Today was spent catching up on 2 years of family greetings on J's side of the family. One of his sisters graciously hosted a cookout (wrongly termed as a BBQ) so we could see everyone at once. Arriving there I was astounded that so many people looked vaguely familiar but I couldn't place them. It took me about 5 minutes to figure out all the teenagers hanging around were in fact all my nieces and nephews (not to mention a couple of great nieces thrown into the mix). When we moved, they were seemingly so young. Now some have boyfriends, wives, babies... it was like a Twilight Zone episode where you've been sleeping in a coma for years only to awaken and see the world has flown by yet you have been standing still.
After the initial shock wore off that these young adults were indeed the little kids I grew up with it was like coming home again, only better. Because I refuse to grow up I actually fit in with both the "Grown Up " group and the teen group =) My now teenage nieces grouped around and we discussed boyfriends, the awkwardness of parents getting in their business (great lessons for me for when my boys are that age haha) and other assorted topics. My nephews, now grown into men in their own right chatted with me about school, or babies (as my oldest nephew is now a proud daddy).
The adults were harder to talk to. I don't know why, but Ive just never had much to converse with them. One or two I could easily chat with for a little bit, but once the awkwardness set in with nothing to say, as usual I would excuse myself to find one of my three kids. It's always been this way with J's family. most of the time when we were around for parties j and I both found ourselves always on the outside sitting in a corner entertaining ourselves. We started out the same this afternoon, at a table by ourselves and the kids, the kids also feeling out of place. But after awhile the walls broke down and we mingled.
I was a little anxious about how today would go, knowing that that there are dramatics played out by certain key characters in the family tree and that a few who should not be put together in the same room would be today. However everyone played nice, which I appreciated. Everyone fell in love with the boys. Soren was passed around from person to person as he flirted outrageously with the girls. Ashe flirted even more so with his teenage cousins, who adopted him as their mascot and played catch with a pink soccer ball all day. Xavier had a harder time adjusting. The cousins close to his age were always aloof, and continued to be so. He stayed on the fringe of things not quite sure where he fit in, until another child his age showed up (not of our family) and they became fast friends. One of my sister in laws was very kind and played lots of games with Zavi until then. As he and his new found friend played Frisbee she and I sat and talked about how much has changed.
After bidding goodbye in the early evening, we took the boys to the Old Mill, a favorite haunt of J and I, where you can feed ducks by a waterfall. The Old Mill was a working mill that was turned into a restaurant that makes the most divine pecan rolls. I took about 300 pictures because the setting is just so gorgeous, and the boys were too cute, throwing in whole slices of bread to already stuffed ducks.
We ended our day by heading to our very good friends, Dave and Kerry's house. I was shocked SHOCKED when we came to their front door to see a beautiful harvest wreath adorning their door instead of the normal skeleton or Halloween item. Dave and Kerry are known widely for their love of Halloween, and fun stuff. Their front room used to look like a setting for a B rated horror movie and we loved it. he even drove a hearse for years.... as a regular car, mind you. However upon walking into their house I was not disappointed. They still had their Jesus bathroom (a bathroom filled with pictures and sculptures of Jesus) and the dining room still flowed with Haunted House things. The boys loved it.
Theres not much for the boys to do there but they entertained themselves quite well, trying as hard as they could too destroy the normally kid free house. Kerry and I chit chatted and caught up while Dave and J did the same. At one point in time I heard J calling me in a strained voice. I looked over curious. J had been holding Soren on his lap when Ashe came up and asked to feed him. J thought he meant give Soren a Skittle and said sure. Instead, Ashe lifted his shirt and tried to feed him milk from his chest a la Mommy's style. The men were just awkwardly trying not to stare at each other while Kerry and I nearly pissed our pants laughing our asses off. I couldnt stop giggling and still have a big smile on my face now thinking of it. I told them I heard that was common for toddlers to do with a nursed baby. That seemed to appease them a little, to know that Ashe was not scarred for life.
Lots of pictures accrued, which I will be posting next week. Ive got a few great ones of Kerry, and a fantastic one of Dave (who always poses for pictures trying to look tough) sandwiched between the two goofy grinning boys, and J making silly faces at Soren. it's a classic.
So now the boys are passed out watching Harry Potter, Soren finally asleep beside me, J passed out in our room and I must call it a night as well. We have a busy day tomorrow at the Aquarium with J's mom, and if the boys are good, we may even hit Bugaboos Steak house for dinner. Yum!