I'm finally back from an extended vacation we took in July. The kids and I went to visit my family in Ohio. We have started a tradition of going every July, mostly because my niece and nephew participate in the county fair during this time. It was a really exhausting time and I am not sure we will go for the fair next year. I love to see them show their animals, but they want us to be there every day and that is just too overwhelming for me anymore. I am happy I got to see them with their steers and horses. My niece got a 1st place with her steer and also 1st in showmanship. She also did very well with her horses, earning multiple ribbons. My nephew placed 1st in the costume class with his pony and cart. That has special meaning now as we just learned his pony died the day we returned home.
My trip actually started out on a sad note. My Brother-In-Law passed away the day I arrived. He and my sister had struggled in their relationship, but were in a good place and working it out. His passing has been especially hard on his step-son, my nephew, who had grown up w/ my BIL in his life. My 6 yr old niece, his biological daughter, has shown no real emotion but has been acting out in ways that worry me. I hope someone is able to see this and help her instead of just giving in to her every whim. My sister is doing ok. I think she struggles when she is alone. I grew up in a family where we were not allowed to show our emotion. Now that we are all grown, this is an issue that still plagues us. We do not share our feelings with each other. I think it was a huge disservice our parents did to us and this is why I let my kids speak their minds.... perhaps too much. :)
On a lighter note, we also attended the wedding of my other BIL. This was my hubby's brother. It was a beautiful wedding and we had a great time. T and M were part of the wedding party and behaved themselves wonderfully. I was very proud of them. We were able to spend several days with my hubby's family and he flew in for the weekend. I was glad to see him. It has been a trying visit (with my family) and I was glad to get away for a few days.