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A beautiful bouquet of yellow and orange flowers smiled up at me this morning. I smiled back because those flowers meant that last night really did happen.

It was the perfect night with family. Aunt Chris was visiting from Nebraska for Grandma Holmes’ birthday. Uncle Dan was visiting from California for the same reason. We couldn’t make it to her actual birthday festivities. School and Scouts were in the way. So we planned a get together at our house the next night.

Originally we were going to have homemade In & Out style burgers. Heath makes them with his sous vide. They are delicious, make a mess of the kitchen, and take a long time. The sacrifice is worth it for a couple extra people. We learned with the Macho Chef night that these burgers are too involved for a large crowd. When we learned that Kirk and Dayleen and their kids were coming to dinner, we quickly changed our dinner plans to tri tip. Then we found out that Uncle Dan, Uncle Lindy and Terria (sorry I don’t know how to spell her name!) wanted to see our house too. They would come for dessert.

Normally a family party like that would make me nervous. I was strangely calm. All day. We had our plan for dinner. We knew we could easily accommodate 12 people for dinner. It worked out perfectly. I got mad props for suggesting that Heath sous vide the tri tip longer than he was planning. I talked him into putting the two large steaks into the bath at 7:00 am. I have never had better tri tip in my life. It was so tender and so tangy tasty from Heath’s homemade marinade. We had enough food for everyone but it was all so divine we were all wanting more. Not a lick of leftovers could be had.

Not long after dinner the rest of our guests arrived. They walked in with a big bouquet of flowers. My first thought was, “Grandma isn’t here.” The flowers were handed to me after confirming that yes, they were for me! I learned they were Dan’s idea but he made Lindy pay for them! Heath told me later that it’s customary to take a gift to a party. His uncles knew that we wouldn’t want any wine. I felt very special getting flowers.

It was fun giving a tour of our house. The first few times we have walked people through felt very awkward. The place was a mess. There were piles of stuff I didn’t yet know what to do with and still a lot of moving boxes littering the place. Now our rooms are all quite functional. I’m still trying to figure out the rest of the furniture for the front room. Heath has plans to make a custom desk in the office. The office is the dumping room right now until we figure out how we want things to go in there.

Uncle Dan and Uncle Lindy wanted to watch the Cubs vs. Indians baseball game. We had the game on in the background as we sat around talking. Heath and I were pleased that 15 people were eating dessert in our family room/eat in kitchen area. No one was crowded or uncomfortable. Heath and I stood to eat our chocolate ice cream cake but there were extra seats in the family room. We just didn’t sit down after dishing out the cake. There is no way we could have ever done that in our last house.

I hosted a baby shower for my good friend Abigail eight years ago when she was expecting her first. The party was a fun success. Mostly because we had very little furniture at the time! Our house could accommodate lots of people until it started functioning better for our family. Then we could hardly take on two extra people.

Kirk and Dayleen had to leave after dessert. Middle and high school starts early especially after a family party half an hour from home. The rest of us settled into the family room to talk and watch the game. I have never had more fun watching a game I thoroughly loathe. Barry kept saying it was because we watched together. I think he’s onto something there. I asked questions too because the more I understand about a game the more fun it is to watch. Everyone was patient and willing to teach me.

We shared laughs and stories until the commercial break before the extra innings would start. It was so much fun. Heath and I kept the game on after everyone left. I can’t believe I have personally witnessed two historic games in the last month. I saw the Cubs win the World Series and I also happened to see the end of the tied Seahawks game. Crazy! I still prefer college football any day.

The family party was really fun. It’s so great being part of such a loving family. Despite their differences, political or religious, they have one thing in common – love. I feel like I definitely hit the jackpot when I married Heath. His family is great and I’m part of a tradition of non-cooking women!

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