We arrived and I was immediately greeted by my wonderful uncle Curtis. He's neat. His wife and kids were unable to come so that was sad but it was great seeing him again. He helped us out the car and we walked to the main gathering area where many family members were hanging. Hugs and hellos galore. My best aunt Lori shrieked, "Stephanie!!" when she saw me and we hug-a-lugged. She is the best ever. I lived with her and her best ever husband and her best ever kids for a year from 1999 to 2000. Then she moved to Kentucky (what the?) and it's been many years since I saw her. I didn't even recognize her daughter Brittany, of which I am deeply ashamed. But last I saw her she could barely say my name, and now she's like 12 or something. And she's very beautiful.
I was kinda tuned out during the reunion. I don't know why and I regret it. Mostly I feel bad because I think my kids suffered because of it. I was pretty short with them and let the littlest things annoy me. I'm not sure what inspired this selfishness; I think the stress of the month was just getting to me. But that's no excuse. I think if I'd been more connected, they would have enjoyed the reunion even more. They had a ton of fun though, getting acquainted with second cousins and Anna really loved her great Grandpa and Grandma. They mostly enjoyed playing by the water fountains.
There was a talent show. Each of the 14 families (Grandma & Grandpa and their 13 kids) were alloted 5 minutes to perform a family talent. Our family did a fun one and I was in charge of the song and it really sucked but oh well.
The meals were prepared and served and cleaned up by one or two families. Our family had Sunday lunch. We made taco salad. I cut my finger while slicing fruit. Yeah.
Sunday most of us went to the grandparents' church. We possibly doubled the size of the ward. Maybe not quite doubled. It was fun though, even though Matthias spit on Uncle Ray's face. Sorry, Ray.
Kaien got really sick and it was sad. He wasn't eating well or breathing well. Poor little dude. That's my nephew by the way.
We had cabins. My little family shared a cabin with my big family. It was Mom and Dad and their three kids who have kids, and said kids. Jason, Cameron and Casey bunked with the unmarried young boys. It was fun having a cabin with my fam.
The first night, there was a thunder storm. Don't take that lightly. The thunder woke most of us up and it was relentless and wearying. The thunder didn't blasted stop. I told myself, it can't go on forever. But it did. I think the earth rumbled loudly for about an hour, which is eternal when you're supposed to be dreaming. Matthias woke up and said, "Mommy, is it dark and stormy?" Hehe.
There were fun games and teams and I got to know some of my cousins and stuff. Man, I tell you what- some of my cousins, who were boys last time I saw them but are now men, are . . . dare I say it . . . HOT. Yeah, they're like 18, and yeah, they're my family. But, yeah, they're good looking. Is that wrong, to recognize the beauty of my family? :) My grandparents sire a very attractive group. Not an ugly duckling among us.
There were frogs and caterpillars in abundance, much to Mattie's delight. He couldn't get enough of frogs and caterpillars. He had a pet caterpillar for quite a while and he was hanging out with me and some of us were making a human pyramid. The pyramid began to collapse and my uncle Ray grabbed my son to save him from falling bodies. The caterpillar was lost in the chaos. Matthias, never realizing the danger he was in and not understanding that his life had been saved, was heartbroken. Oh how he cried. It was so sad and sweet, so I found him a frog and he was appeased.
On our drive to church, Anna asked the following question:
"Mommy, what are dogs made of?"
In my brain I was laughing and while I was trying to come up with a response (what are dogs made of?), Matthias answered.
"Poop," he said.
My kids are the greatest.