It’s A Little Bit Funny..

It’s a little bit funny.. when you you gather as a WHOLE family with your spouses/fiancΓ©es/kids for the first time, in YEARS, and you’re at a place that isn’t your parent’s house – neutral, familiar ground. It’s a little bit funny to see all of the pieces that make up your little sister’s beautiful life – house decorations, picket fences, mowed grass, little and brilliant mesh food cover things.

For rain, humidity and bugs. Seriously, food tents! Who knew??

It’s a little bit funny that I used to be in a place in which I would know that my siblings had food tents. Maybe we would have gone shopping together. Maybe we’d be having weekly or at least monthly BBQs at each other’s houses. Maybe, just maybe, it exists in that place in which I didn’t heed the call to leave Jersey. You know you all are the only reason I’d ever have stayed.

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Last week was my little sister’s birthday. Before that, the day belonged to my little brother and before that, his wife. Before that, my mom. Before that, Mother’s Day. So we all got together a couple of weeks ago to eat some food, celebrate some birthdays, and of course, surprise my sister-in-law with a baby shower. More on that later! I believe life should be filled with true and good surprises. It’s so hard to be truly surprised.. Puppies, anyone? Surprises make me a little nervous, truth be told.

Scarlet knew we were going down to New Jersey for a surprise baby shower but we didn’t realize until later that we’d all be meeting for a multi-birthday BBQ the night BEFORE the shower. Those plans were made much later. So I was so afraid I was going to ruin the surprise to my sister-in-law, but I didn’t. Even better is that Scarlet never spilled the beans to her either!

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And what followed was a truly nice night, in every way. And being all together? So rare. Such a treasure.

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And what was even better is that my brother brought a bounce house.

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I don’t really even know what to say about some of these.

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Yeah, it was like that.

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And a bit like this.

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I always thought that life would be more like this, more often. All of us together.

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And we’d feel so often, like this.

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And very rarely, like that.

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So we savor the moments when we can, with food and laughter. And photos.

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And it often feels like flying.

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With flying, you get that feeling in your stomach. You know the one. It feels both glorious and dreaded.

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…but that doesn’t stop you, does it?

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It shouldn’t.

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Scarlet was looking out the window before the baby shower the next afternoon, anticipating her Aunt Grace’s arrival. I love how seriously she took it, even asking me to duck and stop talking, way before Grace was anywhere close to the house.

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Surprise. Surprise!

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**********

All I have for you is this song, and I didn’t even write this song! All I have for you is this blog post, and I darn well wrote it. Happy, Happy Birthday to my luminous sister, Marisa, and to everyone else in my family (Mom, Mitch, Grace, Ruth, all mothers for Mother’s Day) – you all make May as expensive as Christmas, but damn I love when we’re all together.

“It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live

If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one’s for you”
Your Song by Elton John

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146 Comments

  1. Oh wow! Your family looks like they had so much fun, especially your sister jumping around in the moonwalk with Scarlet. What an awesome surprise with the baby shower too! It rained down here on Friday and was solo humid on Saturday. So much for me straightening my hair, it went back curly before the night was out, lol! Oh and I have not heard of a food tent before now. What a contraption! Learn something new everyday! πŸ™‚

    1. Aw, I love your hair!
      I seriously could not believe about the food tents. Brilliant, no? If we still lived close, I’d certainly have gone food tent shopping with her!

  2. This is beautiful, Tamara. It’s amazing, how close you can be and how far apart you can be at the same time. My siblings and I are like that. We were all so close, still are emotionally. We just don’t get to see each other enough anymore. When we do get together, we too celebrate with food, laughter and fun!

    1. The best ways to celebrate! There are five of us in all so sometimes it’s complicated and different sets are close at different times.
      Ultimately, though, they’re my family and we all support each other and wish for the best for all.

        1. That’s so awesome! My parents have five kids and three grandkids but a fourth on the way. And that’s just my brother and me, who may or may not have more in our future. My two sisters will add to the pot!

