A montanan family reunion

I am happy to report there were no bear sightings while in Montana. There were also no moose sightings, or bighorn sheep sightings… but lots of white-tailed deer and chipmunks, lots.

I fell in love with the Big Sky country. Gorgeous! The mountains were breathtaking, and I am now a little ashamed of Oregon in this department. Montana has slid to the top of my list for potential states to move to.

Here are some pictures, my own and some I stole from family:

I have to boast about this family I have! So bear with me readers, at least you won’t have to witness the inevitable tears which will begin rolling here in a few.

Backtracking just a bit, this blog began in honor of my Grandpa Oran.

My very best friend and laughing partner.

He was the youngest of 12 siblings, yeah… 12! His mother passed away after giving birth to baby Oran and he was packed off by his uncle and aunt who raised him as their own. His cousins were more brothers and sister, and his brothers and sisters more like cousins.

You sticking with me?

Those remaining from the 11 brothers and sisters came to my grandpa’s funeral, and what a sight that was! The first time I laid eyes on any of them, and I was blown away to see the exact likeness of my grandpa in his brothers, down to the way they jangled the change in their pant’s pocket. We attended three family reunions after my grandpa passed away, but of course I was in my late years of high school and early years of college pretending to be scholarly and not self-absorbed, when I was indeed very self-absorbed.

Not this time. This time I went wanting to learn everything I possibly could about this family of mine. I put my writer’s brain in motion, interrogating Crazy Lady on who was married to who, what kids they had, where they lived now, how old they are, do they shoot guns because I heard there were grizzly bears in this forest… etc. I felt I was prepared, I had this! I knew I was going in as the outsider, these people grew up with each other, but I’m a fairly outgoing person, and as we all know I am pret-ty funny.

You’re fine, it’s no big deal, you’ll fit right in… just remember to not be sarcastic or weird Katelyn.

I was so overwhelmed the minute I walked into the rented Community Hall. I was speechless, yeah me, speechless! So many faces, and names, my brain was fogged over from the 8 1/2 hour drive, I could still hear road noise in my ear drums, it was too much, too soon!

I loved it. I loved the welcoming cheers as we walked in, I loved the rush of hugs and the genuine smiles, and the laughter. I am so thankful I walked into a room full of laughter. This family is full of silliness, fun, talent, smarts, sincerity, and most importantly a strong faith rooted in Jesus.

Simply put – I found out where all my awesomeness comes from. Go genetics!

We were only there three nights, and by the last one my heart was sick by the thought of having to leave the next morning. I wanted more time, more of the comfort which comes from being around people who truly understand you. What a realization I had that my beautiful little family unit does not have to be so little anymore. I saw so much of the way my family operates in a larger scale; praying for one another, standing alongside one another, crying with each other. It was amazing to witness, and to know these people are my people!

I also discovered I have a handful of cousins with natural curls. This may have had me shedding tears as well – I am not alone!

So thank you my “new” big, and wonderful family for welcoming me literally into your arms (I may have cried on a shoulder or two, I apologize for any makeup stains!). It was lovely and I can now continue to stalk you on Facebook!







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