Thursday, January 14, 2010

Highlights from Wichita Trip

I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. Eleven years ago my husband's job took us to the Chicagoland suburbs where we are quite happy. The only thing missing? My extended family. Last week we returned home for many celebrations.

Steve played for two hours to a packed sandwich bar/restaurant. It was great. The place was filled with family from both sides and many friends Steve hasn't seen since high school. (Thank goodness for Facebook and the connections that can be reestablished). Towards the end of the evening he had two buddies trying to steal the attention. It worked!

The last hour or so of the gig the cousins from Kansas, Illinois, and New York had warmed up to each other and headed to the pool room. What a great feeling to see all of them playing together.

The original eight (in birth order with parents on both ends). For the first time in 10 years all eight of us were together at once. We started off as a family of eight and have expanded to 22 grandchildren and almost 12 great grandchildren.

The highlight of my visit of course was hanging out with my three sisters. There could never be better friends than sisters. I miss you guys already.

We must have predicted photos since Stacey and I color coordinated.

Sophia and I were able to attend my niece's baby shower. These kind of get togethers are something I regret that Sophia misses out on being so far away from family, but glad she had this opportunity.

A year and a half ago when we were in Wichita Alexander was the exact same height as me. What happened? I am now the shortest one in our family of four.

Of course I had to get a photo with my best friend.

The main focus of this trip was to celebrate my oldest brother Mike turning 50! Mike is a true inspiration.

My dad and step mom Carol always make our visits perfect. Carol made wonderful breakfasts each morning, they made fried rice for dinner that is out of this world, and made sure we were happy campers everyday we were there. Thanks Dad and Carol.

Okay. So, in this picture with my brother Danny I look happy, but that was after being upset with him for not telling us that he and his wife were four months along with baby #2. They live in Florida and apparently nobody "asked him" if they were having another baby so he didn't tell. The funny thing is my sister and I did ask as soon as seeing him and my sister in law revealed her stomach while taking off her coat. She looks beautiful.

My mom - a superwoman. She planned a beautiful party for my brother, made tons of food, hosted my sister and her three kids and granddaughter for three weeks while experiencing lots of physical pain. She makes her plans and doesn't let pain get in the way. What a great role model for me. I love you Mom!

Me with Stacey and Robyn. Sorry Sherry. I am sad to say that I think you were working in the kitchen while we were out taking photos.

We had a girls night out before Steve's gig. Sherry wanted to return to a restaurant she frequented often before moving to New York. Yummy.

The photos of cousins playing together, siblings laughing together, and hugs being shared are too numerous to share here. However, our visit was perfect in every way. I am one lucky girl to have such a supportive, loving family that also happens to be the best friends a girl could ever want.
(I guess I am in every picture but one. Hmmm.....)