Last year we started a new tradition on my dad’s side of the family: a family reunion!!! With my sisters and myself all grown up now, it can be hard to see each other and our Dad and Nana. Our Nana suggested a family reunion every summer and we were all in!!
Last year we stayed in Paso Robles, California, where we are from and my Dad and Nana still live. We rented a Vacation Rental Home that was actually the house that my Dad grew up in!! We also grew up visiting our Nana in that house for at least 10 years, so it was so cool to be back!! It was the perfect way to start our new tradition!
This year we decided to have our reunion in Missouri because both of my sisters live there and have two kids each so it would be easier on them if they didn’t have to travel far with the little ones!! We originally booked an awesome cabin in Branson since it is a tourist destination however VRBO cancelled the reservation without giving us a reason why. We were really sad, especially since there weren’t any other places available for rent in Branson at that point. We settled on Springfield and still had such a fun time!!
Our family is really small so our family reunion consisted of myself and my husband, my twin sister, Kacie, and her husband, Tanner. Their two kids, Haylee (2) and Emmitt (10 months). My older sister, Elizabeth, her husband, Andrew, and their two kids, Roman (3) and Quinn (5 months). And then my Dad, David, and my Nana, Eunice. Our two cousins couldn’t make it this year and they were very missed!
Our reunion probably isn’t your typical reunion. We didn’t do much but hanging out and enjoying one another’s company was exactly what we needed! For some of us, we only see each other once a year! So spending four days in an amazing house, cooking and playing games and chasing kids, is exactly what I need!!
Here is a little look into our 5ish days in Springfield at our 2nd Annual Dieter Family Reunion!!
This day was really just arriving to our house and getting everything set up. We delegated who would get which room (totally forgot to take pictures of the inside of the house!!) and Haylee had so much fun exploring the house, especially climbing up on the top bunk in one of the rooms! Then we started dinner. We took turns cooking dinner each night so Tim and I cooked the first night! We made some of our favorites: bacon wrapped chicken with brown sugar and sweet potato hash with bell peppers and bacon! It was so good!! This day was also the first time my Dad and Nana got to meet my nephew, Emmitt, and the first time many of us got to meet my niece, Quinn! We were all so happy. We had an early morning the next day so we all headed to bed!
Branson!!!! Even though we didn’t get to stay in Branson, we knew we needed to make a trip out there at some point! We decided to go on a Duck Tour. My Nana had been on one in Philadelphia (I think) so we decided it would be a good option since she loved it then. And we knew the kids would have a blast! If you don’t know what a duck tour is, it is basically a bus that can drive on land and in the water! I must admit, driving into the water was a little scary! We had a lot of fun driving around Branson and learning all about the history of the town. While in the water, the kids got to drive the duck! They had so much fun. After lunch at a buffet we headed back home. We were all ready for a nap at that point! Afterwards there was more playing and then a delicious dinner made by Elizabeth and Andrew! We had Turkey BLTs, fries and fruit salad! We also did a little photo shoot in our custom made reunion shirts made by Kacie! How cute are they?! I felt so silly in matching t-shirts walking around Branson, but it was pretty fun! Felt like I was in a comedy movie! After the kids and Nana and Dad went to bed, we all played some games! First up was Cards Against Humanity. Around 2 in the morning, we called it a night!
Day three was pretty relaxed! The guys went to Bass Pro Shop (the biggest in the country?) and the girls went grocery shopping. So not much fun there, well a least for us girls haha. I heard the guys had a blast! After nap time the kids ate some watermelon which was so hilarious! They made a mess and loved every second of it! Our Dad grilled some ribs that night and it was so good!!! He made our favorite macaroni salad too! It was a great dinner. There was some music played by Tim and sung by Elizabeth. Then Tim showed Roman a few things on the piano. I always love seeing him interact with our nieces and nephews! We had another late night staying up till 2am again! We played Fluxx and Superfight. If you haven’t heard about either of them, look them up!
Day four was another relaxed day! We went to Cracker Barrel for Father’s Day. We haven’t gotten to spend Father’s Day with our dad in four years so it was so nice to be with him! When we got home we had a water balloon fight! The kids had so much fun even though their balloons pretty much just popped at their feet haha. I forgot to get a picture of dinner that night but Kacie and Tanner made a delicious taco spaghetti! I went back for seconds, and maybe thirds! After dinner Elizabeth and Andrew headed home since Andrew had work the next morning. Haylee was so sweet saying goodbye to her cousins. Those of us that were left still decided to have a game night and stay up late! It was our last night together, so why not!! We played Politics and Phase 10. We also had some fun with some silly cups! Like Kacie’s mug with a cute, silly baby on it. And my shot glass of chocolate milk that Tanner gave me when I asked for a glass. Before we went to bed I let Tanner smash a huge slice of watermelon into my hair. Not sure why, but it was funny!
This was the day the rest of us went home, so not super eventful! We packed up the house and then headed to lunch. We went to a delicious burger and shake place downtown and then got some gelato. Then we all parted ways and my heart broke!
I already miss my family so much and I have already started planning next years reunion!! Thanks for sticking around for this super long post! My family means so much to me and I am so happy to share our time together with you!