June 28, 2012

Not only did we get to see the town and farms of Abernathy, but we also got to spend time on a ranch in South Texas. I guess we were pretty much were all over Texas. The annual Castilleja Family Reunion, his mom’s side of the family, was at Ben’s cousin’s ranch and it was a pretty amazing place. During our drive in North Texas and in South Texas, we would talk about how nice it would be to have a house on some land where your neighbor can’t peer straight into your house to see all your business. This is kind of a funny thing because when Ben’s dad passed, he left us some land (Ben shared it with his sister and his aunt) in North Texas that we sold and was pretty much the only reason we were able to ever buy anything in Southern California, so the fact that we talk about wanting land in Texas is kind of ironic. For now, we will just keep the wide open space dreaming conversations happening every time we drive through Texas. I think Ben and I are such homebodies and pretty much do all our shopping online that we could pretty much move to the middle of nowhere.

The reunion was so much fun and it was especially wonderful to see the girls running around everywhere and playing with their cousins. They don’t have any cousins here, so it is so great that they were able to spend time to with some over there. In addition to little cousins, there were horses, chickens, roosters, cats (and kittens), dogs (and puppies), oh and lots of mosquitos (I look like a spotted leopard now). There were family meals, games, hay rides, horse rides, auctions, picture taking, swimming, eating again, and basically just a whole lot of family bonding. The fun this past weekend was pretty endless.

Ben’s cousin and her husband, the owners of the ranch, would tell us all about ranch life and particularly the horses and we really loved hearing all the stories. We really just love hearing stories. You could tell they were so proud of this place they have built and the beautiful family along with it. We were in such awe at all of it. It is also evident that a lot, I mean a whole lot, of hard work goes into maintaining it, but it’s what they love, so it makes it all worth it.

I am so happy that we were able to go to the reunion this year, especially since the last time we went was 10 years ago when we barely started dating. I would look at my girls throughout the day and smile because they were having so much fun being free and spending time with animals. Well, True and Brave were, but Soul doesn’t care about animals so much, at least not yet. When we first got the email that the reunion was on the ranch, Ben and I knew we had to go because the girls would be all about it… and boy were we right!


  • Becky says:

    can i just say – i love your blog! it makes me want to be a better mom, be a better photographer, dress better and learn to be comfie in front of the camera…take more pics with my sweetie…

    see what i mean, i love it! thanks for the inspiration.

  • Hannah says:

    sadly i had no time to read the text but i will later, after school!
    I just wanted to tell you that you kids are amazing, they are so gorgeous and cute. those amazing brown-black hair and these sensible faces, arrwww!

  • I love the customised t-shirts!!

  • texmimi says:

    bens cousin and husband?

  • I love your blog. Your girls are delightful.
    Can I just say – In my opinion, living in the middle of nowhere on land has it's pros but wow, having 6 kids I sure did discover a lot of cons….We live in our “home town” now and loving it again…. But I do long for the 'farm life' some days.

  • Amy Castilleja Flores says:

    I came upon your blog by googling the Castilleja name. I am Castilleja by birth and grew up near Abernathy myself. I was born in Hale Center and grew up in both Cotton Center and New Deal, all of which are each less than ten miles in every direction of Abernathy. I currently live in Lubbock but only after living all over the country due to my husbands military career. We lived in San Diego, CA for four years and that is where I call my second home. I look forward to continue to read your blog and am looking forward to attending the next Castilleja reunion in Las Vegas!

    • Roxanne Castilleja says:

      I am a Castilleja from Toledo, Ohio and Im trying to find out information on the family reuion in Las Vegas can anyone let me know who I can contact?

  • Linda castilleja cortez says:

    I am from the Castilleja Clan in Dallas Tx. I would love to say I wish I could live in the country. I love the outdoors., horses all farm animals. But I was born in the city of Dallas. A city girl who loves the country. We all have been to some of the family reunions and my kids were amazed at how big our family is and where it all started. And very proud to be Castilleja. My dad is Santiago Castilleja from Dallas his father is Eugenio Castilleja. We were hoping to make it out to Las Vegas for the reunion (who wouldn’t love to go) but unfortunately were not going to be able to make. My dad who turns 80 yrs old on may 19 th was diagnosed with colon an lung cancer. He is going thru his chemo treatments as I’m writing this. This is his second treatment. His cancer was caught to late. All they can do is slow it down, we were all heart broken of course. Please keep my dad in your prayers but also here in Dallas they are having a walkathon for the lung cancer foundation. We are picking donations to fight this horrible disease. We have our own little team out there if anybody of the Castiileja families would like to donate, any amount is appreciated you can go under the websit “FREETOBREATHE.ORG. AND DONATE UNDER OUR PARTICIPATING TEAM. ” GRAMPA’S PRAYER WARRIORS. OUR TEAM CAPTAIN IS MY DAUGHTER ESTELLA MONTALVO. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE LUNG CANCER RESEARCH AND AWARENESS. YOU WILL SEE DADS PICTURE IN THERE SURROUNDED BY ALL HIS PRAYER WARRIORS. ( great grand kids ). I know my dad is not the only castiileja fighting this disease right now but Let the Castilleja family make a difference. THANK YOU. PLEASE KEEP MY DAD IN YOUR PRAYERS. AND GOD BLESS EVRY SINGLE CASTLLEJA OUT THERE.

  • Isaac Castilleja says:

    I am a Castilleja from New Braunfels Texas. We have many relatives all over and I love how we are all connected. My grandmother and grandfather have passed. So I am going to try to keep tradition alive in my town. God bless all if you..

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