To keep you from going cross-eyed while counting, that's thirty-eight people. All because of two people and, as someone there put it, some irresponsible family planning. I'm glad to be part of the fight against declining birth rates.
There are twenty-one of those munchkins. All under fifteen. We went through a lot of ice cream that week.
I look happy. Brandon looks... something. I promise that he really is happy to be married to me.
The girls had a great time with their cousins. Six little girls shared one room. Every night around eight, we would tell the girls to go get into bed and they'd vanish. One night I actually checked see if everyone was okay and everyone was dead asleep, surrounded by the detritus of Barbie-doll playing.
It's starting to look like we're not a starter family anymore. One day Edwin's going to regret that face.
This is my turtle-baby, Eleanor. She doesn't understand the concept of 'smile for the camera' yet.
I can imagine putting this picture in a wedding-reception slideshow in about fifteen years. I'm so happy for the miracle of digital photography that will let this picture live in perpetuity.
My very favorite part of the week was after the picture session. We had spent the Fourth of July at a local amusement park (shockingly, it was mostly enjoyable even with the children) so we saved the fireworks for Saturday night. Brandon's mother had made homemade ice cream, so everyone stayed outside talking waiting for the twilight to deepen into the moon-tinged darkness perfect for fireworks. The children, happy to be freed from endless smiling for the camera, cavorted across the lawn in the mindless games they spontaneously generate. The sun sank below the horizon, leaving its perfect light to fade softly into night. As the fireflies winked into being, Kathleen brought one over to me, amazed at their phosphorescent glow. I don't know if she's ever caught them before.
As darkness settled in, everyone lined up on the lawn with bowls of creamy-fresh blackberry ice cream. One of my nephews settled into my lap as the first of the roman candles went off. The cicadas buzzed in appreciation, filling the summer night with their droning background music. Green fire shot into the night, followed by red and then blue and gold. While we waited for the next, I snuggled my friend closer, listening to the endless prattle of a four year-old on an endless summer night. Then the sky lit up again and I could have stayed there forever.