Family Reunion…

We try and have a family reunion every other year on my side. It’s an opportunity for my parents and their 5 kids (and their families), scattered across the country to gather.

Every reunion is somewhere new – depending on what we find on VRBO. It’s been southern Utah. It’s been in the middle of Idaho. We’re really not picky, as long as its comfortable for our large group. This year we landed in Heber, Utah and it was beautiful.

These reunions are fairly unstructured. We always research the area and come up with a couple ideas of things we can do – Heber really had more ideas than we could possibly accomplish in our few days together – it makes me want to come back and explore just a little more.

One of the highlights was a hike we did in Park City – Blood’s Lake. I saw a friend had hiked it the week before and there was still snow! My brother was excited at the idea of having a snowball fight in July! We found snow…with snow there is also much colder temperatures. It was mid 50’s when we started on the rim and hiked in, a little chilly for my liking but it warmed up as we hiked down.

The kids tried their luck at sledding – without a sled. Bennett was one of the first ones down and complained when he was done because his hands were so cold…we reminded him it was snow! We need to train these Arizona kids just a little better. 🙂

Kids and adults made their way down the hill as graciously as they could.

There were also a couple of crazies that took the plunge. You couldn’t pay me to jump in that water. I would never thaw out! I decided any lake that has snow is not a lake for swimming!

We spent a day at the local rec center. We played for hours, went home and ate lunch and came back for some more fun. Tennis, basketball, soccer, volleyball, wally-ball…we played until we were sore. This was a little harder for the littlest kids because there wasn’t a ton for them to do, but I think the adults were having too much fun to stop playing.

When we weren’t playing games at the rec center, we were playing games at home.

My mom told us of a time when her parents woke her up late in the night so she could see the wildlife that had descended on their mountainside garden. My grandma was never one to pass up a good nature experience.

When we realized there would be a full moon while we were together we thought it would be fun to have our grandma’s legacy live on – a full moon nature night.

I had low expectations for this little hike – in fact I was willing to cancel as the clouds started to roll in and the rain drops started to fall as we loaded in cars with little direction as to where we were going.

I’m so glad we didn’t cancel – it ended up being so simple and yet so memorable. My brother and mom led the pack with imaginative stories, my dad taught the kids how to scare each other and we all took a minute to howl at the moon together – a good excuse to yell into the night.

These cousins were in heaven spending this time together. The boys were so busy I rarely saw them to catch pictures of them. Everyone seemed to keep themselves entertained.

I sure love this family of mine. These brothers who teased me relentlessly and my sister who was the recipient of my generous room cleaning by shoving everything on her bed – so glad we’ve grown up and can enjoy our time together!

Sandy Toes…

In all our marriage, Steve and I have never been to an ocean beach together.  Ever. Many ask how that is even possible and I’m scratching my head asking the same thing. But I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’m not a big fan of sand. I’ve not had a lot of experience with sand, but what I knew of it, I didn’t enjoy. Particularly, I don’t like sand touching my feet. Weird, I know.

Steve on the other hand has been dreaming of a beach vacation. He wants to go on a cruise, he wants to go to Hawaii, he wants to go anywhere with a nice beach and run through the sand and play in the water. His dream came true this weekend at a sibling family reunion in Carlsbad. Steve was a kid in a candy shop, there was just not enough time to soak it all in.

Me, on the other hand, tried to be cool with the sand on my feet as I first walked across the beach in my flip flops. I quickly realized it wasn’t necessarily the sand on my feet that I couldn’t stand, but it was the sand in between my foot and my flip flop that was like nails on a chalkboard. I took off my shoes and was much better. And I much prefer wet sand over dry sand. Although finding sand in my pockets, or around the lip of my water bottle was less than desirable, everything else was amazing; due in large part to the people that surrounded me.

Sandy Toes Sandy Toes

Proof to my children that I indeed touched the sand! I’ll admit, I was left wondering why we can’t have grass beaches?? 😉