Let’s go back to when Max, Lu and I left Nationals in Las Vegas (all about that HERE), to join the crew in Coronado (Dave stayed with Claire to finish up and they joined us a couple days later).
We drove through some pretty hefty holiday traffic but oh boy, I loved having that car time with my bookend kids, Max & Lu.
It was fun to arrive to be greeted by all these awesome people (this is just the adult kids), who were already deep into the party by the time we got there:
Coronado is a tradition we’ve done for the 4th of July for so many years, and by this time we all have this routine down pat. It is a huge group, ten families in all, and every night the kids all get together and come up with so many fun games that can be played with a huge crowd. (This is one reason Lucy was dying to get there…that girl is a game-lover and everyone includes her so beautifully.)
It is so strange that all these little kids are now starting to get married and have their own babies. We have so many married couples now!! But they are just as fun and just as inclusive and it makes my heart throb to watch.
That first night Abby was supposed to arrive at almost midnight, but we got a call from her at 11:30, on her layover in Las Vegas, letting us know her connecting flight just got cancelled and they wouldn’t be able to rebook anyone until July 4th. The airline wasn’t offering any explanation and no offers for hotels or compensation. I love that Abby was mostly worried about the poor late-night customer service lady trying to placate a hundred disgruntled passengers, yelling and throwing things, trying to get to their 4th of July destinations. Thank heavens Dave was there in Vegas with a car, was able to go pick her up at midnight and take her back to the airport at 4:30 the next morning (she was miraculously one of the few passengers who lucked out with a flight the next morning).
And with that, Abby joined the Coronado crowd.
Every day we adults sit out on the beach and talk deep as we catch up, and all the kids play all kinds of beach games.
(Yes that is Lucy below playing four-square…she can’t see that ball but she still stood there for hours trying, and those kids were right there with her for hours too.)
I am in a time of life where so many of my friends are hitting into so many tough things. Breast cancer, parents who’s health is dwindling, so much worry about kids and life, but yet so much joy and goodness mixed in. I am so grateful for time to be more still and listen and learn.
I also love that I got a little time to hang with just these three:
(We wished Elle & Carson could have been there too, but they were coming the next weekend for my nephew’s wedding and Florida is dang far away! Carson has been with us here, but Abby never has since they were in China last time we went. So it was fun to have her.)
Kid game nights:
Mom discussion nights:
High-fit on “the Green:”
Our own personal “church on the green:”
Meanwhile Claire was finishing up in Las Vegas with her awesome dad at her side:
And they arrived just in time for our traditional 4th of July pictures:
Phew! Dave was so worried he’d miss out on those!
The married couples:
(I remember the first year one of the kids was married…so crazy all that time is FLYING by so fast!)
The young adults:
What we have left of the “kids:”
Grace, Elle & Carson all “joined” us (on FaceTime) for the traditional walk over to the golf course to watch the fireworks:
And we settled in for pizza and the show.
Back at the hotel Dave put on his party face and got everyone playing “One and Done,” which has become a favorite since our friend introduced it to us a couple months ago.
Its a pretty simple game that you play with just one dice but it’s pretty entertaining I have to say.
We started with two groups on these little tables (above), and then joined them both and had EVERYONE rolling that die.
I wrote up instructions for how to play in my post “games for a big crowd” HERE, but for this post let’s just enjoy all these amused faces when the loser had to get written on with a Sharpie marker by everyone (a pre-determined consequence for losing).
A mustache as well as everyone’s signatures.
We stayed up late with all that entertainment, and it was pretty epic.
Packed up early the next day and headed off to Newport. We got Max and Abby for one more day and we were happy about that! I was so grateful for that extra little snippet of time before sending Claire off on her Netherland adventure.
Dave’s sisters were in Newport with their families and we got to hang with them on the beach:
And play some games…and also watch the Suns game together too.
We did our finishing touches with packing and repacking, (Lucy and I heading to Bear Lake right after we sent off Claire early in the morning). Dave gave Claire a special Father’s blessing and we had some time to talk through some of her goals while she’s gone. I love that she didn’t try to go meet up with her friends one last time, but instead asked if I wanted to watch an episode of This is Us together. So we watched, snuggled up together until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any more.
Then she was off:
See that last little glimpse of her up there? We watched and waved with teary eyes until she was gone, and then we were gone too…
…off to greet this lake in all it’s glory with my sister as our chauffeur:
The beginning of the gathering at Bear Lake.
A link you might like explaining some of the games we play at Coronado and Bear Lake: