My Mom and Dad reached a mighty milestone that only 1 in 20 marriages get to: their 50 year anniversary. Their official date is not until late August, but because of the school schedule for the twins the celebration was pulled in a few weeks so we could be a part of it. One of the proudest pictures I've ever posted on the blog because it represents the legacy and strength in our family. Also, a part of the triumph is how Easton and Layla get to experience real life examples of grand parents who are alive and still married. I can't say that I'm over proud of my parents because it is just what I expected. meaning, they met my expectations. There's nothing spectacular about meeting expectations. The spectacular part is that I see this as normal and expected. There was never a time when I was concerned they might not achieve this due to death or divorce. never for even one moment did I worry about one of my parents leaving our family. that is spectacular. I'll consider my marriage a success when Kendra and I are the ones in the middle and the twins have their families joining us with the same expectation for our marriage over the years.
The other sun-shiny moment for me was the three of us siblings with Mom and Dad. I've always felt the appropriate weight of carrying the family name being the kind of man that brings honor to my parents. I was a well-behaved kid for two reasons: 1. I always get caught. 2. I wanted to honor my parents. Even though the five of us only get together once every couple of years, it was extra special this time because of the celebration. I'll never understand the amount of work Joanie put into the event, but I know it was extraordinary. For me, seeing the party decorated and set up was like showing a Picasso painting to a 5 year old. They have no way to even comprehend how amazing it is, but it doesn't diminish the amazingness of it.
the cake was a different story. Easily the best cake i've ever had... and i've had a lot of cake. Not that i have an expert palette, but I've had dreams about eating it since then. that's how great it was. Easton and Layla have this measure of a party that goes something like this: If there is cake, then it's a party. If not, then we're just hanging out together for some unknown reason.
Joanie had old photos as decorations on each of the tables. I found this gem and wanted to share it here. How about my awesome plaid sport coat? sweet, huh. I don't remember the economic situation of our family during this time, but it didn't matter to me then and it doesn't matter to me now. Most of the memories I have of my childhood are of a peaceful, loving environment where I was grateful for whatever we had. Normal is always accepted while a person is in the middle of a situation. Now that I'm a few decades removed from life with my parents it looks much the same as what I remember. That's a good thing.
I saw dozens of old friends and family who I haven't seen for 20 years or so. I loved every minute of the hugs and catching up with them. Even so, my main focus and enjoyment was from Mom and Dad receiving the love of so many people who's lives were touched by them over the years.
14 Days seems like a long time for in-laws to visit, but Kendra and the twins were happy to be there the whole time and grateful to Mom and Dad for making them feel welcomed. Layla and Easton never grew tired of cousin time. Part of that was thanks to Joanie's family for including the twins in their adventures. A princess dress and bubbles is a sure fire winner.
and a back yard campout with the boys is right up Easton's ally. They slept outside overnight because they have all the necessary gear to make that happen. Eli and Silas were kindhearted to make the time with Easton extra special.
Here are all the cousins hanging out on a bridge together. There was plenty of room to run and have fun. They also discovered lightening bugs for the first time. I had high hopes those critters would be out on display.
At Nana's house there are plenty of toys and books and gadgets to keep the twins busy. Her house is stocked and well organized to accommodate kids. Sometimes when the adults were talking I would ask where are the twins. Sometimes the silence means trouble, but at Nana's house it meant they were outside playing in the backyard or they found something fun to do in the other room.
There aren't many pictures of just Kendra and I together except the selfies I take and the occasional professional picture. Joanie takes as many pictures as I do, so I gladly got in on some of the shots since she was kind enough to take them.
One of the new experiences Easton and Layla had was Waffle House. We have these close to where we live in Phoenix, but we've just never gone. There is one within walking distance of my Mom and Dad's house. Easton sat with me and Layla took this picture. It's about time they start taking the pictures! Easton still holds my hand when we walk in the parking lots. I'm not sure how much longer that's going to last, but I'm hanging onto every last bit of his desire to be close to me.
Miss independent wanted to sit by herself so that worked out well. Kendra didn't join us on our breakfast trip, but we managed just fine. They each had strawberry waffles and watched them cook in the open kitchen atmosphere of the Waffle House. The quality was about what I would expect from here, but the twins thought it was the most awesome breakfast place ever.
I'm almost wrapped up with the Missouri trip posts. The last thing to put in here is the family portraits. We are 4 days from back to school! All of us are excited for that to start. summer is almost over.
See you soon!