Over the past year, most family celebrations took place at my Dad's house. Since he couldn't yet drive, it was easiest to go to him for birthdays and holidays. This worked out well because his house is big enough for everyone to be comfortable and the backyard is huge so my nieces can ride their scooters and bikes and play catch on the lawn with no worries.
My dad earned his drivers license back in December and I must say, seeing him drive up to my mom's house on Christmas Eve was very emotional. Having reached that huge milestone in his recovery, I suggested that we have his birthday party at my house. No reason for him to always play host now that he can hit the open road.
Sunday morning found my husband waking up at 2 a.m. to put ribs and a pork belly in his new electric smoker. I found him sleeping on the couch when I got up to feed Kitty at 5:00. We cleaned the house, watched the first football game and awaited the arrival of my family. I love hosting. Aside from the added benefit of not having to drive anywhere and get home after dark, it is just nice to have a house full of people you love.
It was nearly 70 degrees outside so my nieces rode their scooters and bikes in the cul-de-sac, we ate lots of really good food (thanks Chris!) and celebrated another birthday. My nieces loved going into the nursery and took note of every detail:
"I like those shoes."
"Can I read that book?"
"Where did you get this dresser?"
"This rug is cute."
I think they approve.
Although the 49ers lost, it was another successful family gathering. I can't help but picture these moments in the future with a little person in my arms (or in the arms of her aunt, who will no doubt try to hog her from everyone). It makes me so happy that we live so close to both of our families because I know moments like this don't happen for everyone. I get to tuck away these memories several times a year and as my parents get older and my nieces grow up so fast, I know the dynamic of our family will change but I have no doubts that gatherings like these will continue to take place and bring happiness to everyone involved.