Monday, March 15, 2010

Mi Familia

This little angel girl celebrated her second birthday this past weekend.  She is the granddaughter of one of my oldest and dearest friends.  And since our children have always called her and her husband, Aunt Donna and Uncle Keith, and their children have always called us Auntie Deb and Uncle Mark, that makes me a great-auntie!  This is a job that I take very seriously, so when I received an email from Donna inviting us to celebrate great-angel niece number one's second birthday at Disneyland, I rounded up my crew of angels and off we went!  Since we live a state away, we don't always get to see each other as much as we would like to, but several times a year, this very loud, very rambunctious group joins forces to share as much joy and love as we can muster.  Great-Angel Niece Number One is the latest addition to our boisterous bunch!

The cutest thing was that as soon as the cake with the candles arrived and the Birthday song had been sung, Great-Angel Niece Number One knew just what to do.  She took a deep breath and blew...
And blew...
Until the two little candles on her cake went out.  The look on her adorable face...Priceless.
Jasmine stopped by to sign G-ANiece1's little autograph book.
Then they posed for a picture together.  Aren't they beautiful?!?!?
Dale of Chip and Dale stopped by to say hello.  Angel Daughter Number One patiently posed for a picture for her momma, as Joey poked fun at her.  Goofy got revenge on him later by marrying him to his new girlfriend.
Great-Angel Niece Number One's mommy and daddy had the best time.  I still cannot believe that they are parents.  The time, oh, where does the time go?
Angel Daughter Number Three posed demurely for a picture with Aladdin.  Too cute!
Goofy was the star.  He made us all laugh with his silly antics.  Here are three of my angel daughters with Goofy.  Unfortunately, AD2 was too busy at school, so she was not able to join us:(  We missed her very much.
Donna and Keith have been gracious enough to open their home and their hearts to foster children.  Lina, this beautiful little sweetie is two years old.  She has been with them for a couple of months and will hopefully be reunified with her own momma within the next six months.  AD1 really took to her.  They spent a lot of time playing and snuggling with each other.  I just know that whenever AD1 becomes a mommy, she will be such a great one.(But we can wait a few years for that:))
AD4 and GAN1 love playing with each other.  When GAN1 was born, AD4 just loved to sit and hold her.
Here are most of the girls, and Minnie Mouse.(AD4 is missing from the picture.)  There were several different cameras going at the same time which explains why we are looking in different directions.  On the left are Donna(middle), her two daughters and Great-Angel Niece Number One.(Her mommy is on the left.)  Next to Minnie is Donna's son's girlfriend, Angel Daughter Number Three, Me, AD1 and baby Lina.  We had a wonderful visit and I cannot wait to see them again in a month for their second daughter's wedding!
Last night, I made dinner for my family and a couple of AD2's old high school friends who I adore.  AD3 and her boyfriend, Jacob, usually make funny faces at me when I try to take their picture.  I can tell that Jacob really wants to make a face at me here, but he is being a good boy!
We had a really nice time with these silly kids!  I love a noisy dinner table with lots of laughter and conversation.  The more friends, the better.
Angel Daughter Number Two made it down from Pasadena for dinner.  These guys have been friends for years.  Chelsea is such a sweet girl.  Blake and AD2 have been very good friends since middle school.  Last night he told us that he signed up for The Navy Seals and will be leaving in September for Chicago to begin his training.  He is signed up for six years.  I pray for his safety and his strength.  He is such a wonderful young man and we will miss him very much.  So many brave young men and women volunteer to serve our country.  Two others that I know are Nessie's son, Michael and Hallie's son, CJ.  Their service and dedication to this country should be admired and appreciated.
After dinner, the kids played with our giant pup, Micah, on the floor.  He truly is a gentle boy.  There is nothing that he likes better than to be the center of attention.  He LOVES his people so much that you can just see it in his expressive eyes.  People say that he was very lucky to be rescued and adopted by our family, but WE are the lucky ones to have him as a part of our pack.  He is such a good boy.

As I sit here reflecting on the lovely weekend that we had and how much I love all of these people, I am reminded that the word "family" does not always have to mean those who are connected by a bloodline. For me, it has come to include people whom I have grown to love over the years.  People who are there for the good times and the bad.  In sickness and in health...Hey, that's sort of like a marriage.  We can choose the person who we would like to spend the rest of our life with and they become family to us.  To me, I chose my own sister when I was twelve years old.  She is not my sister by birth, but my sister by choice and through it all, Donna, her husband Keith(who I have also known since high school) and her children and grandchildren ARE family to us.  Donna and I grew up together and now we will grow old together.  And as the sun sets on this beautiful day, my heart is filled with the knowing...


Kate Evangelista said...

Hi, I don't know if you remember me, but you used to read Walks Around the Village. I've since made my own writing website. Come visit me sometime at

See you there.

Anonymous said...

Your GAN is adorable and what a wonderful BD party she had. Bless Donna and Keith for taking in foster children. I have a special place in my heart for foster children and foster parents. Lina is also adorable, both girls looked to be having great fun, what memories!


Laura Hegfield said...

So much JOY in this post Deb! I wish for you many, many happy weekends like this one. I can feel the love flowing out of the photos...thank you for sharing this slice of your life with all of us here in the blogosphere!


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had a great weekend, and that last paragraph really says it all.

June said...

Hi Deb, I loved reading your post and learning a little about your heart. Your message on my blog left a smile on mine. Loss is a difficult thing.

Ness said...

What a beautiful gathering! The little birthday girl is a doll! Thank you for the comment on Michael. He flies out to Egypt from Ft. Lewis, WA. We may get to come out to see him off and if so, we'll be headed south to meet up with your Angel family. Loe you.ousion

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