Every so often it’s important to reconnect with family offline. Today’s tech world makes it so easy to follow your family’s life from afar, and essentially see them grow up online. However, do you really get to know those cousins that live across the country, or nieces and nephews before they go off to college? Family reunions should be mandatory for every family – yes even the crazy ones!
For the last 9 days we’ve visited with Nate’s family in Chicago. My mother and law and her husband hosted a huge family bash for all 6 siblings and their family members. The long week gave everyone time to catch up on life, and really get to know one another. Kids grow up so quickly and the last time we had a family reunion our boys were far too young to remember. The kids quickly became bff’s and loved playing together. It was so fun to watch their little personalities grow and bond.
Turn off the wi-fi! That’s what my MIL did. Yes, the whole family will think your nuts and have withdrawals, but you’ll actually have real conversations instead. After everyone got over the initial shock, they made plans to play basketball, table tennis, and at the playground.
We spent much of our time on the water, boating and tubing. Nate’s family grew up on the water and enjoy spending the majority of their days out there. Our boys banked their first memory of tube wars, and J has an amazing talent for doing anything he puts his mind too. He got up on his very first attempt to water ski! Nate was a little rusty, but continued to try until he succeeded as well.
The adults showed the kids they can be silly too. They jumped off docks into the chilly water and made big splashes! We played board games. We did karaoke. We laughed a lot.
Here’s my MIL with her four oldest children. She’s such a ray of sunshine and light for this family. We are very blessed to have her in our lives.
Since our family reunion fell on July 4th weekend, we boated over to the local amusement park to watch the fireworks show.
It was really a beautiful sight!
J and his cousin danced the night away under the stars as the fireworks lit up the sky. They had the best time!
The family competed in beach volleyball tournaments too!
My little guy helped out by keeping score, and making a few points for his dad’s team. He has such a love for life and sports.
The kids spent endless hours together playing and trying new things – like fishing.
We spent a day at the amusement park as a family, enjoying the rides and fair-style foods.
L quickly became bff’s with his older cousin Alexis, who’s heading off to college this fall. They were pretty much inseparable the entire trip. It was so adorable to watch! And I’m grateful for a kind-hearted niece who didn’t mind a 5 year old shadow. 😉
Before we ended our trip, we made sure to get one family picture of all 22 of us. We survived 9 days in a 4 bedroom house – that’s something to celebrate! 🙂
So make those plans to reunite and get to know your family again! Cut off the wi-fi and have real conversations. You’ll walk away with a fuller heart than before, and be grateful for the lasting memories.
Bobbi jo says
As I read this I have tears in my eyes!! I love our family and I’m so thankful for these memories! Thank you Jen!!
Patty Clarke says
Very good synopsis of a fantastic Family Reunion!!!! Thanks for sharing.,. Patty Clarke
Sherry Bult says
These are words of wisdom!! Thank you for sharing this! Money and Time does not REWARD, like
Priceless memories! Have that family Reunion with the idea to love and laugh and it will last forever!
LOVE this post! Can’t wait to catch up with you in person tonight and hear all about it! 🙂
justin tan says
Love it. We have family reunion every year for Chinese New year. Love catching up with my cousins, aunts, aunties, siblings, nephews and nieces. It’s fun because we don’t get to see each other often.