My brother Stephen (5.5 years older than me) and his wife Rachael live in FL with their 2 year old girl, Leah.
My sister Sarah (4 years older) and her husband Dustin live in DC with 3 year old Wesley and 20-month-old Cooper.
Then comes us of course.
And finally we have (not-so-baby) brother Andrew (8 years younger) who is just starting his freshman year at the University of Florida. I say "not-so-baby" because he's almost a head taller than any of the rest of us!
Anyway, we have all been talking for quite some time about how fun it would be to all get together at a beach house somewhere between DC and FL. It's not always easy to coordinate all of our schedules, but we finally made it happen last week in Oak Island, North Carolina. None of us had ever heard of Oak Island before, but we found a great house on Craigslist and decided we would just go for it! Turns out it was a PERFECT location! Just a little ways south of Wilmington, Oak Island is one of those beach towns that doesn't have much going on except the wind and the waves. Exactly how we wanted it! So we all spent a fantastic week on the beach enjoying the beautiful weather, watching the kids play in the sand and the water, kayaking in the ocean, riding bikes, playing board games, and just spending time together. So, without further ado, here are some pictures of our week.
We sure missed having Mom and Dad with us, so we made sure to Skype with them a few times while we were there. This picture was taken on skype while we were doing just that. All four Burgin kids together doesn't happen much!
We found an old cabana-style tent in the garage of the place we were staying. Unfortunately, it was in pretty rough shape and missing some pieces...we made it work though!
The guys did some rigging after the first day though, and made it look like this!
Here is what the babies did all day, every day!
Anna Kate liked to pretend that this bucket was her purse...what can I say, she's a little girly!
My pretty girl
Leah liked the water, but when it came to the sand, she would rather be under the tent with the mommies! Here she is singing "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes!"
We spent every day from about 9am until noon on the beach and then headed back to the house for lunch and naps. Or in Anna Kate's case, both at the same time! She was so tired out one day that she fell asleep while eating lunch! Here's a picture, but the video says it better!
I think these babies got more baths this week than they ever have! We had to bathe them all at lunchtime after being on the beach all morning, and then again before bed after playing outside again all afternoon/evening! Here are the two sweet girl cousins getting their hair shampooed!
The house we were staying at was very kid-friendly and we found plenty of ride-on equipment for the babies! They LOVED going for walks in the evenings on their various modes of transportation: Anna Kate on the tricycle she thought she was riding herself, but actually has a push handle; Cooper and Leah in the wagon; and Wesley on a little bike with training wheels!
Anna Kate absolutely LOVED this thing and cried so pitifully each time she had to get off. One of her favorite parts was the little bell on the handlebars. I think we know what to get her for Christmas...if we can wait that long!
Another one of the babies' activities of choice was reading stories - stories first thing in the morning, stories in the afternoons, stories before bed, you name it!
Leah, for those of you who don't know, is blind and she had so much fun showing her cousins how to read all of her braille books. Here they all are taking turns touching the pages of "Goodnight Moon" before bed one night.
Because he's a bit older than the rest of the babies, Wesley was the only one who really understood (or cared!) that he will soon be having another baby girl cousin. He loved to feel her kick around and every time he would walk into a room where I was, he would come up to me and say, "Aunt Patty, the baby is getting bigger and bigger! She's about to outgrow her little house in there!" Yes, Wesley, I know...haha!
I do have to put up a couple of funny pictures of my little brother, Andrew. He sure kept us laughing this week with his crazy antics! As a joke one evening, Sarah and Dustin bought him a package of Bacon and Cheese flavored crickets. That's right, real dried crickets. He was not about to back down from a challenge, so of course, he had to try them!
And so you'll believe it, here's the video!
He has no fear. This was also demonstrated when he saw a fisherman catch a baby shark just off the coast (I know, scary!). Andrew decided he would just have to go over there and hold said shark. Alive and flopping. I had nothing to do with this except to send Luke over there to take the picture!
What a crazy kid...who knows what kind of trouble he's going to get himself into now that he's off to college! UF better be prepared!
Finally, on our last night we decided we would go out for a special dinner all together. We went to a cute little town called Southport (about a 20 min drive from where we were) and walked around all the little shops. Anna Kate loved snuggling her daddy in the Ergo!
Here we all are enjoying a wonderful seafood dinner right on the water.
And one of just our little family out on the dock. It's also a good 30 week tummy shot!
What an absolutely wonderful week! We are so thankful for the blessing of family to share life with, even though we live far apart. Check back for pictures next year when we can hopefully make our 2nd annual trip!