Sunday, April 5, 2009


In college my sister and I were sitting in the hallway studying our Spanish, when this guy walked past, came back and asked, "Are you my cousins." We both looked at him and said, ", oh wait! Yes."

Before you think poorly of my sister and I, you need to know that we grew up seeing our cousins rarely. And, I have a very bad memory for names and faces. I've since gotten a little better at recognizing my cousins (admittedly, through the help of facebook and blogs.)

On my dad's side there were four of us born in the same year. And these pictures are probably every time we have all been together, that could be a huge exageration because I really do have such a bad memory. I'm pretty sure you can pick me out.

A few weeks ago we had a sharing time about extended families, and I realized that most of the kids in our ward are a lot like I was, very far away from their extended family. I used to dislike those lessons because I felt like the teachers didn't consider that we really only visited Grandmas and Grandpas and only saw cousins, aunts, and uncles if it was convenient. So I started thinking about our primary's kids, and I realized I didn't have email, social networking, or blogs until I was old enough to feel like I just didn't really know my cousins.

Reuben watches home videos of my sister's daughter, and his cousins see my blog. I hope that that virtual connection will be enough to keep him feeling close to his extended family, because although we've been pretty good about once a year to Grandmas and Grandpas, he's going to have the same lot as I did (only seeing aunts and uncles and cousins when it is easy.) That is until Justin makes his millions and we own a resort (that we don't have to run) and we can pay for everyone to come stay there all at the same time. A wife can hope right?

Grammie and Pappie are coming this Friday. Reuben is very excited, and is very protective of the air matresses that will be their beds. Talyn, Kevin and Alena are coming in the end of May . This visit isn't close enough for him to get excited about, but I'm pretty darn excited (I haven't seen them since Christmas 2007).


Mindy said...

It's an interesting point you bring up about families and distance. I always had my family in Minnesota. And Chad's family has always been spread out. I think we have become homebodies because of it...I mean, we have gotten used to being on our own while he had gone through school and just visiting occasionally.
Blogs and facebook help me keep up with those we see once a year (usually) at the most.
Have you found yourself not talking on the phone as much (because we don't like the phone) and just updating your blog or status because it's convenient and if people want to know how you are they'll check there?

Lark said...

It is no wonder you didn't grow up day to day with your cousins the four of you were born in California, Washington, Colorado and Idaho. Bits of trivia to jar your memory...when all four were named one mother thought she should have given her son a B name to go with his three B named cousin. The girl interestingly was the daughter of the only brother in the family.

The trips were never easy they were a great sacrifice and a huge blessing. Summer trips with four small children in a car with no air conditioning. Fourteen and fifteen hour days across Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana,and Idaho to visit grandparents for a week in Washington and then to Utah for a week with the other grandparents, every Summer for twenty years. No wonder your parents have never taken a vacation that was not a visit home. Now that the children are older and the car has air the days have shortened to twelve hours, it is easier but still not easy.

Your living grandparents came and four aunts and five uncles and thirteen cousins from one side came and one aunt and uncle from the other side visited Minnesota. We are expecting a visit from an aunt and uncle in May.

Keep in touch,our mother even reads the blogs of her cousin's.

Rachel said...

By the way-- you look exactly like your mom! Beautiful pic! Congrats on Simeon. Would he have been Dinah if he were a girl?

Kevin said...

It's interesting to compare my family to yours - I grew up having my cousins/grandparents (from my mom's side) in Edmonton, Texas, New York, and Vancouver, and only saw them every 2-4 years, yet I feel like I was still very close to them. One reason is probably that my mom & her siblings are very close. Another is probably that none of my cousins lived close to each other. Most of your cousins lived pretty close to each other, so they saw each other pretty often, while your family was the "odd one out." Having said that, I got to know my cousins a lot better when (most of us) went to BYU; otherwise, we wouldn't be nearly as close as we are now. And I think I know some of your cousins more than Jordan & Courtlin do (I can't speak for you, Brecken) since we've been living in the Salt Lake area for a few years.

Reasor said...

Wait. Who is visiting you in May? I want to go home, but maybe I shouldn't go home until Christmas? I want to go to New York. But, maybe I shouldn't go to New York until I have money to pay for the food I want to eat.

Matt, Rachel, and Madden said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures. It's fun to see pics of Matt when he was a kid! I grew up with some cousins close and some cousins far away and I'm so glad that I've been able to keep up with them all via facebook and blogs.

Sandy M. said...

My husband, Neil, was once asked to give a talk on the importance of grand-parents. He stated in the talk, and I was a little taken aback by it at the time, that these relationships are so vital, that even the offer of a better job should be understood as less important, if it meant having to move away from where the grand-parents are. I thought about that a lot at the time, and I believe it now. It's not a popular view, I am sure :) - certainly not a world view, but somehow, family is the point of everything in the end, and I believe now that that means the extended family, rather than just mine all alone. Also, how wonderful to have such close family about to help love and teach our children. That's my two cents anyway :)