Carl and Donna Collett Family Reunion

Alright, I'm getting up early tomorrow for a run, but I'm not going to sleep until I get a post up!!!!  I can't let months go by--I refuse to fall behind and have Cam's babyhood pass in an undocumented blur!  Okay... now... type...

Flaming Gorge.  The first image that pops into my head is of Grandma and Grandpa Collett's big house on top of the grassy hill.  They had a trampoline at the bottom of the hill, where we would play with our cousins in the summer, sometimes with a sprinkler spraying up from underneath.  I remember how Grandma taught me how to catch butterflies and I loved listening to Grandpa rock out on his harmonica on their back porch.

Now that I'm grown, the house doesn't look so big.  There's no trampoline.  And Grandma and Grandpa aren't there.  Man, I miss them.

But this year's Carl and Donna Collett Family Reunion honored them well.  It's amazing how much family there is, how many more great-grandchildren have been born since they were here.  Plus the Lodge is still running like before; the restaurant, the store, and the shop renting out rafts and guides for the Green River.  They left a legacy, and I love being a part of it.

Our group reserved a campsite right across the street from the Lodge, where everyone parked their campers/trailers/tents.

Me?  Camping with a teething seven-month-old without my husband around?  Ah, no thanks.  We got a room at the Lodge with Mom.  But for Camden the experience was as strange as camping would have been, or maybe worse.  We had to set up his pack-n-play in the kitchen.  We tried to cover up all of the little red and green lights emanating from every appliance, but I still think he felt confused.  Like he thought maybe he shouldn't be waking up to the hum of a refrigerator, nestled between an oven and a dishwasher.

Every night he woke up several times, crying from what seemed like a mix of confusion and teething pain.  He had four teeth all cutting at once, and there was hell to pay for it!  Each morning was a struggle to peel my eyes open after only getting a few hours of sleep.

I hate to think of what it would have been like without Mom.  Most nights she traded off with me, since he seemed to want to be held throughout the whole night.  Grandmas are the best!

During the day Camden was pretty happy, as long as I kept teething tablets on hand.  We went on lots of walks so I could introduce him to pine trees, leaves, grass, sprinklers, grasshoppers, and squirrels.  The boy loved the outdoors.  So much to see, smell, and hear--sensory dance party!

Then there was the river.  Zac, Mom, and I took him down the trail that cuts into the side of the canyon.  The water always feels freezing to me, so I was surprised when Camden was thrilled with it, splashing his toes in it and getting fussy if I took him away.

{Zac and I collaborated on some really cute pictures, but Zac has yet to send them to me.}

Another day that week we did the traditional Green River rafting with all of the cousins and some aunts and uncles, but I left Camden with his grandma, not sure he was ready for rapids.

In our raft we had Dad, Zac, Colton, and myself.  Since there's a "ritual" of getting soaked with squirt guns and people tackling other people into the icy water {Grandma started these lovely wet traditions}, our raft came up with a game plan to stay dry: take up the rear.  We tried to stay far behind any other raft, content to watch the splashing, spraying, and squirting from a safe distance.

When the other rafts stopped for cliff jumping, we forged ahead and took up game play numero dos: take up the lead.  Far, far ahead.

Staying out of the soaking fray gave us a chance to appreciate the river a little more.  We saw a few deer, including a little spotted fawn.  There were birds diving from the sky for fish, an otter, and lots of slimy fish.

Apparently one of the most common fish in the Green River is called a Rainbow Trout.  I knew that, but when my dad called out, "Hey!  There's two rainbows!" while everyone else peered down into the water, I tilted my head back and searched the sky for a double rainbow.


Another thing I remember laughing about was Zac stammering over the word "two."  He said, "tuh-woo".  Don't ask me why we all laughed ourselves to tears on that one.  Just one of those things a lot of sunshine and good company will do to you.

Watching Colton and Zac constantly threaten to throw each other in the water was funny.  Almost as funny as Trevor and his raft trying to catch up to us at the very end because they realized {too late} that we were the only dry raft!  Victory!

Another day was dedicated to the lake.  Camden met lots of cousins and other kids, and got introduced to MUD.

That week there were games of horseshoes {Grandpa's favorite}, face painting, food, a marshmallow war, family pictures, volleyball, catching up with family, and good stories about Carl and Donna.

 How cute is this preggo table?

Collett Famiy Reunion 2013

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