I should really call this post, "Epic Dumping of All the Family Photos" but that took too long. We had a rocking awesome barbecue while we were all together in Utah to celebrate the stud and all of his graduated awesomeness. It really turned into a great excuse to get the family together. So we spent the afternoon catching up with aunts, uncles, cousins, new spouses to cousins, friends who might as well be cousins, and ate everything in sight. Why do burgers cooked outside always taste so good?!
These photos are the entirety of what I have from the party. We took a brief break so that my dad and all of his brothers that were there could get a picture together, then one of our immediate family. Have you ever seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? It's a musical. It's wonderful. It's a bit of a family legend. See, my dad is the oldest of eight boys, seven living, and all of them truly are as tall as church steeples, as they say in the movie. My dad is the only brother to have moved out of the state of Utah. These men are cowboys. Truly. They work hard, play hard, and love fiercely. Sons of a carpenter, they all build and tinker and are general handy men. And they give the BEST hugs. No lie. I've tested this. With the shortest brother being about 6'1", the wingspan on their arms is incomparable. They wrap you up, tuck you under their chins, and make you feel more safe, loved, and welcome than ever before. At least until the next brother hugs you. Then the feeling returns.
This is going to sound crazy, but I never realized until I went away to school that men were not always six feet tall or taller. Being surrounded by these giants as a child, being the offspring of two tall parents, and being a woman of significant height myself, I never realized that we were the anomaly. When Mr. F and I started dating, he would comment often to me how tall I was, never dating a taller girl. To me, his height was normal.
So it was that I spent an early May afternoon in the mountains with a herd of gentle giants. I don't think there are words enough to express how much I love my family, immediate and extended. To have such a rich heritage of hard work and goodness brings daily joy to my life. And it makes me want to improve my hug giving skills so that everyone can feel as loved as I do by these remarkable people.