The Family Hat: Making History

My camera isn’t going to do this road trip justice – but hopefully it helps to paint the picture of the great weekend we just had.
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Kelsey, Ryan, my mom and I just drove 7 hours east so Kelsey could see her great grandparents and meet her great great grandma. That’s not a typo – my family and I are blessed to have five generations of women in our family. There are 94 remarkable years in between the youngest and oldest women on my mother’s side of the family. Here’s a photo of the five of us last year.

The 5th generation is in my belly

And here is a photo of the five of us this year. Great Great Grandma broke her hip so we were visiting her in rehab. I have to say, she was the best dressed of the bunch. But, that doesn’t surprise me. Grandma has always been put well put together.

From 94 years to 7 1/2 months

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During our trip, we spent some time at grandmas house digging through old family photos. From the looks of this photo bin, I think grandma has kept every single photo anyone has ever given her. There were so many black and white photos of my family that I have never seen before. And this is why I love photography. You don’t have to be artistic, or creative, or have the world’s most expensive camera. All you need is a lens and some light and you’ve got yourself memories that will last a lifetime.
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That's my mom in the middle.

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Flipping through history

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There were also so many photos of my mother, which I loved seeing. I can never get old of seeing how beautiful she is. Here is one of my favorite photos of my mother when she was a teenager.
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Isn't she beautiful?

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After we left grandmas, we spotted the world’s largest fireworks store. We had to stop. I remembered that I need sparklers for my New Year’s Eve party. I was shocked at my husband, who acted like he was a kid in a candy store. He wanted everything! I guess that’s the difference between men and women – I was so freaked out to be in that store. Someone could light a match at any given moment! We got some random bottle rockets and sparklers for my party. I was happy.
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From here we got some lunch and drove around the city. I lived in a house that overlooked this park. I lived here for 13 years of my life.  I can’t even begin to tell you how surreal it was sitting in front of my old house, with my daughter. I pictured her playing in this park as a little girl – just like I did. I remember playing “kick the can” in this park and building snowmen every winter. I remember watching my dad coach football in this park. I remember a lot. There are many great memories here.
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Next, we went back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. It was a great Friday.

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Saturday was just as perfect. We spent the entire day with my dad’s side of the family. We arrived at Nana, Grandpa and Aunt Pam’s house to find toys, toys and more toys for Kelsey! We set up a little area for Kelsey to play and we all watched her for hours. I have to tell you, another ball of emotions came over me. I was sitting with my daughter in a house that I grew up visiting. I found old notebooks that I used to write in, old coloring books that I filled. And then, there she was. This little me, sitting across the room playing with building blocks. I looked at her and couldn’t believe how lucky I am. I get to visit with some of my favorite relatives – with my husband and my daughter. It was priceless.
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For those of you who don’t know me that well – I used to live within 30 minutes of these relatives for the first 13 years of my life. In high school, my family and I moved to another state. I went from seeing my relatives once a week to once or twice per year. It stinks to think of the memories we lost, but nothing can replace the memories I still have.
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In this photo, I was teasing Nana because I had to say “Kelsey, look up here!” about five times while Nana couldn’t keep her eyes off her long enough to look up. Pam – if you’re reading this, you have to send me your photos.
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Just chillin'

Some of the toys they bought her
Grandpa's girls

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I hope you are all lucky enough to have a relative who sits with the kids, playing board games for hours. That one relative who introduces the kids to arts and crafts. Who never loses their patience – or at least never shows it. The one who is always there for a good laugh. The one you know you can count on for some of the best times of your life. That’s my Aunt Pam. I hope you all have an Aunt Pam in your life. Here’s mine.
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The trip wouldn’t have been as fun without my amazing husband and mother. They drove with me and baby for 7 hours each way. We had many Starbucks breaks for me and bathroom/blow out breaks for baby. Thanks, mom for spending your birthday on the road! We loved every minute of it. And thanks to dad for staying behind to watch the house and the pets. Not an easy task.
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I hope you enjoyed reading about our little family road trip. Family is everything to us. If I learned anything this week, it was to take tons of photos! Moments you share with your family are priceless, try to document them every chance you get.

 

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