To the Fullest


Last weekend, Brad and I left the state for the first time since we moved to Michigan and headed south to Kentucky for my grandmother's 80th birthday celebration. Despite a cold, rainy week leading up to the day, we were fortunate enough to end up with sunshine and perfect, cool weather--great for all of us, since the party was held outdoors in my grandparents' back yard.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the decorations my parents had toted all the way from Virginia: paper lanterns, topiaries, and votive holders, all recycled from my wedding reception. I've gotta say--beside everything looking really pretty and fitting the bill for a birthday party, the decorations were a nice reminder of another special day.

See? They looked good then, too.

After propping up chairs, prepping the photo board, and setting out food, it wasn't long before my grandparents showed up from a very lengthy after-church drive around town. The recap:

*After seeing my grandma's Subaru drive down the street, we all start yelling the obligatory "they're here" warnings so everyone can stop what they're doing and get their cameras ready.*

*A minute goes by, and the photo board my sister and I have propped by the inside garage door wobbles as my grandparents unsuccessfully try to enter the breezeway via their usual route. Plan B: they walk around and come in through the outside door. After another minute, we see my grandma come to the top of the deck, and we all cheerfully yell, "Surprise!" to her happy/excited face. Then, she gives us all a warm welcome*:

"Hello! I'll be right out . . . just as soon as I go to the bathroom."

Hey, I get it. If I had been sitting in church all day, followed by an impromptu trip to Sam's with no break in between, well . . . I'm just sayin'.

My grandmother's grand entrance
Anyway, she made it back and the party went off without a hitch. We all ate chicken sandwiches and mashed potatoes until we popped, then did more of the same with cake and ice cream. Completely worth it.

The two cakes
The birthday girl, cutting her cakes
I'd have to say, hands-down, that the best part of the weekend was seeing family again for the first time in about two and a half months. It's not so bad adjusting to being on your own, but when you meet up with everyone again, it's like nothing's changed.

Brad and my uncle, Pat
My sister, Carolyn. She likes to giggle and I often giggle with her.
My dad started throwing candy corn at people. He is a child.
Brad, dying laughing after being attacked by flying candy corn (machine gun-style)
My mom, the other birthday girl! Born the day after her mom/my grandma. In a different year, of course.

After getting attacked by stray candy corn, my uncle, Joe, decided to play along.

Finally, before we got a jump start on the 6-hour drive home, there was some cleaning up to do. But that didn't put a damper on the fun.


Brad and Carolyn apparently got carried away by balloons.
Oh, and look at that--my aunt, Becky, decided to join in and photo bomb Carolyn. Nicely-played.

Can't wait 'til Virginia this weekend. Whoops, did I let that one slip? ;-) See ya soon.