in the night and extra mess of four more people in the house. They fed us AMAZING meals, as they always do, and the great conversations, morning runs, and evenings around the piano were priceless. It was a busy week for the Makechnies getting their kids ready to go back to school and preparing for the big pig roast party as well. I think our family cooking carcasses in the dirt may now be an annual tradition.
Tate and Finn were smitten with Tennyson. Almost makes me feel like these sweet little boys need a sweet little dog. Almost. Finny would wander around chasing after him calling, "Teeeeena. Tenna wait! Tenna wait!" But sometimes they would catch him lying down or looking out the front screen door and they'd just lie down next to him and snuggle for a bit. He is a very nice dog.
Finny found lots of balls to play with so he was in heaven. They even had a big basketball hoop (Ba de ba hoop) out front which he would stare at through the screen door and beg someone to help him "boom duh ba-duh-bah" which meant "would someone please go out and lift me up so I can dunk the ball??"
Uncle Ian was darling with our little darlings. He's a very sweet and attentive uncle.
Our kiddos have such great cousins. They're all wonderful and played so sweetly with the boys on this trip. I think Nelson may still be the favorite. But it's hard for the girls to compete with this sweet cousin who has a room full of action figures and nerf guns and will play sword fights with them.
Finners with Brynne and Paige.
Nelson, Tate, Brynne, Finn, and Paige enjoying a bit of movie.
Tate got a stomach bug a few days in to our trip. Of course he did. He always does. It's the pits. Thankfully it only lasted a couple of days and he was able to get better without a trip to instacare for zofran, which was unusual but a huge blessing! Poor kid spent two days on the couch throwing up or crying because he felt like he was about to throw up.
Which meant that Finn spent a couple of rainy days with us inside, longing to go play.
Here he's telling me he wants to go to the hoop. Please mom, take me to boom the basketball!
We always have incredible food at the Makechnies. They pull out all the stops and every meal is delish. I always come home with a few pages full of ideas and recipes...well, "recipes" as much as Gregor can come up with a recipe for what he just created. He mostly makes stuff up. It's always amazing. Their morning shakes are more adventurous than mine. Basically TONS of vegetables blended together. Finn cannot get enough of them. He would down a few small glasses if they had some left over every morning.
The Needham Makechnies and Seth and Vince came up briefly for the weekend. They couldn't miss the big pig roast. We spent the morning of the Annual Makechnie Pig Roast Extravaganza at a farm playing and picking peaches. Tate was in heaven with so many cousins to play with.
Tate and Gracie looking at the apple trees.
Seth, Chloe, Hailey, Cope, Tate, Grace and Arthur.
They had a little kids area with tons of toys and cars. It was Tate and Finn's favorite part and grandma was very sweet to play with them and push them around.
Aaaand here he is shooting me with a laser.
Tate and Finn in the peach orchard.
Finn would have eaten peaches all day if we had let him. We found him some soft ones and he would eat them down to the pit with juice running down his chest and down his arm off his elbow. He LOVED those peaches and would get VERY upset when he dropped one in the dirt and we had to throw it away.
They had a rope swing in a big tree by the road and all the cousins took turns giving it a go. Tate had a little help from cousin Hailey. It made my heart smile to see him so happy with all his cousins and see them loving and playing with my kids so sweetly.
Sadly I only got one picture of the Pig Roast Extravaganza. I was too busy corralling the boys in the huge crowd. So here is my one picture of the evening:
Tate and I went to visit the chickens and found this teensy frog on the ground. It was super cool for Mr. Tate.
The Pig Roast was quite the event. There were way more people in attendance than last year. Matt Nathanson showed up with his family, which was pretty cool. The brothers spent days preparing the pit, building the fire, keeping the fire going all night, then burying the meat early in the morning so it would be just right for the evening's festivities. Glenn added another tradition this year, he made a turducken. After a good deal of internet research he and his brothers figured it out and we had a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey all stuffed with stuffing. Wow. The Makechnies sure know how to throw a party. It was spectacular.