  3. That bounce house is awesome! I saw one at Costco yesterday and almost got it. We have a trampoline, but how fun would it be to pull that sucker out for parties? From your pictures, I would say VERY fun. I love getting together with all of my family those are the moments I truly cherish. So glad you had a wonderful time.

    1. My brother says it’s fairly easy to inflate, deflate and travel with! Who knew? We just got memberships to Costco and apparently it’s more than just eating a meal of samples. There’s a lot to buy there!

    1. Thanks! And the dress is from my mom. She loves picking out spring dresses for Scarlet. And spring clothes for Des too, actually.

  4. That picture in the bouncy castle with your sister’s feet sticking up in the air. Pure awesome. It looks like you had a great time and it’s good to know that Scarlet is taking the baby shower business very seriously πŸ˜‰

    1. That was one of my favorite photos. Just total chaos. The kids (and adults) were delighted. I really want my own bounce house now.

  5. I really love Scarlet’s dress! And Des’ hair is getting longer, so cute! My husband wouldn’t want to cut Reiko’s hair but in a country like ours, it’s so hot so Reiko ends up pulling his hair sometimes! LOL. I love that you were there to capture your family’s smiles. I rarely get to be with my side of the family because of the distance and expensive air fare plus unpredictable work schedule, but when I do I make the most of it. You’re very blessed for such a wonderful family!

    1. I actually had a haircut scheduled for last week but it didn’t work out! I just want it neat but not too short. Or too long! And I understand about the hot weather. It would break my heart but here in New England, it’s often not hot. I have a friend who saves her kid’s hair nearly bald and he doesn’t have a very good hairline/scalp yet. My worst fear!

  6. I feel so lucky that my family is so close, but this was a reminder to remember that more often. What a blessing to be able to celebrate so many good things together as a family. And, well, bounce houses. Happy everything to your family Tamara!

    1. Thank you! There were a lot of somethings, weren’t there? Made it everything.
      Shall I bring a bounce house to Baltimore? I can.

  7. Fun fun fun… I feel the same way when I visit my family now. My sister lives in my hometown with my parents and I live 4 hours away, so they have such a different, day-to-day dynamic and I’m more of a visitor. In a way that is fun, because we always try new things when I visit, but it makes me sad that I’m not involved in that daily life with my family like my sister is. And wow… those feelings are going to be magnified x100 when I have my family reunion on my mom’s side later this month with 50+ 1st and 2nd cousins! I’m just glad we get together every other year to keep the connections alive even though we all live far away from one another.

    1. Of the seven people in my childhood family, six live in New Jersey. Not all close, but all within an hour of my parents. And I’m the lame (awesome) Jersey escapee. And I’ll never go back. That kinda hurts, but I just love New England.
      Bring your camera later this month – whoa!

  8. It’s not often that my whole family is in one place at the same time, either. The bounce house photos are hilarious, especially when your sister’s (?) legs are up in the air and that’s all you see of her. Haha πŸ™‚

    1. Yup, that’s my older sister! The clown. I have a lot of photos of her but sadly not as many of my little sister – whose house we were visiting. I have to remedy that. She’s glorious.

  9. Honestly was smiling at all the happy photos of your family from both days. Love that you all were able to get together and celebrate life and so much more. And by the way, you are so right about bounce houses. Apparently after next weekend’s soccer game (the last of the season), there will be bounces houses and my girls can’t stop talking about it now πŸ™‚

    1. Aw!! I love that kind of excitement. I really think I might want to buy one. My brother said he got it used on Craigslist and it’s great. And not that expensive. Scarlet just lit up around it. How can you not?

  10. What a crazy May for you! But so fun too, it seems. Love the photos with the feet in the air. Kind of just captures life, doesn’t it? And the seriousness in which Scarlet took her job for the shower is priceless. Here’s to a magical summer with more of these fun moments.

    1. Hear, hear! We may do Six Flags soon. I’ll tell you how she likes it!
      The photo of the feet in the air is definitely a favorite.

  11. I have to go get ready for a funeral, so my mind is broken for a decent comment. But I wanted to let you know:

    These pictures already made my day.
    The dress Scarlet is wearing is the perfect dress – so photogenic.
    Scarlet is starting to look like a kid instead of a little kid. Which is beautiful, and also breaks my heart.

