When you’re loved enough…

This beautiful sign was given to me by my aunt this past weekend at our family reunion. She had gone to Magnolia Market (from the TV show “Fixer Upper”), and when she saw this, she thought of me. All because of my little blog. đź’•

I’m so blessed to be part of a big family. Both of my parents are the oldest of their siblings and are from large families. At holidays when we would get together, there was a LOT of us! I remember going to grandma and grandpa’s and having a house full. There was always lots of food and laughing and card games & very little sleep. My grandparents were married in 1940. Fast forward more than 75 years – 10 kids on my mom’s side who all have significant others, their kids and their kids’ kids & in some cases, their kids’ kids’ kids makes for over 100 people… All because two people fell in love. My grandpa passed away 10 years ago. Myles was a baby & the funeral was the same day as our wedding anniversary. I won’t forget that day, mainly because of all of the kind words people said about him. Some of us thought that losing her soul mate would be too much for grandma. They were always like two kids in love (or at least how I remember them.) They had a twinkle in their eyes, still held hands, and looked out for each other. She lived for many more years, and passed away not long after her 95th birthday. Many of us had gotten together to celebrate her birthday with her. We got the chance to tell her that we loved her in person. Even if she didn’t fully remember who we were – she could feel that she was loved… enough.

We hadn’t had a big family reunion for a few years. When I visited the Coteau des Prairies Lodge last Valentine’s Day for my sister & brother-in-law’s surprise birthday parties, the place took my breath away. It’s a gorgeous, large wooden lodge on the top of a hill, over-looking the prairie below. The first thing I thought of was, “wow, this would make a great place for an Ulmer family reunion!” As luck would have it, they had a coupon for a reduced rate on the rental of the whole lodge – and that’s when I knew that it was meant to be. The wheels were set in motion for a family reunion! We just needed an organizer & I was the gal for the job. Many months of planning, prep and spreadsheets came together last Friday, when more than 70 of us got together for a whole weekend of food, laughter & games. My sister from California even surprised everyone with a quick visit. Although I write this blog about being enough, it’s also called “journey” of enough because I’m still learning. Many times throughout the last few months, I worried about not having enough food or activities or prizes or beds for the weekend. I worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype and anticipation & I would fall short in some area. But, I was loved enough and supported enough to make it all come together. 

Grandpa would talk about “pennies from heaven.” When my aunt Marsha passed away, we all put pennies by her grave. When grandma & grandpa were both ill, we would find pennies in the hospital or nursing home. We can all tell stories of finding  pennies or dimes (for the 10 kids). I put out a jar at the Lodge this weekend for pennies that were found – there were at least 13… More than what you’d expect to find in a remote lodge. I know they were all watching over us and they were so happy to have us come together. This weekend reminded us that we are all loved enough. Though miles separate us and too much time passes in between our visits, we can still pick up where we left off. We can reconnect & meet some new family members. We drank too much, ate too much and laughed too much… and it was just enough!

Thank you to my family for making it such a memorable weekend! Peace be with you on your journey of enough.

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