Missing My Family- Works For Me Wednesday

family reunion

This week for WFMW I actually need your tips instead of giving you my inadequate words of wisdom.

My dad is one of seven children (also it is his birthday today. Happy Birthday!!!). Many of his brothers and sisters were equally fertile so that side of the family is quite large. Most of them are in Iowa so seeing them has become a rarity. I  miss them.

My mom has three siblings. There aren’t as many cousins but I grew up seeing them often and spending summers hanging out with them. My grandparents lived on a lake and we would gather there and spend lazy afternoons lounging on inner tubes sharing life secrets. Most of them are in Iowa too, but we thankfully have Facebook to keep us updated.

When I moved to Grand Rapids, one of the reasons was to be near my husband’s family. He grew up here, his parents are here, and actually much of his family tree from the last few generations is still within a hour or so. Seriously. People don’t leave here. It is crazy. But getting his family together seems to only happen once a year too.

We consider ourselves extremely family oriented. We make our schedules ensuring that our family gets good time together. We treasure the fact that our kids see their grandparents pretty much weekly.

But seeing extended family is challenging. Once you fit in your immediate family time and all of their competing scheduling conflicts, then factor in the fact you simply don’t want to be scheduled all the time,  everyone is really busy. Facebook can’t replace face time although it is a definite blessing.

I really miss my extended family and have been making more efforts to try and arrange reunions but getting that many people on the same page is next to impossible. Getting them to even respond to an email is challenge enough. Add in a nine hour trip and this is crazy difficult.

So how do you manage to stay close to all the cousins, aunts and uncles? And is it even important to try?

Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables is celebrating ‘Get Back to the Table Month’ by encouraging families across America to pledge to reunite with their loved ones and offering a chance for one lucky family to win a reunion for up to 10 family members. So this wouldn’t exactly put a dent in my family, but maybe I could just pick my favorites (just kidding!!)

The winning family will receive travel and hotel accommodations to gather for a reunion dinner, total prize valued at $20,000. To enter, families can submit a family photo and short caption on the Family Reunion Contest tab at the Libby’s Table Facebook page. I really want to do something of the Awkward Family Photo variety don’t you?

Entries begin today, Monday, August 29, and run through Friday, September 23, at 11:59 a.m. Libby’s will be selecting five finalists and asking America to determine the grand prize winner by voting on the Family Reunion Contest tab at the Libby’s Table Facebook page from Monday, October 3, through Friday, October 21, at 11:59 a.m. The winner will be announced during the week of October 31.

I am thinking I would pick a reunion destination someplace very, very warm in the dead of winter. Family, fruity drinks with umbrellas in them, and laughter sounds like a perfect vacation to me.

How do you stay close to family?

This post was compensated by Libby’s and Blissful Media group. All opinions and genuine love of family are my own. This post is linked up to Works For Me Wednesday.


  1. Skype is a big deal in these parts. We’re only a few hours from aunts/uncles/grandparents on my side, but on my husband’s side we’re an OCEAN apart. Skype is better than phone and text and email and facebook because they can see the kids and interact with them, show off toys, etc. I don’t know about you, but my little ones just aren’t great on the phone. Make a skype date with a different family member each month – new school year goal? Good luck!! :)
    Erin G recently posted…Real Life with Three Kids… Day OneMy Profile

  2. Shelley says:

    For my mom’s family, we have a standing reunion date of the last Saturday in June. Everyone knows that’s the date every year. My dad’s family rents a school gym every Thanksgiving, and that’s the reunion place each year. For my hubby’s family, we get together the day after Christmas. I think the key is choosing one date every year (or however often you want to meet up with everyone), so that every family knows just when to count on a reunion.
    Note: we are based in GR, but have people coming in from all over the country from each of the families.

    • Great tip. That is totally what we need to do!!

      • Same thing for my maternal grandmother’s family. Ours is actually next Saturday because it is the third Saturday in September – every year! I haven’t been in several years but was able to plan for it because I knew when it would be.

  3. I am the world’s worst at staying in touch with non-immediate family. Truth be known, I can be pretty bad WITH my immediate family. I blame it on moving 1000 miles away when I was 18. I haven’t lived near them in so long I’ve just lost track.

    However, with the family I do stay in touch with, it’s very important to me. Phone calls, emails, texts, etc. With my younger brothers, facebook and texting is the best option. And while it isn’t this really deep conversation, it’s a way to stay connected.
    Sarah recently posted…Top Ten Unneeded Baby ItemsMy Profile

  4. We too use Skype a lot. My kids are teens and below and would not know their cousins that live 1800 miles from us without it.
    I know it doesn’t replace a face to face but our kids just hang out on there with their cousins and often their true personalities shine through by the end of the call. It’s really fun!
    Carrie recently posted…Fourth Generation Bedroom Suit – Restoring BeautyMy Profile

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