    1. I’m so sorry about the funeral and your beautiful mind being broken. It’s not a broken comment.
      And I’m happy to have made your day.
      And why does she look so grown up??

      1. That long hair, the facial expressions, I’m not sure. One second/photo she’s looking little, the next one? Hints of big girl are showing through. It’s a cause for celebration and heartbreak all at once.

  12. Wonderful post. This past weekend was spent enjoying the wedding of one of my sons. Your words and Elton’s resonated beautifully with me this AM. Thank you.

    1. I saw some of your photos! How awesome. I can’t imagine being a mother of a groom but I think that day will happen.
      Elton John is just perfect sometimes.

  13. So great that you were all able to get together for so many happy celebrations! It’s rare to have my whole family together, too, and I know what you mean when you talk about knowing about the food tents!

  14. There’s so much to love about this post…so much…but I think my favorite is your sister’s feet in those bouncy house photos. They are just so great!! I love how you raise the notion of when do we stop knowing some of the intimate details of our parents’/siblings’ lives. I have been thinking this very same thing a lot lately, particularly after having visited my dad down in SC. There’s just so much I don’t know anymore. And that Elton John song…you got me in the feels there. I wrote a post in October (http://www.littlelodestar.com/?p=2944) about a moment when my daughter was drawing to that song. I hadn’t thought about it for a bit. *sniff* Always love your posts, Tamara.

    1. My sister’s feet – priceless.
      Ok so was that post. So glad you posted it. I’m feeling all weepy tonight because of all of the (good) changes in my life that I got teary-eyed.
      *sniff* is right.

  15. Your photos really show how much fun you all had that day. We are close to one side of the family, sadly other half is an ocean away. I hope someday we will be able to visit the other half too, if not go back to live in USA again. Elton John song made me a bit teary eyed, but in a good nostalgic kind of way.

    1. That’s tough. I struggled with 3,000 miles from my family very much. Now it’s a pretty nice compromise. Elton John isn’t really one of my favorites but he has a song or two that really do it for me!

  16. I can totally relate to this post. I don’t get to see my family nearly as often as I’d like, but when I do it is so special. Sometimes I wonder if I made the wrong decision by moving so far away, but then I have summers like this one and I vow to savor them and enjoy. I’m glad that you had one of those weekends!

    1. And no decision is set in stone. You can move. They can move. Or not! It will be an adventure either way. Getting a comment from you is exciting! I know you’ve been in the throes of insanity.

  17. Ohhhh, aren’t bounce houses the best, especially when the big kids get to play, too. And by big kids, I mean the adults. Those pictures of your sister playing with the kids are awesome! Looks like a wonderful time with the whole family. Makes me a bit homesick for my family!

    1. There was a weight limit but I think it was high. 250 pounds. So my sister and three kids? Totally worked! Another adult tried to get in on that and they were shunned.
      It was super fun. I want a bounce house in my backyard.

  18. What a wonderful tribute to your sister! The photos of the bounce house made me smile – everyone is having such a great time. Love celebrating life & you captured it beautifully!

    1. Thank you! My poor birthday sister is only in two of the photos and it’s the back of her head! Although most of the photos are in her yard, so there’s that. Next time I have to get some of her!

  19. I love the pics of Des peeking out from the bounce structure. It looks like a heck of a good time for you and your family. You and your sisters look so much alike,
    I can’t wait to get to go back home to see my baby sister when she gives birth in August. You are lucky to live close to them in a since, I have to fly to see mine {or it’s a REALLY long} road trip.
    Hope you are well love! Hugs!!

    xoxo
    Lanaya

    1. What’s funny is that one of my sisters is blood-related and one isn’t. No one can ever tell who belongs where!
      I wish one of them would have babies already. It’s in the plan but nothing yet. One has to get married first.
      That sounds like a great trip in August!
      xoxo.

  20. Ok so much fun and love in this post!! I love Your Song by Elton John, one of my all-time favs and one that you like that I know!!! Of course, all your pics are amazing but the bouncehouse ones are classics. What fun! I love big family gatherings. I love having lots of kids and my siblings all around during gatherings, there’s always so much going on!!

