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*conversational distance.

Oh, hai there.

bright eyes.


Wait. 'Scuse me one second.

consideration.


SHINY THINGS!

beer me.


Sorry, what's that you were saying?

mini me.
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*to have and to hold.

The 60th Anniversary Weekendstravaganza culminated in a beautiful church service, including a sweet blessing of the happy couple during which a keen observer noted that all seven children inadvertently stood in birth order, Von Trapp style, and a rockin' party that required the donning of necessary finery.

Some chose the dapper approach.

dapper.


Others, the studiously effortless look.

back lit.


Some put on their prettiest frocks and their most uncertain faces.

frownz.


And one wore sequins, the better to prove that she is both fabulous and gorgeous.

lovely ladies.


We gathered at the Elks Lodge, where there were fascinating things to behold.

redundancy.


History? From the past?

thinking cap.


Thassright.

easter tree.


A Christmas tree? Decorated for Easter?

werd.


Werd.

Family and friends mingled and greeted.

girlfriends.


They smiled and laughed put on their most gracious airs.

sprinkles.


They marveled at the moment, the 60 years of happy memories.

mama's baby.


Well, for the most part.

observe.


Oh dear. Some people just cannot be contained.

silly putty.


Some people just have to be the center of attention.

determined stare.


Some people just have to be the MOST charming and the MOST delightful and the MOST adorable.

naughty and niece.


It gets downright tiresome.

uncle matthew.


It's a good thing I'm obviously the favorite grandchild.

proudness.




And then, suddenly, it was "places, people!"

places, please.


We dined in the waning light, on lovely salads

peachy.


and steak dinners

steak dinner.


and sweet surprises to mark the occasion.

tom & doll.


We were all very impressed.

tiny hands.


No, really, we were.

grump.


Ahem. I said IMPRESSED.

sling babe.


There we go.

So we danced, and we sang, and we acted like fools. We made plans for the 70th anniversary, and thought perhaps we should do this more often than once a decade. But for now we'll take it easy. All that fun was absolutely exhausting.

sleepyhead.
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*from this day forward.

Last weekend the FinFam (part T3) traveled to The Great Midwest to celebrate a most momentous occasion. See these folks here?

60 years.


On April 15, whilst you were banging your fists on your keyboard and screeching obscenities at Turbo Tax, these two were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

congratulations.


What's that? You're still applauding? Oh no, carry on.

best wishes.


Honestly, I find that stupefying. Most people I know can't tolerate me for more than a few hours at a time. These two have managed to love, honor, and cherish each other for the better part of a century, plus have a baker's half-dozen children.

tom & terry.


There's a couple of 'em now! There are five more wandering about, because everyone made it to the celebration.

marymentary.


See? There's one.

p shoots.


Oh! There's another one.

girl talk.


One's hiding in the background, there. Hi, K!

dood.


AND B. We'd never forget her. Even though she is the baby.

Only now she has babies. Funny ones!

millinery.


Sisters came up,

jules.


as did the very first great-grandchild.

baby face.


And of course there's the one they sometimes refer to as "the favorite."

mama's boy.


Maybe it's genetic?

man twins.


Though even he is finding it difficult to compete with LSis, mother of The Star, who has decided to stick it to the man by having a baby and then becoming more gorgeous and happy every day.

gorj.


I think it has something to do with this guy.

face.


When the FinFam gets together it's nonstop chatter.

chitchat.


Sometimes there are serious matters to discuss,

the tfins.


like world peace and

aunt j.


politics and

discourse.


football and

men at work.


funny men carved out of trees.

stumpy.


And sometimes there are lighthearted matters to attend to,

kids at play.


like the dream house you're building or

showoff.


your fancee new camera or

lens.


how awesome your wife is for letting her sister-in-law borrow her amazing lens for the weekend.

talkative.


Ahem.

painted eggs.


It was a stupendous evening, filled with laughter and hugs and something called "Doll's Potatoes" that are a wondrous mixture of carbohydrates and cream. Also ketchup. And possibly methamphetamine.

doll's potatoes.


At the end of the night we sighed and pondered.

tiresome.


How do two people find such tremendous love?

love.


Some say it's the small gestures. The little things that, stacked together, create a force field around your hopes, desires, and fondness for one another. The careful attention to protecting your marriage, fostering the thing that's most precious to you so that you can weather infinite moves, job changes, life changes, and the task of raising seven children until you ultimately can communicate with only a smile, or a nod, or a hand on the back, or the sound of ice in a glass.

for my wife.


And then some say it's this.

das ring.


Big gestures can't hurt.

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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.

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