Burns Family Reunion in Bozeman

My dad flew in with his wife Laurie. My older brother Patrick and his family drove from Minnesota. Mary Ellen's family drove from Idaho. Matt and his wife Rebecca drove up from California. We drove out from Seattle, reminiscing about the similar road trip across Montana we'd taken two summers ago for Matt's wedding, which was the last time all of us had been together. Through three states, Xavier wanted to hear "She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain When We Come" again and again.

We all arrived the week before the 4th of July and it was hot. My sister found the big house we rented for four nights and the setting was so perfect, we hardly left the property. She and my Dad and Laurie had done a huge grocery run and all the couples took turns cooking meals. We had a swimming hole, a firepit, games, gorgeous mountain views in every direction and space for the kids to run. The days were leisurely and unplanned. We cooked, chatted, swam, played, napped and played some more. I feel so lucky to have siblings I enjoy so much. My only wish is that I could see them a lot more frequently.

A few highlights:

Fierce backgammon games
Matt jamming on the electric guitar with Finn and Liam on the piano
Cousins playing baseball, Xavier's current favorite sport
Chicken fights in the pond, boys on the shoulders of uncles
4-year-old Mabel and Rebecca's flowing interpretive dance on the lawn, each taking turns following the moves of the other
Finn's magic tricks
Uncle Patrick nominating Georgia for the Outstanding Camper Award
Uncle Andrew taking Finn and Fiona fishing
Uncle Matt and Auntie Rebecca taking Fiona rock-climbing at Hyalite Canyon
Patrick taking Liam zip-lining
Auntie Paula making her famous lemon tart
Temporary shimmer tattoos all around
The big box of presents Mom sent out for everyone
The babies, Georgia and Evelyn, splashing at the edge of the pond and napping in the shade on blankets in the grass
Fiona and Finn racing on the blow-up orca and dolphin
Sipping calvados under the stars, sitting around the fire, laughing
Family photo shoot, curtesy of Rebecca
Patrick streaming a Grateful Dead concert
A thunderstorm rolling in and the beautiful calm afterwards
Bird Bingo with Xavier, Mabel, Uncle Patrick and the big cousins

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