The February birthdays....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

february birthdays

February for our family is a month filled with an assortment of birthdays....my dad, two of my brothers, my sister-in-law, my aunt and then we usually tag on Jody's because his comes around at the beginning of March.  It's a fun time (and a great excuse) for us to gather together as a family to celebrate everyone's special day.  

Try as we might, we've not always been able to get everyone together--it's usually especially difficult for us to make it since we live so far away from the rest of my family; however, this year---we were super happy to be able to make it and join my extended family in celebrating all the February birthdays.

We sure had fun and lots of laughs....

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My sister-in-law, Katherine, she is dear friends with the owner of the famed Dallas Society Bakery.  She designed this beautiful and assorted birthday cake.  I just loved how it turned out.  Such a creative way to showcase all of the birthday boys and girl....my Dad, Brian, Brent, Sheri and my hubby.  

Oh my....and it really was some of the best birthday cake ever...YUM-EEE!!!  Of course, for me, the frosting is the best part.

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My youngest brother, Jeff, and his son, Marcus.

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My niece, Lola, watching closely as Jody and Noah light all the candles....

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Sheri and Beck blowing out the birthday candles...it was so cute, Beck could barely stand the wait.  He was so ready to dig into the frosting.  Before the last candle was pulled off the cake, he already had a finger in the frosting.  Too funny!!  

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My brother, Brian---it's hard to believe we're the grown ups now with families of our own.  Such a weird feeling!  Brian and I were visiting about this during the party.  It's always so special though to watch our children play together like we did so long ago when we were kids.

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My mom and I had fun joking around taking pictures of each other.  Ha...ha!! :-)

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My brother Brent listening to all the conversation around him... all the nieces and nephews love their Uncle Brent.  He's such a fun uncle.

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After the food and cake, the kids had a blast pulling out all the toys at Aunt Katherine and Uncle Brian's and playing their little hearts out.  Cousin time is the best!

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My sis-in-law, Katherine, and Jody slaving in the kitchen together...these two always like to give each other a hard time.  They are the jokesters in our family.  

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Ava pulled out her rollerblades and showed off her skating skills for us all...

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Beck and Noah are always so excited to see each other.  He enjoyed showing me his new Star Wars lightsaber.

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Dad (a/k/a Pop) enjoying some quality time with his grandkids....

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My dear nephew, Otto, isn't he just the cutest baby ever---I love this baby boy so much.  His blue eyes are just so dazzling.  He and I had some good cuddle time while we were in town for the birthday celebration.

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We had a wonderful time as a family celebrating the combined February birthdays.  At one point while everyone was sitting around visiting and in the midst of all chaos of the kids running around, my dad and I had some time to ourselves to visit.  It was really nice.  We talked about how my own big "4-0" birthday is just around the corner and how crazy that feels....for both of us actually.  Dad shared with me how strange that feels for him.  He told me how he can't believe that his oldest child is about to turn 40.   I told him how it feels so weird to even say that---I don't feel that old--but, I guess in the grand scheme of things, it isn't "that" old.  The way I see it, you might as well embrace the aging process because the alternative is not something I am ready for.  For me, I think all too often of the dear friends I have lost over the years to cancer and tragic accidents, and that always seems to put it in perspective for me. I am so very grateful to be able to say that I am about to celebrate my 40th birthday here on this earth with my loved ones.  It's borrowed time the way I see it, so why waste time trying to hide it or moan and complain about crossing over into your 40's, 50s, 60s and so forth.  But anyway.... that's just me.

I must say, what struck me during my conversation with Dad was when he shared with me how just after his 40th birthday he lost his father--my Grandaddy.  Granddaddy passed away in early March of 1987.  I vividly remember his passing.  It was the first person that I loved so dearly and lost to death.  I felt a lump form in my throat when my Dad shared this with me.  It's hard to believe that my Grandad has been gone almost 25 years now.  It's even harder to believe that my Dad is now about the age my grandaddy was when he passed away.  A humbling reminder of how short this life really is and how blessed I am to still have both my parents in my life.  

After this conversation, Dad and I continued to sit quietly there on the couch for a while.  Despite the noise and laughter going on all around us, it was if we were in our own little world.  I was grateful for this peaceful moment we had together. I then looked around the room at the rest of our family-- all of whom were seated at the kitchen table...laughing and joking with each other.  I watched and listened for a few minutes as my mom, brothers, sister-in-laws and my dear husband talked with one another about all sorts of random things.  I then looked back over at my Dad sitting next to me and noticed how he was gazing over at them as well---I wondered what he must have been thinking at that very same moment.  He had this peaceful, happy look on his face.  I'm guessing he was  probably feeling some of the same feelings I was--and then, probably many more.  I then wondered if he might now also be thinking about some of his loved ones who are no longer here who I know he misses dearly....his Dad, both of his siblings (Uncle David and Aunt Deanna), his grandparents and great-grandparents--all family that he loved so dearly in this life.  

As I pondered this thought, I made a mental note of all the blessings that were staring back at me at that very moment as we celebrated our February birthdays.  It's amazing to me how our family of six has grown in size over the years.  What a beautiful experience this has been for my parents, myself and my three brothers.  It's been a journey that has been very exciting and yet, it has also come with its own set of challenges.  We are far from perfect as a family--but I am proud to say that we have always worked at our relationships and tried our best to stay close.  We don't always agree or see eye to eye on everything--but that is to be expected.  Sometimes we may have to compromise more than we like on certain things, but we try our best to take it all in stride and keep an eternal perspective with our relationship with one another.  There are and will continue to be struggles and differences that we face individually and collectively as a family, but at the end of the day--I am so very grateful that we each fully recognize and are ever mindful of the eternal bond and deep love that exists within our family.  For we know and have learned through life experiences that family is the most important and precious gift we have been given in this life.

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"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it."
-- George Moore

XOXO....

Jennifer

3 comments:

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  2. Such a sweet post and it came at the right time. I just got back from having lunch with my grandmother who is sick with cancer and on borrowed time. I did not have much time because I wanted to get to the grocery store then she pulled out a BIG bag of pictures. At first I thought of everything I needed to do but then I thought how many more days am I going to have with her and just enjoyed my time. Though her sickness I have come to realize how fast life passes by and have decied to start a blog. More of a scrapbook of our lives.

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  3. your family is precious. beautiful post, love the sweet feet in that last photo:)

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