Monday, July 25, 2011

A weekend of reunions...

I'm frequently accused of burning the candle from both ends, being constantly on the go and rarely taking time for myself.  So the birthday dinner, late-night movie, family reunion, wedding, church, pool party and seeing "Friends With Benefits" twice in one day made this a pretty average weekend.  J Don't worry, I'm breaking it into three blogs for your sake.  I already did the Friday night blog, so today, I'll tell you about my Saturday...
The biannual Shrum family reunion was this weekend.  I showed up on time (as always) and then sat in my car waiting for someone I knew to get there.  Even though they are all somehow related, it can be intimidating to walk into a room filled with strangers.  As soon as Mom, Elyse (my little sister) and my Aunt Kathy showed up, we went inside.  My older sister Sarah, her husband Robbie and their two kids, Jaxon and Brooklynn, showed up shortly afterwards.  Mom’s oldest sister Janette and her husband Harold were also there and they, with my grandparents, sat with us.  It was a typical family reunion with people I don’t know walking up and asking the favorite question, “Now who do you belong to?”  Well, no one really, I belong to me.  But to humor them I would go through the spill, “I’m Karen’s daughter; Buck and Lorene’s granddaughter.”  To which they would reply either, “Oh I haven’t seen you since you were this (making hand signals showing me to be about a foot tall) big,” or “Oh yes, I know who your mom is.  Is she here?”  So… the fun begins.
Sarah, Robbie and I sat around catching up on normal non-family talk while mom and the aunts and grandparents made their rounds catching up with all these strangers.  At one point Sarah went to say hello to my second cousin Charlie (one of the few people at the reunion we actually knew).  As Charlie went to introduce his wife, Sarah said "Oh, I think we’ve met, but the last time I saw you, you were pregnant.”  Oops… Charlie said, “No, that was my first wife.”  To which Sarah replied, “Hello second wife, I’m Sarah.”  I love my sister. J
And I love her kids… I took this picture of them with my little sister (who I also love). 
the kiddos at the reunion
I asked Brooke why she didn’t smile and she said she prefers to pose… I told her to go for it… this is what I got…  
miss sassy pants... just like her Aunt Cassie  :)
Here are a couple other pics from the reunion…
Sarah and I with Grandma
Mom and Elyse
Soon my uncle Harold came over with a long string of raffle tickets.  There were two tables set up with lots of random “prizes” and each one had a bag in front of it.  They were selling raffle tickets at one for $1 or five for $3.  Basically you tear the ticket in half, put one end in the bag in front of the item you wanted and kept the other end for the drawing.  Harold asked why none of us were buying raffle tickets.  I told him I never win anything and then he declared that he knew the magic trick to winning.... "Fold your ticket like a teepee."  I thought he was a little crazy, but he does have more stuff then anyone I know, and I never win anything so I thought I’d give it a try.  I went over and bought 15 tickets.  Harold put tickets in every single bag, regardless of what the prize was.  He’s just in it for the sport.  I however strategically staked out the three items on the table I had even a remote interest in… the power sprayer, the Cherry Berry gift card and the basket of kitchen items like spices, hand towels, etc.  I carefully folded my tickets like teepees with a  plan to put five tickets in each of the three bags.  When Harold saw me folding my teepees, he decided he couldn’t resist the competition and went and dropped another $80 on tickets.  The drawing was scheduled to be at 3:00.  With five or ten tickets in every single bag, he could hardly stand the waiting game.  He was worse than a kid on Christmas Eve.  And it was hilarious.

One of the prizes on the table was a sleigh full of Ghirardelli chocolate.  It was like a gift set that you would buy as a last-minute Christmas gift, complete with Christmas bow and gold leaf and holly berry embellishment.  While we all know that I am a chocoholic, there was something about the thought of that chocolate being from last Christmas that did not entice me.  However, Harold bid on it and promised me that when he won it, I could have it.  Gee thanks…  He folded one of his teepee tickets and handed me the other end, ticket number 660.  He said, “You just wait, that’s the winning ticket.”

