The Tovey Family celebrated another year of familydom, and this year there were more babies than ever! I finally got to see My Danny, and Kevin and Carisa, and meet Carisa's sons, Weston and Harrison, and see so many family members that I haven't been able to mingle with in several years. Unfortunately, My Danny's brother, Derek, and his sister-in-law, Tiffany were unable to make it. Fortunately, that was due to the fact that on July 3rd they welcomed their first child, and first Taylor grandchild, into the world! The little guy was a bit early, and is still without a name, but I've seen pictures and boy oh boy he is a cutie!!
The best part was that all of the Tovey children were able to make it, and I captured a great photo of all of them together. To the best of my knowledge, although there have been many family photos in the meantime, this is the first time in roughly 20 years that such a photo was taken. It's pretty amazing to be surrounded by dozens of my own bloodline and know that it all started because two farmkids from Northern Idaho decided to get hitched. I don't believe in true love, and I've seen how hard my grandparents have had to work for all that they have, including their marriage, but their example shows that it IS possible to have a good relationship if you're willing to put in the effort.
On the Hensel side there has been far less good news. As you all know, last spring my uncle Bob and my dad were both diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, a degenerative and fatal disease. Last summer I was fortunate to have been able to spend several hours over the course of a few days talking to Bob, and was reminded of what a neat man he was. He faced everything in life, good or bad, with a healthy dose of cynicism, sarcasm and humor, and to see how accepting he was of such a miserable, disappointing end to his life gave me new perspective of my own. Bob died in April, several months earlier than our worst anticipated timeframe, while asleep next to his wife in the home he'd lived in for nearly 30 years. It was a devastating blow to all, but especially to my cousin, Matt, and my dad, who is now facing a similar death. It is not easy to accept that he will never meet my children, or live to enjoy the freedom he worked so hard to achieve.
However, the good news for the Hensel family is that Matt married his longtime girlfriend, Shannon, just days ago! It was a surprise to us all, but none of us could be happier than we already are that Shannon is now an official part of the Hensel clan. My other cousin, Jami, is also getting married in a few weeks to our mutual friend, Brian, and I am greatly looking forward to attending their wedding to celebrate their union! It will be a damn good time!
I quit grad school back in January, and I have rarely felt so liberated. I will write a more thorough explanation as to what lead to that decision, but it isn't currently important. What IS important is that I am on the job market (still) and it is exceedingly stressful. If any of you know of a part time position opening up, let me know so that I can apply asap! :) I am living back in Walla Walla, which is taking some getting used to. I'm not used to the constant noise and lack of privacy, but I am grateful to have such a safe, comfortable place to live considering my current unemployment. I am also glad to be near my family, and I don't wish to be separated from them much in the future. Life isn't very long, and I would like to ensure I don't miss any more milestones in Max and Alora's lives.