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Around an Elephant

During the last week, Jared and I traveled to Carbondale, Illinois where we’ll be living during grad school.  
After we got things wrapped up in Carbondale we drove to Cozad, Nebraska.  
I think Cozad is an awesome name for a town.  Especially a tiny town.  Especially a tiny town in the middle of Nebraska.  Especially a tiny town with a gigantic elephant.
We gathered with all of the “Stahla” clan: all of Jared’s mom’s family.  All of us.  Apparently, this hasn’t happened in quite some time.  It almost happened last summer for a wedding, but Jared and I were the party poopers and didn’t make it across the country during a camp season.
But, this fall, Jared’s “Grandma and Papa Goose” as we call them are celebrating their 50th anniversary (Happy Anniversary, Grandma and Papa!).  
So, Wednesday night, we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant in Cozad, Nebraska and had our picture taken.  With the giant elephant.  At a Mexican restaurant.  With a giant elephant.  With a gigantic elephant, right in front of the servers of “Authentic Mexican Food”.  
Who knows why they have a giant elephant.  I don’t.  I just smiled for the picture.
We spent a couple days together, eating, sharing memories, tubing, setting off fire works, and all sorts of general cheery slothfulness that comes when you gather a whole family together. 
Would you like to meet them?  
I thought you might.
The couple of the event, Grandma and Papa Goose.   We stayed at their cottage in Cozad, but they actually live about thirty minutes away in Lexington.
Next, their oldest daughter, my mother-in-law.  Ummmm…. so this is the only picture I could find of my in-laws together from the last week.  But they’re pretty people, I promise.  They live in the Northeast corner of Colorado.
After Peggy is Rocky, and his wife Nancy.  They live in Grand Island, Nebraska (Grand Island is pretty much in the middle of the state, in case you were wondering).
After Rocky is the next lad, Uncle Russ and Aunt Dana.  Russ, Dana, and kiddos live in Alaska.  Yes, Jared and I do hope to visit them someday.
Finally, the youngest daughter is Jenny and her hubs (whose wedding we missed last year), Matt.  They live in Bend, Oregon.  
And then, there’s the rest of us “kids” who cause general ruckus and shenanigans.  
How many cousins can you fit on a water couch?
How high can we throw fireworks into the air before they land in the water?
The attack of the water monster.  Beware.
Piñata twirling and smashing!
 I really enjoyed getting to know Jared’s extended family better… they’re pretty cool people and I’m excited that they’re stuck with me for the rest of my life…. poor people, they don’t really know what they’re getting into.  But, we have a whole life time to figure it out.

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