Monday, August 10, 2009

Ring Family Reunion 2009

So I was going to start this out by reminding you about our trip to St. Louis for July 4th last year (2008), but it turns out I didn't write about it. I only wrote 4 blog posts last July which I'll chalk up to having a 7 month old and the fact that it was summer.

Anyway, since you don't know, my family (the Rings) has an annual reunion in St. Louis, MO. It's been going on for like 16 years but last summer was the first time I (and thus Katherine and Lyla) had been. We had a blast, enjoyed seeing a ton of my extended family, and showing Lyla off to everyone. So we decided to return this year in order to have a blast, see a ton of my extended family, and show Lyla and Will off to everyone.

We drove down on Friday July 3rd and it took us about 9 hours, which isn't bad for having to stop frequently to feed a baby. We definitely were worried about having the kids in the car for that long but they both did fine. Arrive Friday and spent the next two full days visiting with family, eating a ton of food, drinking beer (sorry if you're offended by that but it is part of the weekend's events), playing with kids, and NOT taking pictures.

One of the things I've noticed about having two kids is we hardly have time to take photos any more. I thought that it would be because the novelty would have worn off by the second kid, but that's not it. I love taking pictures of Will, he's so adorable and stinking cute. Unfortunately, having Lyla run around makes it hard to focus on taking pictures. Plus our digital camera is O-L-D old and the compact flash card will take about 10 pictures and then get an error requiring it to be reformatted, which means stopping, uploading all the pictures onto the computer, and resetting the card. And if you only just started reading this post, back up a few lines because I just explained that WE DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT!!!

So if you want more pictures of Will and Lyla, feel free to donate either a new digital camera or a new compact flash memory card. We'd appreciate it.

The main thing we were looking forward to about this trip was Will getting to meet all of my family. Which, he did. Magnificently. Here's a list of people that Will got to meet for the first time (and Lyla got to interact with for the first time where she could remember who they were and interact with them... which was super cute.):

My dad, aka Grandpa Ring, aka Mosquito Mike (his nickname back in the days when I was a kid and we used to wrestle... we don't do that any more):

Aunt Julie (I think this photo is funny because Lyla seems to be baffled by that plastic Easter egg):
Uncle Jeff:
Fei, Uncle Matthew, and Aunt Anna (I'm bummed that I don't have pictures of them with either Will or Lyla because there were definitely opportunities for some cute ones. Fei if you got some with your camera, please email them to me.)

Here we all are. This is the first time my immediately family has all been together in awhile so it was definitely a great trip.

Here's a cute one of Lyla and Will posing together.
This one it pretty cool. It's a picture of all the Ring men. From L-R: Uncle Pat, his son John (my cousin), John's son Allen, my brother Jeff, Dad (in the red shirt), my brother Matthew, me, lil William, my uncle Bob, my cousin Mike, my uncle Tom (Mike and Robert's dad), and my cousin Robert. Very cool.
Here are Mike and Rob talking with Katherine (Will's in there too).
Here are John and Allen, avoiding being photographed.
Here's my camera's version of the annual group photo. It was a very muggy day and the lens had fogged up. Great jorb, camera!! (Seriously, anyone want to donate a new camera?)

The trip was short but definitely fun. I would have liked to spend more time visiting but we didn't have it. Plus we had to head out on Sunday to get to Branson, MO where we spent a week in a vacation rental with Katherine's family. I'll post pictures from that trip soon.