My Brother’s Wedding

Oh it was going to be a doozy.  I knew this heading into our travels.

We were planning to hit Boston and Connecticut in a whirlwind trip totaling 6 days.

We would pick Maddie up from CYT (Christian Youth Theatre) about 10:00 PM, van fully loaded, and head north on the interstate.

I expected to be the primary nighttime driver since Duff intended to put in a full day’s work the day of our departure.

No worries.  I had a plan.

I would take the five youngest to Pullen Park that morning.

Pullen Park

I would throw them in boats.

Captain Gab

These Two!


I would take them for a train ride…



through tunnels,

Look at the Joy!


around corners,

Pullen Train


and over bridges.

Gorgeous Views


I would force them to mount wild horses,

Gabby Carousel

Keag and Logan Ride



and make ostrich faces.

Ostrich Face


I would demand they teeter-totter until their muscles grew shaky with fatigue.



And only when they could stand the heat of that 90 degree day no longer, would I bring them home and feed them pizza.

Then, while they watched a riveting movie, I would take a wonderful afternoon nap.

Voila!  My plan.


It actually played out pretty well, and by 7:00 the following morning, we were eating bagels with sausage, egg, and cheese, in New York.

We made Boston by noontime.

Lots of fun memories were etched in our minds.

We enjoyed the most fantastic weather for the entirety of our visit.

I took an amazing early-morning walk along the beach with Duff’s sisters and a few of the kids.  We got to exercise with uninterrupted gabbing.

What more could a girl ask for?


Sunrise Walk


Well maybe a latte would be nice. ;)



And perhaps just a couple of Kane’s donuts?


I requested a Whoopie Pie donut when Uncle Eric left with four children to get the goods.

He delivered and protected, hiding my donut from many sugar-crazed kids, until the moment finally arrived.

YUM!  My entire being melted with satisfaction at the taste of that first bite.

Whoopie Pie, let’s be forever best friends, I decided.


But then Nana insisted I give the Bismark a try.

I had room left for only a small sampling.

The Bismark is a light and airy donut, boasting a rich raspberry filling, piled high with fresh whipped cream and a dusting of confectionary sugar.

I was skeptical.  I’d never been much of a jelly donut fan.  And whipped cream? Not always sweet enough for me.



OH. MY.  It was so surprisingly perfect.

Bismark, let’s run away together!

All other donuts are dead to me.

You are the one.

It was perfect donut matrimony…

until death do us part.



I can get a little carried away with (or by) food sometimes. ;)


Back to the beach.

It was beckoning to every niece and nephew in the house.

Who were we to resist the call?


This kid…

Beach Dude

He’s got the cool factor.

Not sure where he gets it from.

He the Man


Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the Y chromosome he inherited from this guy?


Father Beach Dude


Let me share the recipe for my favorite picture:

The Gang 4


Step 1- Locate one dozen adorable children.

The Gang 3


Step 2- Put them in all of their favorite beach gear.

The Gang 2


Step 3- Walk them to the beach and click away with your camera.

The Gang 1


Step 4- Release them to the rocks!



I love bringing my children to the beach.

Water Play


The water, sand, and wind effortlessly absorb all things boisterous about my clan.

I’m suddenly watching a beautifully silent movie of my kiddos running,

Playing at Low Tide



Gabby Girl



Fun in the Sun



Sand Castles


and hauling.

Team Effort



They’re all so content playing in a sandbox without borders,

Water Retriever




and a pool without bounds.

Buried Deep


Knee Deep

It does this momma’s head a world of good. ;)


Back to my favorite recipe…

This little nephew was the only missing ingredient.

He was taking a nap during picture time.

Cousin Lukie


We had a wonderful time in Boston, visiting lots of special people, but our itinerary pushed us onward.

Preparations were underway for my brother’s wedding in Connecticut.

We had a rehearsal dinner to attend.

Here I am with my sister and mom in front of the church…


Kath, Mom, and Me 2


plus two pretty girls.

Rehearsal 2


Luke and my nephews were all snazzed-up.

Nephew Dudes 2


Let’s talk for a minute about the ironing I endured to make my crew look their best.  Sacrifice.

Sissies 2


Keagan is such the little momma.  She’s got the hip maneuver down and all.

Future Mama 2


Duff manned the kid table at the rehearsal dinner.  It takes a special kind of someone.

Kid's Table and Duff


My bro, his wife, and daughter.

McGinnis Fam


Everyone looking so fine.

Rehearsal Dinner-Keag


Rehearsal Dinner Mad and Boys


Disclaimer: My pictures of the bride and groom were a flop from the rehearsal dinner.  Ugh.


Fortunately, I got to try again the next day, to do a better job.

Here is my brother, the groom, waiting on his bride.

Waiting for his Bride


Here come my parents, Mimi and Pop.

Mimi and Pop


I think it’s been 43 years since they walked down the aisle.

Mimi and Pop


My older brother and his wife,

Kev and Di


who were actually celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary on this day.

Kev and Di- 11th Anniv.


My sister is below on the left.  She is always devoid of emotion.  Such a shame.

Auntie Kath- Faces


And here comes my beautiful niece, the flower girl on the right.

Flower Girl


Aren’t they just precious?

Flower Girl 2


The bride and her daddy…

Here Comes the Bride



Both so emotional.

Here Comes the Bride 2


They almost had me crying the ugly cry.

Here Comes the Bride 3


Altar 1


I believe her father is giving my brother a stern talking to with his eyes in this pic.  ;)

Altar 2


The ceremony was personal and touching.  Father Rich had a pretty good sense of humor.



Everything at the reception was set up beautifully.

My three youngest stood drooling over these cupcakes as we walked in the door.



The tables looked very nice.

Table decorations



I could not keep these three off the dance floor.



I twisted this girl’s arm and she finally let me curl her hair for the occasion.  Cute huh?

Keag with Curls!


Actually, all of us girls had a little more wave than normal.

Mad and Gab


Maddie Rose


And the boys were looking their finest too.



Blue Eyes


Duff and Kin


Handsome Nephews


Dad and Kev


Here is my mom and brother dancing…

Mother/Son Dance


And of course the newlyweds,

Cutting the Cake

cutting their cake.

Ken and Maryellen, wishing you both a lifetime of happiness together.

Our whirlwind trip was entirely worth it. :)



  1. Looks like so much fun! We enjoy Boston and some day se will take Caleb… WE must go to the beach together!!! Caleb loves the beach but as an only child he gets lonely and I just KNOW he would have a blast with your kids.

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