July 16, 2018

Noack Reunion

This past week a whirlwind, it was an adventure, it was great and it was exhausting. I found out sometime ago that my family would be having its annual family reunion this year in Spokane, Washington and I really wanted to go. The last reunion I was able to attend was over ten years ago and it was in Newport, Oregon. Our family tries to hold a reunion each year and every year the location tends to change, it's kinda fun that way. Being in college, living in Utah, being poor and having to work has made it difficult for me to attend in the past-- this year though I was determined. With Andy just starting a new job I knew he wouldn't be able to go with me. As I contemplated driving 8 hours by myself each way with Bubba, I knew it wasn't something I could do so I bought myself a plane ticket.

I flew from Eugene to Portland had a short layover and then flew from Portland to Spokane. The first flight was great! I sat next to a girl attending BYU-Idaho she put in her headphones and fell asleep. Bubba sat calmly on my lap the entire flight. And I tried not to puke as we experienced a lot of turbulence.

At the Portland airport Bubba decided it was go time and made a few attempts to run away from me, it wasn't super fun trying to chase him down with our bags in hand.

The second flight I sat next to a larger man and he took up a good portion of my seat, his arm hair kept rubbing up against my arm, it was kinda gross. Bubba decided to wanted to move around a lot this flight, it was hard to keep him in my lap. The plane was really warm and the turbulence this flight made my nausea come on even stronger, thankfully I was able to keep everything down. I was incredibly grateful when this plane landed.

My cousin met me in the airport and helped me get all of our stuff (car seat, stroller and two suitcases) to the car and then drove me out to his parents house.

The next day (the day before the reunion started) I was able to spend some time with my grandparents (on my Mom's side of the family). It had been several years since I had seen them and it was good to catch up. Bubba loved playing my Grandma Sandy's birdbath and picking all of her raspberries.

Grandma & Grandpa -- Bubba didn't want his picture taken, we tried.

My cousin and I were able to swing my the Distribution Center and I exchanged some shirts for Andy and picked up a new temple dress for myself, I am so excited to wear it!

We also stopped by to visit our Nana, she is currently living in an assisted living home. It was a quick visit but I am glad we were able to see her!

The first day of the reunion we met at a pavilion at one of the church buildings, it was so good to see everyone. We had a potluck and everyone sat around visiting with each other. Not surprisingly a water fight broke out and Bubba ended up soaked, he didn't mind but I didn't have any spare clothes with me to change him into so he ran around in sandals and a diaper.

Some of the family.


I just love this sweet photo of Amy & Nana.

Bubba rocking the diaper and sandals look.

The second day of the reunion we went to the splash pad (the same one I took Russell to when he was about a year older than Bubba). Bubba enjoyed bouncing on the trampoline, opening and closing a gate, and taking his blankie in the water.

So tired.

Throwback of Russell at the fish.

That evening we met at my aunt and uncle's house for tacos. I was tasked with picking up Nana along with one of my cousins. We got Nana to my aunt and uncle's house and my cousin helped her out of the car. As I was parking the car on the side of the road (we have a big family and there were a lot cars) a fancy sports car pulled up along side me and rolled down their windows, there were two guys in the car who looked to not be much older than me. They wanted to know "what kind of party we were having." I told them it was a family reunion. They didn't seem convinced. I proceeded to say, this is my grandma's car, I just dropped her off. The told me I should go do burnouts with it, I declined. They asked if I had ever been in trouble before and I told them no. They still didn't believe me. Finally I said, "I'm a Mormon and I have a baby in the backseat." That made them chuckle and they drove off. It was such an awkward situation, but I am glad they left. About that same time one of my cousins came out to check on me. I am so glad that Bubba and I were kept safe.

We very much enjoyed eating tacos and visiting with family. Bubba even had his first taste of ice cream, he loved it! Must be his Daddy's boy. My Dad and uncles made rockets out of cardboard and paper and launched them off, the kids played lawn games and we took family photos-- it made for a great evening!

Visiting with Nana.

Building rockets.

As I was talking with one of my aunt's about life and the trials I have experienced she seemed impressed by the things I had learned, she could relate to some of the things I have gone through. She told me to "remember that (I) am important." I was so touched by her comments, it was something I think I definitely needed to hear that night.

The last day of the reunion the family did a photo scavenger hunt, Bubba and I sat that one out. We joined in the festivities later in the day though with a barbecue and pool party at my cousin's house. Bubba wasn't interested in the swimming pool, he wanted to play in all of the fountains and ponds, I was continually chasing him down. I am grateful to my cousin's who helped me keep tabs on him and chase him down, this pregnant mama was worn out! I tied a bunch of balloon animals for the kids, they loved it!

The next day Bubba and I were scheduled to fly out. My Dad picked us up and took us to their hotel so we could say goodbye to my sister and her husband (they were all staying at the same hotel), they stopped at the reunion for one day to say hi and bye to everyone as they drive across the country(they are moving to Connecticut). As they pulled out of the hotel parking lot and drove away tears streamed down my face, I am not much of a crier but I hate goodbyes. I am not sure when I will see my sister again but wish them the best in this new adventure.

Julie became really ill the night before and my Dad ended up taking her to the Emergency Room to get an I.V., we hope she gets feeling better soon! Being sick is never fun!

My uncle was kind enough to run Bubba and I to the airport. As I was talking with my uncle about a trial I am currently going through, he reassured me that I am doing the right things.

It was so good to spend time with my family and I am grateful to have Noack blood in my veins. I know that my family is far from perfect (no family is perfect) but we are a family of strength, we love each other deeply and we are always there for one another. We make the most of difficult situations and trust that the Lord will help us through and I love that about my family.

On flight from Spokane to Portland Bubba was super wiggly. Part way though our flight there was a medical emergency and the flight attendants asked for any doctors or nurses on the flight to come help-- they didn't tell us what was going on. You could feel the stress and tension in the air. The plane seemed to pick up speed. We encountered some pretty intense turbulence and made a fast and hard landing (we landed early). We were met on the ground by ambulances and firetrucks. The paramedics hauled and gentleman off supposedly he was having trouble breathing.

I looked at my boarding pass to double check what time our next flight would be boarding and decided to use the bathroom and order a late lunch. As Bubba and I were stuffing our faces I heard someone say "This is the final call for passengers so and so, so and so and me." Not sure how I misread by boarding pass or how I didn't hear the first boarding call, the terminal we were sitting in wasn't very big. I scooped by Bubba and shoved our box of food into the stroller a kind stranger sitting next to me offered to push the stroller to the gate for me and we all booked it to the gate. They closed the gate right behind me, I am so glad we made our connecting flight. Bubba passed out in my lap just before we landed and some kind strangers helped me gather all of our stuff up off the plane. Andy met us out front and helped us get all of our bags, it was so good to see him! It was nice to spend time with my family, but it was also nice to be home.