Part of the reason I headed back home for a couple weeks is because my dad's family planned a reunion for this weekend. I was about six the last time we were all gathered together, so I made it a priority to be there. It was really unfortunate that I wasn't able to show Matt off all weekend, but it gave me a reasonable excuse to talk about him to everyone instead.
Ashby and I loaded up the car (road trip snacks included, obviously) and twisted our way through the Gorge, along beautiful rivers and past breath taking mountains into the wilderness of Eastern Washington. We made time to stop at Mulnomah Falls and I was reunited with the beauty that Oregon holds. I got to spend the two hour drive staring at gorgeous Mt. Adams!
My dad's hospitable cousin and her husband opened up their beautiful home to host the reunion. They built and designed their house tucked away in the woods, strategically designing their huge living room windows to face the mountain. Their home was warm, inviting and filled with personal touches that point towards their incredible taste and style.
We got to mingle around their house for all the festivities and then tromp back through the woods to the cabins we were staying in for the night. As much as I have loved trading in my mountain view for an ocean view in California, it fed my soul to wander through the trees, breathe fresh, clean air and hear the rustle of woodland creatures.
After a day of settling in, we all put on our cowboy hats and headed to the Glenwood Rodeo (and yes, I'm serious about the hats). Nothing says "Americana" quite like a rodeo in a small town. Since I can't really do it justice by explaining it, I will simply say that I have video of small children riding sheep in the "mutton busters" competition that I'm not sure if I should be handing over to the police or not. I felt like an anthropologist in a field study; wearing my husband's baggy plaid shirt and trying to hide the horror on my face during the calf herding. Clearly, I had to leave before the bull riding, but I heard that only one person was removed by ambulance this year.
We spent the rest of our weekend lounging around, sharing stories and kissing babies. I came down with a serious case of baby fever after holding sweet, baby Ben who is hardly 5 weeks old. That's what happens when you leave me unsupervised, Matt!
I'm not sure how other people have reunions, but ours aren't complete without some matching t shirts.
I love those crazy people and I'm so glad I got to be there!