Monday, March 15, 2010

The Airport

Saturday morning - February 20th was the BIG DAY. We loaded up everyone that was here and headed into the San Francisco Airport to meet Tanner as he returned from his mission in Mexico City. We were all so excited.
We got to the airport early - and then Tanner's flight was delayed a little so we had to wait quite a while - the anticipation just kept building and building. I don't know when I've ever felt so excited!!!! Even Madden got caught up in the excitement.

We could see people on a TV monitor as they came out of customs. The suspense!!!!! Finally we saw Tanner and I had timed the last 20 people coming out of customs and knew I would see him face to face in about 12 seconds!!!

Then the moment arrived!!!! I was so HAPPY to have my arms around Tanner again - it was an incredible reunion - that just kept going . . . .

and going . . .

and going . . .

and going . . .

and going . . . until he had hugged everyone and met his new niece and nephew.

Tanner looked great!!!

We were so happy to have him back with us. Euphoria doesn't even begin to describe my emotions.
Here we all are - incredibly happy! Words simply can't describe it all so this will have to suffice. More than awesome!

Reunion Week #1

Tanner's first week home was a big long family reunion -

Here's my parents with 3 of their great grandchildren.
They even babysat while the rest of us all took Tanner to see Avatar.
Pretty brave of them don't you think?

There were people and babies everywhere. We spent a good share of the week watching baby wrestling . . . .
Naomi was definitely the toughest of the three in the baby wrestling department -

but Boston did his share to teach Madden how it's done.

Like I said -

It got a little rough.

After a while they actually played together (without tackling)

and really loved each other (so sweet).

Most of the time anyways.

I learned some new things - like what a HAM Boston is,
and how Madden is just "chillin" most of the time

and how long Michele spends working on Naomi's hair every night and day (what a good mom)
and what it looks like when her braids come out - pretty crazy :)

We had some excursions - little trips to Pixie Playland, the park, lots of walks in the backyard and throwing rocks into the creek.
CHEEEEESE!!!!! I told you he is a ham.
Teacups anyone?

We tried to enjoy a little good California weather when it occasionally presented itself -

All in all a wonderful, crazy, messy, fun week together.

Reunion Week #2 - Birthday Celebrations

Did you think the fun was all over?

Paul had a medical convention that prevented their family from being in California the first week Tanner was home - so they joined us the next week, as well as Randy who thankfully had a week off from school. So on Friday - February 26th we had the WHOLE family together. So of course everyone stayed for another week to really party! A lot of discussion had to do with when the last time we were all together was - I think we decided it was Tiffany's wedding (2 years and 8 months ago). Anyway we made the most of it.

So fun to see Avery again - she is such a little doll!
It was Alex and Paul's birthday the next day so we celebrated at our all time favorite Hunt family favorite place - Fentons -

We opened presents . . .

Everybody liked what they got.

We all got Crab Sandwiches and Black and Tan's and we love them!

Then it was on to San Francisco where we went to the Academy of Sciences. It was a lovely day in San Francisco.
Unfortunately our walk thru Golden Gate Park to and from where we parked blocks away was the highlight of the trip. Not to self: Do not go to the Academy of Sciences on a Saturday when there are a gazillion other people there, your daughters have double strollers, and their kids have had no naps. Sort of a disaster - so we headed back home (which ended up being an adventure in and of itself - remember that?)

But it was all OK because at home there was birthday cake waiting and Alex made birthday wishes. She is the cutest "4 year old" I know!

We even had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows.

I thought we were pretty lucky to be able to all celebrate their birthdays together. Another great day! Life is good.

Reunion Week #2 Continues . . .

Tanner spoke in our Ward the Sunday we were all here together - and I saw this as possibly my sole opportunity to get a complete family picture. I'm glad I did. Thanks Jenni!!!

I can't get enough of Avery's adorable smile.

The next day we were in Carmel (we REALLY needed to get out of our cramped quarters here)
more room for more playing here. This is ALL the kids taking down Tanner.

We spent our 1st day driving down the beautiful California coast.

Tiff and Randy near Big Sur
Lots of gorgeous scenery.

Then Paul found us a secluded beach to hike into and explore.

It was a GIANT photo op!

Summer & Paul's family

Tiffany & Randy's family

Michele & John's family

Me, John and our kids - how can they all be this old?

Nobody loves the beach as much as this kid -

goofing off

The Sisters . . .


This was one of the highlights of the whole trip for me - just a great time at a beautiful place.

The next day we took everyone to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Noah is obsessed with sea life and is so smart - it's like having your own personal marine biologist showing you around and telling you what everything is. I can't believe all the stuff he know and how he can identify every type of shark and type of whale. He loved it there.

They all did.

Then it was time to head back home again - we had one last thing on our agenda. Taking all the adults out to diner in the City (and leaving the kids - all 6 of them at home with babysitters).

I have no pictures to share - but the food was pretty memorable and it was fun to visit with just the grown ups. It was a nice way to end what for us was 13 days of fun. Thursday morning brought goodybyes, several runs to the airport, some tears, and a request from Noah to come to see him for St Patrick's Day (if only). It's nice to be wanted and loved. I can't complain - John tells me if it's hard to say goodbye it's the sign of a successful reunion. I was sad to see everyone leave - but VERY grateful that everyone did all that they did to travel long distances and make a lot of sacrifices to make this family reunion all possible. Thanks everyone!!!
I'm now brainstorming for the next one.