an eightieth birthday

Today is my grandmother's eightieth birthday, and we spent the past weekend in New York celebrating the birthday girl with a surprise party.

We transformed the kitchen cafe at my cousins' church into space for a party while the kids (big and small) played in the gym.

Setting up the food.


Get the kids' plates ready first.

Time to eat.

Boys and matches.

I think all the gifts were photos of Grandma with her grandkids and great-grandkids.

My grandmother has three daughters, my mom being the youngest. We do not see my Aunt Karen or her two boys (and one granddaughter) very often, and they were not able to make the party. While we live almost four hours away from my Aunt Laura's family, we see them a few times a year between Fat Camp and life events (mainly weddings in recent years). So those two entire families (thirty-four of us) were present for this party - here's the breakdown.

Laura (my aunt), Grandma, Darlene (my mom). (Many people I've met in my life think I belong to Laura.)

The cousins (missing Karen's two boys). (I know Rachel and Nicole are adults now, but when I was fourteen, they were eight. It was just me and the boys for a long time - which is more hilarious now that with the great-grandchildren there are more girls than boys - ten girls and five boys.)

Fifteen great-grandchildren. (Missing one in this picture, and there are two more in the oven.)

Aunt Laura's people.

Darlene's people.

Happy Birthday, Grandma! We love you!