the original eleven

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it was really special to be with my parents and eight siblings in utah. i don’t think we’ve had such a gathering of just the original eleven of us since before shawni was married 18 years ago. i have absolutely the coolest most awesome in-laws and of course the best best best nieces and nephews ever, but it was neat to have time with just mom and dad, brothers and sisters. i can’t believe how blessed i am to have them.

after some wonderful friday night reunions with the early-comers, the girls went to pick up shawni (who brought her gracie with her) at the airport and had a little sisters’ brunch in downtown salt lake.

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then we met the boys and went on a hike in our parents’ glorious mountain backyard. we talked about all kinds of deep and beautiful things. there’s quite nothing i love more than stimulating conversations with my siblings and parents.

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by saturday night, everyone’s planes had finally made it in. we made cookies and sat in the great room and there was so much love between us. we all stayed up until nearly 2am talking and laughing. it was just some kind of the best brand of magic. on sunday morning we had a big beautiful breakfast all together, and then some priesthood blessings were given. oh how i love my faithful, solid, good (not to mention incredibly fun and funny) brothers and dad.
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on sunday afternoon we drove up north for grandma’s funeral. logan is really the place where the original eleven started – when mom and dad got engaged on top of the “a” tower:

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it’s where grandma ruthie and grandpa dean also courted and married, and where we visited grandma so very many times. it will always be a sacred place for me.

{more on the funeral in the next post}

after the viewing on sunday night, we had to make a late-night wendy’s run. we were all really tired and a little slap-happy which made for quite a hilarious night. we enjoyed frosties and fries in our hotel room and it was just like the old days – brothers sleeping on the floors and siblings sharing beds. fantastic sibling slumber party.

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some of us had to dash off right after the funeral on monday to catch flights home. we smooshed into one car – again, just like old times (except back in the day we had a 12 passenger van, which still felt smooshy).

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i just can’t believe how blessed i am to have them.

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my dad always tells us to laugh in pictures. so we get lots like this…
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  1. So fun to see this! Did we have fun or what! May not happen again!

  2. I smiled when I read "original eleven" because whenever we have family gatherings and we find our original six family members in a room alone- someone always whispers, "Original six." And we all smile :) Just something special about those growing up memories that only those "original" share.
    Glad you were able to spend some quality time with your family and celebrate the life of your grandma.

  3. Love this. You have such a beautiful family. And I LOVE your sweater! And of course you too! :)