Nonnie, my grandmother/ best friend had a birthday last week. To celebrate, my aunt and uncle decided to throw Nonnie a little surprise party. And surprised she was.
Nonnie jumped right into the action of the party as if she had known about it all along. She is graceful that way. She seemed to dance around the room as she greeted each guest, giving hugs, lots and lots of hugs. Kisses too. I look over and see that after she covers Harper's soft, squishy baby cheeks in her kisses, she looks at her like this and my heart melts because the love that Nonnie is filled with is so ginuine. So honest. So real.
If there is one thing in this world that Nonnie can't stand, it's pictures... So of course I HAD to have a picture with the birthday girl (yea, that's right Nonnie, I called you a "girl"... brownie points?):
And right in the middle of all of the chatter, laughter and most importantly food, I feel some tiny hands on my thighs. I look down and see this sweet face that is saying "hold me mama!" And I realize that this, right here, is what life is about. Celebrating, laughter, thanking God for our blessings and being surrounded by family.
Everywhere I looked seemed like a Kodak moment. Everyone just being themselves. Celebrating life all around me. A couple of times I teared up when I happened to see a moment like this one. So innocent. So sweet. So real. (Thank you Donna for Cliff's bugs! He loves them!)
The afternoon was spent passing babies around.
The yard was filled with smiles and pure happiness. Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, mothers, fathers, children, babies, friends. It was perfect.
Remember my aunt Charity from this post?! Well here is the product. Meet baby Paxton.
I love the way mamas and babies have that special connection. It is written on their faces. Etched in their smiles. The way both of their faces light up when they make eye contact, their souls fuse for a moment and nothing else matters. Family. This is what life is about.
Cliff and Harper were fueled up on excitement. Even though their bed time came and went, they were happy. Content. Soaking up the raw love that is the glue holding our family together.
And then there were the cakes (yes, cakeS). Cheese Cake, Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake and just in case cake isn't your thing, there was a Brownie Souffle! (...this was my second plate full of the yummy desserts...) Have you ever heard of three cakes at one birthday party?! I haven't, but I can for sure say that if anyone deserves three birthday cakes, it's Nonnie.
Then Nonnie opened her gifts. She took time to read each card and carefully admire each package as she unwrapped each gift. She thanked each person for the gift they gave her. She was so thankful, grateful, counting her blessings, so ginuine. She was so happy.
This party to celebrate Nonnie's life also unexpectedly morphed into a celebration of family. Our family. Which was a nice surprise.
And in the spirit of Nonnie's surprise party, I want to give one of you a gift from me! This is my first ever giveaway so I am super excited! One lucky winner will win the same thing I made Nonnie for her birthday.... Drum roll please....
A Nook/ Kindle/E-Reader case!
(Yep. Nonnie has a Nook. She is just super cool like that!)
Here is how you enter:
1. Follow Johnny In A Dress and leave a comment saying you did or if you DO!
2. Like Johnny In A Dress on Facebook and tell me you did!
3. Tell me your favorite birthday memory!
Yes, each entry can have a different comment.
The winner will be randomly selected next Saturday (4/23/11)!
And... Happy Birthday Nonnie, we love you!