That’s how far I live from most of my family.

I have grown to love the state in which I grew up. I love the seasons, the green, the hills, and the friendly people whose families built churches and stores and schools here before my ancestors ever thought of living in this country.

Unfortunately, because my lovely home happens to be 234 miles away from where the rest of my amazing grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins reside, we only get to see each other a few times a year. Here is a little taste of our most recent get-together at my uncle’s.

Bosley: the newest addition to my extended family!

Fun times, ahoy!

New boat!

A few of us took the paddle boat out to the sandbar.

My mom and sweet little cousin made this awesome sandcastle!

Bob made something, as well. I think it was a fort of some sort? (There is no doubt in my mind that it was as geographically and historically accurate as a sand-fort can possibly be.)

Little Ashley, while completely enamored of spending all day playing with her cousins (especially Bob, who she called for multiple times) was relatively confused and disinterested with his creation.

Some of us were out on the lake having fun past a beautiful sunset.

I have more pictures of our day on the lake here, for those of you who might be interested. We played, ate, and hung out all day, and while it will probably be another year before I see the lake again, I look forward to the next time I see my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, which I hope will be much sooner!