Atop Blarney Castle, about to kiss the Blarney Stone

As you may know, we recently spent ten glorious days in Ireland with our five relatively tiny tots... our oldest is six, our only little lady turned five while we were in Dublin and our triplets turned three the day after we got home... needless to say, the month of October has been a bit of a whirlwind and our adventures in Ireland were no exception.  

While Dublin was our home-base, we did rent a car and hit the road so we could take in some sights a bit further afield.  And boy, am I ever glad we did. 

Our trip to Blarney Castle was like a walk through a fairy tale forest, complete with a Witches Stone and Wishing Steps that our little clan found far preferable to the treacherous hike up to kiss the  Blarney Stone itself... especially since they were all born with a natural gift of gab!

Another highlight was the Rock of Cashel, high atop a windswept mountain in Tipperary.  While it felt admittedly sacrilegious, the kids had a blast running among the Celtic crosses -- especially Cormac, who seemed pleased as punch to learn that the chapel was named after him...

One our most memorable days took us through the mountains of Wicklow, where after taking in the manicured gardens of Powerscourt, we were treated to the rugged wonder of Glendalough, a spectacular monastic sight and true natural wonder. As I reflect on our trip, I realize that we covered a lot of ground -- especially with five tots in tow!  It wasn't always easy but when I look back at the pictures, I can't help but notice something special, something markedly different from the many posed family photos I try to take at home... everyone is smiling.  Do you know how hard it is to take of picture of five kids?  To get them to all look at the camera at the same time, let alone with a smile on their faces?!  This is no easy task.  Yet when we were in Ireland, it was simple as can be. 

Thank you Ireland, for sharing your smiling faces with us and providing us with a lifetime of memories that will always bring a smile to our face.
Smiling in Kinsale