This year is a pretty big changing year for my family. My parents, siblings and I have been fortunate enough to live close to each other (all but one, even in the same small town) since I was an early teen. I have been in the same ward with my parents, and brother Kevin and sister Jenelle's families almost my entire married life. We aren't a perfect family. Is there such a thing? We have our tiffs and occasional drama, but the keyword is "family" and family loves, forgives and supports each other through everything.
I still remember that horrific moment in my parents kitchen, laughing with them and my sister about who know's what. My phone rang and it was our Obstetrician, calling to explain the results from my 20 week ultrasound and the abnormality that was found on our baby's heart. Beyond many other moments of gratitude for family closeby, that moment was unbeatable. Andrew was at school and I was terrified with this painful and confusing news. From that moment, they were more than there for us with every appointment, test and hospital visit. After all that we have been through, I have found those who I can truly trust and who love me, especially when it is not convenient. The top of that list is family.
Even though we see each other throughout the week around town, at church and at little get togethers... kids are growing older, work schedules are multiplying and my parents are entering a new phase in their lives, it is becoming clear that we will have fewer opportunities to spend quality and uninterrupted time together.
My parents rented a beach house in Lincoln City the last week of July. The stars aligned and we were all able to be there. My brother Eric and his family live in Newport, so we were able to have them as much as they could. We even had some extended family come from Washington, Texas and Japan to join in the fun!
It is no exaggeration when I say that it was the absolute and most amazing family retreat. The house was big enough for each couple to have their own room and the kiddos shared a couple of their own rooms. Every day we had at least one planned activity that was open and optional to everyone. Each family was responsible for a day of meals and we ate at our family's favorite restaurant Mo's on the last night.
I can honestly say that there was zero drama, tons of laughs, way too much food and long lasting memories made. We were all so sad to leave. That's pretty impressive for a week with anyone's entire family!
Oregon Aquarium in Newport
After a long day of crabbing, the group caught 24 crabs!
We had fresh Crab Louie for dinner.
Andrew got all the kids to do a Polar Bear Dip at 6:30 in the morning in the freezing cold ocean! They loved it and said they could even do it again!
Family Sand Sculpture Competition
2 hour limit
BYOT (Bring Your Own Tools)
No Fireworks (yes, this rule had to be established)
Our family tree!
On the last day, both of my talented sister-in-law's Sarah and Rebecca captured amazing family photos for everyone.
I was apprehensive, when I first heard that we were doing family pictures. It didn't seem right to take them without Zoe. Although she's always in our hearts, pictures of the three of us seem incomplete without her. Including her framed picture helped and Londyn was proud to hold it.
We are blessed.
Gma & Gpa with their 11 Grandkids
These two are the most amazing parents on earth. We are all grown, but they are still parenting us and we still need them to! The most important role of a parent doesn't never ends! I always say that they must be doing something right to have all of us so close to them. I love and appreciate them more than I can express. They are #1 parents and grandparents. Love you guys!
Milne Family Reunion PART II - October 2013