There's Always Next Year

Every July, my family has a reunion somewhere in Utah.

It's almost always at the Lion's Lodge in Pine Valley.

We look forward to it EvErY year, because it's so great to be able to see everyone all at once.

We didn't get to go last year because Grace was just born, so I was really excited to take her this time around not only to show her off, but to show her the beauty and tradition.

She had fun driving up there, because she got to watch Olivia and eat banana cookies the whole way:

We had her dressed up all adorable in her cutest outfit, and wouldn't you know girl throws up all over herself two minutes away from the reunion.

Luckily, I always pack an extra outfit in her diaper bag specifically for emergencies like this one.

After we pulled over and got her all cleaned up, she was ready to go.

We drove the rest of the way up the mountain and made it there right on time.

Right away, Grace and I found a baby grasshopper so I held it to let her get a closer look:

Grace hung out with my mom and Grandma Beth while Isaac and I played horseshoes:

My family AlWaYs has a horseshoe tournament and last time I played, I won first place.

Unfortunately, Isaac and I bowed out in the second round this time around.

There's always next year.

Afterwards, Isaac and Grace played with squirt guns.

She loves to drink the water out of them:

He also took her exploring:

We played in the field a lot, because Grace really enjoyed the freedom of being able to run wherever she wanted:

All of the kids were chasing around a lizard and of course, Isaac was right in there with them:

My great grandma's children (all of my great aunts and uncles) take turns hosting the reunion every year, so at each one they sell raffle tickets for $1.

People bring items to donate, and we raffle them off to make money for the following year's reunion. 

It's a great way to make sure that the tradition gets carried on year after year.

During the raffle, Grace kept herself entertained by playing with this little guy:

Isaac and I even won gift certificates for dinner and a movie.

(Nice excuse for a date night!)

Aunt Geni played with Grace for a while:

And we got a cute picture with my mom:

Before we knew it, we were getting ready to head home:

I think it's so awesome that our family does this annually. It's easy to lose touch with each other when you have so many family members. Different people show up each year, so it's always different and exciting to see new people, especially now that us cousins are all having kids. I love seeing all of the new babies being added to the family. It just means that there will be more of us to keep the tradition alive in the future. I already can't wait for the reunion next year!

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