My cousin, Liv, is pretty much a superhero. She is the older sister of three brothers, two of whom are twins and made it their childhood goal to harass her to the point of insanity. She is now the mother of three boys, including a set of twins; an ironic twist that is amusing to all of us. Additionally, she packed all three of those boys into a car and drove 6+ hours roundtrip just to see visit Lena and me while we were home. She had her husband, Biola, and her brother, Leif, along for back up but still, I’m not sure I would have had the guts to do that. Basically, I have the best family ever.
We decided to have a bonfire at my aunt’s house since she has a huge yard where the kids could run around and hopefully tire themselves out enough to make the drive home bearable. Most of the cousins were there plus my friend Tricia and little Grayson. Normally, our family gatherings involve Scandinavian fiddle music, pickled herring and Norwegian costumes so this was a nice change of pace. It all felt very authentic and American. We had hot dogs and chips, roasted marshmallows and made smores and sipped on brews and root beer. God Bless ‘Murica!
As you can see from the photos, Kaeden was intensely occupied in an iPhone game. Being the older brother of twins, I’m sure he has to share everything so I can’t blame him for enjoying a bit of time to himself.
Bryce wanted nothing more than to play with Tucker the dog. Tucker belongs on YouTube. This dog can dribble like a soccer player and it doesn’t matter how big or how small the ball is. I’ve never seen Tucker stop moving but somehow, the kids wore him out to the point that he just laid down and gave up.
Espen is the sweetheart of the bunch and entertained Lena Eva. The two of them together was almost more than I could handle and when he put her in a choke hold to get a kiss, I thought I might die.
It started raining so we took the party inside where things unraveled quickly. I’m not sure who started it, but at one point, everyone was screaming the highest note they could manage. Surprising, Lena lost her title of “Ear Shatterer” to my cousin Leif. I tried to capture it in a video, but the sounds he was making couldn’t actually register on any microphone. I’m not even sure they were human but I am sure that it made my aunt pee her pants from laughing.
Per tradition, Tor got attacked by all three boys as everyone was getting ready to say goodbye. Between the wrestling and the screaming, I think this inspired him to someday have a large family. Lots of kids.
It was a short visit but it was so special of the Cruse Crew (+ Leifers) to make the trek all the way from Portland. While she’s technically “just” my cousin, I consider Liv to be my older sister. I know no matter what’s going on in my life, she will be there for me and anything we talk about is held in strictest confidence (much to the dismay of our moms). She is an incredible mother, a gifted educator and one of the strongest people I know. Also, she introduced me to Trader Joe’s and Key Lime martinis so there’s that.
A big huge thank you to my cuzzies for making time to see us. I love you guys so much!