I grew up as a family of four: mom, dad, sister, and me. My parents divorced while I was finishing middle school. We had two different homes across town and I split my weeks. My sister and I would drive back and forth each week torn between two parents and two separate lives. The dog lived with my Mom and I would often forget clothes at my Dad's. Entering into high school with divorced parents in the early 90's wasn't the easiest. A lot of my friends had a two parent household and couldn't relate to divorce.
There was always fighting so I never challenged the divorce or was the kid that wished for their parents to get back together. It was better for everyone this way. Now that I look at them I can't see them ever together.
We have slowly started to spend holidays together. Thanksgiving is my Mom's favorite holiday but we would never want to leave my Dad out. So the last few years we have spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together. This may shock some of my friends who grew up with me that they are both sitting down at the same table.
At the end of last year, my brother in law invited the family to go on a trip to Portugal. Mom and Dad! 10 years ago I would have laughed even 5 years ago really but we have a big change in our family. There is nothing like good old fashioned glue in the form of love. My sister has given us the two greatest reasons to join back as a family. Emma is almost four and Bobby is 9 months. We are going to Portugal as a family of 8.
I expect there to be challenges. I am very used to traveling alone and making my own schedule. I am going to have to be very patient. I have been to Lisbon but never Porto. At first, we were going to do a few day trips but with our big group and two small kids, we decided against it.
If you remember earlier this year I went to Cuba with a group. I woke up early and photographed the city with a friend and was able to get my fix of exploring the city. I will plan to do the same this round leaving in the early morning to photograph the streets of Lisbon and Porto. I loved my time in Lisbon and have been wanting to go back ever since my first trip in 2011.
I won't mind if Bobby or Emma join me on my morning walks. I am really looking forward to hearing Emma's observations as she experiences another culture. She is asking a lot of questions these days and I love knowing what is going through her head.
Our family isn't perfect but we have found a way to make it work. We used to be a family of four that separated and grew and now we are a family of 8. I finally got my big family wishes in a different way. This is our "modern family"
If any of you have your own "Modern Family" I would love to hear your own experiences. Have you ever taken a family trip? What advice do you have for traveling with big kids and groups?
I have a lot of Paris posts planned while I am gone but if you have any interest in Portugal I am happy to share my experiences or maybe just do a big roundup at the end with my favorites. I will be using the hashtag #portugalpartyof8 on Instagram if you want to follow along.
Thank you for following my big adventure! xo