Most of my week at the ranch was pretty laid back. I had cousins that wanted to play with Ellie, so I let them until my motherliness just got too worried about where the baby was and what she was putting in her mouth.
When you are in a town with fewer residents than there are people at your family reunions (75 at one and 100 at the other) you are in a place without much to do. One of the greatly anticipated activities was driving the 30 miles in to Challis to pick up extra supplies or get into cell phone range. We did that a couple of times to get more food or check on whether or not the baby had been born yet. There wasn't a ton to do in Challis, but they did have TWO grocery stores.
I already mentioned a lot of the other things I did, but I haven't said anything about what I learned while I was with my extended family.
First and foremost, I learned that you can know you miss someone without realizing just how much until you hear their voice or see their face. Talking to my husband made me realize just that.
I learned that the two families are very different, but have the similar dynamics. Everyone pretty well gets along, except for the one person that can't be civil to other people. You always know which one that is. There was one at each reunion. But everyone still loves each other at the end of the day and wants to get together again.
I learned that my first ancestor to come to America came in 1635. I had no idea anyone came that early.
I learned that you miss out on stuff when you're too nervous about leaving the sleeping baby alone in your room. For my own sanity I needed to be able to hear her and I had to stay in the room to do that.
I learned that I like all these people and want to get to know them better.