Trip Recap, Part 4 – The Family Reunion

I swear, this is the last trip recap you’ll hear!  I know, it’s fascinating…. but I wanted to record it for posterity before I completely forget and there’s a million other things to write about.

Anyways, the final weekend of the big trip to the Midwest involved a two-hour drive to sorta-Central Illinois for my dad’s family reunion.  It has happened every year for the last 30+ years, and it only gets bigger.  This year, for instance, there were four kids under 18 months, and that doesn’t even count my new niece, who was not in attendance.  And two of my cousins are pregnant, so there’s a few more for next year.  I believe my cousin Jenny’s five-month-old daughter was the one who put it over the edge, so that generation (my kids’) now outnumbers my own in our family.

The kids did great on the drive. We left at afternoon nap time, and they slept pretty much the entire drive. Yay!  Got there and it was people galore, jumping in the pool, little kids running everywhere, firing up the big grill for dinner. The bugs at night were awful, but because the baby monitor didn’t reach far enough to go hang out with everyone else, M and I were totally lame and went to bed super early.  My aunts and uncles were apparently looking for more wine by 11:30pm…

Daniel (far left) chats it up with three of his 2nd cousins (including the only other set of twins in the family).

Daniel (far left) chats it up with three of his 2nd cousins (including the only other set of twins in the family, who are almost exactly two years older than mine).

Rebecca is just glad Daddy has joined us.

Rebecca is just glad Daddy has joined us. It was a long 10 days away from him.

Saturday morning of reunion weekend is all about games, especially for the kids.  I remember growing up playing Bozo buckets and all variety of things.  This year, the “theme” of the reunion was baseball, and each family group (i.e. my dad and his siblings) was supposed to come up with a game.  They often involve throwing things at someone, or general mess and/or embarrassment.  Good times!  The rest of the day is pretty much a blur of chlorine, cheap beer, Red Vines vs. Twizzlers, and just hanging out with cousins.  The nighttime entertainment is the “Talent(less) Show,” which is mostly a chance for the little kids to get up and do somersaults and sing songs, and for the adults to cheer wildly.  It was after D&R’s bedtime… maybe next year.

The kids rock their White Sox outfits.  (Notice the completed quilts they're sitting on?!)

The kids rock their White Sox outfits. (Notice the completed quilts they're sitting on?!)

because really, how often do you get to throw stuff at your father-in-law's head?

The games: because really, how often do you get to throw stuff at your father-in-law's head?

There are enough people in the family that we've developed an elaborate numbering system so you know how everyone is related. Then we printed them on shirts, just for kicks.  Daniel is 5.1.1 (first child of the first child of the 5th child).

There are enough people in the family that we've developed an elaborate numbering system so you know how everyone is related. Then we printed them on shirts, just for kicks. Daniel is 5.1.1 (first child of the first child of the 5th child).

Rebecca likes her snacks spicy.

Rebecca likes her snacks spicy.

They both liked getting in and out of the pool.

They both liked getting in and out of the pool.

Sunday started with a threat of rain, but nothing could put a damper on the day: it was Daniel & Rebecca’s first birthday!  And so many family members to celebrate with. We got a cake to share with everyone, and made a big old mess before it was time to pack the car and head back to my dad’s house before going to the airport and finally going home after our long trip.  Sadly, our flight was delayed by about an hour, and we didn’t get all the way home until nearly midnight.  But with only minor exceptions, both kids proved stellar travelers, and I count the whole shebang as a big success.

Birthday breakfast, outside but covered in case of rain.

Birthday breakfast, outside but covered in case of rain.

Daddy and his birthday babies!

Daddy and his birthday babies!

Not real sure about this wrapping paper thing...

Not real sure about this wrapping paper thing...

Aww yeah, the messy cake picture.  Rebecca went to town and rubbed it in her hair.  Daniel was surprisingly more cautious.

Aww yeah, the messy cake picture. Rebecca went to town and rubbed it in her hair. Daniel was surprisingly more cautious.

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6 Comments

Filed under Birthdays, Family, Infants, Travel

6 responses to “Trip Recap, Part 4 – The Family Reunion

  1. What an awesome entry, Liz! So much to comment on. First, your family seems like so much fun! I love how you guys have the numbering system AND a tradition of playing games at each reunion. It’s like what magazines would advise families to do, except usually, you think, “Yeah, right, that would never happen.” Also, happy bday again to Daniel and Rebecca. How do they like being one-year-olds? 🙂

    Oh, and I LOVE their Northwestern and White Sox outfits!

  2. Happy birthday!!! I love the coordinated baseball outfits. The pickled jalapeno thingys made my whole mouth pucker. Wow! Does she really eat those?

    And the quilts are gorgeous — good job!

  3. Your family seems totally hip! Elaborate numbering systems and hat tricks are right up my alley!

    The quilts are just downright amazing, Goddess! I am very impressed!

    Where are you four off to next?

  4. Love all of those pictures and am ENRAPTURED by your family’s “numbering” system! It’s almost identical to how our state’s fine art museum designates/numbers new acquisitions. Think your two certainly qualify as masterpieces! 🙂

  5. kimbolina

    Its so fun to see othere twin families in action. We have boy girl twins as well. It always surprises me when we can make it ut to the grocery store successfully. This summer has been our first foray into “trips”, some better then others. It looks like you have found the knack of it.

  6. Your family sounds AWESOME!! Like Charyl, I love the family numbering system. How cool is that?? And to put it on shirts LOL.

    I guess I just realized how lame my family reunions are… *sigh* 😉

    btw – tagged you.

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