Monday, September 6, 2010

A growing family means a bigger vacation location

I just realized I have yet again neglected this blog. :( So, I figured I'd blog a bit about this year's Hadfam staycation: a few highlights and what was determined for next summer's family gathering as a result.

Just in case we have some confused readers at this point... staycation (stey-key-shuhn - noun) a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, but no long distance travel. Instead, one stays local to conserve financially: The Hadleys chose to stay in Olympia and enjoy a family staycation this summer.

Yes, it's true. We all got off work and out of other responsibilities to make our way (some from Colorado, Oregon, and Grays Harbor) to my parents' house in Olympia for a long weekend of fellowship. During our 5 days of family time, we went on two day trips. First, to see the wild animals at NW Trek. My nephews (Ben 5; Aaron 3) really enjoyed this activity. The second trip we took was a day up at Tee Lake near Belfair, WA. It was a little bit overcast but I didn't let that hold me back from taking a swim. We also roasted hot dogs, fixed some perfect s'mores, and took turns exploring the lake on our one paddle boat. The other days we spend recovering from the full day trips sprinkled throughout our time together. Truly, with little kiddos involved... it's just a totally different way of living. Can you tell I'm not a mom?

There were a lot of Hadfam staycation attendees this year due to our growing family and some special out-of-town guests. We had my cousin Scott, his wife Meredith, and there 1 1/2 year old son Markus join us for staycation. They were a delight and it had been a long time since most of my family had seen Scott and his family since they live in Ohio. I really enjoyed finding out that Meredith was a fellow running enthusiast, so we got out of the house to go jogging several times. Also, there were so many of us because our family is growing! We now have Kevin - my older sister Suzanne's husband. Though he was the only added person to our family this year, Matt (my brother) and Anna's kids are getting older... and louder... and rowdier... so the three of them felt more like 6 of them! I love them to pieces, but my parents' house didn't provide the space us adults quickly realized we needed with those little rascals on board.

The sleeping arrangements were... well, different (for me anyway) almost every night. My parents' have two guest bedrooms with double beds so the two families with kids took over the upstairs. That left my younger sister Bekah and her husband Ezra and Suzanne & Kevin. The neighbors had offered up their house nearby while they were on vacation so the two couples trekked that way for sleeping. As it turned out, the sleeping arrangements in the neighboring house were not conducive for two couples... only one, so Suzanne and Kevin stayed in a hotel. I ended up staying at my parents house... in the office on an air mattress... and then in the living room on the couch. One night we ended up having all 15 of us crammed in that house. I think everyone slept well... maybe some better than others. Ah, but that is what memories are made of.

Though we had a famously good time, we all realized that it's time to bring the era of Hadley STAYcations to a close and embark on an old - but new to us - adventure of a vacation next time. We have decided on a location and are currently putting money aside for a 2011 Hadley vacation to Sunriver, OR. We've been there before and have really enjoyed renting a house and enjoying all of the accommodations provided such as a hot tub, bicycles, tennis courts, swimming pools, shopping center, and more. Even though we will have two more additions to our family (Suzanne's due in December and Anna is due in January) we still hope to stay in one house, but with WAY more square footage than my parents' place. Also, we're hoping to find time for a white water rafting trip for some of us thrill-seeking adults. It should be fun!

I really do enjoy spending time with my whole family. It doesn't happen as much anymore now that we're all grown up and my siblings are in new chapters of live with marriage and/or raising kids. It's so fun to see though. I love seeing my brother play with his three kids, I love seeing my sisters cuddle with their respective hubbies, I love seeing my mom using her mad cooking skills for our eating enjoyment, and I love talking with my dad about how much we love the little kiddos - Ben (5) Aaron (3), and Grace (1). I also love my added siblings - Anna, Ezra, and Kevin. They are all perfect matches for my siblings and am so thankful they are a part of my family. I love them all and trust that God plans to do great things through their marriages and families.