(gratuitous baby shot to start us off)
You know, it's a lot of fun to combine a sibling's wedding with a little bit of vacation. Rob did it right, marrying a girl from somewhere exotic like Maryland so we could all party hard in the "Land of the Monuments." Annie and Pete, I'd like my next two vacations to be in Hawaii and London. Make your dating choices appropriately.
I love me some Washington, D.C. I've loved it since 4th grade. I went there with my dad, since he was an attorney in a case that was going before the Supreme Court. (As a 10-year old, there is nothing more boring than sitting and listening to a Supreme Court case be tried. But I thought everything else in the city was awesome.) I went again my junior year with a school group (so much fun!), and then I taught in an inner-city school there for my student teaching (where we played Ultimate Frisbee at night around the Washington Monument and had firesides at the Lincoln Memorial--could anything be more amazing?). And I think I've been back three times since then. All that's just to say that I love that city. LOVE IT! But this trip was most amazing because of my family, and let me enumerate why.
1. Forty-eight Andersons, only 5 from the Greater D.C. area, made the trip to the wedding. And 38 of us stayed in one eight-bedroom home in Virginia. I thought that idea might be a fiasco, but it was awesome. I woke up every morning to Uncle Pete making breakfast and 17 cousins willing to take my baby. Delightful.2. We met Baby Quin, my brother Dave's best work ever, in collaboration with his lovely wife, Lauren. (Modeled here by my youngest brother, Dallin.)3. My family (immediate and extended) will hold and entertain and carry and feed and tease and care for my three kids. With smiles on their faces. (Most of the time.) I hardly had to remember I was a mom. It was wonderful. 4. They're game for anything. Even in million-degree weather, with 10,000% humidity, they were willing to indulge my passion for all things monument and traipse up and down the length of the mall, with four little children in tow. (By the way, I was pretty upset when I was living in D.C. and I heard about the plans for placing the WWII monument on my beloved mall--smack dab between the Lincoln and Washingon. I thought it might ruin everything. But. . . and it's hard to admit this. . . it just might be my new favorite. It's perfect.) I was not here when this picture was taken, or I would have insisted on it being in front of the Indiana column.5. I love that there are enough of us that wherever we go we make quite a stir. For example, when we sit down on the floor of the Senate Office Building, security guards tell us they have to consider our group as a demonstration (I wish I knew what we were protesting.)And more security guards come out to watch when we try to get a picture taken in front of the Capitol Building. And, this is not a joke, my mom got the busdriver's discount when she paid for all of us at the downtown McDonald's. Awesome, eh? I think it's a high point in her life.6. And they realize that the best bachelor's party is to take everyone--moms, sisters, aunts, and babies included--to an Orioles-Red Sox game. It was Andersons as far as the eye could see.