DAY 1

My birthday weekend started pretty low key.  Of course I had to get up at normal time to head into work, but since I {most} enjoy my coworkers the actual waking up is the hardest part.  At lunch time, I met my mom and the weather was nice enough for us to eat on the restaurant patio.

She had made my favorite cake for me – strawberry, with fresh berries mixed/drizzled into the cake and a cool whip based icing.  I decide to be greedy and only share with the dudes in my office (who are afraid of getting fat).  More cake for me!  I’m allowed to be selfish on my birthday right?

After work, some friends came over for a gourmet dinner of hot dogs, chili, and potato chips.  Birthday cookie cake and watermelon drinks (after a failed attempt to make vodkamelon) were enjoyed by all.  Jay was our manservant for the evening, but eventually grew tired of me ringing the cow bell.  He hid it in the freezer and retreated outside.

Two of the girls watched as Melissa and I battled it out on the Wii.  I’m awesome at Just Dance.  I swear my remote needed new batteries or something.  I NEVER lose.  It must have been rigged or something.  That’s the last time I ask a guest to bring the games!

We enjoyed the hot tub, then moved to the back patio to watch a movie.  The movie was short lived due to a nearby skunk making his presences known.

DAY 2

 Unfortunately, we’re old enough that a late bedtime did not equal sleeping in. We were up by 8, and enjoyed a pancake breakfast before heading to the pool for a couple hours.

Thankfully I was able to snag a bit of a nap before Jay and I met up with my parents to go see the fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 
 
 

We had a picnic, Jay did a little fishing, and we planned our upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon & Las Vegas.  The mountain air was cold crisp, the fireflies were scarce, but we had a good time any way.

DAY 3

After 2 late evenings, I was excited to be able to sleep in Sunday morning.  Jay and I were late to church (watching a Knoxville service at 10AM on TV) because I was in the kitchen getting my stuff ready for that afternoon’s family reunion.  Luckily, I remembered in time to get the TV on and Jay awake by the scripture reading/preaching.

 
 
Beyond just the usual feast (which was present and accounted for) someone had brought several boxes of old pictures and family heirlooms for everyone to go through.  I was excited to snap a picture of a picture of my great uncle Ray, who died during the World War II Normandy invasion (on D-day).
 


Ray wasn’t married when he was shipped off, so the flag which draped his coffin went to his mother (my great grandmother).  Upon her death it went to one of the sisters in the family.  As the biggest living advocate to keep his memory alive, my mother yesterday got the flag and a large framed photo of him.

Old deeds, letters, wills, and pictures were fun looking through, and anyone who was interested took home a few pieces of family tradition.

 
TO BE CONTINUED…
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