Summer Adventure with the Kidlets

Nathan, Mom and I had the joy of spending over a week with my sister, Kristen, and her two kids Oakley(3) and Cash (1). What a great time! I am so lucky to have a sister, who is a stay-at-home-mom. We are able to see her and the kids a lot more than we would if she was working 40 hours a week outside of the home.

Oakley, Kristen and Cash at the Henson-Robinson Zoo in Springfield, IL.

I’m guilty of being a little stingy on pictures from their trip, but I was very good on two ocassions.
1.) The kids encounter with Oliver and…
2.) The Springfield Zoo trip

I’ve filled the rest of this post with pictures from both.

Oakley and Oliver.
The whole gang. Cash, Oakley, Kristen, Oliver and Mom.
Mom getting a little too much lovin’ from Oliver.
Cash did not want Oliver to go back in his pen.
Cashman!
Cool dude!
He was way more interesting in the dragon flys.
I had taught Cash to “Squat and JUMP!” So randomly while walking, he would stop and “squat” and then stand up, which was his jump. Too cute!
Oakley’s pancakes as iHop before our big day at the Zoo.
We forgot the stroller, so the kids got this sweet safari jeep!
A species of Wallaby.
Oakley and the wallaby.
Cash’s face of the day. He was surprised at every animal. Adorable!
Mom had to get her fieldtrip picture. : )
Mommy and Cash.
I love these pictures! I’m sure I looked like an idiot waddling around chasing the peacocks, taking these pictures.
Oakley and Cash’s favorite little guy. He loved them both, he would follow along his window after them if they tried to walk away.
Cash still mesmerized my the monkey.
What a cutie! This was his face for the horses or goats, I can’t remember.
He was not very fond of the goats.
Family friends, Gary and Sharon, also came along and those goats really liked Gary’s cane.
What a great candid picture.
Can you tell I had a death grip on her trying to get a picture of us?
I think this was about…nap time.
But not until after refreshments at the water fountain.
Cash’s absolute favorite part was the ducks and geese, I swear he would have jumped in the water with them.
Oakley made a couple friends on the playground instantly. The girl even told her, “you can’t leave without a handshake.” Oakley unfortunately had no idea what a “handshake” was.
And to cap the day off with this photo. This was his reaction to the sea otters.
On their last night here, Nathan and I were sitting on Mom’s porch swings watching Oakley playing in the yard and I just couldn’t help but think, where did the time go. I can remember her when she was first born, laying in my sister’s arms.

She was so beautiful and tiny and unlike any other baby I’d had ever see before.

Oakley and I the night she was born. I can still remember how much excitement and joy I felt that night. I was so happy and she instantly melted my heart.
I can remember when my sister was wheeled in from her Cesearan-section operation with Oakley on her chest, dressed in all white. Kristen made us guess, boy or girl, until she finally said, “It’s a GIRL!” and everyone cried and laughed with joy, while we all stood mesmerized by that little girl, who was named Oakley Mae.

And now, she carries on the most hilarious conversations, picks up on the most eccentric things, tells you how it is, and has everyone wrapped around her little finger.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my little Cash-man, just as much and he has changed so much as well, but I was there every step of the way of Kristen’s pregnancy with Oakley and for almost the first two years of Oakley’s life. I would come home from college on a Sunday just to see her and then head back. I seen her grow and I was there for all of her early milestones. When I moved to Carrollton in December of 2010, it was very hard leaving her and my, then-pregnant, sister. Oakley will always have a special place in my heart, because she has almost been like a little sister, even though we are almost 20 years apart. I love that little girl more than I could ever express.

Love you Oakley Mae!

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