Family · Holidays · Life

Cousin Camp 2019

It’s funny how the 4th of July has sort of become our traditional Nelson family reunion, but I’m not mad about it! It just works out that way with schedules between one family in Arizona where they start school super early and the other one coming from halfway across the world, and it’s been fun having these summer memories. Even if it is nearly as hot in St George as it is down here in Las Vegas! Luckily there are sprinklers, popsicles, and water gun fights for cooling off ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This was a great week because I felt so relaxed — I had pretty much zero expectations other than eating & preparing good food, and the kids all played happily together, so I was able to just relax on my in-laws’ sweet reclining couch and read my book! Now that’s what I call vacation, ha!

We had plenty of good family time, my MIL and cousin got me hooked on When Calls the Heart (OK I know, it’s kind of terrible but also it’s kind of like the Instagram of TV Shows because it’s so pretty and dreamy and picture-perfect and kind of fun and suddenly I was hooked, ha!), we ate some yummy dinners and I pigged out on lots of watermelon (and ice cream… I was really craving ice cream lately. My eating & exercise habits went out the window a bit lately and I’m not doing a good job of getting back on track… ha!) and overall just enjoyed ourselves.

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Our traditional “4th of July Cake” (That’s what the cousins call it, they request it every year now, I’ll never be able to let this one die! It’s just a trifle with layers of angel food cake, homemade whipped cream, blue jello, and fresh raspberries. I’m kind of over it after this year, it’s pretty ridiculous, but the kids love it!) We also had fun making these cute “sparklers,” via Homegrown Traditions (she’s always full of great ideas, I enjoy following her on Instagram!) — we also got everybody hooked on her yummy frozen strawberry lemonade

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Mmmm I could go for some more blueberries and watermelon right about now…

A family in my in-laws’ neighborhood put on a block party to light fireworks two days before the 4th, which was pretty cool. This was Jonas’ first year getting to do the whole fireworks thing (he was already in bed last year!) and it was so fun watching him experience it — he was mesmerized and called the big fireworks “boom boom.”

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(One kid was even handing out donuts and treats! How cool is that?! Jonas was thrilled of course! And yes I know image quality is atrocious, it was obviously really dark and I don’t have a flash!)

My in-laws live in such an amazing neighborhood, there are tons of families and kids are always riding their bikes or playing in the dirt lots out back, and their next-door neighbor has a little girl Adelina’s age that she adores! So between cousins, her grandparents, and her little friends, life is peachy at Omi & Opi’s house!

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(I have no idea who taught her how to pose like that but it kind of cracks me up… where do kids learn these things?!)

On the morning of the 4th we hit up the fair downtown and won some prizes, then cooled off with water games!

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(That water gun is bigger than her… but she was not intimidated ha!) It was hot outside but luckily there was also plenty of shade, and we prided ourselves on getting all the fun we could squeeze out of that event without spending a penny — woohoo! Ha ha. That’s a true Nelson family event right there ๐Ÿ˜‰

PS: if you haven’t read my post about what it’s like to celebrate Independence Day as a French-American dual citizen, go check it out!

Opi’s rock fountain is always lots of fun too!

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We lit up sparklers with the kids that evening. (poor Jonas burned one of his fingers… argh! Not a proud parenting moment! Nothing serious but I felt bad, we should’ve been watching him more closely.)

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It really was so funny how seriously Jonas took the whole thing though — he was fascinated!

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I read a few books about America/founding fathers etc. to the kids and my eldest niece, who is quite the budding artist, and I worked on a pledge of allegiance poster. It was fun!

Of course I couldn’t not take advantage of having a Harmon’s nearby (best grocery store in America!) and we had some baguette and good cheeses — I even made ricotta for the first time and it was a hit! (I used this recipe and it was pretty fool-proof, thanks for the recommendation from Jennifer Stagg!)

We also took the chance to get cousin photos, so I served as the family photographer for an evening. It was fun, these kids are a lot better at posing for pictures than my own silly little ones ha, and my sister-in-law had made these cute tees for all the cousins, complete with numbers! They loved that ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cuties! And yes I know I’m biased but these kids are just so stinking cute!

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I mean just look at those sweet faces!

I shouldn’t act like life is all roses though, do I tend to do that? So I’ll just briefly allude to the my-husband-shrunk-my-brand-new-favorite-shirt-in-the-laundry fiasco which really got to me near the end of the trip (luckily we sort of resolved it and were able to find that same shirt one size up at the store… he joked he could shrink it down for me but I’m going to take my chances with it the way it is since I’m huge right now anyway). It was just one of those moments in marriage where one little thing is enough to set you over the edge and you kind of blow your lid… But hey the sliver lining in this is, I have a husband who does laundry and participates fully in household chores, so we’re going to move right along from that episode!

Pregnancy finally really caught up to me the week or two before we left for the holiday, Andrew’s brother and family had come to stay with us and suddenly I lost all energy. (it wasn’t them, just summer catching up to me I think!) I felt bad because I was kind of a party pooper — even sitting at the table to play cards felt exhausting because my body hurt so much by the end of the day that lying down felt like the only remedy! We found out I have severe anemia (no shocker, since I have thalassemia minor… more on that another day) so that explains part of it. Anyway that exhaustion bled into more exhaustion and as of now, mid-July, I haven’t exercised in two weeks and I’m feeling it! Oh well. Only a month and a half to go before I can have my body and blood supply back, ha!

We are definitely getting excited to meet this sweet boy though — I can’t wait to see what he looks like and what kind of a little person he is! โค

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