    1. I grew up as one of five and pretty much every month had some sort of giant party, especially in the spring and summer. It was a loud, zany upbringing, and not surprisingly, it’s still crazy when we get together.

  21. My favorite is that first picture of Scarlet. She’s so in love with the world and carefree. The anticipation in her eyes is evident. You really are an amazing photographer. To capture those priceless moments that are so easily forgotten in an incredible talent.

    1. Thank you! That means a ton. I totally live to capture these moments. And I also live to live them, but it’s important to me to have documented.

  22. I LOLed at the pic of your sister with just her legs and feet in the air! HA! SO much fun. I love getting together with my family too. It’s truly the best.

    1. I love those photos too! And the high fives. They were having a grand old time and I rather liked being on the ground taking photos. It looked incredibly tiring.

  23. It looks like you had a great time! I grew up in a large family as well. I am the youngest of five children and my parents have 13 grandchildren. Rarely do we all get together now. But when we do it is so much fun. I enjoyed your photos like usual. Have a terrific Monday.

    1. I’m the middle of five and so far my parents have three grandkids and one on the way. So it should be four soon. And then there are my two sisters who both want kids! I don’t think they’ll reach 13 grandkids but I think it would be pretty special.

    1. I hope one of those indoor trampoline parks open up near you by winter time. They were great!! I think a bounce house room in a mansion would be wonderful.

  24. I get so frazzled by the planning, the scheduling, the expenses, the packing…and then the whole family is together and I remember how worth the hassle it always is. Always!

    1. Always. I agree! And with us, it’s always a four your drive down and a four hour drive back up, with two kids, and they usually exhaust their snack supply by one hour in.

  25. That’s so beautiful! Love all the happy photos and Scarlet’s serious face πŸ˜› Ha FIVE DAYS LOVE FIVE DAYS!!! Your family seems so nice and loving πŸ˜€ I’m highly distracted watching Mr. & Mrs. Smith – Saw Maleficent yesterday totally worth it if you’re a Sleeping Beauty fan πŸ˜‰ Happy Monday Tamara! -Iva

    1. Less now, since I’m getting to this so late. I can’t..even believe it. I just can’t. I got my eyebrows done today so they’d be sexy enough for BlogU.
      I really want to see Maleficent! Now those are some eyebrows.

      1. I can’t believe it either – nor the fact that we both had our eyebrows done today, lmao. I had to rush to get them threaded before laziness devoured me alive along with time itself. Woohoo to sexy eyebrows πŸ˜‰ You should see those – Jolie rocked that role!

        1. Whaaaaat? We are soulmates. We’re going to have the best eyebrows there, I just know it. I do threading too – I’ve been obsessed with it for ten years. Waxing, what? And I thought about doing it closer to BlogU so that they’d be even more spiffy, but I really needed this DONE.
          I can raise one eyebrow – can you?

          1. I think we are! πŸ™‚ Yes definitely best eyebrows – this Indian lady is on point πŸ™‚ Yes I don’t wax anything anymore lol – It’s better to thread and lasts longer. Same here!! Mine were screaming and I won’t have time between now and Friday since I’m hiking right after work to dodge traffic up North since it is HORRID. Yes I can and curl my tongue πŸ˜›

            1. My lady in New Jersey was Indian – five bucks. Here, there are many and none are Indian. They do exquisite work!
              The worst traffic of my life? Baltimore. I’m going a back way through Harrisburg.
              I can curl my tongue too!

              1. Yep my lady is $9 and Indian and worth it πŸ™‚ Yes I am not thrilled to hop on 95N but it is what it is. Yay πŸ™‚ We’re awesome! What to wear.. that is my moral dilemma haha

                1. Ten bucks here!
                  Moral dilemma! hahaha! I think I’m just doing sundresses galore. I have heard so many people talk about facials and pedicures and I kept thinking, “Why the big emphasis on looking so good?” Then I realized – it’s a blogging conference! We could wind up on blogs or other social media sites. So maybe.. I’ll like.. wash my hair.
                  Man, too bad you don’t like Facebook. We have some epic conversations here!

