Thursday, December 09, 2010

December 9: I Used the Word Hoot

December 9 Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

I dig a good social gathering. We threw a couple or three this year. A Superbowl chili fest, fairy and floral baby shower co-hosted with the delightful Kristen, an Italian themed dinner party, and I worked a couple of parties, silent auctions and luncheons for my job. I like parties. And I attended a few too. A gala, some rowdy kids' birthday parties, a New Year's eve shindig replete with sangria and Trivial Pursuit, and a sweaty outdoor zoo gala with strangely dressed attendees in animal outfits and crushed velvet pimp jackets. But the events that always rock my sock off, though I would never say that in real life because who talks like that, are the family gatherings. I may have already established this fact with my countless blog posts yammering on about family stuff.  But my favorite social gatherings this year were our trips to Madison for our nephew Jackson's christening in March and his birthday in September and Joe's grandparents' anniversary party in July. I won't recap them all in massive details, that's what links are for, but I'll tell you why they popped into my head when I read the prompt this morning.

I don't have a large family. We all live fairly close to each other and get along well, though since my brother shuffled off to Florida I miss the hell out of him and Florida is not nearly close enough.  But Joe has a big family scattered all over, and within fairly close driving distance. Two fantastic brothers, and sister in law, great parents, lots of aunts and uncles and cousins, and I love being around them. Since Joe and I have been together for almost fifteen years, I feel like I'm as much a part of their family as if I were born into it. I first met all of Joe's family at his brother Jim's high school graduation. Jim is now a dentist, married to the superb Katy and has two adorable sons. so yeah, that makes me feel old, I've been around awhile.

But I digress. Going up to Madison is a hoot, as Katy would say. Katy and Jim are great hosts, we spend a lot of time just hanging out since we don't get to see each that often. Katy's parents, Tom and Mary Jo, are welcoming and funny and easy to be around and every gathering they have for birthdays or christenings is filled with kind people, abundant tasty food, laughs, lots of photographs, and the occasional four wheeler. But the thing that makes these parties my favorite, is the fact that I get to hang out with my nephews. I get to be an aunt and that's so cool. Every time I get to run around their house chasing Connor or attempting to feed Jackson yogurt and failing miserably, or watching Joe taking pictures of the boys raking and swinging in the backyard, I think about how much fun it will be when we have our own kids, and all the cousins will get to run around and tussle and grow up together and share a history. I didn't have a close relationship with any of my cousins growing up. We lived far away from each other and our families were estranged for much of my childhood. But when Joe and I have kids, or maybe just the one kid, that won't be their story. They'll have cousins, who may not live in the same city or may have very different personalities, they will share a bond and a connection that helps give them a place in the world. I want that badly for my future nonexistent kid. Driving the seven hours up to Madison is always worth it. And they have cheese curds there too. Totally worth it.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010


Nae said...

Mmm....cheese curds, that makes it all worth it! Shoot I didn't know what those tasty morsels were until about 2 years ago. Crazy, right?!

Anyway, I completely relate with your desire to have a closer-knit family for your future child - that is so important! Nothing makes a person feel less alone in the world than the presence of family, whether it be blood or a 'play' family.

Mary Jo said...

you are such an integral part of the sands/wupper family...and katy is so happy to have another female in the mix of all that testosterone.
there is nothing better than growing up with cousins. lucky connor and jack to have you as their aunt.

Anonymous said...

Great pic!

kassie lou said...

Thanks, Mary Jo, those boys are lucky to have you as Mimi.