A family birthday celebration

Sister-in-Law One
Susan and her birthday cake

Last night we went to my in-laws to celebrate the birthday of Sister-in-Law one. She is gorgeous and, like the rest of the Benders, very smart. I married into a great gene pool.

My father-in-law, family chef and cook in residence, put together a family favorite, paella: arborio rice, saffron, chicken, shrimp, sausage, tomatoes, peas, a treasure hunt in a giant pan. Everyone enjoys it. We bring over lemons and FIL Byron places slices on top. That and a salad, followed by chocolate cake with chocolate icing, will complete our meal. Oh, and bubbly. Bottles of bubbly! 

Lemons from the tree are arranged on the family paella.

It will be the first gathering after New Years Eve. There’s all those holidays and birthdays from September through New Year’s that brings us together quite  often: five birthdays and four holidays. Then there’s this 10-week dry spell until we get to mid-March for Susan, whose birthday is March 14. SIL #2, Sally, celebrates her birthday the day after. She’s in Iowa City, so we will be celebrating her day via long distance.

Charlotte, Catherine, Lois & Bob

Since we started dating, I’ve been included in the family gatherings that occur throughout the year. Then each of my girls were born, and we have photos of gatherings that show how little they used to be. It’s nice to have little kids around.

While the adults’ aging isn’t that marked in the photos, the children progress from babes in arms to toddlers tearing open Xmas presents, to butterfly-net wielding junior scientists. The adults all seem to settle in their regular seats around the dining room table, and all that seems to change is their attire, the food and the uncorked, dead soldiers.

And the kids. I never thought of that before.

Crack me up!
John & Sophie mug for the camera.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.

1 comment

  1. First, “belated happy birthday” to your sister in law,
    Second, that Paella photo and it’s description is making me so hungry right now! I love Paella!

    Yes, our kids grow so fast and that mean we are getting … “ahem” … sophisticated 😉

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