One of the hardest things about living in Scotland is that my family, and by family I mean my Mum, my Sister and my niece, all live down south in Manchester. That means it is super difficult to see them whenever I want. A 500 mile round trip isn't a journey you can do every weekend. We manage to visit maybe once or twice a year and they visit us a few times a year. I wish it could be more but it is what it is and we just make sure we keep in touch by phone.
I do, however, have a lot of family in Scotland who live in Edinburgh and it shames me to say that, despite them only living an hour away, we haven't visited them in almost 2 years! My Grandma, who is one of the family members who lives there, visits us on a regular basis. She comes by bus and we go for lunch and the kids adore their GG. But my cousins and Aunts all live in Edinburgh and we really need to make more of an effort to get through to see them because, apart from my 3 cousins and 2 Aunts, we have 5 nieces and nephews with another niece on the way!
On Saturday, we decided to make the journey through to see them all. It was one of our nephew's second birthday and my cousin invited us all along to his party. We arrived a little late because of the many commitments we have at the weekend but we made it just before the party ended. Thankfully there was still some cake and sandwiches for us and a lovely cup of tea.
The kids, who haven't seen each other since we went to Aviemore in 2011, were immediately drawn to each other and they were off. We have A (9), L (7), E (16 months) and the new baby girl who doesn't yet have a name whom are all sisters and L, the one boy and then we have O who has just turned 2. His mummy has a baby girl in her tummy who is due to arrive in May. A, Z, L and Miss C were off outside to play in the playhouse and only returned inside for food or a drink. O and E were in their own toddler world and I got to have snuggles with baby girl. She is so teeny and super cute!
After the party ended and we had cleaned up (I got out of cleaning by holding the baby!), we headed to my cousin's house (A, L, E and baby's mum) for some more cake and tea. The four biggest kids were outside playing; the boys playing football and A and Miss C playing on the swings. It was so lovely to watch. We commented so many times how well they were all getting along despite having not seen each other in almost 5 years! But it reminded me of our relationship as cousins where we didn't see each other for many, many years when my sister and I lived abroad. When we met back up, it was as if we'd only seen each other a few days ago.
A and Z got on so, so well, exchanging phone numbers and taking selfies on their phones. Miss C absolutely adored L. He was kidding on he didn't want cuddles from her but I think he secretly loved having his cousin fuss over him. E had been having a nap but she was so full of smiles when she woke up and kept us entertained by trying on Z's Timberlands and Miss C's Lelli Kellys. She also walked around with my bag over her arm; she is the cutest! O is just hilarious, walking around the living room blabbering away to himself and waving his arms around as if he was casting magical spells. He was also super cute kissing his mummy's tummy and saying "baby" a lot.
I enjoyed even more cuddles with the new baby. My cousin just can't decide on her name but she has some great choices on her shortlist. It's such an important job naming a new baby; you really want to make sure you pick the right name although she has only got until Thursday to decide. I can't wait to find out what she'll pick for her.
Sitting with my cousins, my Grandma and my Aunt, watching our children, their grandchildren and great grandchildren, it made me realise that having our family all together is something we need to do more often. Sometimes families fight like cat and dog but they are the ones that are always there for you, no matter what.
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