60 Years Together [& other SD shenanigans]

60th SD (69)After my quick trip to Minneapolis, I headed home to South Dakota for some fun with the family. There were two big events to be celebrated. One was my cousin Laura’s wedding and the other was my grandparent’s wedding anniversary. Their 60th wedding anniversary. Let’s just talk about that for a second. I cannot even imagine being married for 60 years. Hell I can’t even imagine having a boyfriend at this point in time. But seriously, If were to get married in the next year, to make it 60 years with the same person, I would still have to be alive at 90 and so would he, assuming he was the same age. That’s old. That’s making it through a lot of possible medical issues. That’s making it through putting up with the same person for SIXTY YEARS! Wanting to be with that person for 60 years. That is crazy to me. It is impressive. I guess I can only hope that I actually meet someone and want to stay with them for that long and that they can actually put up with me for that long. Again. THAT’S CRAZY! Kudos to my grandparents, Lynn and Dorthy, who have made it 60 years together and will definitely make it a lifetime.

Now let’s talk about all the fun stuff that happened in South Dakota. When I arrived on Friday, my sisters and cousin, Rachael, picked me up from the airport, after which I promptly drove us to the nearest Dairy Queen for Blizzards. Then we went home for the big family reunion, we hadn’t been all together since my grandparents 50th anniversary. All of my dad’s brothers and their kids were home for the party, except two of my cousins who couldn’t get out of work. My grandparents had four boys who went on to have 11 grand kids and there is one great grandchild so far. We all sat down to a huge prime rib dinner. It was so good. The best part was trying to time a picture of grandma and grandpa kissing. Grandma didn’t really understand what we wanted and they weren’t going in for long passionate kisses, the chair positions made it a bit difficult, anyway we didn’t have much time to snap the pictures. We should have recorded the whole process. Carmelyn, great grandchild, had a weird pooping dog toy that was the other highlight of the night. Who makes a toy like that?

Grandpa & Grandma with their sons: Kieth, Mark, Dad and Jim

Grandpa & Grandma with their sons: Kieth, Mark, Dad and Jim

Ridiculous toy

Ridiculous toy

Saturday I took a break from family time and went into Newell to see my two of best friends from high school, Jamie and Meghan. Jamie already has a three year old little girl and she just had a little boy in November. Knowing how much I love kids, she walked up to me and handed me the baby. No hug, just, “Hi Jennifer!”, arms out with baby at the end. A bit terrifying. But it he was a very good baby, it wasn’t so bad. The best part of the day was when her daughter picked up some gum off the picnic bench and put it in her mouth. And it’s not the first time. Kids are so weird. Okay that was the funniest, the best part was meeting up with old friends and hanging out like nothings changed at all. Crazy how that can work, maybe you need to know some one for 25 years. JAMIE!!! IT’S OUR 25 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!! I’ve just realized this. First day of Kindergarten 1989 was our first meeting. Only 35 more years to go.
Kade- he's pretty chill

Kade- he’s pretty chill

After friends and babies was Laura’s wedding in beautiful Custer State Park. My mom, sisters, Rachael, and I all went to the wedding. The boys were going prairie dog hunting and were maybe going to join in for the reception. The weather was perfect, the decorations were perfect and the bride gorgeous. The ceremony was outside in a clearing in front of some old trees. When we arrive, a bison was hanging out in the center of the clearing. Apparently he had been hanging out near the chairs earlier. You could see everyone waiting near by at the cabins for the bison to mosey out of the way. The game warden came by to tell us it was safe to walk around the end and he had already checked the taller grass for snakes. Yeah, that made me feel better, instead of not thinking about snakes at all, now I was thinking how long it would take for one to come back. The bison moved on pretty fast and the ceremony started shortly after.
Bison on the loose

Bison on the loose

We couldn't resist a quick photo op at Flinstone State Park with Dino!  Kristen, Danielle, Rachael & me

We couldn’t resist a quick photo op at Flintstones Park with Dino!
Kristen, Danielle, Rachael & me

Laura and Justin planned most of this wedding from Australia where they are currently living, and it was perfect, perfect perfect. I’m not one for long ceremonies, but the ones that are over faster than it took for the wedding party to walk in, are a bit too short. They had two friend officiating who took turns reading and telling stories about the two. They had a friend who was a great musician play a few songs and bring in the wedding party. Right after the ceremony the bride and groom, with their parents, greeted all the guests on their way to the huge pavilion for cocktails, dinner, and dancing.
Again, the pavilion was perfect, perfect, perfect. The table decorations were simple and so lovely. At the entry they had a tree and paper ornaments for you to write your wishes or advice for the newlyweds. Obviously, I did not have any advice, but I did wish them 60 plus years together. The bar was well stocked and the food was delicious. Even the stuff for the kids was super good, I mean who could resist some mac and cheese? After dinner and cake cutting, the dance party started. Their first dance was to a really great cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and then the jitterbugging commenced. One of the best things about going home or to the Midwest in general is jitterbugging. For those of you who don’t know, the best way to describe it is a kind of cowboy swing dance. The faster the better. I was pretty sure I was going to topple over a time or two in my platform sandals from being out of practice, but a good partner always keeps you on your toes.
Laura's beautiful wedding!

Laura’s beautiful wedding!

We made mom promise that she wouldn’t make us go home early, that we would get to dance until the party actually ended. We even got her up there dancing for a bit. It’s always entertaining to realize that your parents might actually be good dancers. We kept dancing until the park rangers kicked us out. They are a strict bunch. On the way home we got my mom to actually tell us about how she and dad met. I knew the general story, but not the whole story. I didn’t know how my dad proposed. I did know that they met and were married 11 months later. I  did know that the priest that that was suppose to marry them refused and said they wouldn’t last a year, so they moved the wedding across the state of South Dakota, about 400 miles. Which made is so that some of the wedding party couldn’t make it.  I assumed it had something to do with my dad not really being religious. Not the case. It was all a pretty interesting story, kinda funny and my parents have been married for 33 years now. So I guess that priest was a bit off… Anyway it was fun way to end a wedding day.

Sunday we got up to decorate the town hall in Vale for the anniversary party and get ready for all of the family. My grandparents were actually married June 3rd, but we moved the party back a couple weeks to coincide with Laura’s wedding so that more people could make it for both. I got to see a lot of family I haven’t seen in years, that I didn’t even remember. There was a lot of babies. People shocked that I’m not married, don’t have a baby myself. That’s always fun. At least I’m not divorced! My friend, Brenda, also stopped by on her way home with her three year old. It was so good to see her again, and be reminded of the insane energy a small child possess that I do not. It was really a weekend of birth control. Anyway, the party was really fun and after the immediate family went back to the farm for dinner, beer pong and quarters. Great end to a family filled weekend! We should probably do it more frequently than every 10 years.
Random assortment of images from the weekend

Random assortment of images from the weekend

PS- Sorry for the lack of pictures, I wasn’t with it this trip.
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