See all those people up there? That’s (the majority) of my mom’s side of the family in 2010.  Since that picture was taken our family has grown to 171 people… Crazy, I know.  Sometimes it is hard for me to believe as well.  

Know whats crazier? The fact that I decided at 24 I was “old enough” to start contributing in a bigger way to our family Thanksgiving dinner… I felt that way until approximately a week ago when I realized that our dinner would include at LEAST 90 people. Have you ever made squash for 90 people? I bet not.  Would you like to? Because help would be great at this point.  I plan on making this recipe, but making half with coconut oil instead of butter so I can still partake, seeing that acorn squash is currently my favorite food.  PLUS I got excited when my brother called to say that him and his family have decided to go Paleo because of ME and are bringing PALEO STUFFING to Thanksgiving.  Holy cow I’m pumped for that!  

Anyways, I have a lot of really good family stories from over the years so I will try to throw one in every week or two so ya’ll can get to know me better 🙂

First though, I will explain a little more about my family and how we stay close with nearly 200 family members: From the day I was born I was surrounded by children. Being one of nearly 85 grandchildren it was normal to go to Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Weddings, etc and be surrounded by people I have known my entire life.    I feel like this is the most special part of my life and I cherish the fact that I know every single one of those people and spend more time with ALL of them than a lot of families do.  Our favorite family tradition is our yearly Camp Trip every summer.  This week long tradition began before I was even born and still goes on year after year.  We all head up to St. Croix State Park in Hinckley, MN for a week in July to relax and hang out with each other.  This has been and always will be my most anticipated week each year.  I love it more than Christmas, or my birthday, or really anything.  Even trips to Hawaii and Mexico.  Its. The. Bomb.  

You know how when you grow up with siblings, cousins, or best friends and even if you haven’t seen them in a year or two you fall right back into step with them as soon as you see them?  I have that with St. Croix State Park.  I have more memories there from growing up than nearly every other place I can think of and I am excited to keep the tradition going and share it with my kids one day.  The very best part is that everyone in the family feels exactly the same way I do about it, and that’s why it is so special.  

Sorry, got a little sentimental there.  Just thinking about what I’m thankful for this time of year.  I’ll stop rambling now but here are some pictures from my favorite place on earth for your enjoyment 🙂 ps. holy wow I was chubby in college

Me and Eva

Eva and I

One of the cabins we stay in (no electricity)

Tree we climb and “monorail” off into the river

This picture IS summer in my mind.  So many floaties, so little time. 

-Rachael

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