Charleston, SC

 This was a very dreamy 5 day vacation because for the first time in a loooong time all of my siblings were together in one place! We decided to have our summer reunion in Charleston to ensure that Zander would be able to attend- even if it was sporadic between shifts. Pulling together everyone's work and school schedules only had us all overlapping each other for 48 hours but we sure made the most of it. My parents rented a 10 bedroom beach house on the Isle of Palms that was a 5 minute walk from the ocean and it also had a pool on the back deck. We split up meals and everyone took turns cooking. Don't get me wrong- my dad's Mexican resorts are magical but honestly with so many tiny children it is pretty exhausting shuffling them back and forth from hotel rooms for naps and trying to get them to practice table manners in fancy restaurants and also making sure no one drowns. I'm sweating thinking about it! Being in a house all together eliminated lots of that and gave us the evenings to hang out after all the kids were in bed to play games, watch movies, just chat, and dad's favorite karaoke. We booked this house back in February and it happened to be a few days before Jonas' 5th birthday so Zander and Beca planned a little party one of the days so we could all celebrate together. Jonas is autistic and one of his enthusiasms is elevators- he asked his parents for an elevator birthday party. They weren't so sure what that would look like so they compromised with an elevator cake and Mickey Mouse decorations. We bought Jonas a cute kids story centered around an elevator. A few days before we were to fly in my mom sent out a family text announcing that she found out the beach house actually had its own elevator! I literally teared up when she sent that- isn't God good? I love that he did that for Jonas. Another tender mercy was getting a visit from Caleb and Erica and family who drove up from Savannah, GA to spend Memorial Day with us. The water was perfect for boogie boarding and I felt like a little kid again chasing the waves.