A couple of weeks ago we were lucky to have Ben's mom and our sister-in-law drive from Utah to Oregon so we could get the cousins together. There are 3 cousins who spend most of their time living in Hawaii and a couple of months in Utah so we have to take advantage of them being on the mainland when we can.
I love that they are old enough to interact with one another on a more meaningful level than just parallel playing. Little Man thoroughly enjoyed following his oldest boy cousin around, making Lego shooting things (which are technically forbidden in our house) and swords. He loved both his girl cousins, especially the wrestling.
One thing Ben and I have realized since becoming parents is how much easier it is to be a well rested, happier parent when you have family close by to assist you when you need them. We have great friends in Portland but it feels more comfortable to impose upon family than friends, even if you've known them forever.
Ben's mom offered to watch Little Man so I could take him out for his birthday. She offered to watch all four cousins so my sister in law and I could have a few hours to eat lunch and have adult conversation. Those impromptu trips could never be possible without family.