The next morning Glenn woke up really early and drove to Boston to pick up Mallory. She took a bus all night to come spend the weekend with us. It was SO fun to have her around, as always, and the Makechnies were so kind to let her stay with us as well.
The boys and I drove with Gregor and Art to William Lawrence Camp. We met up with Glenn and Mal and had a great day exploring the camp where all the Makechnie boys spent their childhood summers. It was truly a boy's paradise. We tried our hand at archery.
Tate was so excited to shoot a bow and arrow. He'd been talking about it all week.
And the experience did not disappoint.
Finn was dying to give it a try too. Anything big brother is doing MUST be so fun!
And then Glenn showed us the skills he honed during all those childhood summers.
We went to the beach. It was the most beautiful little beach on a big pond with docks, boats, and a little sandy beach. Tate didn't mind the cold water one bit. We went out on a canoe for a while then met up with Ian on the beach. Ian showed Glenn his target from the riflery range. Glenn said, "Hey, let's head to the riflery range before they close." Yep, grown men and still can't resist the urge to wallop each other at target practice. It was pretty funny.
We got ourselves outfitted with some nice ear gear.
I would definitely say Finn wore it best.
Glenn beat Ian's score. There may have been a bit of bragging.
We left camp around dinner time and went to Wolfeboro for dinner. We had a yummy dinner on the lake and then got ice cream for the ride home. What a fun day.
Sunday was fast Sunday. It was pretty amazing to be there all together and see Arthur on the stand conducting the meeting and bearing his testimony. He is an amazing man. I'm always impressed by my father-in-law, but this trip in particular he was so involved and so kind to my little guys. Every time Tate would walk around asking people to go inside and play action figures with him, he would get to Arthur after we'd told him, "not now" and Art would stand right up and walk inside with him to play. More than once I walked into the house to find Art playing trains or nerf guns or action figures with the boys. It was very sweet.
Sunday afternoon we played a game of Can Jam. I would like to make an official apology to Ian, my partner, for my devastating frisby skills. I am truly dismal. But we still had a good time. At one point I got hit, lightly, by a frisby and within a couple of minutes I had this enormous bruise on my calf.
Gregor told me that if I were Native American my name would be "Bruises-with-Frisby." Probably so.
Monday was Labor Day so the kiddos had school off and we spent the morning at the Montshire Museum. It was a really amazing hands-on children's science museum. Finn's favorite was probably rolling pennies down the chute and watching them swirl around the bowl.
Mallory held the ramp for him for a very long time.
Tate's favorite was probably making paper helicopters with Glenn.
Then throwing them off the balcony.
He also had a good time with his Grandpa.
We had a great time at the museum all together, then had lunch in Hanover before we split up for the rest of the day. Amy and Gregor were incredibly sweet and took the boys home with them while Glenn, Ian, Mallo and I drove 3 hours to Boston. We had just one hour to wander around the North End before we had to drop her off at the airport for her flight back to D.C.
We didn't need much time. Mal and I just LOVE being in big cities together. For any amount of time.
We hit the Boston Massacre site,
Mike's Pastry's, of course, where we shared a delicious dinner of eclair and cannoli. Little Italy was a good time with Mallory.
Then it was off to the airport. It was a whirlwind weekend but I'm so glad she came up for a few days. We had a great time together, as we always do. I love being around her and I love the way she loves my little boys.
The next day we packed up and headed home. The boys were really good on the flights there and home which made it so much more easier.
Spending time with the Makechnie clan always leaves me feeling so proud to be a part of their family. We have an incredible family with truly impressive, intelligent, and accomplished people who are making a positive impact on the world. We are a very diverse group but we all get along and have so much fun together. Thanks Makechnies for putting up with us for such a long time and at such an inconvenient time. We had such a wonderful trip and cannot wait until next year!