I had serious cousin envy as a little girl. In Utah, extended families are large and live close to each other, most of my friends had 30+ cousins and I remember the disappointment of being sent home when the cousins came to play. Now, my kids suffer from the same condition. They come home with little crestfallen faces, “I can’t play anymore; they have cousins over.”

We live in an area where families are incredibly interrelated, so much so that my friend Brenda was surprised when her date picked her up for Junior Prom and her dad announced, “Hey, that’s your second cousin!” That’s one way to snuff out the romance.

I realize that most kids have very few relatives– but trust me, in Salt Lake we certainly feel like a minority. So you can imagine the excitement a whole week of cousinfest in San Diego inspires. Even Ben and Stefan happily anticipated spending time with their younger relations.

My sister’s family made dinner for us Monday night after our long torturous drive across the desert. From me, you ‘d be lucky to get take-out pizza and a pan of brownies, but my sister created a veritable feast.

11 year old Lizzy made homemade tortillas. How cute is she?

Zoey captivated Mary with her American Girls dolls; I believe she’s made a friend for life.

John and Will led the boys from their room to the yard and off to collect grubs. Cute 4 year old John simply couldn’t keep my five boys straight and asked repeatedly “Which one are you?” It’s OK John, I gave birth to them and I rarely call them the right name either.

Little Will was simply proud that he could say, “Maaaaa-ry.”

The little kids converged in a small corner of the yard to dig. It would be a shame to put in a sand box; they’d never enjoy it as much.

Erik told John that there was a dragon in the neighbor’s backyard. Zoey helped with the deception.

While we played outside, Ruth ended up rolling out the tortillas in addition to making homemade salsa, guacamole, grilling chicken, sauteing peppers and onions and putting the finishing touches on key lime pies. She’s a wonder I tell you.

Bill agrees.

tomorrow… the beach report

July 14, 2008



  1. Blue

    July 15, 2008

    Love it! Awesome getaway! And I can totally relate to the cousin thing. In fact, I only ever had 2 cousins in the whole world, and we grew up on opposite coasts. I saw them once before I turned 18. So we’re not the closest. I love that right now we’re within 40 minutes of some.

  2. Ken

    July 15, 2008

    Dear Michelle,
    Nothing could make me happier than to see our children enjoying being together and our grandchildren playing together.
    I appreciate your “loving” words and beautiful photos.
    I love you and everyone in our family!

  3. Kelly

    July 15, 2008

    Oh how I have missed your updates but like your trip, well worth the wait! You’re a glorious story teller and the photos are a delight! So glad you’re enjoying some R&R with your family!

    Kelly (in Maine)

  4. Katie

    July 15, 2008

    I am sooo… envious you are still in so. cal!!! Our trip went way too fast… so much to do, so little time. The cousins are sooo… cute! I too, have cousin envy- but I think sometimes it is much more fun when they live away and when you see each other it is super special. The trick is making sure you plan things together! Can’t wait until you are back and I can order some pics of AJ.

  5. Mama

    July 15, 2008

    I wondered where you have been! Beautiful family. Your gene pool is ridiculous!

  6. Christie

    July 15, 2008

    I am obsessed with your photos. You are truly a gifted photographer and I would pay to learn everything you know. Your use of light is amazing.

  7. Crafty Mom

    July 20, 2008

    The pictures you took of Ruth’s kids are amazing. They are such sweet kids!

  8. Bonnie

    August 3, 2008

    I’ve been at my cousins a lot and her friends come over all the time. I bet they have serious cousin envy.

    Great photos!!! I wish I could take pics as great as those…

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