Friday, August 27, 2010


I tried to come up with a catchy title for this post, but in the end, I decided to just go with something simple.  Really, the post is about seeing family while on vacation, and pictures from those trips, but seeing as even the most recent vacation to see family was almost two months ago, I felt it would be misleading to put "vacation" anywhere in the post title.  I had planned to share these photos shortly after returning from my North Dakota trip back in July, but time has gotten away from me once again.  I still wanted to document the trip for my own purposes, so I decided to go ahead and do a post now even though it's way after the fact.  I also figured that I could use this as an opportunity to introduce you all to my family.

I'll state right up front that this post will actually contain pictures from my last two trips home, in 2008 and 2010.  I wasn't blogging in 2008, but we got some excellent family photos during that trip whereas this trip we either didn't get great photos or we didn't get a photo at all.

Case in point.  Me and my dad.  Somehow we never got a picture of just the two of us during this trip, or even a picture of me, my sister, and him.  During my trip in 2008, well, at the airport the day I flew back home, we got this picture.  My dad is actually smiling in it, which is a small miracle!  I liked it so much that Jen, my sister, had it enlarged to an 8 x 10 and I have it framed and hanging on my wall.

Also at the airport (nothing like waiting until the last minute), we got this picture of me, Jen, and Dad.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I should probably point out that my sister is the natural blond in the family and I am the brunette.  You certainly wouldn't know it by this picture, would you?  LOL

Jen and I managed to get a picture of just the two of us this year during the Fourth of July gathering at Dad's house.  Note to self - take pictures BEFORE standing out in the wind all afternoon and for sure before standing over a hot grill for an hour or two.  Dad and I teamed up on the grill and everyone said we did a great job, excluding the two hot dogs that rolled off, so the wilted hair and melted makeup were worth it for the memories.

Dad and Jen.  And another smile from Dad!

My dad had 13 kids in his family, of which 9 are still living.  All but one of those 9 live in North Dakota and 7 of them were present for the Fourth of July gathering.  It took some near threats of violence (not really, but it did take some convincing) to get them to pose together for a picture, but we did it.  Here are my dad and his siblings.  You might notice that the not smiling for pictures is somewhat of a family trait *sigh*.

Here are me, Jen, Gloria (Dad's significant other), and Dad.  Not as good as the picture from 2008, but we'll take it.

When I was home in 2008, one of my Dad's brothers stopped by and we managed to get this picture of them.  I hadn't seen my uncle in years, but used to spend a lot of time at his farm when I was growing up, so it was great to see him and also great to get this picture of he and my dad.   They are ten years apart in age, with my dad being the younger one.  And look, they are both smiling! 

My mom also came from a large family - 10 girls.  My poor grandfather.  What he must have had to put up with!  They are all still living except for my mom.  We lost her to cancer in 1992.  A bunch of my aunts and us got together both during my trip in 2008 as well as this year.  In 2008 we were only able to meet for dinner together at a restaurant, but we got some nice pictures from that gathering.

Here are the five aunts that got together with us for dinner.  The one on the far left is my godmother and two of the other four both lost their husbands in the last year, so it's been a rough year for my mom's side of the family.

The whole group of us:

I loved this picture that Jen took of me and my aunt Judy.  We spent many a vacation at her house when I was young since she lived on a lake and her kids were roughly the same ages as Jen and I.  I see her a bit more than the rest of the family because she comes down here for vacation sometimes and usually we can at least get together for dinner.  And she has email, so it's easier to keep in touch.

And finally, a picture of a few of us cousins and another aunt (that would be number six for those of you keeping count), from this year's get together, which was held at the home of one of my aunts.  My aunt is in the front left, next to her is my cousin Michael, his wife Patti, me, Jen, and my cousin Barb.  The gathering this year was at Barb's mom's house.  For those of you who have been reading my blog since February, it was Barb's dad that I posted about losing to cancer in early February and the day we got together was the day after what would have been my uncle's birthday, so it was nice for Barb and her mom to have a lot of family around that weekend.  Barb and I were pretty close growing up and Michael is the son of my godmother so we spent a lot of time at their place too.  I hadn't seen either Barb or Michael for over 10 years, so it was great to spend some time with them.


Winona said...

Laura, what wonderful pictures. Thank you for sharing your family with us. I started out in life with 6 aunts, no uncles. I now just have one still alive. My dad was the youngest and only boy of 7. Mom had just her and her sister. Dad's oldest sister passed away before I was born, dad passed away almost 14 years ago. All the rest of my aunts have passed in the past 5 years. Sorry to ramble on, but I think family is very important. Glad you are able to get together with yours. Have a great day. Winona

SheilaC said...

Great pics of your family!! Thank you for sharing (even if they are last years!) :)