With 10 busy lives spread across the country (well, 11 counting my parents), it's pretty hard to find a time when we can all meet together. The last time we made it happen was 8 years ago when I was pregnant with Maddox. I was so excited we would all finally be together for a long awaited reunion. We got to my parent's house and the kids were so excited when new cousins, aunts and uncles would trickle in.
My brother Tyler and his family recently bought a home near my parents that is the perfect party central. You can't beat an island that can seat a whole line up of cousins.
We had a big family BBQ then pulled into the empty lot where they had the perfect view of the Drive-in movie next door. Adult time around the campfire that night was my favorite. Who knew I would grow to love those annoying little brothers of mine so much (wink face emoji)? And they couldn't have picked better wives.
Tyler recently opened an office for his podiatry practice and they hit up all the local small town parades to advertise. I know they get tired of doing them, but it was a novelty for our kids. We didn't wake up early enough to participate in the first parade (waking up early in the summer was never our strong suit) but the kids thought it was pretty fun being spectators and catching all the candy. They now have a year supply of salt water taffy thanks to the Fountain Green Lamb Days. Small towns are the best.
There they are reppin' Elite Ankle and Foot like nobody's business!
We hit up the Lamb Days carnival afterwards. Took a picture with Smokey, got a free frisbee, bought some geodes and tried a lamb sandwhich. At least Jason did. I had nachos.
Me made it to Nephi in time for the Ute Stampede parade. Throwing candy in a small town parade fulfilled a childhood dream that the kids didn't even know they had. They took their job pretty seriously and had a great time. The girls even made up some cheers to chant along the way. And Jason made a pretty cute Chinese cowboy.
Afterwards we ate dinner at the park. The same park I grew up going to when we visited my grandparents. We were planning to go to the rodeo that night and I was disappointed when the plans fell through, but playing with cousins all evening long was a pretty good alternative.
We spent that night at the Howards where we made smores and chatted around the campfire until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.
The next day we celebrated my dad's 60th birthday at my grandparent's house. My favorite was going around sharing memories we have of him while growing up. Plenty of tears were shed for this amazing dad of ours. We took a group photo of this growing family of ours (I'll post it when I get a copy), ate some cake, took Jason to the airport then grabbed some groceries before heading off on the next leg of our reunion. So grateful for this big Jolley family of ours, it's always a party when we're together!