Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Steward Family Reunion

Every 4 years, the Steward family (including my grandfather, his siblings and all their progenitors) gather for a family reunion. We've been going since I was a kid, and I have very fond memories of spending time with my cousins (closely and distantly related) periodically throughout my life. I missed the last reunion because it was 4 days before Stellan was due, so I was extra excited for this one. This year it was held at a family member's farm outside of Portland. It was amazing!
First of all, we did spend some time before the reunion in Portland. We saw some (not enough) of the sights and enjoyed the perfect weather (very welcome halfway through a Florida summer). We also got to see one of my mission companions, Janae, who lives a couple hours away. Oh, and just being on the "Left Coast" felt so good. People spoke many languages and had many skin tones, we watched a cooking demo where the chef highlighted ways to substitute sugar for agave (in case we were unenlightened about agave's natural superiority), and I didn't see a single Bible or anti-abortion billboard.
And then there was the reunion. It was so great to see my siblings (it was the first time in a long time all 4 of us were together), my dad (Maggie was unable to join him - we missed her), my aunts and uncles, my grandfather, my cousins and their kids (most of whom I met for the first time) and to hang out. The whole thing was very laid back and unstructured and far too short.
The kids had a blast, and it was so great to see them playing with their cousins and running around like wild hooligans just like we did when we were kids. I'm so grateful we have these reunions, and also for all the people who worked so hard to put it together. Can't wait for the next one!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Stellan!

Stellan is so ready to be 4. He's tired of doing little boy things and wants to be grown up already. He has started playing video games with Daddy, asks questions constantly (and is doing better at waiting for an answer before moving on the next question), helps with dishes, yard work and even sometimes with Rachelle, and says things like, "Sorry, Mom; I can't play with you right now, I'm busy doing Stellan work." Stellan Work includes building train tracks, marble runs and Duplo structures. He starts school in a few weeks, so I'm enjoying the last little while of our morning time together while Rachelle takes her first nap. I love you, buddy!
I'm not ready for big birthday parties yet, so I asked Stellan what he wanted to do for his birthday. His requests were simple: play with Luke and have a triangle cake. Done. I even threw in a bonus swim for being so easy to please. A good-sized collection of presents from grandparents and other assorted relatives rounded out the evening. I hope 5 is as fun as 4.