Gigi's 99th Birthday!

 The first weekend in October we took off for California after Max got off work.  We didn't end up arriving until close to 1 am on Saturday!
 After a little shut eye we headed to the beach.  Relaxing on the beach was just what we needed.  The kids loved playing in the sand and water despite it being rather chilly.
 We practically had the beach to ourselves.  Oh how I love that warm, golden sand.
Karlie badgered Pops enough that he finally took the plunged and went body surfing with her.  Better him than me!  I was happy as a clam with my toes in the sand watching them play.
That evening we went to Uncle John and Aunt Cheryl's house to celebrate Gigi's 99th birthday!
Here she is with her children: Jeanette, John, and Phil.
 It was great to also see two of John's daughters Dawn and Amber and their families and Uncle Dave and his family.
 Hank enjoyed tending the bar with Uncle Sam.
 This woman is pretty remarkable!  No cane, no walker, still drives, still lives all on her own and she still challenges Jeanette at Scrabble.  I tease Max all the time with that kind of genetics he will probably live through 3 wives!  :)
At family reunions I enjoy seeing what I love to call "the mess" that one person started.  Sylvia has 3 children, 9 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren.  That is a big mess of people, especially when you start adding the mess of all their spouses! :)  All those people that gathered together who know and love each other would never have been if it were not for Sylvia.  It is fun to think of the numerous events that led to each person being there, knowing that we could all trace it back to her.  I can personally say she started a beautiful thing when she had Jeanette (I am sure with the boys too;).  Jeanette has grown a family on love.  She touches many lives and has been a warm mother-in-law that has helped guide me into the woman I am today.  I am grateful for all the moments that led to Jeanette, which then led to me eventually meeting my love, who then gave me the four most beautiful treasures in the world.  Family is not always perfect, sometimes it can be messy, but there really is no greater gift than to be able to be a part of large, messy connected family through all the big and small moments of life.  Cheers Gigi!

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