Last weekend, I had a family reunion at the Oregon coast. It was the first reunion Brandon had attended of mine (brave, brave man). We spent the weekend at a camp on the coast that had paddle boats, kayaks, a game room, and a ropes course.

One of the first items on our family fun list was the ropes course. There was a beam about 40 feet in the air that you had to climb up, then walk across and a pole about the same height that you climbed up then jumped from to try to catch a bar that was hanging in the air. Brandon, brave man that he is, volunteered to go first…with this crowd looking on. Good luck, bud!ImageImageImageMy brother, Brice, actually did the balance beam blindfolded, but I didn’t get a picture of that, only video footage. Next up was the “Leap of Faith,” as the pole was called. Dad rocked it, grabbing the bar on the first try and doing 3 pull ups like they were nothing.ImageImage

Brandon also did the “Leap of Faith” and he too decided to show off by doing pull ups on the bar. 

ImageImageEven though pretty much ALL of my little cousins climbed to up the poles like little monkeys and fearlessly hurled their bodies through the air, I had no intention of getting that far off the ground then actually jumping off the (relative) safety of the pole and flying through the air while depending on my sweaty palms to actually grasp and hold on to a small metal bar. Brandon, however, had other plans. He picked me up and carried me to the pole kicking and screaming. Halfway there, he let me down, but the damage was done. I couldn’t go back to standing on the sidelines without my family knowing what I wuss I was (who am I kidding, they’ve known for years). But I decided that if my baby cousins could do it, so could I!

After a good 5-7 minutes of me whining at the top that I was just gonna climb back down because there was no WAY I was hurling my body through thin air towards a bar I KNEW I couldn’t hold onto, my family (in their gracious, supportive way) convinced me to “just jump already!” It was the most terrifying moment of my life! GAH! Horrible! …But kinda cool once I looked back up at the pole and realized what I had done. It was one of those moments that I’ll look back on when I’m faced with something that I just don’t think I can do. I’ll say to myself, “If I could make that leap, I can do this too.” But seriously, please don’t make me ever do that again!!!Image

We spent a bit of time kayaking in Devil’s Lake later that afternoon. Two of my teenage cousins took the kayak out by themselves…and had to be towed back to shore by a power boat because neither of them could row. There walk (float?) of shame:ImageImageBrice and Brandon had their own walk of shame. In all their adventurousness (is that even a word??) They promptly took off for the farthest reaches of the lake. See the guy in the orange kayak? He had to go after B & B and tell them to please not go any father than the buoys. Oh boys.ImageSome mother/son swing time.ImageClearly Brice and I don’t know how to swing.ImageBrandon likes to make s’mores by the firelight. ImageHere’s a picture of our section of the family that showed up to the reunion. It was great to see family from as close as right down the road to as far away as Pennsylvania. At most past reunions, I just ran around with cousins I see infrequently and eat way too much food, but at this reunion, while I did those things as well, I also learned a lot about my family that I hadn’t know… Like why we have a reunion and where my family came from. I learned that our first family reunion was in 1980 and that everyone at our reunion descends from one of 9 siblings who originally lived in Colorado. The picture below is everyone who descends from one particular sibling. The other siblings had family at the reunion as well, and 3 of the original siblings are still alive and were with us for the weekend. It was really neat to learn the history behind where my family comes from and to share that with Brandon for his first ever reunion. I think it even helped Brandon better understand why my crazy family is always doing stuff together! haha I’m so thankful for a family that values each other enough to make an effort to stay connected!Image


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