Wednesday, May 28, 2008

All Because Two People Fell in Love




I think I am one of the luckiest people ever. I have the most interesting family, and this past weekend we all (mostly) got to be together for the first time in thirteen years. Well, my dad and his wife weren't there, and one brother and his family weren't there, but the rest filled the house just fine! And what fun for all the in-laws to be surrounded by so many Van Sciver's!


If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know by now that I am the oldest of nine children. The dynamics in my family are fascinating. The first half of us grew up in a traditional Mormon family, while the second half grew up in a single parent something-other-than-Mormon family. The kids at the top had a very different experience than the kids at the bottom, and yet put us together, and we still fit. Mostly. After thirteen years there are bound to be some rough edges, but all in all, I have a supremely cool fam.


Three of my siblings live in the Phoenix valley. My mom and her other half, David, were planning a trip to the area to visit them, and they invited my family to drive over from CA. Then it snowballed into the Colorado gang coming down and even my sister's family from Kentucky flew in. All of us together, except Ethan, who was missed.

It so happened that my very dear friend, who has the most fabulous house ever was going to be out of town that weekend and allowed us to stay at her house and host the reunion there. We had quite the time. My children loved getting to know all of their aunts and uncles, who mostly have just been names to them. Now they had faces and personalities and now they could begin to put families together with moms and dads and children. . .COUSINS! Lots of cousins! Now they know who goes with whom and how the Van Sciver puzzle fits together.






We share physical traits; we have common expressions and mannerisms; and we are undeniably different at the same time. But we have two incredible people in common. Two people who now live different lives apart from each other. Two people who have independently changed their first names. But two people who are forever connected by the years they spent together and the nine incredible children they brought into the world. The nine who have now grown to over 30. A remarkable thing.



My favorite memories: my little brother coming up from behind me, grabbing me, and throwing me into the pool. (Once a brother, always a brother.)


My mom teaching all the little kids how to knit.



Getting to gather around my Grandmom Baker on Sunday afternoon.




And having my sweet blog friend, Piper, fly in to share the weekend with me and my family! (more on that in another post)
I feel filled. Since moving to California, I have had very little interaction with my family, and I have had various bouts of homesickness for their familiarness. I have missed feeling a part of something big and warm and wonderful. I have missed all those people who know the ins and outs of me but love me anyway. It isn't perfect, that's for sure, but it's home. I love each of them and am so glad we share the same blood. It's so gratifying to me to see us all grown up and fulfilling our roles as spouses and parents and remaining siblings all the while. I am immensely proud of my brothers and sisters and their children. We're a pretty good clan, and I can't wait to do it again next year.

10 comments:

Hannah said...

It was lots of fun. I miss everyone so much already!

Don said...

Nothing quite like getting the whole gang together again. It looks like it was a lot of fun.

Piper of Love said...

Jenna,

Your family is amazing! I was so happy to get to spend time with them. In fact, Hannah said that I can be adopted so I can come to the next family reunion. I can think of nothing I'd love more.

Well, maybe one thing. I'd love to not have the 'fresh out of the pool' look in that picture ;)

I loved you all!

Kimberly said...

Oh yay! How lovely! Beautiful pictures to capture those beautiful memories!

Stop and smell the Daisies said...

Family reunions are the best! I hope you do get to do one every year!

Kimmylyn said...

It looks like you guys really had a blast.. I love all the pictures and how happy everyone looks..

Moody said...

Wow you are so lucky to have such a big family! Ours is very small and I wish my kids had lots of cousins and aunts and uncles. My great grandma was one of 10 girls and they loved to get a picture of them all together in order of age whenever they were together, but sometimes if one or two were missing from the gathering they would have some random person stand in for them in the photo. So on the back of some of the old photos it will say "so and so standing in for Lottie" or whatever. Weird!

Alyssa said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. It sounds like you had an amazing time and that's so great that your kids got to know their extended family more. My family isn't huge, but we're close, and I'm very close with DH's family. We're so spread apart that we only get together every other Christmas. It breaks my heart. How wonderful that you were able to be all together. Love the pic of your mom teaching her grandkids how to knit. Beautiful. (And so are you! I'm SURE that pajamas aren't the only thing you could look good in!!)

Stop and smell the Daisies said...

This reminded me of the song, "These are my people". I don't remember who sings it, but it's kind of a fun song about all the interesting people we have in our lives, "this is where I come from".

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

Kinda cute that there are 9 comments before mine! I, too, am one of nine, but I'm in the bottom half. All but two of us live within 30 minutes of each other. The five of us girls are pretty tight, and the guys are mostly friends. My dad's alcoholism created a different kind of dynamic among my siblings, but we are all bound in our love for our mom (you'll find a lot about her on my blog). Your pics are great. I love the cousin shots the best; there's nothing like cousins!