                  1. Yeah it’s not bad – considering the quality and it’s more hygienic πŸ˜› Ha, my FB is private sooOo yeah hopefully nothing pops up just because it’s not tied to my blog in anyway so it’d be irrelevant really but yeah -not just that I like to get dolled up for occasions haha I can hear my mother yelling at me now “first impressions matter – don’t go looking like a hobo” – but in Spanish and with more attitude.

  26. Parts of my family are far away too, it makes those moments of togetherness so special, these are such awesome pictures and memories you’ll have of this time!

    1. We were really scattered about five years ago – five in NJ, one in Vegas and one in San Francisco. So it’s nice to at least all be within driving distance!

  27. How fun it all looks! I love the feet straight up in the bounce house photo—That’s the way to full out enjoy a bounce house! My sister moved to Florida a few years ago, and since our parents are gone now, it has left such a huge hole in my life. All of those petty little differences we have seem so unimportant now. I hope we have as much fun as you all did when we get together again! P.S. Your Song is an old favorite of mine.

    1. It’s one of my favorites songs. I really wanted it played during our wedding at some point, but Cassidy vetoed it. I’m not sure why! I was happy to bring it back with blogging.
      Do you get to visit your sister a lot? I think a mid-winter trip to Florida is crucial for my mental health.

  28. What wonderful family moments! Sounds like May is a whirlwind for your family… how lovely you were able to get together and celebrate so many festivities.

    I love the photos! Such fun, playful, joyous moments well captured. Your children are beautiful Tamara.

    I have to tell you… my oldest daughter is named Grace! I don’t use my girls’ names often on my blog but I had to tell you because Grace is so rare as a name (at least around here it is).

    Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

    1. Thank you! Of course I think they’re beautiful, but I’m probably hard-wired to feel that way. I love the way they come out in my photos. Des has even started to pose for me – with that childhood knack for being totally unselfconscious but also with the steely knowledge of what is going on.
      Grace is a beautiful name. It was my mother’s grandmother’s name and I did meet her. She passed away when she was 99. Sometimes my mom even uses her old stocking for my sister-in-law for Christmas!

  29. Oh, how fun!!! I LOVE that picture with Des crying and your sister’s feet int he air! That would make a great “caption that” contest! πŸ™‚ I don’t do well with surprises. I like to know what’s happening so I can be prepared for it. (BTW – I’m actually skipping a family reunion to got to BlugU!)

    1. Perhaps I’ll make a new caption that contest on FB! That photo – that whole series of photos – crack me up.
      I’m sorry you’re missing your reunion but not sorry we’ll get to hang out with you! SOON!

  30. so perfect! I just wanna jump all in there too!! The fun and excitement jumps off every photo. Des was pretty brave for getting in there! πŸ™‚ I LOVE family reunions…I have one coming up in the Bahamas in November…to say I am excited is a VERY large understatement πŸ™‚

    1. ha – Des mostly cried for me when he was in there. He was having an incredibly clingy weekend. That was tough. I was happy he bounced a bit, though. And he made cute faces for photos.
      Bahamas family reunion? Oh, yes!

  31. What a wonderful day(s) this must have been. You can imagine with my family in Germany, his family on the WestCoast, these kind of things don’t happen very often here either, but when they do, they are usually big fun. And that’s how they should be. I am glad they do happen.
    Hah – that song by Elton John is about the only one I like from him.

    1. Oh dear – that must be tough. I guess you’re right in the middle on the east coast then?
      I am laughing because I only like a couple Elton John songs and that is one of them.

  32. This post made me happy (and a tiny sad) – I love that your family all gets together at least some!!! And, those pictures – amazing!!! Love your sister (I think it’s one of your sisters) in the bounce house with the kids!!!
    And, I’m beyond impressed that Scarlet kept the news about the baby shower a secret – no easy feat!!!

