This weekend marked the first time my uncle and aunt on my mom’s side, my only two first cousins, and their spouse/fiancé visited Colorado at the same time. Most of them have traveled here in smaller groups over the years and we go up to the mountains, though it was exciting for all of us to be here together. And as you can imagine, we had some interesting highlights.
When the whole family came to town….
We dusted off the old Nintendo 64 and it got intense as we relived our favorite childhood game. Lots of shouting, teaming up against each other, battle rounds, trying to make it through the tunnel in the beach race track, and me beating everyone (well, most of the time).
It’s a ritual to dine at the Rio Grande in downtown Boulder whenever someone visits, so of course the entire gang went for dinner there. It was the first time everyone was old enough to order a margarita!
We decided on where the girls’ trip will be this coming year. Last time it was in Oklahoma City visiting my sister at college and we had so much fun. With Ashley as the new addition, the 2016 girls’ weekend will be in Napa Valley!
I had the opportunity to make my big announcement to all my loved ones in person. It is so exciting and I cannot wait to tell you about it here on the blog this week. And no, Allison, I am not pregnant.
We tried to talk to Alli and John about their wedding plans (learn about the proposal here!). They’re still all over the place with when and where, like newly engaged couples tend to be. I used my first of three vetoes as maid of honor… sorry, John, the wedding will not be in Alaska.
I learned just how alike us girl cousins are. Nicole (my sister) saw my phone’s lock screen photo of Jake and Ollie—it was taken on his last day in Colorado and it’s my absolute favorite. She started laughing and showed me the photo on her phone’s lock screen, which is of her boyfriend and his dog. Then Alli brought out her phone and—yep, you guessed it—there was John and their two dogs. We ladies must really love our men and dogs.
We played Cards Against Humanity and my mom beats us every time. The best part was how sheepish she became when claiming a particularly terrible card. This game also led to our family fantasy football league’s new name: Funky Flesh Rhymes.
We had to take one big family photo with the best backdrop we could find. It’s probably the second photo of all ten of us together, the first being from Matt and Ashley’s wedding. We were at the lit courthouse on Pearl Street and asked a girl to take the photo, who seemed to be an aspiring iPhone photographer. But hey, even though it took a little while, we got some great pictures of the whole family.
This kind of photo happens. My dad loves to photo bomb; I mean, he and one of my roommates teamed up at our college graduation and photo bombed every picture they could. And then there’s my sister who loves to make weird random faces because she thinks it adds character to the photos. This is the result:
We had our second biggest snowfall of the season, which was honestly only about three to four inches. Brother and sister started a snowball fight on Pearl Street Mall, using other family members as shields. As the evening progressed, more of us got involved. I guess we’re all obnoxious children at heart.
We embraced the reason we were all together: our grandmother’s memorial service. She would have loved to see all of us in Colorado together for the first time, and I am so glad she received a beautiful and loving send off. Many tears were shed and we laughed about our favorite stories of her. She would have been incredibly proud. I am so thankful she had the opportunity to meet the two additions, Ashley and John, and welcome them into the family with her approval. There was so much support between the ten of us to help with the memorial service and it turned out to be a wonderful celebration of our grandma’s life.
Now that almost everyone has left, the house feels eerily quiet. There aren’t five suitcases sprawled out in the basement, no conversations to jump into, no big plans for the day, and all those extra seats are empty. It seems like their trip happened in the blink of an eye; I wish we had time to visit the mountains and go snowboarding, scope out an awesome sledding hill, take a brewery tour, and check out more holiday lights. I loved spending time with extended family in the Christmas spirit, even if it was for a sad occasion. The weekend celebrated my grandmother and her legacy of happiness, love, strength, and togetherness.