Celebrating Cousin "Chaddie"

Over the years I've realized that our large family that enjoys spending time together "en masse" is somewhat unusual. Both sides of my family are known to gather once a year ~ my dad's typically for Thanksgiving, and my mom's for any excuse we can find, usually weddings or anniversaries ~ and have a rowdy time reconnecting. This year my cousin Chad (affectionately known as Chaddie by my sister and I) gave my mom's side a reason to gather. Of all my cousins (11 on both sides combined) he was the last to marry. Despite being a wonderful guy, he had a hard time finding "the one!" Secretly we all hoped (since December 2004 ~ when we met Caroline) that she would be able to capture his heart. We were thrilled when he proposed to her last fall and think that she is a wonderful addition to our family!

Caroline is French, so they got married in France early last month. We wanted to go so badly, but the cost of flying alone was prohibitive and we had to settle for seeing pictures. (Be sure to click the picture to enlarge it, they look positively stunning!) Luckily Chad's mom and sisters live in our area and a huge reception was planned to celebrate their marriage here.

Saturday there were several tours planned and despite the heat, we decided to join them on a walking tour of one of our local historic towns. Ian, Kylie and I got to the memorial gardens first, and (WARNING, Proud Mommy Alert) because my child is so adorable, we decided to snap a few pictures while we waited for the gang to arrive.

"Hmm, is that wa wa I hear, and if so, how can I get to it?"

"I see the wa wa and I'm making a break for it before mommy puts down the "cheese box" and stops me!"

"Ha, I'm at the wa ~ oh, there comes cousin Chad!"
Even though Kylie doesn't see him often AND he's six foot four, she is drawn to him...

Second cousin Kyler offers to share his water scooper with Kylie. And yes, I know, I did name my child something very close to what my cousin named her son...

After our walking tour (and of course a stop at a local creamery for some frozen dairy product) we headed home to cool off and let Kylie nap before the reception. Upon arrival she and Ella became attached at the hip.

"I luhv Ella!"
Kylie and my cousin's daughter Ella are one month and one day apart in age. They enjoy "playing" (more like doing the same things like rocking and dancing near each other) together!

Our family at the reception.

The reception itself was a pig-pickin' of sorts and it was wonderful to see all of my cousins (spread across the East coast from SC, NC, Washington DC, and PA) and even most of my mom's cousins (OH, AZ, VA, MD, and PA) with all their kids. We ate, learned to square dance, remembered the old times, and daydreamed about the future. We are one large, loud group, but we have lots of love! Good times, good times...


C.C. said...

Great the dancing!! Looks like it was a really fun reception!

My favorite was the last family pic...very photogenic family:-)

Allison said...

Cute family pic! And "cheese box"--love it!

Anonymous said...

Awe that sure was fun. Kylie and Ella dancing was so fun. They also shared the old rocking horse like they were grown-ups. Kylie would ride for 10 seconds then get off and let Ella Ride for 10 seconds... and so on and so on. Too cute.
Aunt Cici

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Caroline and Chad!
And thank you for the wonderful party. Petting zoo, basketball, pool, ping pong, dancing, good food. It was a perfect place for all of your family and friends.
Kylie, you and Ella had such a good time. Loved watching you dance.