We used to go to Bear Lake as kids. Our Grandparents felt reunions were important to keeping a family close. They would rent out condos at Sweetwater, and we would drive through the night from California or Colorado (depending on the year) to Utah. I can still remember the thrill of seeing the blue water of Bear Lake after driving through the canyon! When you grow up in our large family, our only "real" vacations were campouts, day trips, or staying at a hotel when we moved and the government per diem paid for it! A week spent at a lake with cousins and grandparents? We thought we'd died and gone to heaven! We spent several days playing in the sand, fishing, boating, swimming, and eating bubble gum ice cream at "The Store". Lots of fun memories! Last year when Josh had his race at Bear Lake, I was excited for the kids to experience the Bear Lake I remember as a kid, but the weather had other plans. It was chilly and cloudy, and a big storm came up and blew our plans away.
Here are a few photos from when we were kids:
|James, Tim, (a drowning child), and Andy|
|Pop's Boat, Pop taking off his lifejacket, lots of cousins, but from back to front|
Andy, Me, James and Peter
|Horseback riding adventure Aunt Janet, my Dad, "older cousins".|
|Cath, Peter and Tim|
Mom and Dad had signed up for a timeshare deal, and Tim managed to find a Sweetwater condo over the July 24th week! It was extra-nice because he booked it six months ago, so we had plenty of time to schedule it and plan to be there. In hindsight, it was such a blessing, because we never would have all been able to be at Marie's wedding without this reunion firmly in place! The kids were really excited, and if you'd ask them even today, I think it was the highlight of the trip for them! The condo was really spacious with a large kitchen and living room, three large bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a deck. We were right next to "The Store", so we took advantage of the proximity to ice cream. :)
Tim and Kellie were with us for the first couple of days. Tim brought some six-packs of Shasta Cream Soda and Black Cherry (the two flavors we always had as kids at Bear Lake - so fun!) =It was so nice to be able to spend some one-on-one time with them, and for the kids to be able to reconnect with them. We have such fun aunts and uncles! We really hit the jackpot on both sides. Boo played doubles tennis with Kellie, Tim and Josh, they joined us on a bike ride to La Beau's for burgers and shakes, we cooked some yummy meals together, and just really enjoyed spending time with them.
|Glad there was ice cream at the end! Boo declared this, |
"The worst bike ride of my life!" She appears to be over it.
Cath's family got there on Wednesday evening, and the kids were really excited to see some cousins. Owen and Tate are such fun little adventurers, and it was fun to watch them all run around together with whatever idea they happened to come up with. A surprising little friendship blossomed with Diddles and Millie, and later with "A". Cute little girls - someone two years younger is just Diddles' speed. Their vocabulary was about on the same level - a little match made in heaven. :) She had a little harder time with the other kids, and the lack of attention from her siblings. Frustrated meltdowns and just general social/emotional stuff. She even ran away once, and we found her wandering in the PARKING LOT crying. I'm so grateful she wasn't hit by a car! I was grateful to have so many extra hands, so I could help distract her, and help her "reset". She just loved the water, though! She could have stayed at the beach another week.
Thursday was the big day with everyone there. Mom, Dad and Marie came up for the day, James, Andy and his family, Peter/Catherine all came up for a day at the beach. We flew kites, ate sandwiches/chips/grapes, Josh rented a jet-ski for the kids to ride around on. We had lots of adults to play with the kids, and they were in heaven with all the attention! James, Tim and Peter played "sharks", and their faces were priceless. Most of the photos were captured by Cath, but I still need to grab her photos of the weekend (you can see them in the video at the end).
That evening we had a little family program with some trivia quizzes - one matching game for the kids (about eachother with three likes/interests and one accomplishment), and one for the adults with multiple choice questions both past and present. It was fun to put together, and I think everyone really enjoyed it! Dinner was potluck with some delicious grilled chicken, salads, corn on the cob, and watermelon. We watched the Scout video and Ryan took a group picture of everyone who was there. Next time I'll have to remember to get a line-up photo of the cousins like we did when we were young.
I had a great time at the lake! It was so fun to watch the kids experience the things I did as a child. A little different to be on the parent-end of things, but it was great to see the siblings and nieces and nephews we don't see very often. Thanks to Mom and Dad for making it a possibility!
I drove Mom and Dad back home that evening and Josh stayed one more night at the condo with the kids, so I could get things set up for the wedding on Saturday! I wiped down chairs that ward members loaned us, delivered flowers were put in water, and Mom and I spent a bulk of the day creating the arbor with some fabric that Annette loaned us. Later that day, we had more reinforcements: Cousin Sarah came with Aunt Janet, bringing beautiful hanging baskets that decorated the front porch and were the perfect complement to the arbor. They pitched in so willingly - bringing up things for us, picking things up, and staying to help set it up. There's never enough time to visit with Sarah. We take whatever we can get! Forgot to take a picture, Sarah. :(
Jon and Dawn and I-man arrived on Friday, along with Nick and very-pregnant Emily. The house was bursting with people in a flurry of activity! Catherine's mom came to visit and cooked pasta in the roasting house (she should win an award for special services), Meatballs and pasta sauce simmered on the stove for the luncheon the next day. Josh arranged bouquets for the girls to carry and we made table arrangements in Annette's vases. Jill made skirts, bows and bought matching necklaces for all the girls. We called it quits in the evening and went to Chuck-a-Rama for dinner. We thought it best to leave room in the inn for others and stayed in a hotel that night.
The wedding morning was beautiful. It was so wonderful to be there with ALL of the family! A neighbor catered breakfast for everyone. Isn't that so thoughtful? I never think to do things like that, but what a kind gesture! Mom set up a little table with photos of both sets of our grandparents - I love thinking about them during these events. Although we weren't in the temple, all being together at HOME (our heaven on earth) was the next-best-thing. The ceremony was short, but so sweet with everyone there - A string quartet played Canon in D, and the little girls walked in front of Marie. Diddles and Millie wanted to wear "DWESSES", and were disappointed at the skirts and t-shirts. They problem-solved and just hiked up the skirt to their armpits and called it a dress!
|Thanks to Jill for also being on hair-patrol! I couldn't create a braid like this if I tried!|
Marie looked beautiful, and Roy was so happy! Ash was cute in his handsome little red suit! An added bonus Marie is a new mommy and we have a new nephew/cousin!
Roy surprised Marie with the old "Your-ring-won't-be-ready-in-time" fake-out. It's always a good one. Marie was so excited! Haha. The photographer got some great family photos, and it was great to have those with everyone present. You NEVER know when it will be the last photo of us all together. We enjoyed a delicious pasta lunch with sauces, salad, bread with cheesecake for dessert with Dad's homemade (Bear Lake) raspberry sauce to top it off. The trees gave us so much shade, and the breeze was perfect! A chocolate Glaus' cake for cutting. YUM!
We hit the road shortly after the luncheon. Goodbyes were bittersweet. I missed them the moment we drove down the street. I'm so grateful we could make the trip, and that Josh and the kids were such great troopers through the busy schedule and the busy events. I'm SO glad we could be there to support to Marie and Roy! I love our family.
|Diddles drew this picture of Yaks, two "fwend" cousins, and herself. |
Can you tell she's under the "pink" arbor? So cute!
Cath put this video together with the photos she took. I'm so glad she captured so many memories - risking sand getting in her lens and everything! I've probably watched it a dozen times, and always find a photo I hadn't seen. Thanks, Cath!