    1. It’s totally happy and sad! It’s a bit achy to feel like I want us all to be together, always, like we used to be. However I have quite the happy life up here and I think New Jersey will never do it for me again. Oh well.
      That’s my older sister in the bounce house! We were at my younger sister’s house so she was too busy preparing food during the bounce house extravaganza.

  33. OK, first, can we just discuss how amazing those pictures are of your sister in the bouncy house?? The whole series. Love them. Captures so much bliss and freedom. When I was younger, I thought that my family would all live close together and we’d see each other every weekend and hang out and have all our kids grow up together. That’s how it was for me growing up. But now I live across the country from my siblings and the cousins don’t get to see each other all that often. Sounds like an amazing and fun family filled weekend!

    1. Too bad she wasn’t doing yoga positions, though, right? It was too unstable probably.
      I really thought we’d all live in a big compound or something and we’d all be pooling together our respective talents and running a giant winery/restaurant/inn/photography studio.
      In northern California.
      I haven’t given up hope.

  34. YAYY and doubleyay to families, and sisters, and surprises that are welcomed (because duh, with you that not all of them are), and bouncing and lookouts and bubbles and beautiful fabulous photos my awesome friend.

    1. Thank you! Too bad we can’t somehow rent a bounce house for our Sunday shoot. Can you believe it? It’s actually happening. We used to joke about it but it’s actually happening.
      Although bounce houses bounce their bright colors into skin and we want Tucker to be pure.

  35. Ooh I just love the pictures of the bounce house, particularly the ones with your sister’s legs in the air!
    Family – truly glorious.

    1. I really love May. I really love June too! It’s just..wonderful.
      Big families are awesome. I swear that’s why I’d consider having one of my own.

  36. Those pictures of your sister in the bounce house are cracking me up. She had the biggest smiles of almost everyone! How great for your kids to get to have that fun with her! Looks like you had a great visit and lots of fun.

    1. Yup, she’s the biggest kid there. So happy! It was a lot of hilarity and it actually went on for a long time. Scarlet fell asleep pretty fast that night!

  37. Those pictures are awesome! The ones of your sister crack me up. She looks almost gleeful! Family get togethers are wonderful…such a great opportunity for kids to be part of something bigger. I’m not saying this right, but I think family times like these make all of us feel like we are part of a group…a group that will love you no matter what.

  38. It looks like you guys had a lot of fun. That football looks so big compared to Scarlet. My son wants a trampoline so bad. My husband had been saying no, but we were in Sam’s the other day and saw one that looked liked perfect for our kids and backyard. So maybe they will be one sometime soon.

    1. Happy you’re back! Scarlet loves the football but she needs to build up some strength to play! I want a trampoline too. Or a bounce house. I’d be happy either way.

  39. I think your sister looks like she’s having even more fun than the kids in the bouncy castle! How amazing to get your whole family together for the first time in a long time and to be able to celebrate so many wonderful things. My sister lives in the city near my parents, and sometimes I feel like I’m missing out being up here in Massachusetts (especially now that Eve is here). But I love it up here and don’t think I could move back.

    1. I could never go back. When I do, it never feels right. It’s too crowded for me! I just start to miss my woods! However, missing them is tough.

  40. I always thought the same – that I’d go food-tent buying with my siblings too. That’s how my Mom was with her sisters for a while. But now I’m here and they are there and I mean that geographically and more than geographically. But there is still a certain feeling of home when we are all together and that is sorta priceless. Glad you had such a great trip!!

    1. I started responding here an hour ago but I hadn’t had lunch yet and my brain wasn’t really engaged. I totally get you about geographically and more than geographically. And it changes. I have four siblings and it just..changes.
      Had a great trip but I’m pretty ecstatic about my next one! Baltimore!

  41. This is just too much fun!!!! I love Scarlet’s serious side and the big family you have. It feels like Parenthood! And food tents are so cool. My mother-in-law has some and I’m always impressed. PS That white fence is dreamy!

    1. That’s so funny because I adore the movie and TV show Parenthood. In fact, every character on the show reminds me of one of my siblings – the older free-floater sister, the serious brother, the serious sister, the slightly screwup brother. They’re just missing ME!
      The white picket fence is what dreams are made of!

