Today is one of those days where a great many things happened in my family.
1. My dad and step-mom got married 33 years ago.
2. My nephew, Zach, was born 13 years ago.
3. My niece, Hazel, was born 4 years ago.
Zach and Hazel are cousins and the grandchildren of my dad and step-mom so this is an immediate family sort of thing.
I wasn't at my dad and step-mom's wedding so I can't reminisce about it, however I can say that my step-mom has been one of the most influential women in my life and I am grateful for her. I don't remember a time in my life when she wasn't part of it. She is funny, creative, giving, generous, kind, spontaneous, and knows how to do just about everything on the planet. Halloween is her favorite holiday. I was just at her house and you have never seen a place more decorated. My favorite memory of her (I think, ever) was one Christmas when I was visiting from Phoenix. They were building new condos after tearing down the beautiful cherry orchard that was next to our house. It was awful, but, as a result there were giant hills covered with snow. She brought out large pots, cookie sheets, and other appropriate kitchen stuff and we spent the afternoon sledding on them down the hills. We laughed and laughed and got soaked and probably slightly frost-bitten, but it was a wonderful day.
The first time I ever held Zach was a few weeks after he was born. He was born early and was a tiny little guy. Having taken care of my niece, Ellen, I was pretty confident around babies and just snuggled him, fed him, and was in heaven. I moved away the next year to Virginia and didn't get a chance to really watch him grown up. Now he is one of those teenagers so his interest in me is less than zero, but he's a cool kid who loves music just like his mom and dad. I'm sure it will be fascinating to watch where life takes him.
Hazel is a stunning beauty. Seriously. She looks just like her mama. She is funny and silly and girly and I love that my sister and I had little girls within just a few months of each other. They could almost be twins (fraternal, of course) with their blond hair. I love watching them play and fight and figure out how much fun cousins can be. I wish they could play more often! Clara calls Hazel "Baby Hazel" when she isn't around, which is funny because Hazel was born first. Hazel lives on a farm in Idaho with chicken.
So Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday to all of the wonderful people in my family that share this day. I hope it is a great one!