Sunday, July 08, 2018

Party Month 2018--Extended (& Compressed) Edition

Question 1--Why is it extended?

Well--normally Party Month begins in late June with Grace's birthday (6/26) and then rolls forward until the end of Sarah's birthday (7/22), with stops to celebrate Lynda's birthday (7/1) and our anniversary (7/8).

But this year, we HAVE to consider Sarah's HS graduation with began on May 26.

You could certainly argue that--with that logic--I need to pluralize the name of this event and also why not throw in Mothers Day and Fathers Day?

To answer the second argument first: precedent matters . . . and I've never done so before. And it's my blog. So, I get to set the rules and bend them in whatever shape I want. And to answer the first argument, a high school graduation comes but once in a person's life (hopefully). So, I think it deserves to be remembered and highlighted.

Question 2--Okay. Then why is it also compressed?

That should be obvious to any long-time readers of WWYG?! It's because I am halfway through our annual Party Month period and have not yet posted anything about Party Month. For that, I apologize to Sarah for not quickly blogging about her important educational transition. And I also apologize to Grace for only now mentioning her aging to her fifteenth year, or for publically celebrating Lynda's new birthday observation.

To rectify those problems I'm going to post together about most of these in this update.

Event 1: Sarah's graduation (May 26)
We spruced up the house a bit prior to this weekend in May, especially in the yard. And we got to welcome some visiting family that doesn't often get to visit in Ohio. So, it was a fun experience for us and certainly a first in our family--our first high school graduate.

Sarah didn't want a big party with her friends but opted to hang out with our family as we had a cookout with lots of good food. Even though it rained while I was finishing up the grilling, we passed the food and the vegetable kabobs through the breakfast nook window while my brother Mike kept me dry with a patio umbrella. All in all, everything was successful--especially Sarah's walk across the big stage. And the ceremony itself took about two hours AND it was indoors--which was nice because it was pretty hot in late May this year.

Of course, we are so proud of Sarah's hard work in school all of these years--especially these last two years of high school. We are very excited for her upcoming enrollment in the Columbus College of Art and Design, which is only just downtown and twenty minutes away. She'll be living on campus and getting a taste of some independent living. I can't want for her to come home during the Fall semester so I can see her first tattoo. (Joking?)

Back when she was three? Two?

Event 2: Grace's fifteenth birthday (June 26)

As usual, Grace handled the party planning and all of the food prep herself. She knows what she wants and she's going to make it so. Good food, and a fun time to watch Grace hang out with so many of her theatre friends.

I mostly stayed out of the way, discretely out of earshot, and making sure that everyone had what they needed. I started a fire in the firepit and did my best to keep it burning throughout the evening and into the dark--just in case Grace and her friends decided to hang out and make smores or something. Mostly they just sat around on the patio and had fun talking and laughing.

Sarah helped out a lot by keeping an eye on Hannah through many parts of the event so that Grace wasn't worried about Hannah. But even so, I think Hannah did a good job of interacting some and not being a problem (at least in Grace's estimation).

Event 3: Lynda's birthday (July 1)
This event got obscured a bit because of a variety of factors (and--at least to a degree--with Lynda's permission). First, Grace and I were out of town that weekend on a church Youth Group mission trip. And second, Lynda's mom moved into her new apartment in Ohio that same weekend. So, it was a busy time, to say the least, and not all of us were there to help spread the workload.

Lynda took it all in stride and was very happy to see her Mom move into the Westerville area so that we can all be closer together now. Grace and I did get her a cupcake when we got back into town, thought--and Sarah and Nana bought her a birthday cake as well that we all got to enjoy.

Valdosta, Georgia--1995

Event 4: Our 23rd Wedding Anniversary (July 8)
I'm so happy to celebrate another year of happy marriage with Lynda. She's such a great person, a wonderful friend, and devoted mom. She works so hard for herself, for her community, for us. It's great to share a life with someone who you are proud of, who makes me happy and gives me reasons to make her happy.

The last year has been undeniably tough for her. But her strength and faith are always evident. And now we go forward with new experiences still ahead. I can't ask for a better partner and friend and I should write about that in public every day.

Here's hoping that I can FINALLY make good on my promise long ago and get that anniversary trip to Hawaii ready to launch in the next two years!

. . . Anyway--that is a catch up on what we've been doing for Party Month so FAR! Sarah's eighteenth birthday is still to come, so I hope to have a bit more to update before this month is done.

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