So Cora turned 2 on Thursday, I presented at Career Day at the big kids' school, and right now I'm home and blogging because I got super sick on Friday just as we were packing to head to San Antonio for a much anticipated family reunion weekend celebrating my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. So while I'm home and feverish, sniffly, and voice-less, I can at least catch up on some blogging. We'll go in reverse order and focus on the anniversary weekend first. Because even while feeling crappy and rapidly losing the use my vocal cords, it was super fun.
These two crazy kids got married November 26, 1955. James and I got married the year of their 50th wedding anniversary when they had a Hawaiian themed party near their summer home in Wisconsin. And so this year after James and I celebrated our 10th, they hit their 60th, this time around with a Western themed shindig in San Antonio where they live mostly year-round. Both places are special to them- my grandpa was born and raised in the tiny Wisconsin town, and San Antonio was the first Air Force base they were stationed at after they got married in Michigan and my mom was born in San Antonio precisely 9 months later.
The whole Nordin clan descended- the four original siblings, their spouses, nine of the ten grandkids (we missed you Emily!), two of three of the grandkid-spouses (sorry Sean!), and all the great-grandchildren (all mine; though my sister is pregnant! I'll have a niece in May and the kids are very excited to get their first cousin).
We were mostly all at the same hotel, so I'm sure we drove everyone with rooms near the lobby crazy while we chatted and caught up on Friday night. On Saturday morning, my parents and my family of five headed to the Alamo downtown. James and the kids had never been, and since 3/5 of us were born in Texas, it seemed the thing to do.
Cora was unimpressed, though Landon enjoyed it quite a bit.
While Cora napped at the hotel with James, the rest of us stopped by the retirement community to visit the grandparents and chat before the festivities got underway in the evening, plus the big kids needed to feed the birds and the fish.
I followed along to capture this sacred tradition and just love this picture so much. My Aunty Kirsten got them the jerseys- my grandparents are HUGE Packers fans; my grandpa even has a share of the stock from their IPO and he has the Packers logo on every type of clothing that exists- and I just love this picture of them with L&C.
We also visited my dad's parents who live in the same community. We'd also met them for brunch after the Alamo and this time the kids walked out with some very awesome goodies they were THRILLED with. Cora also got a talking Elmo that scared the crap out of her, though they're friends now that I've switched off his battery pack. We'll reintroduce him slowly.
We went back to the hotel to wake up a crabby Cora who needed at least two hours more sleep and got dressed in our Western finery. My grandpa, who sent out the save-the-dates for this party TWENTY-ONE MONTHS AGO (funny store; he didn't put the year in the email, so I, being a normal person, assumed the February 2014 email for the November party was intended to take place in 2014, but no, a few weeks later I realized it was for 2015. I was holding a tiny snuggly 3 month old Cora and I remember looking down at her and thinking, my god, you'll be a walking talking 2 year old when we attend this thing. And yes she was!), wanted us all there by 5:30 for our briefing of how the 6:00 party would go down. I get my need for organization naturally.
They had a great band, about 100 guests, and a lot of boots and bolo ties. It was wonderful. I love being able to be around my extended family, most of whom we don't see nearly as often as I'd like, and even Cora warmed up to a few select individuals by the end. Landon and Claire adored everyone and danced like crazy, running my poor cousin Sarina nearly to the ground. She was a trooper and L&C loved every second.
My grandpa gave an opening speech introducing all the family and then he turned to my grandma and said something along the lines of, "and Mary, there are no words for how I feel about you. I love you so much-" and then his voice cut off and they both just looked at each other and she patted his shoulder and managed "I feel the same way" and they just kept looking in the other's eyes, unable to talk, and everyone got tears in their eyes and it was just perfect. They sing "You Are My Sunshine" to each other every morning, hold hands when they sit down next to one another, and I'm quite certain they make out when we're not looking. I love them so much.
I love James more than I can possibly describe and I know how much deeper and stronger that love is now compared to when we got married 10 years ago. I can only imagine what it could be at 60. We have great examples.
Cora spent much of the party eating the tiny hotdogs out of more than a dozen cocktail wienies, demanding books be read to her, and dancing with my mom. At one point the band was playing a slow song and she saw me dancing with James and immediately demanded to cut in, literally pushing me out of his arms. So I got some video instead.
I had completely lost my voice by the end of the party, so I gave up trying to communicate with anyone and just drank my seltzer waters and laughed at the kids running my cousins and Uncle Phil ragged. There was a lot of dancing. I got a selfie with my grandma, who was perpetually surprised to see her face in the camera. She's a giant ball of love and optimism and joy wrapped in more love and I'm so glad they got the fun night with friends and family that they'd been planning for all 21 of those months.
Now we can look forward to #70! I expect the save-the-date any day.