Buuuuuut I was busy doing life-like things, so you know...I still win.
Anyway. So I had a pretty fabulous weekend, thanks for asking. I'll get to that in a minute (hint: there will be photos), but first I'd like to talk a little bit about my family, and what makes me "me".
I grew up in what is generally considered to be a pretty large family - I'm one of six kids. And before you ask, no, my parents aren't Catholic. It's just how it worked out. Anyway, almost every one of the kids were pretty extroverted growing up, or at least we all were with each other. I grew up in a noisy, active household, and thought it was completely normal to have eight people sitting around a dinner table, all fighting for some air time to talk about their day at the same time they were fighting over the last dinner roll. To this day, I still think of dinner as the "debrief" time, to sit down, enjoy some face time with your family or friends, and talk about your day. I LOVE getting into conversations about things I've learned during the day, current events, or interesting events that happened. And it's all because of my big, crazy family who all always had something to say.
I was also a middle child (a distinction I shared with my 21-months older brother). And yes, we were totally the forgotten children. Okay, I'm sort of kidding about that, but only sort of. I certainly don't think anyone "forgot" about us - well, me, since I can really only speak for myself - intentionally...it's just sort of how it happened. The first four of us were born within 5 years of each other, and then there's a five year gap between me and Baby #5, and then another five years between #5 and #6. So the oldest four were always kind of in this little group, and then my sisters were referred to as the "little girls". I was always the youngest of the oldest, and the oldest of the youngest, and I never really felt like I had a specific place that was all mine.
|Middle kids, having a blast|
That feeling is still with me today, to be honest. I am nearly 30 years old, but I still struggle with the feeling that I'm always in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I can't say that I'm at a place in my life where I really feel like I "belong". I wish there was a better word to describe that than "belong"...that's not quite right, but I hope you know what I'm trying to say.
All six of us were home-educated (Jolynn went to a private school for 7th-12th grade, but was homeschooled before that), which was awesome and horrible all at the same time. I would have really loved the ability to experience things like home football games, going to my own prom (maybe even helping to plan it!), being able to participate in sports during the school year, being on an honor roll, etc. But at the same time, I know that I was given a phenomenal education that I may not have otherwise received. I was also instilled with a strong love of learning, which has stuck with me. I love learning new things, and find myself endlessly fascinated by the world around me. I am in no way trying to brag, but I am fairly smart, so I have a lot of opportunities available to me that would probably be more difficult for someone who doesn't have my brain or my education. (That sounded elitist - it wasn't supposed to).
One of my favorite things that I was given through my education was a love for reading, and the ability to read really fast, like around 500 words a minute. This is totally fabulous, because it makes it really easy for me to read lots of books in a short amount of time. Plus it makes picking out Christmas and birthday gifts for me easy for my family, since it's pretty tough to go wrong with a book. :) We weren't allowed to watch a lot of any TV, either, so reading was the only way we had to "escape", as it were, and we did it often. One of the worst punishments we could get was if Mom took away whatever book we were reading at the time...but the best punishment was getting sent to our rooms, since you know...that's where our books were. :)
I was blessed to be born into a pretty great family. My grandfather's uncle, affectionately known as "Unk" to pretty much everyone, turned 90 last weekend, and his two kids threw him a surprise birthday party down in Kansas City on Saturday. I was supposed to be in South Dakota last weekend, but that fell through, so I went to my dad's house to spend the weekend with him, and we flew down to KC together in his plane. I even got to fly it this time!! Legit, I flew for like 20 minutes, and did some turns, and ascended and descended a little bit and everything. It was pretty much awesome.
But what was even MORE awesome was the fact that when Dad and I arrived at the party (we were a bit late, so we missed the surprise), Unk was sitting at his drums, wailing away and singing with his jazz band. Yep, that's right, my 90 year old uncle still plays the drums and sings in a band. He's that freaking awesome.
And now, as promised, here are some pictures from the weekend.
one: quick airport selfie before getting in the plane to go to KC
two: Papa's plane in his brand new hanger
three: beautiful scenery on the trip, in the backwaters of the Wisconsin River
four: me and Papa on the way to KC
five: state line - that's Iowa on the right side, and Missouri on the left. Cool, huh?
six: action shot of me flying!
seven: Unc on the drums. Told you he was cool.
eight: Grandpa's sister - we know how to have fun in my family!
nine: Papa's sister, for whom I am named. She's one of my faves.
ten: Grandpa's sister and her husband
eleven: Grandpa, Unc, and Dad. Handsome men in my family, huh? :)
twelve: flying by the sunset on the way home #nofilter
thirteen: my tiny little hometown at night.. I tried to get the runway lights, but I was too slow.
fourteen: a burger from Pete's Hamburger stand - the best burger I've ever had in my life.
fifteen: enjoying the beautiful day along the river on Sunday
sixteen: best root beer ever!