  42. Those bounce house pictures are THE BEST!! I love them. And I love that you got to spend time with your family, and be there for an important moment. It is hard to live in different cities. I feel that loss with my mom’s family when I see all the pictures on facebook of them marking important occasions.

    1. That happens to me too. I see a lot of photos of my entire family together, and for me, it’s eight cumulative hours in a car with two kids. Not so easy!

  43. I just love when all the family can get together. A word in mandarin describes it as “festive” or “a raucous”. Looks like sis had just about as much fun in the bounce house as the kids. Good job to your brother!

    1. I love the word in Mandarin! I think my sister might have had more fun than the kids, although I’m not sure. It seems like a draw. Although Des really wasn’t having it!

  44. Bouncy hose for the WIN! Looks like the adult had the most fun in that situation. I wonder what would happen if I set up a bouncy house at work. Do you think my boss would notice?

    1. HA! I think you should try it. Borrow one from a friend. Definitely borrow the pump too. You don’t want to be blowing up that sh*t. And see what happens!

  45. I think many of us have those dreams about spending happy times together with our siblings and all of our kids. It doesn’t always work out that way…but that just makes the times together that much sweeter. And you’ve captured some fantastic memories with it…feet in the air and giant grins over the side of the inflatable. Happy Birthday to everyone in your family and congratulations to your brother and his wife on their soon-to-be little one!

    1. Thank you! I really can’t wait for them to have their baby. A niece! I’ve never had one! I’ve had a daughter, though, so I will have fun buying clothes for a tinier girl.

  46. these. these right here. they are my sunshine moments and happy thoughts of life. being with family and friends and just absorbing all the love and laughter. it doesn’t get any better than that. It’s like Gas in My Love Tank! know what I mean?
    except bouncy castles. cause you know — the pee thing. πŸ™

    1. I get ya. Yes. I filled my love tank!
      I’m laughing, but not at you. I don’t have the pee thing – never have. I know – hate me. I did watch my sister bounce around and I kinda wondered if that might happen to her after she has kids. I hope not.

  47. As soon as I read your title, I started thinking the rest of the lyrics. Oh, Elton… Looks like such a fun time, and how cool that there was a bounce house to play in!

  48. Scarlet reminds me a lot of ME! I remember all of the fun times I had when my family got together – for family reunions! I have no doubt in my mind that she is going to remember all of these times and cherish them! I definitely cherish those moments/memories and wish I could go back and jump on the trampoline while eating a hot dog bun with ketchup and then hike through the forest of no return where I would swing on vines like one might find in the jungle!!

    1. Well that sounds amazing! I’d love for Scarlet to grow up like you!
      Ok, I’m having trouble picturing you eating a hot dog bun with ketchup. Not in years, I presume?

  49. Oh, what lovely memories you made together. I can see the fun and the excitement of everyone getting the chance to be together.
    And Your Song is one of my favourites of all time.

  50. Awwww! Scarlet is sooo mature! What a big girl for never spilling the beans. I was totally the opposite when I was little. I was made fun of for several years for telling a younger cousin about her surprise birthday party! Family time together after not seeing one another for so long is always nice. πŸ™‚

    1. haha! I’m sorry but that’s funny. My mom still ribs me about when my father came home from work and I said, “We just bought you a great pair of shoes for your birthday!”
      Keeping secrets makes me feel like bursting.

  51. What an awesome weekend! The kids AND adults looks like they had so much fun! We love bouncy houses.. contemplating on actually getting a small one for the kids for our next backyard. πŸ™‚

  52. How strange…I was just singing that song in the kitchen while making lunch! And here it is with you.

    I love the photos of your sister bouncing around with Scarlet and Des. Pure joy! It’s hard to tell who was having more fun πŸ™‚

  53. ok, who doesn’t love a bouncy house?! truth be told, who doesn’t love being around family no matter what the occasion, forget the bouncy house!

    i was hanging out with a bunch of family last night (my family is huge because my dad is one of 10 siblings). someone fainted. and we realized there were 2 doctors and 7 nurses who were there among our family. pretty crazy.

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