This weekend I packed up my girls (and all the stuff it takes to keep them alive and happy!) and we headed to my Aunt Becky’s house for a family girl’s weekend.
We’ve been talking for almost a year about doing this, and the time had finally come! Aunt Becky graciously offered to host us all weekend long and dear Uncle Ed headed to a hotel, relinquishing his kingdom to an estrogen-fueled gang of lady folk.
Thanks Uncle Ed…you’re the best :)
We descended upon the house Friday evening, ready to fill up our bellies and pour out our hearts.
And that’s just what we did.
After hugs and kisses and squeals of excitement, we started chatting to get caught up on the latest happenings.
The girls opened the most precious Valentine’s gift bags from Aunt Becky. Pink heart-spotted stuffed animals, sparkly Valentine’s t-shirts, snacks, candy, necklaces, crowns…it was a little girl’s dream bag and such a fun way for the wee ones to kick off the weekend!
I’m smiling today as I watch Avery walk around in her new t-shirt and Grace sport her purple crown :)
It was the perfect weekend to stay inside…snow was falling in giant fluffy flakes, and it was accumulating quickly, covering the house and surrounding acreage in a thick blanket of white.
Cousin Kate graciously braved the snowy roads to bring back hot pizzas and unbelievably good breadsticks for dinner and we continued to gab and gab.
We topped the evening off with a homemade butterscotch pie and whipped cream that I brought. Although tasty, it was ridiculously rich and unfortunately did not fully set, so it was more like Über sweet butterscotch pudding inside a too-crunchy homemade pie crust.
In cooking and baking I’ve learned that you win some and you lose some. And that’s ok!
We woke up Saturday morning and enjoyed our coffee with a delicious blueberry coffee cake courtesy of Aunt Becky.
We talked and talked and talked some more before getting dressed for the day. Spontaneous makeovers ensued thanks to my sister (beauty blogger extraordinary). We compared lip colors and wielded curling irons. We primped and fussed and then “oohed” and “aaahed” over my Aunt Becky’s makeup. Ellen did an awesome job :)
Lunch was a tray of ham and cheese sliders that were delicious! I’ll have to ask Aunt Becky for the recipe and share it along with another “game day” snack that my sweet hubby whipped up last night :)
Grace had a ball playing with her cousin Nora and it was absolutely precious to hear them play and watch their imaginations run wild.
In fact, the girls were having so much fun that Grace cried when I asked them to let me take a quick picture. Lol
I didn’t want to hold them back, so I put the camera away and they took off running before I could get a good picture of them together.
We spent a good chunk of Saturday in the basement pouring over old photos and memorabilia from my late grandma Marilyn.
Before Instgram they captured fun moments with a Brownie Camera. These little prints are 2.25″ squares :)
Our gab sessions includes some sad stories about the past. Families are made up of imperfect people and sad things happen as a part of each of our stories. Hearing those stories and then hearing about God’s awesome redemption made my heart glad. It gave me hope and joy to know that the God I serve is one who weaves our messy mistakes into beauty for His glory.
These pictures were bittersweet to look through, knowing some of the hurt that was present during those years. I’m glad there were also good moments and that they were captured on film. I was completely captivated as I looked at these photos, getting a peek at their lives through these simple snapshots. I think we could have looked through those pictures for days and not grown tired.
Well at least Ellen and I could have :)
My grandpa Jim taking a selfie :)
Grandma Marilyn and Grandpa Jim before a formal event. She’s pregnant with their first child, my Uncle Jim.
That coffee table is now in my living room :) Seeing it in this picture makes me so happy that I have it now. It’s like a connection to the past…
They remind me of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in this pic :) This one was taken in Bermuda. They won a trip there…how exciting!
This is my Aunt Becky holding my mom. They are 8 years apart just like my sister and me :) You can see the love written all over Aunt Becky’s face.
Family Picture…Uncle Jim, Aunt Becky, Grandma, Grandpa, My Mom, and Mandy the Collie. This may be the only picture in existence where I look remarkably like my mom!
My gorgeous Grandma Marilyn. My mom and aunt guess that she was in her 40′s in this pic. I love how glowing and happy she looks.
I also love this one…her outfit is fantastic! That velvet blazer and those suede wedges are adorable.
Aunt Becky and Mom checking out some names and birth dates in an old family bible.
I learned that the Grandma Grace that I’m named after was actually named “Grace Rebecca Bowlus”. My name is Rebecca Grace…Rebecca after my dear Aunt Becky and Grace after my great grandma. I just didn’t know her name was the reverse of mine. Family history is cool.
Grandma Grace was born in 1890 and I was born in 1980. Ninety years apart.
After a couple hours with the pictures, my mom led us in a time of encouraging one another. We went around and each shared something we appreciated about one another. Tears flowed and hearts swelled as we verbalized the things we love and admire in each other. It was a very special time :)
Dinner was after that, although we could have used naps from how exhausted we were from crying our eyes out. Lol
We had Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls and they were a big hit! Dumping everything in the crockpot that morning made dinner time a cinch. Before eating we just cooked up a pot of rice and chopped up some green onion, avocado, cilantro and cheese. This is a great dinner for gatherings like this where you’d rather talk and have fun that be a slave to the kitchen.
My cousin Kate was a doll and did the dishes when we were finished. This girl can make a dish towel look good!
We talked and talked and talked some more before posting a bunch of pics to Instagram and Facebook and getting temporarily sucked into social media.
This silly pajama selfie is the only pic I have of me from this weekend. Haha!
We got the baby ready for bed, watched a few silly YouTube videos, and eventually called it a night.
Avery was up all through the night, reminding me how much compassion I lack when I want to be sleeping and my babies are awake. I admire you mothers who deal with middle of the night wakings with kindness and grace.
The next morning my mom and Aunt Becky were such a blessing when they took care of Grace and Avery to let me get a few more hours of sleep. I was beyond thankful!
Breakfast was a steaming plate of the most delicious buttermilk pancakes (recipe coming as soon as I get it from AB!) topped with Currey Farms Maple Syrup and a side of crispy brown sausages.
We chatted a little more and then bundled up to dig my car out of the snow. Between Uncle Ed’s experience, Ellen’s take charge approach, and my brute strength, we got the car out in no time.
The drive back was quiet as the girls were asleep before we even hit the highway.
I think this weekend should be an annual tradition. It was good for the soul and I’m still smiling from all the fun we had :)
Thank you Aunt Becky for hosting us and thank you everyone else for making time in your busy lives.