Saturday, September 08, 2007


Last weekend, we threw a surprise party for my dad who turned 80 this past Tuesday

The planning began to go awry close to party time. We were supposed to get access to the back room at the restaurant to quickly decorate before Dad, Mom and my Texas sister, Janice, and her clan arrived at 2:30. As Meghan and I were driving to the restaurant, I called Mom to let her know we were on our way. She let me know they were on their way, too, because she said they were supposed to be there at 2:00 and there was no way she could hold Dad back. He was hungry.

Hoo boy.

Jenni and Tim were on their way to get balloons, etc., so I told them to abort and head to the restaurant.

Janice called and said they had successfully diverted Dad to a Starbucks saying that my niece, Jessie, needed a coffee before going to lunch. I relayed this to Meghan, who said, "Grandpa's not dumb. He knows."

I called Jenni and Tim and told them to abort the aborting and continue getting balloons, etc.

At the appointed time, Dad, Mom and Janice's clan arrived and Dad seemed surprised.

Part of that was because we had kept it a secret, even from Mom, that Meghan was able to attend. I wish I had a picture of the look on Mom's face when she saw Meghan. I haven't seen her move so fast in ages as she did when she made a bee-line for her.

Janice told us that when she announced it was time to leave Starbucks, Dad stayed put, announcing he wasn't ready to leave.

He was messing with them, the stinker.

Little Miss Annarae was able to attend, but her parents had to work. She was escorted by her Grandpa Bob and Grandma Carol. They almost lost the privilege of escorting her. On the way to St. Louis, they stopped at a Target where they lost one of Annarae's shoes and one of the pearl earrings that The Other Grandma gave her. (Carol said she had a pair just like them and The Other Grandma would never know.) And the next morning at breakfast, Carol and Bob bobbled a handoff over the table, dragging Annarae's foot through a bowl of oatmeal, which flipped and landed on a lady at another table. You'd think they would be more practiced than that.

I happend to think Jenni looked quite natural holding a baby. This was the first time she met her cousin's baby.

Tim introduced himself to Annarae, telling us that babies usually didn't like him at first.

Annarae gave him careful consideration....not real sure about kissing the guy with the goofy hair.

And then made her decision.

Oh, but wait. There's icecream? Well, that's different. It's genetic.

The next day, Annarae found the Baby in the Mirror at my parents house.

She carefully considered whether or not she liked The Baby in the Mirror.

Then decided to give The Baby a kiss.

And here's the whole clan that was able to attend.

Back row; those who married into the family; Ken (Jessie's husband), Tim (Jenni's husband); Don (Janice's husband); and Bob (Carol's husband)

Next row, The Cousins: Jessie, Jenni and Meghan (Missing are Robert Wayne; Kevin; and Annarae's parents, Stacey and Chase
Next row: The Sisters: Carol, Janice, Donna.

Front Row: Dad, Mom and, of course, Annarae.

Also missing from this post is the story about How The Texans Turned a 14 Hour Trip Into A 21 Hour Odessy (or, DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO GET OUT OF ARKANSAS?!?!) I omitted that story because it's a sad reflection on the family, and heavens, I wouldn't want to do that!

Also missing from the festivities was this guy:

Who arrives next Saturday to help my daughter move to the frozen Northeast. To live. A thousand miles away from her mother.

boo hoo