My siblings and parents had a family reunion that piggy-backed on an extended Garrett family reunion in Santa Clara (St. George), Utah. We rented several vacation homes on a street and the Lance Garrett family filled an entire home ourselves. All my siblings were together for the first time since Austin left on his mission, and we now have 7 kids + 1 on the way.
|The extended Garrett family (minus about 8)|
|My Garrett cousins + spouses + children|
We took the drive to Utah nice and slow, stopping at temples, fast food play places, a hotel in Barstow, and the Stratosphere in Vegas. Evan has a collection of pictures of him in front of different temples. We got to add 3 new ones this trip: Fresno, Las Vegas, and St. George.
|Fresno LDS Temple|
|Las Vegas LDS Temple|
Our stop in Vegas also included the boys dropping me off at the Stratosphere to ride one of the roller coasters on top. I loved it. Bucket list item = Check!
Sunday: Father's Day
Church in St. George, hanging around the house, decorating fruit pizzas
Monday-Wednesday: Pool time (waterslide included), Kan Jam, Spikeball, Hot Wheels, temple trips with and without the kids, shopping at D.I. (a novelty for the East coasters), Nate's b-day dinner at Winger's, hiking Dixie rock, lots of grocery shopping, games after the kids went to bed--Two Rooms and a Boom, Loaded Questions, One Night Werewolf, Killer Bunnies--, roasting marshmallows, meeting new cousins, and lots of talking. I frequently caught myself thinking, "My family is so cool." "My brothers are awesome." "I really like being with these people."
The extended family came Wednesday evening. On Thursday we had a hike through the red rocks, some cousin connection time (all the 0-6 year olds in one house!), and Newsies at the Tuacahn at night. I loved the show. Or was it that I loved leaving the kids with a babysitter?
Friday included family picture time, afternoon splash pad, and an evening of pizza and games at a nearby church. Naturally, we sang songs like Little Brother Vegetable and Families can be Together Forever. We also told family history stories and played games that made us look silly. I heard the comment, "Our family is so strange," which I both agree with and love.
Evan ran circles around the gym, dribbling the basketball, all night long. Several aunts mentioned to me how impressed they were his physical improvements. This is how they remembered him from the last Garrett family reunion 3 years ago:
This reunion he went the entire time without any assistive devices, and he even did most of the hiking on his own. He is impressive, for sure. Don't you miss the little gold walker just a little, though? It was so cute!!