I have to say we were quite successful in seeing as many family members we could possible squeeze in during our short time home.
- All 5 of my siblings were at the lakes for the weekend. Plus spouses. Plus their children. Which makes a happy bunch of 18!!!!! My mom hired a photographer to come out and take photos. And although photos can make us groan in agony (especially the men) - I am so glad she did this. It's not very often we got that many people in one place at one time!
- Saturday my Mom invited her siblings to her house for a get-together. She came from a family of 8 children, so as you can imagine - that can make for a large group! We had a grand total of 36 people at that gathering, and it was awesome. Most of that side of the family Ryan and I haven't seen since our wedding, so it was so awesome to catch up with them.
- Friday & Saturday Ryan's Mom and his step-dad came out to spend time with us! They fit in with our family seamlessly. I am very blessed to have in-laws that I get along with so well.
- Tuesday Ryan and I headed to Wahpeton, ND to have lunch with my Grandma. We got to see her new apartment and it was wonderful to get some one-on-one time with her. Growing up in a big family, "one-on-one" time is rare - so this was awesome. My Grandma is an amazing women. In her 90's she still exercises 6 days/week, and it's nearly impossible to find someone to beat her in scrabble. I pray I've inherited her genes!
- Tuesday & Wednesday my Mom came out and stayed with us. Again, one-on-one time is rare, it was really nice to get some down time with her. Unfortunately, my dad was only able to stay out Sunday night - but our time catching up with them is priceless. We had so much fun!
- We also got some SERIOUS play time, swimming time, and snuggle time with our nieces and nephews. This time I hold so close to my heart. It is so much fun to watch their personalities grow, and get to know each of them better every time we see them. Seeing how fast they grow made my heart pine to move closer to home......
This is me with my niece Anna! She is full of energy and stories - and is such a little fish! That girl could swim and swim and swim. I, too, was like that as a little girl - and a big girl. ;)
Ryan and Dad out on the boat! Ryan is sporting a fishing hat of my Dad's that my Mom is not a fan of. It is quite a practical hat, I must say. Sunday evening we set out for a boat ride with a pitcher of gin & tonics. The men did a little fishing, and Mom and I enjoyed the sunshine...
This is our sweet niece (and God-daughter), Evelyn. She is such a good baby!! While we were there, she was so close to figuring out how to crawl! I would not be surprised if she isn't crawling by now!
This is Ryan, Grandma, & I on her porch. It was so fun to catch up with this beautiful woman I look up to so much!
Ryan and his Mom re-united!
This is my nephew (and God-son) Kolin out on the paddle boat fishing! All my nephews are quite the fishermen - they take after their Dad's! Ryan would go out on the dock to fish, and within minutes - he'd have a crew of nephews by his side fishing too. It was too cute!
My sister Lisa and I! This weekend went way too fast (as always) - and I feel like we didn't get quite enough time to catch up. Our Sunday morning run got rained out, but we will be making that up next time :)
My Mom and I! It was fun to relax with her after her busy weekend of entertaining. I love the sign behind us - it is so true....
Whenever we visit, I have strong desires to move back. But I do have to say, that moving away from family has truly made me learn the value of time spent with the one's you love. I really try to make every second count - as when I lived close to them, I took these "lake weekends" for granted. Saying goodbye always brings me to tears - but this time it wasn't so bad, since I know I'll be seeing them in 4 months!!