We had a blast driving up with Benson, Adi, and their dad Nephi. When we pulled up in the driveway, they were all ready with their backpacks, sleeping bags, water bottles, and aviators. "Bwandon and Dasha! We going camping!" Benson cried. They were pretty excited.
|Who can resist Bensie?|
Our reunion was in gorgeous Cottonwood Canyon at Brighton Girls' Camp, which has been run by the LDS church for 90 years. I love going up into the mountains and being surrounded my streams, trees, rocks, and dirt. Something about it awakens a part of my soul that is left dormant by suburban life. When I'm in the mountains, I feel like I'm truly myself.
|From our hike around Silver Lake|
But my favorite part of the reunion was seeing the love everyone had for each other. I didn't know the extended family very well, but they all treated me with such kindness and welcomed me with open arms. There were no cliques, no fighting, no put-downs, nobody left out. Everyone took care of each other, from the grandparents right down to the little kids. It was heaven on earth.
I had so much fun making bracelets, tie-dying t-shirts, hiking, and sitting around the campfire with my sweet nieces and nephews. I loved getting to help the kids with their crafts and the conversations we had as we worked side by side. Something about working together really helps you bond. Even little Ezra, who has always been shy around me before, opened up as we painted rocks together. I feel like I know the temperament of each child in the family now - Lauryn is bubbly and outgoing, Adri is graceful and introverted, Benson and Adi are sweet and easygoing. I feel like I am finding my place in the family, and that I really belong. I feel loved and accepted - and isn't that what family is all about?
|Little Pierce, or "Baby Bierce" as he's been dubbed by Benson|
|Adri's face when Brandon claimed the bunk next to mine|
|Benson putting on sunscreen|
|My new favorite photo of us|
I'm so glad that I found sweet Brandon who added me to this sweet family who loves me as much as my own. I feel so blessed to belong to 3 wonderful families - mine, my husband's and the one we will create together. I don't think that I could be any luckier.