This summer, our biggest adventure was going to Utah for Lance's family reunion!
He is the youngest of eight siblings and everyone was excited for a week of fun.
Svea is the first grandchild on my side of the family,
so she doesn't have any cousins close to her age.
I was most excited for her to be able to meet and play with
all of her cousins on Lance's side.
She definitely had fun getting to know all of the family members
and rolling all over the place.
Her cousins were so mobile that she started popping up on all fours
and rocking back and forth, wanting to crawl.
The week was filled with fun activities and socializing that left everyone happy and tired!
While we were there,
to snag some Christmas gifts for our little lady at great prices!
I always want to go to them,
but I'm rarely in Utah,
so this was an awesome opportunity.
It got even better when I got to meet Susan and Amy.
I geeked out a little because they are such huge momtrepreneur heroes of mine!
Svea had a lick of my Lick'd Popsicle while we were waiting in line,
and ended up eating the whole thing
so her first popsicle was a hit.
Back at the reunion, we had fun watching family home videos,
a family talent show (in which Lance played the piano - he's taught himself),
and a fun match the baby photo to the family member game that I arranged.
Everyone also kept giving Lance such a hard time about his beard,
that he decided he would shave it off,
but not before having some fun with it.
I thought he did quite well!
Little Muppet did a great job dealing with crazy naps,
me getting clogged ducts so feedings were thrown off,
and lots of kisses and hugs.
She and Pappa definitely loved the view and played outside in the grass,
which is something we don't really get to do in Arizona.
One really neat thing about the reunion was that we were celebrating
Lance's parents' 50th anniversary!
Lance's sisters did an amazing job recreating a wedding reception for them,
and I used the photos from the baby game
in a tree that Lance's oldest sister, Laura,
brought for their mom.
It couldn't fit all of the photos,
but once the rest are added on,
it will be perfect!
Everyone got dressed up and ready to share talents,
and yummy food!
Lots of the cousins spent the day creating cupcakes for the reception
and I thought they all turned out beautifully!
Lance was also really excited to see his cousins, Jeremy and Tyler,
who stopped in at the reception.
It's been four years since we had gotten to see Tyler and his family,
and I'd never met Jeremy,
so we really had fun introducing our sweet, tired baby girl to them
and getting to know them a little better.
On the last day at the reunion,
I took photos of all of the cousins,
whole huge group photos,
and sibling photos.
It was definitely fun to see how big
and full of love and personality our family is.
While everyone went out that day on different adventures,
I was home for a while so Svea could nap.
In between naps,
we were able to run down the street to an Iceberg to meet up with my Aunt Karen
for a quick milkshake.
It was awesome to introduce her to Svea
and to see two of my cousins.
It's hard to believe how big they've gotten.
It almost makes me weepy.
That evening was filled with cousins giggling and playing together for the last night.
I couldn't help but smile, seeing Svea surrounding by her girl cousins of all ages,
and having such a blast with them.
I know that I will have fun telling her about how she met them,
and showing her their photos until she gets to play with them again.
That night was also special because Lance's nephew, Devon,
opened his mission call and we were all able to be there to hear
that he will be serving as a missionary for two years in Bolivia.
I know that his family will miss him a lot,
but I also got to spend some time talking with him that week,
and I felt very strongly as he read his mission call
that he is going to be an incredible missionary.
The Lord has great plans in store for him!
Overall the whole week was a great bonding experience with all of the family.
I haven't gotten to spend that much time with any of them,
besides Lance's parents,
so this was really fun and insightful.
Some of my favorite moments were:
- Seeing Vivienne hold Svea all week and feeling how much she cared for her
- When I was taking a photo of all of the grandkids in a circle on the floor, and Svea started crying, I was agitated that I needed to get the photo before running down to comfort her amid the chaos. Then suddenly, she stopped. I noticed Katelyn reaching up and touching her to reassure her that everything was ok and it choked me up a little that she was looking out for my baby.
- Watching Jarom crawl in circles around Svea telling her, "Come on baby!" and willing her to crawl. She got very close, but it took her another two weeks.
- Chatting with Devon about school, his mission, and his future. I was so impressed by him and what a great man he is becoming.
- Seeing Avery snuggle with Svea on the couch
- Hearing outbursts of laughter while Lyrissa tried her glasses on Svea for the girls to see
- Playing the baby matching game with all of the individual families
- Seeing Laina scream and jump up and down when she found out that her family won the baby matching game
- Seeing all of the girls circled around Svea on the floor just loving her
- Talking with Jeremy about living what you love
- Seeing Lon perform "If I Were a Rich Man" in character
- Tasting a delicious gumbo that Sherri made
- Talking with Lisa, Becca, and Sherri about birth experiences
- Getting ice cream at the BYU creamery with Lon and his family
- And there were many other favorite moments...
More than anything I am grateful that Lance has a good family
and that they all have different talents, strengths, and ideas.
It was neat to get to know everyone better and introduce them to Little Muppet.
I know Lance really loved being there too,
and he loves so many different things about each one of his siblings.
They are all great examples
and I'm glad that families can be together forever.
The reunion was definitely a memory we will cherish.
(Of course Lon and Lance made a pregnant belly in Lindsey's shirt since she couldn't come because she was 9 months pregnant and overdue - we missed her, but had fun Facetiming her!)