After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I love parades

Seems lately we've gone somewhere for the weekend and it takes me ALL week to get it blogged. This weekend was no exception. Brent and I keep looking at one another and saying, "I think we've taken full advantage of this summer," while shaking our heads

This weekend we headed to Montana to my family reunion. The reunion has been an annual family event for probably the last 20 years or so. There were a few missed years here and there. Sometimes a wedding or funeral was subsituted, but my dad's family is pretty amazing. I was talking with an aunt of mine bout how our family is pretty much the exception. The more people I meet the more I realize how exceptional they really are.

The reunion was also in conjunction with the annual small town celebration that happens in my home town. And because of that I got to see some friends I hadn't seen in a while. Grace asked me who they were and I told her that I went to kindergarten with them, and graduated from high school with them. And that's why we are moving in a couple weeks, so when she's 34 she can say she has friends like that. I don't think she got it, but hopefully some day she will. She is excited to start school this fall. As is Calla.

On Saturday we went in to the parade. We sit on the lawn at the church we grew up in because it's not crowded and it's early in the parade so the candy throwers are generous. Some of them are REALLY generous! Holy smokes. With all those kiddos there I think we walked away with about 20 pounds of candy. Seriously.

Waiting for the parade.

All the parents here are my cousins and some of their spouses, with the exception of my brother and his wife. Mind you, this isn't all my cousins, just a few of them. It was so good to visit with them. And our kids all had so much fun playing together. I overheard one of them say, "So are you my cousin or what??" It made me giggle and I just said, "All the kids here are your cousins." Because it was true.

The kids were excited. This is my brother with his little girl. Yes, she's picking her nose.

On a side note, this weekend I watched him wearing his little 5-month-old son on his front for a nap and then chasing down this little nose picker to wipe her nose. He even counted to three because she wasn't cooperating. Made my heart swell. Made me giggle, too. (His wife was hiding behind the garage tie-dying because I got her addicted, too.)

Look at all those excited kids. And their grandmas.

And Calla. She picked through all the candy and just took the ones she wanted. She still ended up with way too much.

And you know it's small town parade when the local farmers take a few hours off from haying, etc., to come and drive their tractors in the parade. Three of tractors--three generations of dairy farming.

And here is my little brother's entry. He has a couple tractors he re-built and he drives them in parades. This year he got a ribbon.

But something is wrong! He broke down??

But Grace is still having a good time. She has been talking for WEEKS about going to Montana and being in a parade. And she got to ride with grandpa and throw candy.

Isn't it funny when the little guy has to tow the big guy?

So turns out he ran out of gas. When you show tractors you don't need to put 30 gallons of gas in it and since they sat and idled for so long waiting, he ran out of gas. Darnit anyway.

Oh, but wait! Somebody has some gas! Who could it be??? MY HUSBAND THE HERO! You can take a guy off the farm, but you can't get the farm out of his truck.

(For what it's worth, his other tractor ran out of gas 3 blocks from the finish, too. And he had some random stranger help him push it to the school.)

Later I heard someone ask Grace what her favorite part of the weekend was. Without hesitation she said, "Riding in the parade with grandpa and throwing candy." One more thing to add to the list of things this little girl has experienced.

I love summer.

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