The Annual Family Reunion River Trip

posted by Brittney

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I grew up with a small family. So, when I moved 3 hours away from home and went to Baylor for college, somehow my friends and I formed our own family. We literally acted like a family. Ate meals together, hung out with each other 24/7, called on each other when we were in trouble, shared ups and downs together, and laughed WITH & AT each other like we were related...they were my home away from home.

Honestly, I'm not sure how it happened. We all shared something in common, we bonded, and that was that. We just became our own family.
We joke a lot that we are like the Friend's characters. In college, we would just walk into each other's apartments without warning; we didn't really care about privacy. We all knew each others little secrets, quirks, & what made each other tick. A couple of us dated, aka Eric & I, and we just had the personalities of some of the characters. It was so much fun. I miss those days.

Tom, me, Eric, Caitlin, Chris, & we never really had a Phoebe (until last year...KIMBER)
I love that when Eric & I were picking bridesmaids and groomsmen for our wedding, it just came so easily to us. We knew exactly who we wanted, thanks to the friendships we had formed in college. It makes me happy knowing that it was just Eric's friends that were groomsmen, and it wasn't just my friends that were bridesmaids. They were all our friends. It's an uplifting thought.

It's weird because we are all connected somehow by someone in the group. Cooley and Jake went to high school with me and college as well (obviously). Cooley was on the baseball team with Eric...he was the one who introduced us. Jake's roommate, Shipper, was Eric's engineering study buddy and friend. Chris was Eric's roommate, who just lucked into the living situation via a former roommate. Tom, was Eric's roommate, but we had a ton of classes together. Paul was also on the baseball team with Eric, but I knew his then-girlfriend because of classes and sorority stuff.
Tom, my "brother", couldn't come this year...missed you Partane!
Oh boys.
Cooley, me, Jake
Caitlin, Shipper, me, Eric
Chris, Caitlin, Jake, me, Eric
Jake, Caitlin, me, Eric
Chris, me, Shipper, Jake
Jake & freshman AXO formal. Seems like forever ago!

C's up!
Eric, Tom, & Chris the morning of our wedding!
Are y'all following?! Keep up! ;)

Kourt went to HS with me and then went to A&M, but we talked regularly through college, and she just kind of became one of us. Kimber, my AXO little, bonded with all the guys too, thanks to lots of sorority functions that required dates. So of course, we brought the boys.

Me & Kimber at one of our many AXO functions
I was either the only girl in the group a lot of times, or my roomie, Caitlin, and I were the only girls, so I always had body guards, and I knew all of those guys had my back for anything. And same goes for today. We are all here for each other.

This is where the river trip comes into play. We decided a few years ago, that in order to keep in touch and have a little fun, we would start an annual river trip. Who knows, maybe it will be a beach trip this coming year?! Anyways, it all started with Eric's bachelor party. It was all the guys plus a few more and they of course had a blast.
The next year, we rented the same exact house, but invited a few of the chicas to tag along. And it all began.

This past weekend, we went to the same location, but a different house. And we loved it! The location was perfect and the house was made for entertaining. Needless to say, if we go to the Guadalupe again this next year, we will most definitely be renting the same house. It was perfect.

Doggies waiting for their friends
We went to the Gristmill Friday night for dinner once everyone got there. We didn't have as big of a group as last year, but no worries, we still made it work :)

After the Gristmill, we just went back to the house and hung out. We enjoy just letting loose for a couple of days, since we never get to do that anymore. Welcome to being a grown-up I guess?

The usual C-town picture. We obviously all went to HS together.
Saturday morning, we got up early late and made breakfast for everyone. We waiting for Kimber to get there since she was driving in that morning and then we headed to get tubes to float the river.

[Side note--I am picking up the waterproof camera pictures next week. I can't wait to see how those turned out. They are always the best. Be sure to check Facebook to get a good laugh.]

We did the 4-hour float this year instead of the 3-hour float, and I think we had even more fun than last year!!

When we got back, we all crashed and then we Eric grilled fajitas, and then just hung out/got crazy the rest of the night.

Don't ask.
Also, don't ask.


I feel so lucky to have been blessed with such amazing friendships. I'm so glad I met these people, and that we have remained close even after college. I love that we do this trip every year, just to catch up and have a good time. It was definitely much needed this year. And I'm sure we will have just as much fun, if not more next year.
Until 2014 friends, that is a wrap on the 2013 annual reunion trip.

Also on this trip, before we went to New Braunfels, we made a side trip to San Antonio to go meet my sweet niece Avery, who was born at the end of May. She is one of the most precious things I have ever laid eyes on, other than my niece Abigail, who will be 3 years old this year! Can't. even. believe. it.
We also got to have family time with the Udell side of the family, and I can't get enough of spending time with the beautiful and adorable Abigail. She is so smart for an almost-3-year-old, and she can talk and talk for days on end. I love to have quality time with just the 2 of us. It makes me feel so special. I got to play with her for almost an hour just by ourselves, and I think that was my favorite part of the trip. This little girl is amazing, and I'm sure Avery will be just the same.

I love you so much Avery Nicole!
Precious baby girl.
One of my favorite pictures of the trip...Abigail & Uncle Eric
Until next time!

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