October 6, 2016

When Bethany Visits

This is my sister, Bethany. She and I are 12 years apart. She is an amazing wife, mother, sister, and friend. She is creative, energetic and talented.

And this is Blaise. He's the youngest of her three, and the first one I have met. He charmed me completely.

Bethany and Blaise came to visit in September and it was wonderful! I can't express the joy it brought me to look out my window and see this - my children playing in the yard with their aunt and cousin. 

It had been seven years or so since I had seen my sister. Waaay too long! It was so good to catch up. We joked and looked through old photo albums. We laughed as baby Blaise chased Joey through the house.

We did stuff. Ordinary stuff. We talked. We had dinner toether. We picked apples, fed the ducks and chickens, and hung laundry on the line. Tico played with the baby. We ran errands. And we took pictures... lots of pictures. Most of the pictures were taken by my sister. She has a knack for making the ordinary appear special.

Some of my favorite pictures were taken on the evening of my birthday. I knew the photo shoot was designed to keep me distracted while party preparations were made, but I didn't mind. Bethany took photos of me with some of my favorite people and it warms my heart to see them.

Annie came out long enough to tell me I wasn't allowed in the house.

Mary is my little sunshine girl.

Alex is far too amused that he's now taller than I am.

David is a dork. That's why I like him.

Joey hugs are the best.

All too quickly our visit was over. Bethany and Blaise are back home in Virginia, And we are here, not in Virginia... I miss them.

I think I'll just have to win the lottery and move all of my family out here. Yeah. That will work.

September 30, 2016

Celebrating Sasquatch

Our family loves to celebrate - often. We make a big deal over holidays, Church Feast days, anniversaries, Sundays, and sometimes a random day of the week (just because.) There are movie nights, complete with blankets, pillows, popcorn, and the whole family squished together on the couches. I love to pull out a colorful tablecloth and the "special" dishes to make an otherwise ordinary meal meaningful. It's not unusual to see white Christmas lights strung across the room regardless the time of year. Memories are made. Traditions formed. Seasons marked. It's what we do.

Birthdays are particularly festive around here. Parties usually involve a theme, homemade decorations, background music (or sound effects) and occasionally costumes. Everyone pitches in to prepare the surprise, and The Reveal (when we finally allow the birthday person into the room to see what we have done), is a delight to us all.

My sister and baby nephew were here for a visit in September, just in time to celebrate my 44th birthday. They joined my kiddos in preparing a party I would remember for years to come.

They threw me a Sasquatch Party. Awesomeness...

It was actually a Bigfoot-themed cafe called the Sassy Squatch  (referencing a fun episode of Psych) ...with an open mic night, thank you very much. 

They know me so well. You see, I have cultivated an appreciation for the ridiculous and I love those "Searching for Bigfoot" shows.  I don't care if he's real or not. (I'm totally lying.)  If it's on TV, I'm so there. Weird, right?

Ready for a Bigfoot hunt?

They had me laughing from the get-go.

Joey the baby Yeti

Alex and David, maybe?

Who needs cake when we have ice cream sundaes?

My sister, Bethany and her youngest, Blaise

After dinner I changed into jammies, and we gathered on the couches to enjoy the show. First Mary played harmonica, then Joey played the balloon. Okay, mostly he spat and giggled, but it was entertaining.

Then the gang put on a skit about a French tourist searching the Himalayas for theYeti.
Annie as the French Tourist
Mary as the Hick Guitar Player
Brendan as Bigfoot Head
Alex as Bigfoot's Right Arm
David as Bigfoot's Left Arm

Bethany sang a song she wrote just for the occasion. Best. Birthday. Song. Ever.

We played a game called "Real or Not Real" and Bigfoot tried to steal my presents. 

Bigfoot pose or Thriller dance? You decide.

The obligatory "feet" picture.

All in all, this birthday ranks up there as one of my very favorites. Thank you, my wonderful, crazy family!