Being a military spouse, it's hard being away from your family all the time. I only see my parents & brother once every two years & I only see my extended family (cousins) once every 3-5 years. My dad's entire family pretty much still live in the same town I grew up in in Utah. So I'm always super jealous they are so close to each other. So when I wind up in town, I always try to organize a big family reunion so I can see everyone while I'm in town. I've been emailing my cousins Jodi, Hailey, & Whitney, & my Aunt Heather, & thanks to their help & hospitality, we were able to put together an amazing reunion right before Christmas.
I was amazed at how big our family has become. Not only did I get to see almost all my cousins, their spouses, & their kids . . . I also got to visit with my dad's brothers & sisters who I haven't seen in years & years. The whole night was just perfect.
I was SUPER excited to see my Uncle Ryan (my dad's youngest brother). He's always been my "big brother" rather than my "uncle" since he actually moved in & lived with us when I was 9. So he always was kind of a brother to me.
Everyone brought either an appetizer or a dessert to share & we had a big feast in Jodi's garage. Everything was delicious & I just couldn't get enough of all the smiling faces.
I was excited to see my cousin Gentry who I haven't seen in almost 10 years.
My Uncle Kent & Uncle Ryan spent all their time with Bladen who totally cracked them up. They loved his no nonsense (no filter) conversations.
Cari & I enjoyed catching up with my cousin Hailey who lives in Colorado now.
At the end of the evening we did a huge gift exchange for all the kids ages 0-18+ (unmarried). We divided them up into age groups & played different games to decide who got what gift. The kids had a BLAST.
Canyon got a giraffe pillow pet & a cute Christmas book.
Bladen got a super hilarious game called Wet Head.
Craiger got a drone.
Taya got a fun family dice game.
Lorien got a beautiful gold heart bracelet.
And Cadence got an adorable monkey mug full of candy & some hilarious snowman pencils.
Before we left we TRIED to get a big family photo, but I there were still people there that didn't squeeze into the frame. It's amazing how big the family has become. I wish Grandma & Grandpa Sorensen were here to see the legacy they have created. We miss them so much.
Merry Christmas everyone. Thank you for coming out to see me while I was there. We had a blast catching up with you all.