Cuzipalooza 2013

Crazy Kids


For the first time ever I was conveniently gone at a hair appointment while the van was being loaded and house closed down for our week-long trip North.


I was a little nervous.


You know…about what I might come home to. ;)


But it worked out soooo very nicely, this most unfortunate timing, that I might just plan it that way again in the future. :)


Duff and the kids carried some serious cheese while I was being pampered.


Wow, that just sounds so wrong…and yet I find myself getting use to the idea. ;)

We pulled out of the driveway one hour after I returned home…


ripening tomatoes sitting on the dash and jogging bra not-yet-dry hanging from the rearview mirror.


Fuzzy dice are so last millennium.


Jogging Bra


And as I reflect back on that black undergarment, dangling before the windshield as we cruised along Interstate 95,


I realize it represents all of the unrealistic expectations I often have going into a family vacation.


Like I might actually exercise, for instance.


And though my little vacation dreams are almost always crushed in some way, and I know there will be moments of complete insanity,

I have also come to realize it is all entierly worth it.


The moments of pain are worth the gain.


Golly, if I’m not beginning to sound like an infomercial for the P90x.


What I mean is…


There will be a child sitting in a public restroom for 20 minutes insisting that they really do need to go potty.



Panda Express


There will be endless ‘Are we there yet?’s


You will hear your name called from the rear of the van, in all its many forms, until you want to cover your ears and scream.


You will receive an inaccurate report that a child just urinated all over themselves.


Panda Express 2


You will sit in traffic.


You will have to referee backseat arguments over music, snacks,and electronics.


A ‘Big and Loud’ timer will make its way into the van and begin going off in the rear of the vehicle just before midnight, so that 5/7 children are awakened from slumber.


You and your spouse will drive into the wee hours and argue over the ridiculously indirect route that ‘Gina’ (the other woman) has mapped out.


But even so….it will be worth it.




Those moments when you blast ‘Gummy Bear’ and ‘Rub Some Bacon On It’ to shock your toddler out of his mood (in which he spits like an angry camel) are unforgettable.


The impromptu van dance party to your new favorite song is priceless.


Viewing a spectacular Baltimore sunset painted across the horizon while sipping a vanilla latte is an amazing treat.


Vanilla Latte





Unexpected roadside fireworks causing welcome backseat cheers. Awesome.


Reading a delicious book that turns your world upside down is invigorating.


The husband who rocks the miles away, while you sit reclined sipping a vanilla coke, is very attractive.


There’s just something about a good family road trip that really opens one’s eyes up to all the ridiculous blessings.


And we hadn’t even arrived yet!




A brother-in-law ushering us inside his house at 3 AM to beds all warmly made in preparation for our arrival…so appreciated.





Early morning piano recitals performed by my niece and nephew while I sat cradling a hot cup of coffee…unforgettable.


Piano Man

Piano Girl


Delicious breakfast casseroles baking in the oven turning bubbly golden for our eating enjoyment…felt unbelievably spoiled.


Backyard Cuzipalooza with swingset, water, and sandbox fun on an absolutely beautiful summer day…cherished all of it.


Watching adorable children run everywhere…



Pool Time!


Pool Time!


Adorable Kids





Piggy Tails!


Pool Time!

Pool Boy






Water Break


and building,

Sand Creations


it’s my idea of a very good time. :)


The kids making certain the birthday boy was sufficiently doused with water…quite entertaining.








And of course he made the occasional comeback…




The smell of burning wood and delicious meats roasting over an open fire…loved it.

Because understand…

No Eglintine gathering is complete without a bonfire.  It’s their signature thang.


Meeting my little nephew…


Cutie Patootie


Is there anything better?

Handsome Boy

Soooo worth it. :)


Endless fashion shows where little girl cousins act bashful and silly, forever giggling as they parade costumes across the room…






Princess Gabby


The Trio


I treasured it.


Then the Rapunzel wig came out…






Rapunzel 2


Rapunzel 3


and we had some really great laughs over all those kids sporting long blonde cascading locks. :)


So many amazing memories with this adorable crew!!


The Gang of 'Em


Worth every moment of sleep deprivation, crankiness, and chaos. ;)


And now it was onward to the second leg of our trip!




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