It’s so easy to take big things for granted until something goes wrong. Things like legs that work and take you all over creation, a car sitting in your driveway, grass you can stretch out on at a park, food in the cabinets.  
Every once in a while I get jolted back into the business of appreciating good health.  And the beginning of this summer (Memorial Day) was one of those times.  We got lucky enough to find ourselves here, way back in the ancient history of May right after Grace graduated:
And we were with these two (along with a whole slew of other family).

Can you just look at those people and see the light spilling out of their faces? 

They are good to the core.  Love them so much.  And loved that we got to be all together right at that time when we had a little health scare with Dave’s dad.  It has turned out to be fine, so grateful for modern medicine and good doctors.  But boy, it made me just so incredibly grateful for that good man and his wife.  For all the good they do in the world…most especially, in my opinion, raising such tremendous people I love so much.

We had an adult dinner one night, with a little corn hole on the side:

Man, I am good at that game!  I got one of the beanbags to hit the board one time I think…  HA!

This Memorial Day get-away has become such a great tradition with the in-town members of Dave’s family, and I love that we get to visit that great ward (church congregation) up in the mountains when we’re there on a Sunday.  This time the girls happened to have my sister-in-law-who-wasn’t-there’s sister as a Sunday school teacher.  I had never met her but she recognized all these cousins and was so awesome:

There’s nothing like time like that to be together.  Loved getting to know my niece’s baby a little better and getting to snuggle with him a little…and take him on a walk with Dave:

So weird that we are so out of practice on that business…loved brushing off the cobwebs 🙂

Lucy set up some great games for us at night, and Nana and Papa did a great devotional one night:

Cousin/cotton candy love 🙂

There is something so incredibly beautiful about pines:

More games:

More cousins:

The grandchildren who were up there:

And the siblings:

(Missed everyone else!)

And our ever-shrinking family…the new normal for this coming school year:

(Grace was on her senior trip…)

Loved being outside in the golden hour with all these people I love:

Laughed hard at that pic. up there that my brother-in-law took of Claire’s stride…yowzas, that’s a long one!

Some of Lucy’s game set-ups:

(Those cards were for “three-deep”…explained back HERE)

A few little walks with this fella:

And a long drive home, counting all our gratitude.

And as long as we’re covering Memorial Day weekend, let’s back up because my mom was here for Grace’s graduation before we left…Lucy’s face tells it all how we felt about that…

(That was after Grammie took that 6th-grade-graduate out to breakfast to celebrate)

Our friends from England came to stay at our house for a few days while we were gone…

…they are the ones who took such great care of Elle when she did her high school internship in England (here), and who we got to visit the summer we went over there (here).  We love them so much and were so glad we got to overlap with them before we left.
Grace took off to California for her senior trip:

Claire and some friends before and after the mountains:

And Elle took a little trip down from Northern Utah (where she’s doing her summer internship) to Southern Utah to see all this gorgeousness:
And Max and Abby continued to work hard over in China.  No Memorial Day vacations going on over there 😉
Grateful for family all over creation.
And health that is such a beautiful thing.


  1. I would love to know where the ideas came from for your reunions, here, Bear Lake. I think my own family could really do with this as we are scattered in different countries and the children are getting older. I would love to read a blog about how it all came about and how you have a format for it all. As in when you hosted, were there certain things that everyone includes every year? Love the pictures.

    1. You're talking about Bear Lake and not this reunion right? Lots of information about Bear Lake if you google 71toes eyrealm reunion. It will take you to all the different years at Bear Lake and one post specifically explaining how we do it. Hope that helps!

  2. I love your reminder about gratitude for the simple things like health. It is true how it easy to take it for granted until something traumatic happens. Your post brought me to tears because just two days ago our little two year old tripped and fell in our living room and hit his head and then had a seizure, and then stopped breathing, and had no pulse. My husband gave him CPR and luckily he started breathing just as the paramedics arrived to rush us to the hospital. He is already back to his happy energetic self, but boy has it made us stop and be oh so grateful for good health.

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