Our family just returned from a 6 day trip to Arizona (read 4 days in the car, 2 days in AZ.) And when I say our family, I mean Jeremiah's entire family. From the 8 kids, ages 5 and under, to Grandpa, age 88, there were 20 of us total in 2-twelve passenger vans and Grandpa's Tundra. I have to be honest, I enjoyed myself far more than I anticipated. Not that I was dreading it, but I'm not really a road tripper. I like to drive as long as humanly possible before stopping - which obviously was not possible with 20 people travelling together. But it was not as bad as I thought it might be, all things considered.
Once we got there we were able to relax at the condos that my in-laws had reserved. Jack had a fever the first 3 days of travel and was extremely irritable so we didn't get much sleep. The first day at the condo he finally napped and Jeremiah and I laid down and snuck in a siesta as well. Most of the rest of the family had already headed off to go sight-seeing, but I'd had enough of the car and wasn't about to drag Jack around in his less-than-charming condition.
It was so nice to stay in the condos. We roomed up with Evens and Kelly and my sweet niece Kara. I hadn't seen Kara in ages so I was really surprised when she warmed up to me quickly. Every time I turned around she was at my feet reaching her arms up to me. It felt great to be loved.
Jeremiah and I went with Lucas and Carenna's family to some cliff dwellings before the wedding on Saturday. I was kind of bummed when I learned that the main trail was closed due to rock slides, but once I saw how many stairs we didn't have to climb with 7 kids in tow, I was relieved.
Tanner and Caroline had a really lovely wedding. The wedding was outdoors in the afternoon and they had a...an...interesting ceremony. I could barely hear them as they shared their vows, but I didn't have to hear them to know they love each other.
Isaac was the ring bearer and he looked super handsome. I told him to hold the pillow like it was a plate of food that he didn't want to spill. He did really well walking down the aisle, but became a little distracted by the ribbons on the pillow during the ceremony. I couldn't look away as he dinked around, putting the pillow on top of his head and burying his face in it. He accidentally untied one of the rings and it dropped to the ground. Luckily he retrieved it quickly and there were no more incidents before the rings were actually exchanged. Guess we should have made it to the rehearsal...
Anyway, it is so great to see Tanner happy. His once omnipresent scowl never made an appearance over the weekend, not even on the dance floor. I know he loves Caroline immensely - I never thought I'd see the day that Tanner would get out on a dance floor and dance, to country music no less. Their reception was very family oriented and kid friendly, which we greatly appreciated. Everyone had fun at the dance following the reception. I even got to bust out some old-school moves on the dance floor, courtesy of Kelly's dare.
The day we left Flagstaff we headed to the Grand Canyon, which I was really excited about since I'd never been there. However, as I mentioned before, I'm not much of a road-tripper, and was less than thrilled when the venture took about 7 hours. Luckily we ended up stopping to stay the night earlier than planned and got to come home at our own pace on Monday.
All in all it was a great trip. And barring some hugely childish and selfish behavior from a certain in-law I really didn't have any issues with anyone during the trip. I do think, however, that next time we will make our own arrangements, and I'm pretty sure that everyone else came to that conclusion.
It's so nice to be home and in our own beds. Jack's mood has improved dramatically and things are back to normal. This was our final hoorah for the summer and it was a great way to end the summer of a million activities.