we have been living in utah for 2 years. (hard to believe). and in all that time-- we haven't even gotten together with eric's extended family, many who live in this greater-SLC area. Eric bumped into his Aunt at Costco or something on a Sat a month or so ago, and they did that same thing that you always do when you bump into a relative or even someone you were friends w/ in High School... "we need to get together!! this is crazy... let's plan something". My cute husband, being the family favorite that he is got together with one of his cousins and they actually picked a day, picked a location and went to all the effort of sending out a message on Facebook to all the family members! and wallah: we had a 'swapp-family-reunion'. just look at all these fabulous folks! we had such a great time catching up! it's been more than a decade, or at least a decade since we have been together formally- so this time, there were all these kids, spouses...and stories! it was delightful! even the kids had a good time (after that inital 30 or so minutes when everyone just looks weird and you can't believe you are actually related to these people!) we got almost everyone that was there in this photo- as i tortured people by making them get up off their comfortable picnic benches to pose for a photo... i did assure them, that it would be 'worth it'.
I think that most people would agree that when contemplating the effort required to bring people together in a tradition of a family reunion it's a pretty mixed bag of emotions; there are inevitably people you don't really want to reunite with- and maybe uncomforable realities that are easy to sweep under the rug if you never have to be around those people who are family. then there is that process of catching up where you aren't sure what people know and what they don't... but you know... it's worth it! ultimately you get past all that awkward stuff, and realize that you have a bunch of people that you love, and really need to be sending christmas cards to!
the most common question i got was: 'are you still doing that scrapbooking thing" ... followed by a story that most of the relatives have experienced in one way or another of when they introduce themselves to someone with their last name, 'swapp' and they ask if they are related to 'heidi swapp' and someone thinks that is vaguely cool! so it's nice to have some claim to fame! in fact, i found out that 2 of eric's cousins have been working in the industry as well... one worked for SEI, and the other Scenic Route. freaky huh! (i guess if you live along the wasatch front, there is a decent chance that you are employed by a scrapbooking company)
bottom line: we picked another date- this time next summer: JULY 7th 2012 to get together again, because clearly...everyone thought that it was 'worth it'! (maybe i will whip up some t-shirts for next year...chuckle... no cause i am opposed to Family Reunion T-shirts unless you are going to Lagoon, and then... they better be NEON yellow).