Musings: Family

Today’s topic is: “Write a post inspired by this word: Family.” 

I am incredibly fortunate to have several groups I call “family”. Here is how my definition of family has evolved over time.

This is the family I was born into… My beautiful mother holding me, while my silly sister makes faces on my dad’s lap; Vermont, 1977.


This is the family I grew up in… My little brother sitting on my stepdad’s lap, with mom, me and my sister looking ever-so-stylish; Arizona, 1990.

1989 Family Portrait

(Here is a more recent photo of my entire immediate family: my mom and stepdad, my all-grown-up little brother, my sister and her husband, my husband and our 1.5 children; Christmas 2013.)


This is the family I created… Me and my ruggedly handsome husband with our two beautiful daughters; Minnesota, 2015.

P1160175 (2)

And this is the unbelievably enormous family I married into.


See that tiny red square at the top? That’s my husband’s parents. They had 13 sons and 1 daughter (my hubby is the purple box #9.) Their purple children married green and had yellow grandchildren, who married dark blue and had light blue great-grandchildren. (Actually, this chart was last updated about two years ago and there have been five or six additions since then, including the announcement of the first baby in the next generation, a great-great-grandchild due this June!)

You’ve heard the phrase “there’s an app for that” but in this family “there’s a brother for that” or a niece or a nephew. We’ve got a farmer (or eight), a couple home builders, a handful of excavators, more than a few real estate agents, an accountant, a carpenter, a professional quilter or two, several carpet layers, a teacher, a banker, a snowplow driver, a golf course owner, an interior decorator, a car dealer, two dental hygienists, a sand-pit operator, multiple homeschoolers, and about a dozen stay-at-home moms. (On my side of the family, we have a naturopathic doctor, a data analyst, a retired judge, a retired art teacher, and a sports journalist.)

Even though the majority of his huge family lives in southeastern Minnesota, we don’t have a chance to get together often. In fact, I don’t think there has ever been a complete family reunion, with all 160-ish of the kids, grandkids, and great-grands. But, weddings and high school graduation parties are typically well attended, and about 65 people (40%) usually make it to a Thanksgiving weekend potluck at Brother #7’s house.

I am truly blessed!


Who do you consider as part of your family? Please share in the comments.

~ Phoebe DeCook

(P.S. If you missed my introduction to these daily “Musings”, you can read from the beginning here.)


4 thoughts on “Musings: Family

  1. Brenda DeCook says:

    You’ve done an admirable job trying to list all occupations and I thought I’d help just a bit. Speaking for the family of Son #1, we have in addition to those you’ve mentioned, an architect, a Physician’s Assistant, two Social Workers, a CPS, an attorney, a clinical assistant & a County assessor. And as you state more grandchildren than shown. Ryan has three and Kara is about to deliver her second. This is a fun post!


  2. Mary Eastvold says:

    Do you need name tags when you all get together?


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