Monday, July 30, 2012

Gettin' Our Irish On

This weekend was my annual family reunion in Tennessee. We meet at the Irish Picnic at St. Patrick’s Church in McEwen, Tennessee. This is a family tradition of ours for my whole life, and you can read more about the Irish Picnic here. My grandfather’s family were members of this parish, and he attended church there until he moved to Nashville. Several of my ancestors are buried in the church cemetery.
My mom and her brothers and sisters arrive early to set up tents and chairs under the shade trees in the church yard. The rest of the family arrives throughout the morning, bringing food and desserts. We all chip in on the barbecued pork (which is divine-there is nothing in the world that tastes like this barbecue) and just basically tailgate all afternoon. We bring cornhole and activities for the kids, and sit around under the trees and catch up on things. It was so much fun this year to bring the girls and introduce them to my family. They were a little overwhelmed-I have a very large family, and there were about 55 of us there this weekend. And that’s not even the whole family!

There is an area with games and prizes, so we spent a great deal of time there with the girls. One booth that has always been at the Irish Picnic is the doll booth. It is called the doll booth, but is should be called the Barbie booth because that is what you win! I remember spending countless minutes and dimes at the doll booth with my cousins when I was little. We would pick the ones that were our favorites, based on their outfits, of course. Then we would spend dimes playing the game until we finally won at least one doll. On Saturday, we took the girls there and played until they each had a doll of their own-one ended up with a High School Musical Barbie and one with a wedding Barbie. Of course now you spend dollars instead of dimes! Right before we were leaving, I tried again for the fun of it and ended up with a Snow White Barbie and a Cinderella Barbie for them. We also came home with a cake, a goldfish (I was really hoping that we DIDN’T win on that one!), Dora bracelets, and some other junk treasures. It was so much fun to take the girls around and play the exact games that I played when I was a little girl.

Of course, the best part of the weekend was getting to see my family and having the girls get to know them. They had already spent some time with my parents, so they were able to spend more time with them and meet a whole lot of other family members too. I received lots of supportive hugs from aunts, uncles, and cousins who were all thrilled to meet our girls.

(Above pictures were taken of the t-shirt I bought at the picnic. Top picture is the small logo on the front, bottom picture is the logo on the back. Cute, isn't it?)

Between our family and friends, Mr. P and I are truly blessed. Last week, our church friends hosted a “shower” for us and the girls. They called it a “welcome to our church” party, but it was basically a baby little girls' shower.  The girls received clothes, shoes, books, games, and gift cards.  It was such a thoughtful gesture, especially with back to school shopping just around the corner. We are so lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives.

On another note, are you enjoying the Olympics as much as we are? I love cheering for Team USA, and the girls have really gotten into the spirit also. Mr. P is working late tonight, but the girls and I have been snuggled in watching the games tonight. The little one got sleepy, so I just put her to bed but the older one is holding out for the gymnastics. She’s looking a little sleepy-eyed too, so I’m not sure if she will make it or not…



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