Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Smith Family Reunion

On our way to Chicago, we stopped in Ohio to visit family and 
attend a family reunion on my mom's side.  The timing worked out perfectly.
It was actually Eric's idea to add a few extra days to our trip to visit my family.
It has been over 20 years since I've attended a Smith reunion...and I'm so glad we went.

I didn't take a lot of pictures...I guess I was busy visiting!
I'm happy with the ones I did get though.

Meghan & Laura

I love this picture I took of my sisters.  When we are together it is non-stop laughing and
giggling and joking.  After the reunion, my mom, sisters, aunt and I went to get frozen yogurt and
we sat and chatted and laughed for over two hours.  I thought they were going to kick us out!
I miss these times living so far away from my family.

Brady took his snow cone machine to the reunion and it was a big hit.
He asked Grandma if she wanted to help him...I think that made her week!
He and my mom must have made snow cones for all the kids for over an hour.
I love watching them together.  They are proof that even when grandparents live far away...
you can still have a special bond.  Brady's not a big phone talker...but when Grandma calls, 
sometimes he's on the phone chatting away with her for half an hour. They are also pen pals.
I know it doesn't make up for the distance...but my mom tries really hard....and I love her for that.

My grandpa was one of 12 siblings.  Growing up the family reunion was so big...and over the last 20's slowly dwindling down.  Dorothy (top left corner) is the youngest of the family and is the only one left of all her brothers and sisters.  Dorothy has alzheimers and her husband Ed takes great care of her everyday.  

Brady and Grandma spending some time alone.
Can you see the smile on Brady's face?  
My mom tried to go across the monkey bars and fell right down on both knees.  That didn't
stop her though.   I thought she would be sore the next day...but she said she wasn't.  I was sore!  I tried those monkey bars a few times and couldn't make it past two bars!  I could fly across those bars back in elementary school!

The highlight for me during this trip was giving my mom and aunt each a scrapbook
of their parents' story.  My grandpa died at the age of 41 and my grandma was 51 years old when she passed.  I never met my grandpa and I was 9 when my grandma died.  My grandma had started a scrapbook but never finished it.  My aunt found the book in her attic (she bought the house her and my mom grew up in).  The book had some water damage and my mom and aunt asked if I could try and fix/redo it.  I won't tell you how long I had those pictures before I got around to putting the book together...cause I'm
a little embarrassed about that!

I picked my mom up and we went over to my aunt's house for coffee early the morning of our
 family reunion.  While we were having coffee, I gave them each a wrapped book.
  I will never forget how I felt watching them open their scrapbooks.  They reminisced and cried
and were giddy with excitement as two school girls. 
 My heart ached for them for having lost both their parents at such young ages but 
also thankful in getting to share in their special memories.

My mom and aunt and me.

It was a great trip to Ohio and I'm so glad we were able to make it work.

Next up....Chicago!


Gabe said...

I can't wait to hear about Chicago...been wondering how Brady did!?!?

CB said...

Great pictures! It melted my heart the photo's of Brady with his Grandma. I love how you said you appreciated your mom for keeping her relationship with Brady strong. Family is so important. More than happy for you that you got to enjoy yours!!

Cindy said...

I love this post and getting to know more of you and your family. Of course, I instantly felt for Dorothy and her husband. Oh my gosh, I remember skipping monkey bars and speeding through them -- not no more! You have such a good heart...doesn't matter how long the scrapbook took -- it's the fact that you did it!!! Way to make the most of your Chicago trip!

Jill said...

So wonderful you were able to spend this time with family. I love that you finished those scrapbooks, what a special gift and a blessing.


Kris said...

What fun! I bet you are so glad you went. Memories were made, and the fun will be great to look back on. Brady is so cute in these pics!!
xo Kris

jen said...

I'm always so happy when you post. I miss you! Brady looks like he's grown 6"!

Nicolle said...

Loved seeing pictures of your family. I'm so glad you had this time with them.

Your mom and Brady on the monkey bars...priceless.

And, I never got around to asking you, when did you convert and start loving coffee?!


yaya said...

Two perfect places to visit..Ohio and I've said before, I grew up in Chicago and now live in Ashland..just a hop and skip from your folks! Looks like a wonderful time with family and I think it was awesome that you redid the scrapbook for your Mom and Aunt...great treasure! If you get back to a reunion sooner than 20yrs..tell me and I'll come and meet you guys!

admin said...

I finally setup Feedly and found my friends! I just caugh tup on your summer - which I see is still going strong! :) What a wonderful trip, so glad you had that opportunity. You guys have been on the road a lot lately!! I had tears in my eyes thinking about you presenting them with their picture books. What a BLESSING!! You are so sweet to do that- and listen I KNOW how time consuming that is!!

{cindy} said...

what a wonderful family vacation kerri! don't you love when everyone just picks up where they left off and jumps right back in!:)and how sweet is your mom and her love for brady. I know that makes you feel so good inside right?:)
love that you did those scrapbooks. what a special gift.
have a happy day kerri

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