On July 20th my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary. There is no denying that 50 years is a long time for anything. 50 years of marriage, now that is definitely a serious commitment and something to be celebrated. We weren't actually able to be there with them to commemorate the day, but after my nephews wedding we headed to Central Oregon, Sun River to be exact, and met up with the rest of my siblings and their kids. It's quite an accomplishment to get us all together, seeing as how there are 26 of us in the family these days, spread out in Kansas, Alaska, Idaho and Oregon. Everyone managed to make it to our wedding, but that was a hectic time to say the least, so this was really the first time we were all together since my parents retirement party back in 2007.
For those that don't know, Sun River is literally a town built for tourists. There are all these beautiful vacation homes that the owners rent out to guests. In the winter it's a skiing destination, and in the summer it's a haven for bikers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. We rented two houses, each with hot tubs, and one with a single lane lap pool, and enjoyed all the pleasures of being together.
I've always had a rather unique position in my family. Being the youngest, I'm actually closer in age to a couple of my nephews than I am to my oldest siblings. I was never one of those married women, so at holidays and family gatherings I was more than happy to keep the kids entertained and leave the kitchen things to the "real" women. Things haven't changed a whole lot so it's not surprising that most of my pictures are of my fabulous nieces and nephews.
I love watching the cousins interacting together. Finally, at the age of six, Josh and Rowan have decided they can be friends, rather than competitors, and the girls have always had a great time together.
Of course, Miss Myrtle was a big attraction as the newest addition to the family. The older girls all took turns oohing and ahhing over the cutie little baby.
I don't know how it works out for other people, but when our family gets together we have to have a plan or basically nothing gets done. We had a few events planned, but mostly the days started slowly with big pancake breakfasts, then there was the general discussions about what to do, who would go where, and the endless amount of time it took to actually get people ready to go anywhere.
Once we got together, however, there were lots of great experiences to be had like a bike trip along the river. We stopped to check out this bridge
so we could enjoy this view
but when I went to stand in a photo I slid my hand along it and filled it with slivers. And I mean seriously filled. There were at least twenty of them buried in my flesh. Amazing how easily they slide in and how brutal they are to remove. Once I got over the shock of it, I decided to continue with the bike ride. Maybe not my brightest moment, but such is life. We went to a waterfall and got a nice bit of exercise as well.
After the ride we attempted to remove some of the slivers, but it was so brutally painful that I just gave up. It was a good week before they finally made their way out. Leave it to me to injure myself at the very beginning of the fun.
Well, I still have quite a few more pictures to share, but it's getting late and so I think I'll leave you with one last one of my fun girls. Today, my oldest niece turned 17! They grow up way too fast for sure.