A Wade Family Reunion

^^Our view from the cabin's balcony our first evening.^^

Just a few short weekends ago (February 9-12 to be exact) we were able to enjoy a wonderful weekend tucked up in the mountains of Utah with family I only get to see once or twice a year: my dad and family and my sister and her family!

We had many un-adventures, beginning with the basement of the cabin we rented flooding!  We've had a crazy snowy winter here out west and everything was frozen solid for weeks... until the week that everyone came to visit, naturally.  Roads and farms and basements were flooding everywhere.  It was a circumstance out of everyone's control.  Thankfully, the water damage was concentrated mostly in one room, so Bron and I picked up the mattress and moved it to the basement tv room to sleep.  There.  A makeshift bedroom.  Problem solved.

On the second night, we discovered that the oven didn't work and that the lasagnas I'd brought wouldn't bake.  Bummer.  So Don graciously raced to town and brought back some pizza.  On the third night, the electricity went out!  Liz happened to be in the shower at the time.  Bron and I looked at each other and knew exactly what would happen next: because the cabin gets its water from a well, the pump wouldn't work without power and she'd run out of water.  And, of course, her hair was full of suds as the last of the water dripped from the shower head.  Liz asked nine year old Mia to get her some water bottles.  Mia grabbed them from the refrigerator.  Hahaha!  All of us in the house got a good chuckle hearing her chilly screeches as Liz washed her hair in ice cold water.  Finally, Monday morning, my sister texted me saying that there was a mouse in the bathroom!  Poor girl is deathly afraid of rodents in the bathroom.  It HAD to happen to her. 

However, we didn't let those unfortunate happenstances overshadow the weekend.  They're just good stories to remember now.  Our Wade reunion was actually an overall success!

^^The cabin we rented for the weekend located up Provo Canyon in Wallsburg, Utah.^^
^^Jed and Levi bunked in this little bed in the basement under the stairs... like Harry Potter.^^
^^Our smiley little night owl.^^
^^One of the best parts of the cabin were all the toys the kids could play with!  It kept them occupied for hours.^^
^^Little June next to Commander's big feet.  Just relaxing and figuring out what to do for the day.^^
^^Hands-down one of my favorite moments from the weekend. I loved watching my dad love so tenderly on his grandbabies, especially this smallest one.^^

Friday was drizzly and wet, so we all hopped aboard the old fashioned Heber Creeper for a train ride complete with a "train robber" and fiddler.  It was the perfect rainy day activity.  In fact, the boys are still talking about the popcorn and candy Commander spoiled them with.

After the train ride, Bron and I and the kids went to check out a candy factory in Heber, Utah.  Upon hearing that we were in town for a family reunion, the lady at the desk offered us a box of seconds: eighteen pounds of imperfect chocolate covered caramels for just $15.  Score!  It goes without saying, we ate til we were sugar sick.  It tasted sooo good.

^^Mia with the conductor getting to yell, "All Aboard!"^^
^^My dad holding Conrad.^^
^^The chicklet grin!!!  Mmmm... June is so cute and yummy!  I can't help loving my sister's kids like my own.^^
^^Punching tickets.^^
  ^^Don and his kiddos.^^
^^Clapping for the fiddler to fiddle faster!^^
^^A kid's dream, right?  Popcorn, candy, and a train ride: the perfect trifecta.^^
^^"Put your hands up!  This is a robbery!"^^
^^Soo my boys.  They swiped toys from the cabin to bring along on the train ride.^^
^^An intense game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.  Bron is such a good dad.  I love him.^^
^^Levi just taking in the view.^^
^^The view through a rainy window.^^
^^The moment Jed saw the engine pass by his window on the opposite track.^^

I'm so glad my sister snapped this picture above.  This is my dad.  He's always hitting strangers up for conversation, getting to know them and the history behind whatever we're visiting or doing.  In fact, I notice I do the very same thing from time to time!  I know where that trait comes from.

^^Levi getting whatever candy he wants from Grandma Liz with those curls and that smile!^^
^^Serious face.  I wonder what he's studying and thinking?^^
^^Levi practicing his letter 'L' on a foggy train window.^^
^^View out the caboose.^^
^^Jed brave enough to be lassoed like a calf!^^

Saturday we awoke to a winter wonderland!  It had snowed.  I was so happy for my step-siblings, Dylan, Brandon, and Mia.  Being from southern California, they had never seen snow before in their lives.  Lucky them, they got to see snow fall and play in it too! "It doesn't snow on your planet?" Levi guffawed. "It snows on my planet all the time!"

That afternoon we went tubing in Park City at Gorgoza Park.  I've never paid for tubing before, but I think it was worth it.  The run lasted about 30 seconds and we careened down the hill so fast that if we hit a bump and crashed, bones would break.  But it was a groomed run and therefore an absolute BLAST.  Bron and I took turns watching a sleeping Conrad and taking the big boys down the tube runs.  It was so fun to watch Jed and Levi get excited and run back up the hill dragging a tube behind them for another thrill ride.  (I wish I'd remembered my camera, but alas, no pictures from me.  Just memories.  But there are a few phone snaps.)

^^Dylan, Brandon, and Mia and their first snowman!^^
^^More couch snuggling.^^
^^My sister and me with our babies.  Is this really the only picture we got together?!^^
^^My sleeping snow bear.^^
^^Happy June and her monkey feet.^^
^^Don with his boys, Carter and Jaxon.^^

On Sunday the air was cold and crisp and the sun was shining.  Oh, how I live for winter weather like that!  The entire family went for a little hike to see Bridal Veil Falls.  I was impressed.  Jed conquered his fear of heights and insisted on hiking up to the falls itself!

 ^^The crew, minus Bron who took the picture.^^
^^The kind of irony that makes me laugh. Levi spent five full minutes trying to tag this sign with a rock. It says, "No fishing, no swimming, no throwing rocks." Too bad Levi can't read.^^
^^Throwing ice chunks into the river below.  This kid, I swear he's going to fall in one day.^^

The best part of the weekend by far was just spending time together.  We talked and played games and just enjoyed one another's company inside the cozy cabin.  It was really relaxing!  My favorite part, however, was seeing my dad love on his grandbabies.  He took Conrad into his arms every chance he had.  And they napped together.

Getting together is so so sweet but leaving feels so bitter.  I'm already looking forward to our next reunion.        

^^Family.  I love them all so much.  Joey and Karmen, we really missed you!!!^^
^^My dad and his progeny.  The title of Grandpa looks good on him, don't you think?"

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