When you think of family reunions, do you get shivers of dread down your spine? Do you imagine cheeks being pinched by old aunts and eating pork and beans for every meal?
You haven't been to our family reunion, then. I think my parents should be master event organizers. They've always been good at creating itineraries and researching the best of the best places to eat and locals to experience. Their specialty being New York, of course. I've lost count how many times they've been.It's been several years since we were all together, ironically, it was in North Carolina both times.
We rented a giant 3 story house on a lake in North Carolina where we all fit just perfectly: 2 grandparents, 6 children, 6 in-laws, and 19 grandchildren! My parents flew out a bit early, the two families out west flew in together and the rest of us made the drive.And if you know my family, you know we like a good theme. And theme color.
We were also given an itinerary in advance with assignments as well as scheduled meals each family was in charge of. (Neither of the two fathers above are his. I love it so much.)
My mom faithfully wore her "Cross Yourself" hat throughout the entire reunion.They chose "Cross Yourself" which is a scripture reference found in The Book of Mormon, Alma 39:9 which says, "Now my son[s and daughters], I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself in these things."
Even the older grandchildren had assignments of providing activities for the younger grandchildren and coming up with a grandchildren dance.
Uncle Craig was in charge of the water sports. And Uncle Craig is the epitome of adventure and fun, despite Eli's laissez-faire attitude below.
And if you dared to fall asleep in the common area, you were subject to me accessorizing your slumber. Fair game.
One of the sweetest moments was when the grandchildren got up to sing "Sandman", a song that was sung to my mother by hers, and her mother by hers, and back another couple of generations. There is no music actually written down, but one of those sweet lullabies that has simply drifted from loving lips to little ears down through generations of mothers singing to their children.
Another highlight was the lip sync night. I have never laughed so hard, watching my parents sing Pink's duet to each other with such gusto.
There were costumes and dances and props. My kids now believe that Aunt Ashley owns "Shake it Off". Sorry Taylor. Her pink lashes put it over the top.
I was in charge of the family photo. Which reaffirms the inkling that I never want to be a professional family photographer. Whew! This is super Uncle Jacob while I test my settings.
It's really quite amazing that we got a decent one with all those little people.
Ages 13 years - 4 months. I'd even venture to say it's a miracle. Bonus points if you can find Drummer below. ;)
Little Ivy.Getting the red shoe line-up was almost as much work as the family photo, but it really needed to be documented.
Us. :)We were also able to hold Azure's baptism at the lake, surrounded by the people who love her most.
She wore the dress that I cut the stain out of. It's in this post, as is Clover's outfit.
She was a bit nervous, but I loved this contemplative look. She's a smart one, that Azure. She doesn't miss a thing, and she's got fire in her spirit. A fire that will take her wherever her heart desires.
And this photo of Ryan and Azure melts me to a puddle. A happy, content, proud puddle of a mother and wife.
I feel like it all went by with a whoosh of the lake wind. Not enough time to chat with everyone for the proper amount of time,
not enough time to share matters of the heart, both good and bad,
but we laughed, loved, and kissed on each other's children.
We will just have to get together to do it more.
Outtakes are always the best. Haha!