There is just so much to say about my family, but I did warn you! So here are more memories that made lasting impressions:
One of the best traditions in my dad’s family is the annual camping trip. My whole life, and well before, my dad’s family has gone camping together. Now, we rent out about half a campground and just spend the weekend catching up. It is the best family reunion ever. My memories of it include: lawn games galore, swimming to exhausting, hiking & biking around trails until you were lost, eating food constantly, sitting around a campfire listening to stories (and eating food), sleeping in a different tent every night, staying up late talking, playing mafia, playing night games, piñatas, and just general merriment.
I remember going to my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Todd’s house in the winter. I remember one winter in particular when we ended up snowed in for an extra day. My aunt made beer cheese soup and I loved it. Mostly I loved it because there was REAL BEER in it… little did I know that the alcohol cooked off in the process. I guess I thought my aunt was really irresponsible or something.
I remember spending a lot of time at my Uncle Brad and Aunt Doreen’s house when I was younger; especially when my cousin Eric was still with us. He passed when I was five and, unfortunately, my only memories of him come from when he was very sick. He died from leukemia, but while he lived, he lived. Even now, stories about him show his sense of humor and his courage. He helped pioneer new research and treatment in the field and fought to live until the end. My family is a family of fighters. He is well missed and well-loved, but we know he now watches out for all of us here.
I remember super bowl parties at my Aunt Barb and Uncle Chris’s house. Those were always really big and really fun gatherings. There was a lot of food and a lot of snow. My uncles used to take us out on snowmobiles. My uncles always were taking kids along on everything: boats, snowmobiles, hunting trips, exploring. It was nice. Even though I was Bryan and Cindy’s daughter, I had a lot of mentors helping raise me.
There are so many memories from family times. Going to Uncle Bernie and Aunt Tammy’s and seeing their horses. My Aunt Brenda and Uncle Vern helping me grow into a strong woman of faith. I thought my Uncle Blaine and Aunt Lisa were so cool and young and hip. Seeing Uncle Bruce and Aunt Lois at every family function (which is still true to this day, they don’t miss a thing). And anticipating the rare visits with Aunt Beth and Uncle Paul: they had two kids I could play with. I remember one sleep over with the Roberts family when there was a wedding for some cousin of my Dad. I was excited all day and basically went off the walls when they got there… probably traumatized them a little…
Even now, we are creating more and more family memories: graduations and weddings, bridal and baby showers, and Facebook. I love keeping up with my family and watching how we grow and change. I just wish everyone could experience the wealth of love and joy that I experience.