Our "Big Trip" begins...

We conquered 16 hours Saturday and Sunday in our minivan to make it to Manhattan, Kansas.
Preston drove like a professional truck driver and the kids were angels (and I'm being serious).
It was smooth sailing (minus stopping one hour early on Saturday night because of a closed freeway).

As we were pulling into Kansas James yelled for me from the back of the van.
I turned to see what he needed, expecting him to be requesting a snack, when he said in the cutest, sincere, little voice...
"Mom, thanks for taking us on a big trip!"
My heart melted.
We've been planning our month long getaway for quite some time now, and counting down the days until we would be reunited with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

We all gathered that first night at Keely's house to celebrate our reunion (minus Grandma & Grandpa who will be joining us in Branson this weekend).

{Sisters, after a long, hot day}

{James can't get enough of Jude- don't they make cute, redheaded cousins?}

{lots of kids- and youngins at heart- all under one roof}

We are happy to all be together for the month, but we were sad to send Preston on an airplane early the next morning for a business trip and then back home to work in Utah until our beach vacation.

We'll miss you, Babe!

And so our journey begins...

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