For those of you who don't know my crazy extended family:
My mom married my biological dad who then took her down to backwoods Virginia. They got divorced when I was one, but my mom stayed really close with his crazy, loving, Kitchens' family. Even when we moved to Washington state after the divorce, my mom made sure I knew all about the Kitchens and that every line of communication was open for me to know where I came from. I still don't have a relationship with my biological father, but through the years I have met countless aunts and uncles, and my cousin/old roommate/bestie, Mandy is from that side of the family.
My (favorite) Aunt Katriina has stayed good friends with my mom through the years, and we go see their family A LOT.
When I told Scott that we were going to go spend the 4th of July weekend with my biological dad's family he was excited, even though he acknowledges that it's kind of bizarre. My Uncle Ray says:
"How do you think we feel! We have to tell people my brother's ex-wife's family is staying with us! That really gets us some looks!"
I met another aunt this weekend. And she was everything I've heard about my whole life. The great thing about the Kitchen's family is that if you are blood, you are blood. I have never once felt awkward or like I didn't fit in. They have all let me know that I am just as loved as a niece/cousin/grand-daughter as anyone else. I feel indebted to them for their love.
And can you believe that I didn't take one picture this whole weekend? I was too excited. But seriously... not one. I'm kicking myself about it now.
But here are the highlights:
Top Ten Things I Loved About Last Weekend:
1. 20 People, including aunts, uncles, cousins, children, spouses and boyfriends.
2. Mike and Cami's firework's show
3. Watching fireworks on top of my parents car
4. Bear Lake. Even though it was freezing, it still water, so I loved it.
5. Raspberry milkshakes
6. Making cupcakes with two crazy kids that I love
7. Making red, white and blue headbands for the weekend
8. Perks of having a Finnish aunt = sauna in her house.
9. Hearing stories of every aunt and uncle from the Kitchen's family. That never gets old.
10. Aunt Brenda's dogs.