Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Aunts Go Marching Three By Three

This is a catch-up post from a few weeks ago. I tried to start it a couple weeks back and for some reason, all of the pictures were stretched horizontally - I didn't think all of the aunties pictured below would appreciate the stretchage, so I held off on it for a while :)

A few weeks ago, I ditched out mid-week on school and work stuff to take the Greyhound bus (scary experience!) up to Portland for a mini family reunion. Aunt Tricia, who lives in Portland, was hosting Aunt Siri-Anne, who was was visiting from Norway, and Aunt Julie, who was visiting from Utah. I haven't seen them all together for probably about 10 years. That is a big chunk of my life! But it felt like we just picked right up where we had left off.

I spent a lot of time with my aunts when I was young and I have always loved them dearly, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I felt like I really got to know them as an adult. I still have that natural familial love for them, but I have also realized how remarkable they really are. They are strong, in every way, and I was touched as I spent time with them that THIS is my family culture - a culture of strong women who lead and love with courage and faith.

They have strong minds. They are highly educated and learning is a life-long pursuit for them. Their children will grow up understanding that knowledge is power and it is a cause worth sacrificing for.

They have strong bodies. Between the three of them, they have 20 kids. That fact alone should attest to their physical endurance and strength. But these women also find time to play, to work, to exercise, to enjoy nature, and to be there for their families.

They have strong spirits. They are the bedrock of faith in their families and through thick and thin, miscarriages and family tragedy, sending kids off to kindergarten and college, these women believe with all their hearts in a Savior who understands their pain and joy. 

We had an amazing time together. I took a ton of pictures - these are the highlights. I was reminded again how much I love my family and how crazy we all are for not living all on the same street. It would be a party...all the time :) 

We spent a day on the beach. Don't be deceived by the bright sunshine - it was not warm.

This is a typical Tricia pose. I love it.

Tricia, the Oregonian, came prepared with blankets, a giant umbrella (that almost got away from us!), and a tent. We all laughed at her until we got there and realized that we would have wanted to leave after 10 minutes without all of our gear.

The cold did not stop the kiddos from enjoying the sand and water.

For some reason, Carter could not comprehend the concept of sand blowing in the wind.  Poor guy had sand in his eyes for hours.

Julie and the kiddos were the only ones brave enough to make it all the way to the water. 

How adorable is this baby?

We took a detour on the way home...well worth the visit.

Carter Cow.

I love factories like this - it makes me feel like I am on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Cheese sampling. Yum!

And ice cream!

We went for a hike early the next morning. Julie has the absolute best morning hair of anyone I have ever known.

I may get in trouble for posting this picture, but I love it. I want it framed and on my desk.

Beautiful hike

Slug friend. Yuck.

Saying goodbye to Aunt Julie at the airport. Our visit was WAY too short.

Hangin in the car with this adorable babe. 

Courtney's last track meet of the season. So fun to watch her run.

I don't know why Kellie has such a confused look on her face because she was really determined in what she was doing. She talked James into letting her paint his toenails (something I have never achieved).

The finished product. I can't get over the hair and the painted nails together.

The kids' patriotic choir concert.
This was a weekend to remember. We also got some really exciting news while we were there. I got a fellowship for next year in the Conflict Resolution Services department! This is a HUGE blessing for us and makes a lot of things possible for this upcoming year. 

And I got a job at the place where I have been interning since January...

And I just finished all of my classes/school work for this year...

And we are going to Disneyland this week...

Life is good. 


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