Monday, July 2, 2012


I haven't blogged in a while because I've been away. Wednesday we left for Maryland for a somewhat family reunion for my grandma's almost 80th birthday. Caden did really well on the long flight. I was so relieved! We went straight to my grandmother's first, and Caden threw up in the car. Lovely. But he bounced back quickly. He and Grandma didn't really click. She prefers babies and he prefers men.

Next we went to Uncle Dennis's house, where my family was staying, and had a nice dinner on the patio. Caden really liked Uncle Dennis. Then off to my cousin Angie's where we stayed. Caden loved her two cats and chased them around the house every day, saying "meow." He also loved the stairs at both houses.

Thursday my half-sister, Christina, came with her newborn baby girl. She is so darling! Grandma came over too with her friend Linda and brought lunch for us all. That night we went to dinner at a Spanish restaurant that served tapas, or appetizer-sized dishes shared with everyone. It was a very delicious and interesting experience.

Friday my brother Stevie arrived. It was a chillax day and the hottest of all the days we were there. I was getting tired stopping Caden from going downstairs and getting into things, so we went to the park down a trail across from my uncle's house. It was a beautiful little hike, just ridiculously hot and humid. In the evening Justin, my dad, Stevie, Angie, and her boyfriend, Mike, went to the Orioles game. That night was a terrible thunderstorm that kept Caden awake until 10:30. Thankfully, everyone (including my other brother and his family, who flew in that night) arrived home safely.

Saturday was the big day: Grandma's somewhat surprise party. I ran errands with Angie. We decided to go with a Hollywood theme to fit Grandma's drama and flair and to represent her younger days. We even bought her red, glitttery, star glasses; a light-up, fake diamond ring; and a red carpet. Aunt Laura did all the cooking, my brother's kids put up the decorations, and Uncle Dennis put on Big Band swing.

All the guys danced with Grandma.

Grandma was pleasantly surprised. After some hugging and snacking, I gathered everyone together for a little tribute to Grandma. We each shared a funny memory of her and said something sweet about her. She loved it, of course, and I heard some pretty great stories. Then we had an Italian dinner and some cake and ice cream. Uncle Dennis surprised her with a DVD of old home videos from the Sixties and Seventies.

The only people missing are my other cousin and her husband.

Sunday we went to church with my family and niece Genesis. The ward impressed me greatly. The kids, who had gone to Girl's Camp or a boy's camp called Camp Helaman, bore their testimonies and shared great spiritual analogies they realized on their trips. The adults had wonderful testimonies too.

We relaxed the rest of the day at my uncle's and then went home to pack. I went to bed earlier than Justin, and he swears that when he came in, I felt around for his face, pulled him in and started making out with him, and then stopped and fell back asleep. I have no memory, real or dream-like, of this ever happening!

This morning my parents dropped us off at the airport and we are now in Wisconsin visiting Justin's family. I had a great time with my family, especially with my aunt, uncle, and cousin. It was wonderful fulfilling my father's wish of having all his children in one place and having my father's family finally meet Caden.

Dad with all his kids.


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