As I finished loading the pictures to this post I realized I really should have broken it up into at least 2 posts. But it's too late for that now. This is gonna be a big one.
This is the third year in a row we have had our family reunion in Breckenridge, Colorado. It's a pretty awesome place. Although, truthfully it probably wouldn't matter that much to me where we had it. I just think our reunions are the best. I love spending time with everyone and I think we always do the funnest things. So without further ado let's get started on the Cardon Family Reunion 2016.
We all gathered at the home my brother found for us (it was Nathan and Stacy's turn to plan the reunion) on Friday evening. After dinner the kids got to do their cousin exchange. This tradition is supposed to take the place of gift giving for birthdays and Christmas. There are 18 cousins currently which would make for a lot of birthday gifts every year. And also we think it's a little more meaningful for the kids as it isn't just one of many, many presents and they get to see the person they are giving to/getting from. Whether or not any of that is really true, the kids love it (big surprise there, right? haha) and it's fun to watch. I personally love the tradition of making them hug their giver, especially as some of the cousins get older and that hug can seem real awkward. Ha!
The kids headed to bed after the gift exchange, so it wasn't a real full first day. How could it be? And yet the next morning we headed out for a bike ride and by the time we got to the trail the kids were passed out in the car. Starting the reunion tired is not really great, but pretty much inevitable.
Getting 30 people on a bike trail is quite an ordeal and takes quite a bit of prep. I took it upon myself to take a few pictures while I waited for the prep work to finish.
My handsome guys.
She made it! We almost didn't bring her bike. I knew it would be a pretty long ride, much, much longer than any she has done before. And it's fairly hilly and she hasn't done many hills. We decided to go ahead and bring it, thinking she could just ride as far as she could and then I could just stop with her. Being about 6 months pregnant and with Declan on the back I wasn't sure I would want to ride the whole thing either. But we both did. I'm so glad we decided to bring her bike and give her the chance. She loved it and I am unbelievably proud of her. I couldn't even ride a two wheeler when I was 4 years old let alone ride 14 miles!
Saturday night my parents were kind enough to watch all 18 of the hooligans while the rest of us went out for dinner. This has become a tradition at every reunion. I'm pretty sure it's mostly a lot of hard work for my parents but it really is appreciated. It's so nice to have some time with my siblings and their spouses to chat and enjoy each other's company without the constant interruptions of 18 kids. I didn't get a picture of us out to eat but the restaurant we went to (FlipSide Burger) was so good! Brennan and I loved our burger and fries and milkshake. Yum!
We didn't find much else to do so we ended up getting back to the house before mom was able to finish all the activities she had planned for the kids. So after we got back she had little maracas for them to decorate and some cupcakes with mustaches and sombreros.
Jade, Tatum and Ella created a "girls club" in the closet in grandma and papa's room. It's pretty funny how young that sort of thing starts. They had grandma make a sign for their closet door.
Sunday morning these two troublemakers "helped" grandma make muffins.
Brennan made friends with Lucy while we waited for everyone to be ready for family pictures.
Sunday was Father's day (and mine and Brennan's 7th anniversary!) so after church I recruited Tatum to help make a sandwich for Brennan. She was pretty into it so she got to make one for Papa too. I love seeing her excited about doing something kind and helpful. It makes her seem so old and grown up.
Rich's character was the murderer. And no one guessed him!
Riding the gondola was next on the agenda. The kids love it!
We stopped by a river/stream on our way back to the house and the kids threw rocks in while some played spike ball. They could throw rocks in the water forever I'm pretty sure.
On Monday morning Brennan, Marci, Caleb, Dad, Ben, Crystal and Caden got up at the crack of dawn and hiked Quandry Peak, a 14,000 foot peak. It sounded like they had a great time and they came back with some beautiful pictures.
While they were out hiking to the top of the world the rest of us took all the kids on a small hike. I'm pretty sure ours was harder. :) Declan was a real piece of work and cried most of the time. It was super pleasant. But it was called the Iowa Hill Trail, kind of fitting. And if you're wondering what the red hats are that my kids are sporting in nearly every picture they are cousin hats my sister made for this reunion. Each family has a different color/design and they have their "grandkid number" on them. They are pretty cute. But I'm disappointed we never got a picture of all the kids in their hats.
After all the hikers were reunited we got to go stand up paddleboarding. It was beautiful, there was sand for the kids and it was a lovely time.
It started raining which caused our fun to get cut a little short. We headed home and the kids all jumped in the hot tub.
Monday night we played some minute to win it games. My favorite was the panty hose game, unfortunately the lighting and a crappy phone camera didn't combine to get any good pictures. :( Two people put the legs of the pantyhose over their faces and line up back to back. Then at the same time they start walking away from each other and whoever keeps the pantyhose on their face wins. The first round was Rich against Caden. Really, you had to be there. But trust me, it was hilarious.
After breakfast we hopped on the gondola again and this time hiked up to the "glacier" to play.
After lunch we headed to a park to play at the playground and grandma and papa started up some wiffle ball with the little kids. I was really amazed at how long the kids kept at it. I figured they would lose interest pretty quickly but they just kept going and going.
We kept busying climbing trees....
This was my contribution this year. They aren't perfect but overall I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. It was a lot of work (mostly because I procrastinated) but It was a lot of fun.
And that's a wrap, folks. Cardon Reunion 2016 is in the books and it was a good one. A real good one! I really do love our reunions and I'm already looking forward to next year.