Our annual family reunion was a couple weeks ago in Buffalo Junction, VA, and I finally got a chance to sort through all of the photos I took, which meant having a chance to relive all of the fun and funny moments.
There were lots of great memories made, and in hopes that I don’t forget them, I put together my family reunion top 10 highlights. 1. Giving Jameson a taste of farm life, complete with a tractor! He couldn’t have been happier to sit on this dirty thing.
3. Being reminded of God’s love at Wharton Memorial Baptist — a church that some of our ancestors helped start. I was grateful to be reminded that “Jesus is the landlord” and amazed that minus a small incident where he tried to grab the microphone from Jordan (and could be heard saying, “I wanna try”), Jameson was well-behaved throughout the service. The Spirit of the Lord had to have been present.
5. Interviewing our 97-year-old Cousin George about his life. Such an incredible privilege and memorable afternoon. You can read the highlights here.
6. Seeing Jameson in baby roller skates for the first time. While he was ridiculously cute, and Jordan and I had high hopes for how much he’d love skating, he absolutely hated it. Isn’t this how it often goes as a parent? In his defense, he was also fighting a fever. So there was lots of holding and very minimal skating.
7. Redeeming the skating incident by seeing Jameson lose his mind at the bowling alley. I’m not sure there’s a series of facial expressions that could more accurately capture pure joy. Just releasing the ball made him excited, long before it made it to the pins. He definitely tried to follow the ball down the lane the first time, but he caught on pretty quickly. And had the time of his life.
8. Letting my eight-year-old niece, Jocelyn, convince us all to participate in a family talent show. She made everyone tell her what their act would be, and then she served as the emcee (she also happened to have multiple acts in the show, lol). The talents ranged from Jocelyn’s dance routine to our uncle singing Feliz Navidad, a cousin flying an invisible kite, and Jordan and his older brother doing a “reprise” of a rap song they were made to do as kids. It was all HIGHly entertaining. Perhaps the best part came when Jocelyn and her dance crew were announced the winners (of course), and she was genuinely shocked and elated. This is easily one of my favorite photos from the whole week.
9. Spending sweet moments of the front porch swing. Jameson especially loved sitting on it with his two favorite people, his big cousins Jocelyn and Jayden.And just in case you need any more evidence that kids grow up super fast, here’s a reminder of what he looked like sitting on the porch swing last year:
10. Being reminded of our rich and beautiful heritage. For all of the happy moments, this year’s reunion was also bittersweet in that it was the first reunion since Jordan’s grandmother passed away last fall. She was the quintessential matriarch, and even started the reunion tradition over 30 years ago. Not having her with us was definitely something we all felt, but all of us coming together, traveling all the way from New York, was such a testament to the value of family she instilled in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Had it not been for her emphasis and efforts, we wouldn’t know about the incredible people from which we descend. Below is a photo of us with Oliver Jamieson, for which our reunion is named (and also where we got the idea for our son’s name). Born a slave in 1853, he is Jameson’s great-great-great-grandfather (Grandma’s grandfather). While we all missed Grandma deeply, I’m so grateful for her legacy that lives on in all of us and that of those who came before her.