This past weekend was Mother's Day & my father's birthday. We headed to Camden of course - both moms are there. My sister & her family were coming in from Atlanta & wouldn't you know we each arrived about 15 minutes apart.
Yep so rather than getting us in two chunks where the kids might calm down a bit or we get settled.... we all arrived together. Mom & Dad were a bit flustered after about 5 minutes of 3 dogs, 4 kids & 4 more adults infiltrating their home. :o) But they love us so no biggie... right mom? *wink*wink*
After we all got settled, fed our faces and shipped the kids over to my brother Eric's house; Nina & I began to make Dad's birthday cake. It was a strawberry cake recipe I got from Paula Deen's show. OME! This cake is so yummy. It is real strawberries, no food coloring, yummy cream cheese/strawberry icing and just plain good!!
You have to puree a lot of strawberries & well we were missing some rum or else we would have had some awesome daiquiris! No sprite either so the virgin kind was out the door as well. Bummer.
Nina & I proceeded to peruse the internet for a bit then we both began reading on some books I had brought home. It was late into the night that we switched off the lights and all crawled into beds.
Saturday a.m. came bright and early. Earlier than I expected really... Nina had lost a crown on her tooth on Friday & happened to have called her childhood dentist (the one my mom still sees) and he VERY nicely agreed to meet us in Selma to put it back on - no charge and the office is closed. It is so great to be from rural Alabama. :o)
So we scooted about an hour above Camden and in 10 minutes her tooth was fixed and we headed to the mall for some last minute shopping. I had fun because I would just bring Nina dresses and make her try them on - it was like Life Size Dress Up Barbie. I loved it! lol We found 3 dresses on the clearance rack - $25 each. These are $100 or more dresses!! She got two I got one. IT WAS GREAT. We also found some last minute birthday/mother's day gifts.
Once we got back to Camden around 11:30 a.m. it was: LET'S GO SWIMMING TIME. So everyone slipped into bathing suits, we got the kids back from Eric, and dove into crystal clear water in my parents' back yard. The sun beat down and we played & played. Dad, Eric, Keith, Marcus, Jeremy - all the guys fixed Cajun Blackened Catfish & Fried Catfish for lunch. IT WAS SO YUMMY! Dad was thrilled with all of his presents and the cake went over beautifully. Erica & John even made it out to swim and eat. The 23 of us had a wonderful time.
Saturday night Marcus & I headed to his mom's to spend the night. We sat up talking for quite sometime, catching up on all the Camden news. Then on Sunday we fixed a big elaborate lunch: Steak, Salmon, Grilled Onions & Squash, Green Beans, Salad, Corn on the Cob & Coconut Custard Pie. OME! Just relisting all this stuff makes me gain 5 pounds!!! lol
The weekend was wonderful. I am so glad that we were able to spend it with family. I was surrounded by mothers. My mother is one of my closest friends. My sister - an amazing mother - is another of my closest friends. Their guidance, their generosity to their families, their view of life is so precious to me. I see my nieces/nephews and am proud everyday that they are mine. I cannot imagine if they were my actual children.
My brothers, my sister and I were raised by a mother who allowed us to be curious, to explore our own interests, to understand that differences do not define you and that love is the most important emotion in life. She gave us a reason to want hugs and a need for companionship. She instilled in us that lessons are learned from mistakes so don't fault yourself into thinking that regrets can control you or should be allowed to influence your decisions. She taught us that a switch/tree limb is not just for fruit or leaves to hang off of. She taught us that closing doors while the air conditioning is running means she won't be hollering at you later. She taught us that when you are married you do things for your spouse - not because HE/SHE is your spouse & it is expected of you but because if you love someone you do the little things for them without question, without reservation. You do it because you want to. Life often puts us into categories, little slots, but mom never did. I am thankful everyday for her and I pray that more people are as lucky as I am. This world needs more mothers like mine.....
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