Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Nate and I have had quite some adventures this month including celebrating my Grandma's 80th birthday. My grandmother is a remarkable woman. She raised 10 kids without much help from my grandfather, serves others unceasingly, and makes some of the best chocolate chip cookies and chicken noodle soup I've ever had.

Anyone who has ever been around my family can attest we are not quiet people. It was not a quiet weekend in St. Mary's, PA. My family planned a giant luau in honor of my grandma's birthday and almost all of our family was in attendance. Naturally this means we were crammed into relatives' homes or hotels. Lucky for Nate and I, we picked the hotel every construction worker in the state was staying at as well. To sum up our early check out from the hotel, the first thing we smelled upon entry was urine, I got really ill, the toilet wouldn't flush (hence the urine smell upon arrival), the chuckle head next door decided, right as I finally fell asleep, he should blast the loudest cop show he could find on TV at 1:30 AM, then took a phone call at 5 AM (which apparently no one ever taught him the "indoor voice" rule, and Nate's favorite, no real pillows! It's pretty hilarious now, but I was pretty tired the next day!

The vanity wall in our hotel room... NICE.

My Aunt rented out the country club, the only place large enough to fit us all, and the party was amazing. Because getting everyone to Hawaii would have been quite an ordeal, and Grandma is not keen on traveling these days, my Aunt Bobbi planned a luau. There was a roasted pig, hula dancers, a Caribbean steel drum player, the whole bit!

Nate was pretty hungry...

Besides spending time with my sisters and other family, the best part had to be surprising my grandma with a slideshow of her life and a small slideshow of her children. I loved watching my grandma's face light up with enjoyment as she looked through pictures of her life and all her children throughout the years.

My favorite picture of my Grandma, the day she was married.

I've always enjoyed family history, but the slideshow was probably one of the things I liked most. Although it was a time consuming project due to scanning hundreds of pictures, editing out rips and stains from pictures much older than myself, and getting everything to line up to the music, it made me feel so good that my family all enjoyed it so much. It is also fascinating to learn so much through pictures  and stories. I could literally see what a courageous woman my grandma is, and how many people she has helped throughout her years. It helped me realize how much of that was passed on to my mother, and hopefully what has been passed down to me. I hope I am that kind and gracious and one day when my grandkids make a slideshow for me, they will see the same patterns of service and love.

Sooo classy!