Before Dan asked me to become a Goble, I was a Larsen. I suppose I still am- you can pick a lot of things for your life but family ain't one of them.
I'm not sure I would have picked my family, but I am most certainly glad they are mine.
And this weekend, my family (the five of us) and my family (the fourteen of us) and dan's parents (the two of them) decided to head out to Ohio for a family camping trip.
New Paris, Ohio to be exact. But there was not an Eiffel tower or chocolate croissants.
But there was a giant rock quarry (that is really just a lake I think???) that was over 30 feet deep with crystal clear water. So clear that you could look down and see straight to the bottom. And you could see the fish. As in the fish that were swimming in there with you. But I still got in.
I learned this weekend that I am capable of treading water for an hour or better as my children hoist themselves onto that floating platform and jump off like crazy people. They loved it. I loved it. My nieces and nephews loved it. Everyone but Dan loved it. He apparently is not capable of treading water.
Now we know.
They also had a really nice pool. And yes- I did in fact miss the giant splash picture- a photographer I am not.
Dear Lord- this child was so scrumptious I wanted to pick her up and eat her. (side note- she doesn't belong to my family so I in fact did not). But I had to snap a picture of her just to point out the fact that you can only pull off that look for only so long, and she is nailing it! If only 35 year old women with huge chubby thighs and bulging bellies made people oooh and ahhhh- I'd be the hit of the pool.
My oldest and first born nephew. Randyman. I didn't 'know' babies when he was born- he was my crash course into aunthood. He is the one who 'power puked' Roselyn bakery thumbprint cookies and chocolate milk all over my car- and then went on and on about how cool it was.
He is the one who wanted to grow up to be a power ranger.
He loved (LOVED) the teenage mutant ninja turtles. LOVED.
He is funny, witty and handsome.
And not a baby any longer.
He is my second whittle baby nephew.
He used to wear my high heeled shoes and tromp around my house wearing a diaper.
I swore he was my child accidentally put into my sisters belly.
He was born premature- was so very little that there was talk he would never make it.
There was concern that his brain, body and lungs would never catch up.
He is six foot something or other (5inches???) tall- he took that very seriously.
My little mi-munk cheek, bologna booty number three nephew.
He was born in Maine, and I didn't get to wuv on him until he was a few months old.
He is a man's man. Always has been.
When I met Dan- Zachary was just a few years old. He instantly bonded with him.
I was destined to marry that man. Zachary decided.
He is a protector. A dreamer. And please dear God let him grown into a provider.
Next up- these two. They were both due at the exact same time.
But Elaine (right) burst into the world 3 months premature. It was a race. She won.
Rachel (left) and Elaine (right). They are curvy, booby, hippy, funny, pretty and both delightful young women. Young baby women. Who are growing up apparently.
They both are on the swim team.
They raced again at the pool.
Rachel won this time.
My kids bring up the rear of this family. They are the babies.
It was nice to have the older kids around- they doted over mine.
We had a little camping city.
So to recap- my brother (green) his wife (white) their two Randy and Rachel, my sister (pink) her three John Zach and Elaine, Me and Dan and our three, my mom and dan's parents (not in picture). Fourteen in my family- plus dans parents=16. Two campers and two tents. Lots of food. Tons of laughs. A few bickering matches- mainly over the rules of cornhole. It was fun.
But I kept thinking that my dad was missing. I wonder what he would think of all of us out there in the 'wilderness' camping. I wonder if he would have come. I wonder if he would have been proud of mom for coming. Or if he would have called us all idiots, because we kind of are a little goofy.
We learned this past week that Dan's dads cancer has shrunken to the point he may not have to have that total throat reconstruction surgery. There is a small spot they could see on the scan- we'll know more later. But that news was good. Great in fact. Thank you God. And it was so nice to see him (them) out of the house and feeling good enough to come with us.
Emi entered the hoola hoop contest. You are not allowed to use your hands. She didn't win. But she could have if that hands rule wouldn't have applied. She cried.
And then she got over it and headed back out with the big girls. Whom she thought she was one of.
This weekend was absolutely one of my best memories of the summer.
I loved it, and I think everyone did.
There is talk of doing it again, I can't wait!