We ate lunch, which was catered in and then played a few games of Bingo.  The prizes for Bingo were even better then the drawing prizes.  It was tough to help Jaxon decide between a painting of apples and the jump rope.  He actually preferred the painting… what a strange kid.  Brooke settled on a birdhouse Christmas ornament for her Bingo prize.  The entire time we played Bingo, Harold just kept talking about the drawing.  He couldn’t wait to prove that his teepee method works.  Finally 3:00… let the drawings begin.  First item… a ceramic angel… and the winner is… Harold.  He gave it to my mom.  Second item… one of those things you put fragrance oil in the top and a candle in the bottom… Christmas style… the winner is Harold again… he gave that one to me.  This continued all the way across the first table.  He would win it and then give it away.  In addition to my new Christmas decoration, I ended up with a tin of flavored pecans and a ceramic blowfish. 
just in case you thought I was lying...
The only thing Harold didn’t win was the one thing he actually wanted… an embroidered blanket that he wanted to win for my grandma.  People were starting to get mad as we advanced to the second table.  This is where all three items I put my tickets in for were.  And I won all three!  Like really won them all by myself, not with Harold giving them to me!  The teepee method does work!  Everything else on the table, with the exception of maybe two things, Harold won.  He gave my mom the slip-n-slide for Elyse and a red pot for her kitchen.  He gave a little girl I don’t know a dart board.  He gave Aunt Kathy two sets of coffee mugs and a toddler toy.  He gave a desserts cookbook to the lady doing the drawing so she wouldn’t think he was cheating.    The only thing he walked out of there with was a framed print with a poem or something on it.    
When it came time for the chocolate sleigh, Harold said, “What was that winning ticket again?”  I told him 660.  He yelled out “660” and the girl doing the drawing slumped her shoulders and said, “How did you know?”  So I also got to take home old chocolate… woo hoo...  When my little sister walked up to me and said, “Cassie, can I have some of that chocolate?” I enthusiastically said yes and ripped it open pulling out a few of the items and giving them to her.  I really only kept the hot chocolate… surely that can’t go bad as fast… 
One of the ladies there was celebrating her 90th birthday.  My great aunt Sha-Sha had a cake for her.  As I was packing up all my winnings, I decided I didn’t really want the fragrance oil/candle Christmas decoration.  I walked over to her, sat it on the table next to her and said, “Happy birthday!”  She loved it.  It was perfect.  J
Harold helped me load all my winnings into Kit and I headed home.  But I made a slight detour to City Hall to drop of the ceramic blowfish.  He is now a part of the office décor.  J
Here are all the items I won on my own…
... the ones Harold gave me (minus the one I gave to the birthday girl)…
... making this what I had to haul home all together...
I didn’t get that much stuff for my birthday… not bad for $9 in tickets.  J
I also somehow ended up with a bowl full of chicken that was left over from lunch… It will take me days to finish all of it… All in all, the family reunion turned out to be a pretty good time.  I’m glad I went. 
I went home, touched up hair and makeup, put on a dress and heels and headed to RSU for Courtney and Justin’s wedding.  Courtney is the sorority sister from last weekend’s bachelorette party.  Justin is also a friend from NSU.  The wedding was like an NSU reunion with two generations of college friends… the older ones from Justin’s time and the younger ones from Courtney’s.  Since I fell right in between the two of them in school, I knew pretty much everyone and it was so good to see everyone and catch up.  Most of my girlfriends were in the wedding… no really… she had like eight bridesmaids and eight house party girls… whatever that means… but I did see one of my best friends from graduate school, Tara, and I sat with her. 
with Tara
We sat on the groom’s side since her husband Taylor decided the length of time he’d known Justin overrode the fact that Courtney and Tara lived together in college.  It was a nice wedding, pretty short, which was good since it was outside, and then a pretty fun reception.  We ate, then we danced... right up my alley.  J  They had an open bar and I actually discovered a wine I liked… it’s called Moscoto.  Normally wine makes me want to throw up… and no, not because I’ve had too much… because it tastes icky.  I never can get past the first drink.  But the Moscoto was pretty good.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes sweet white wines. 
Anyway… back to the party.  I worked the room a little bit catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and visiting with people I see all the time.  I took a couple pictures along the way… 
with Amanda
with Leanne
The Alpha Sigs were clearly dominating this party.  I haven’t seen so many of us in one place since rush week.  We did our creepy circle around the bride and sing to her thing and then the party really started.  We danced until it was time to see the bride and groom off.  They only played two slow songs all night and those were the only two songs I didn’t dance to… that’s when I went to get a glass of punch to replenish the fluids I was sweating out. 
When it was time, they gathered us outside and gave us sparklers.  When Courtney and Justin got close, they went down the line and lit the sparklers.  Mine never really sparkled, it mostly just burned and, for a second, I was afraid I was going to catch the happy couple on fire.  But they made it past me, thank goodness.  It was a beautiful wedding and a great time with friends.  I’m so glad I went.  Congrats and best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Barkley!

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