We spent the weekend of the 4th at a Collard family reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, a little town in the middle of nowhere. Although all of Robert's dad's siblings and their families were invited, the majority of the folks there were made up of our family. In fact, the entire George Earl Collard Jr. crew was there for the weekend which made the trip so much fun. Minnie and Lou were in heaven with about 8 other little girls from our family to hang out with. I actually lost Minnie multiple times, which was mildly terrifying, but the fact that we were staying at a boarding school and that pretty much everyone there was our family, I had to figure she was fine (although my crazy anxious self always assumes the very worst). She was typically just off exploring with her cousin buddies but we had to have a few little chats about how she has to tell me when she's headed somewhere without me. It hasn't quite sunken in yet, but we are working on it.
The family members who set up the reunion did such a great job. They had lots of competitions between families, including tug-of-war and potato sack races. We also played volleyball, softball and basketball one of the days we were there. Robert's family is quite athletic so it's always fun to play sports with them. We also have some older nieces who love to hang out with our girls so I was even able to get in on some of the games. Louie also took a serious liking to her older cousin, DJ, and snuggled up with him whenever she got a chance. It was pretty sweet. On Friday we tried to head up to Robert's brother's cabin up the canyon but his truck overheated so we didn't quite make it. We decided to head over to the Fairview museum for a minute before evening festivities began. It was hilarious and awesome all at once. It's pretty much just a bunch of stuff locals have donated, so there's a lot of random junk, but there are some super old treasures too. Ten or so years ago they discovered a mammoth skeleton up the canyon and have now built an adjoining museum to house that. It's pretty incredible. We made it up to George's cabin the following day which is in the most beautiful area surrounded by trees, but bless our little Mazda...I was afraid it was going to bottom out on the drive up there.
On the 4th of July we walked up to the main street to watch the Mt. Pleasant parade, which was pretty much just a bunch of people in cars and ATV's throwing candy. But come on, CANDY! All the kids were in heaven. Minnie especially liked all of the royalty floats with the local pageant winners. She called them the princess floats because if you're wearing a pretty dress, you must be a princess. The local fire department drove a truck or two in the parade and sprayed the crowds with their hoses. Minnie and Lou both lost it. The girls love water, but they love it on their terms. A surprise squirt is about as bad as it gets for them. That night, the whole crew headed to the Mt. Pleasant rodeo, which was a lot of fun. It's certainly a cultural experience to say the least. I kind of loved it. Minnie was so bummed she didn't get to be a part of the pig chase. She started bawling to me exclaiming that, "I want to do that, Mom! I would be the winner!" Looks like we know what we are doing next year. That girl always surprises me. We brought a huge bag of candy caught at the parade to share with everyone and Robert surprised me with some nachos, which were seriously heaven to me that night for some reason. I've been craving them ever since. After all the events we had ourselves a pretty great fireworks show and it was so fun to watch Min and Lou's faces light up and to hear them squeal as the fireworks shot off. It is in moments like that in which motherhood really becomes magical. It was such a memorable day.
I'm so grateful to have a second family as great as the Collard crew. They are all so loving and inclusive. I love them so much and am grateful they love our girls just about as much as we do.