Phillips Reunion – 2010

Every few years, the Phillips clan gathers together to catch up on all that’s new.  When my grandmother was alive, it seems she insisted that this event take place much more often, but I guess everyone does the best they can with busy schedules and such.

The Phillips clan, as I refer to them, is essentially my father, his four sisters and their respective children and families.  With Luke and I both only children, it sometimes seems as if our families are very small, but the Phillips’ reunions quickly remind me that there’s a lot of love to go around and that extended family isn’t very far away!

My Aunt Janice is responsible for gathering everyone together this year, and we all met up in the sunny panhandle of Florida… right where I was born.  Now, being the admitted hotel snob that I am, I did insist that we stay somewhere off site from the actual reunion activities.  And, following suit, my parents did the same… I think that’s mostly so they could hang out with the grandkids though. 🙂  Hats off to the Sandestin Hilton for offering such a great rate, coupled with exceptional accommodations.  Aidan even had his own little bunk bed cubby and Skye had a cute little crib tucked away in a quiet spot.    We had arrived a couple of days early to make  it feel like more of a vacation… totally worth it! The sound of the waves crashing outside is something I really do miss!  But, I must say that the progress & development that Destin has experienced since I left 20 years ago is kind of a sad sight to see… the “luckiest fishing village” really has lost most of its charm.

While I’m going to put myself out there and admit that the reunion event was a little disorganized, I am going to add that hanging with the aunts and cousins certainly did make up for it.  My “little” cousin Randy has gotten so big over the past decade, and I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t ever met his wife or daughter.  They were exactly how I imagined them and certainly something to be proud of.  Aidan was particularly excited to meet Randy because of their shared interests in video games and Star Wars… a conversation that I think they both enjoyed!  I wish Randy lived a little closer so we didn’t have to rely on Facebook as our primary source of communication.  His parents, Aunt VJ and Uncle Randy, are also pretty spectacular.

I do see my Aunt Wanda and cousins Ryan and Erin often… Luke and I both think they’re pretty cool and would undoubtedly find ourselves hanging with them even if they weren’t related.  It’s nice to see Aunt Wanda happy with her man George.  And, Ryan and Erin remind me so much of myself that I can’t help but love them.  🙂

One regret is certainly that I didn’t get to see Beth.  My Aunt Pat said the stroke recovery is taking some time and that she was a little too weak to travel… Having lived with them during some of my undergraduate time in Pensacola, I can say they are two of the coolest people around.  It makes me sad to think about Beth having to go through something so difficult, but I can’t think of too many other people who are as strong willed as she is.  So, I know it’s only a matter of time before she starts kicking butt again.   I wish I could have hung out with Aunt Pat a little longer, but the day just went by so quickly…  it just doesn’t seem like we were there long enough!  I could have talked for a few more days, at least… good times, good times.

So, the reunion pretty much ended with dinner at Fudpuckers, which turned out to be a lively treat (props to Aunt Janice for hooking that up).  I was talking so much that I never even got to eat my dinner… although probably for the best since I ordered fried mushrooms and salad.  The three beers did hit the spot though, and by the end of the night Aidan had learned a new word… and, it wasn’t “pucker”.

Personally, I’m very proud of how our little family has turned out.  It seems we’ve all faced challenges and have come through them like true champs.   For that, I know my grandmother would be so proud of us.   None of us are perfect, and that’s what makes us all so frickin’ awesome.  I can’t wait until we do it again!

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Posted by jenn on 10:01 pm - Wednesday January 27 2010 ,

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