Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Family Reunion (Sunday)

By Sunday, Jacob and I had figured out our routine. We sprang out of bed with the intention of hitting the hotel shower and washing all of Zoey's bottle-stuff. We knew we would take the longest of anyone, and since we had our own car, we figured it behooved everyone if we were gotten out of the way early. Of course, that's not what happened.

We woke up about 7:30am and, like I said, sprang into action. We told my mom who said, "Oh, I already have my stuff together." While Jacob and I continued tending to Zoey, everyone else got there stuff together too, and it was an unusually big deal over who would be going in who's car, so we didn't get started until 3 hours later.

By the time everyone was done getting cleaned up, guess what: it was time for us to head back to feed and put down Zoey so everyone else went out to breakfast. By this time I had lost count of how many meals Jacob and I had solo. At least this one wasn't in the dark.

People weren't scheduled to arrive until later in the afternoon, so everyone wandered around and helped get things together. And, of course, drank; I really like Spotted Cow. The afternoon warmed up, the sun came out, and the sky cleared up, putting everyone (including myself) in a more chipper mood. When people began to arrive the the hug-fest began. I was so excited to show off my Zoey.

 Cousin Cheryl and Aaron hitting up the keg.

 Cheryl, Dad, and Brooke

 The first attempt at a Cousins photo.

Much better. It was early in the day so everyone wasn't so distractable by beer. (In reality, Scott, Aaron, Steve, Cheryl, Brooke, and I make up about 1/16th of the cousins, and that doesn't include great grandchildren. But at least we had all of the beer for ourselves.)

 Scott, Steve, and Deanna

 Mom and Dad

 Scott and Steve (to this day, I still can't get a grip on who is who)

Oh yeah, that corn on the cob was freakin' yummy!!

 Aaron, doin' what he does best: chillin' on his iPhone. I think he just likes to draw attention to the fact that he has an iPhone. ;-)

 Daddy and Zoey out for a stroll around the cabin grounds.

 The grass was wet and muddy so, of course, she had the time of her life.

 Hercules Baby!

 What baby sunglasses look like on grown-ups. Well, I use the term "grown-ups" loosely.

 It's like one of those MSNBC photos, courtesy of the master photographer herself, Mom.

 The kids fishing in the pond (which, if we're going to be honest, is like shooting fish in a barrel, but that just means it was super fun for the kids).

 Uncle Ken and Aunt Karen's dog, Kino. She's always ready to go by-by in something.

 Cousin Brooke's son, Liam, taking a break from the merriment.

 The men took care of toking the fire pit. Ugh.

 Playing host (and very well, I might add), Uncle Ken. Everyone is so grateful he hands over his cabin and it's amenities for all of us to enjoy.

 The obligatory cheek-squeeze you get from all of your relatives. Welcome to the world, Zo.

 Horsing around inside the cabin.

Cheryl, Scott, and Steve with their Uncle Jeff. Minus Cheryl, the three of them probably hold the Wisconsin record - as difficult as it is - for dirtiest jokes/stories/one-liners ever told.

 I told him to hold her like a football. And he did.

 Uncle Aaron, bein' the world's raddest Uncle.

 Goin' in for a touchdown.

 Finally us older kids were able to wrangle the golf cart away from the younger kids, only we used it to gather wood for the bonfire. Ok, Aaron and Jacob gathered firewood while Zoey and I played wherever they happened to stop (it had rained so hello splashing in puddles!!)

 Beer. Never leave your home in Wisconsin without one.

 Saying our good-byes. It would have been nice to have stayed longer, but since our flight home was early the next day out of Milwaukee (2 hours away), we had to head back.

 Jacob, sort-of making peace with Cousin Cheryl's dog, Harley. He barked at Jacob - and no one else - literally the entire time we were there, and for a reason no one could determine.

On the way back to Milwaukee we spotted fireworks. They were beyond clear like someone was setting them off right on the shoulder.

The Donahue/Matthies Family reunion was, indeed, the Donahue Family reunion; no one from the Matthies side of the family showed up. I don't know the inner workings of the different branches of the family tree, and I'm pretty clueless to the relationships everyone has with one another, but I love absolutely everyone so it was disappointing not to be able to see a very large portion of my family. We traveled a good distance, and had a great time with great people, and it will live in our memory bank for awhile since we aren't sure when we'll be back. Everyone should just move to Montana; there's enough room for everyone!

We made it back to the Milwaukee city limits without incident. We even swung by the infamous formula-hoarding Festival Foods in the off-chance they happened to recover my hastily left Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit. Such luck, they had!! Jacob and I joked how we would ask for it. When I went to the Customer Service desk, I decided on, "Did you happen to find a pink, fluffy, suit; it says Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit in the front?" As she handed it over I said, "If you have a baby, these really are magic," and conducted a sales pitch like I'd made it myself or something.

We got lost when we got back into the city as we searched for the hotel by the airport. Having been a very long time since either of us had negotiated an actual city, it was like we were rats in a maze. After getting screwed up on a couple of roads, we finally found the hotel a little after 11pm. Zoey, of course, slept in the car but that doesn't mean she was any less ready for bed. We filled up the rental car with gas, so we wouldn't have to worry about it in the morning, while I checked us into the hotel. It took an extraordinarily long time for the crib to be delivered to the room, and a bit for Zoey to wind down. So we all hit the sheets (us in a hollowed-out Sleep Number bed that no longer worked) a little after midnight. Naturally, we needed to be up at 6:30am.

Monday morning, our return trip home was a smooth as butter; no hiccups, no upset, and Zoey was an extraordinary baby on both planes. We were all very tired, Zoey took a nap from 1:30-4:45pm, and I slept the last hour of her's while Jacob went to Columbus to collect the dogs. They had fun and were good boys, from what I was told. It was a good trip, but I'm glad we're gone traveling for awhile.

"An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship." - Spanish Proverb