Labor Day/Birthday festivities

you may have noticed that i’m not doing the mushy little birthday tributes that i used to do…i’m not saying i won’t, just that i’m not.  at any rate, our annual family get-together is ostensibly to celebrate michael’s 9/3 birthday; whatever the excuse, we have so much fun.  my pictures were actually quite bad, what few i took.  when melissa and jess are here, i feel like i can relax,  just print the images into my brain for future re-living and use their pics for reminders of just how gorgeous we all are.  here’s what i’ve got:

Aunt Donna with the Jose’s

 sister came by on friday afternoon, but missed the casey, jrs.   her tree-drawing skills impressed emma greatly.  on saturday we had a ton of food to share with the carnahan sisters, their spouses and kristi’s grandchildren:

Kristi, Sophie, Stefanie, Silas, and Melissa

 the highlight of our week-end is always going to the racetrack and we chose sunday this year, seduced by the dollar beer.  i almost had to beat up a couple of old men, but we had a lovely spot on one side of a picnic table….honestly, this old dude tried to keep an entire picnic table to himself and i told him, hey, i got little kids here and you’ll just have to deal with it.  melissa sat down saying loudly: i’m pregnant!!  he was still a crank and we’d have gladly adopted him had he been pleasant….his loss.  i waited and cashed my tickets in when i left and felt like quite the winner, but i think i just broke even. 

At the Track, Sunday

Emma and Olivia watching the horses

 and then there’s the icing on the cake:  a friend of mine who i had not seen in 32 years drove over from carmi where she was visiting her mom.  kathy hanson and her daughter mary woeste are beautiful and i can’t tell you how thrilled i was to see them.  well, i could, but it would take more than a paragraph.  there has always been a special bond between kathy and me and it is still alive and well.  i hope this is just the first of many visits. 

Kathy and Mary visited on Sunday

by noon on monday, everyone was gone and the quiet was deafening—well, there was “we are the dinosaurs” stuck in my head.   

Daddies play with the girls before leaving on Monday

 though the pictures are paltry, the sweet, sweet joy of family and friends is precious and i thank you all for sharing your time with us.

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