A week ago one of my cousins sent me a message asking me when I would be in Minnesota because she was also coming to town. It took a few messages back and forth to figure out that our schedules overlapped best on the fourth. I then sent out a few more messages to cousins and aunts and uncles inviting them to join us (all BEFORE asking my parents' permission to throw a party at their house. Oops!). And just like that we had a family gathering planned!
In the end we had 20 kids and 16 adults - cousins, aunts, uncles and great grandparents! We came from Texas, Arizona, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Not bad for a last minute get together ;-)
Good thing my parents are always willing to host a party and just rolled with it. (And by "rolled with it" I mean cleaned their house, bought and prepared food for nearly 40 people, planned and provided fun kid activities and said nothing all day as their house was used and abused).
It was simple but fun. The kids played on the slip in slide (i.e. a large piece of plastic on the hill) and had two water balloon and squirt gun fights. I pulled out my old toys from the 90s and showed everyone how to skip-it and pogo stick. Though admittedly my big brother put me to shame with his mad pogo stick skills. We ate tons of food. And attempted to squeeze in little bits of conversation around the general kid chaos.
The evening ended with our own personal fireworks show and sparklers. It was nothing grand but watching the kids' faces was fun.
These grainy phone pictures don't do the day justice. It was great. Just what I needed. Time with my people. People that I know and love and people that know and love me. And now we are off to camp for the week! It will be Charlotte's first week as a camper. Thank goodness she will have two cousins in her cabin as she is nervous. Followed by a weekend with even more family!
Funny story. As my cousin and I were messaging back and forth she asked me about a parade (per her kids request). I was busy packing to get on the road so I quickly googled a parade. Found one. Took a screen shot and sent off the picture to all my relatives. Only later in the day did I realize the parade was in Michigan. Not Minnesota! Oops. Needless to say we never made it to an Independence Day parade this year:)