Family and Friends

A few weeks ago, I threw together a party with my family and our family friends, the Kranzes.

Frank and Kathy have been friends with my parents for…well, ever, I suppose, and we grew up with their kids. However, as adults, we don’t see each other that often. I’d been chatting with Kelly, who is my age and she and I had been talking about a get-together.

We planned it for November 4. Somehow, miraculously , that is a date that worked for EVERYONE. Mom,dad,Frank,Kathy, Colleen, Roy, Jamie, Jerry, Avery, Macy, Kelly, Jeff, Gracie, Carrie, Matt, Natalie, Paul, Em, Chad, Zack and me. Count ’em up. That’s 21 people, across 10 separate families who were able to make it with less than two weeks notice. Either we all have no lives, or else we got very, very lucky.

Everyone brought an appetizer, and who doesn’t love appetizer dinner? We had more appetizers than we could fit on the counter at my house! I think there were something like 4 crock pots plugged in…and none of them were mine.

It was so much fun to sit around and reminisce (that means to recall old memories) about all the nostalgic (that means to remember the happy times) times we had as children and teens. Most of our family vacation memories are of both families. We chatted about favorite memories and laughed, told fun stories and laughed, Kelly sang a bar or two of “I Will Always Love You” and we laughed.

We still are trying to organize a home movie night. But Kathy needs to get involved, as she is the owner of the home movies.

I ran around taking photos:

Zack, Jamie, Kelly, and Natalie. I love how Jamie’s hair is in motion here!

Zack and Natalie…apparently he doesn’t like her!

Hmm? Maybe he likes Kelly? Or else just having two beautiful girls fawning over him…

Men, congregating (that means gathering) in the kitchen.

Uncle Matt, threatening to toss Avery over the railing.

Uncle Matt, attempting to toss Macy over the railing. Those poor, terrified (that means very scared) girls.


 Starting with my mom (if you read this blog, you MUST know my mother, but if not, she’s the one drinking wine) and going right…Mom, Roy, Jamie, Carrie (who is preggers and due on Xmas day!) Kelly, Kathy (something funny?), and Colleen.
So cute! The baby was kicking and her sisters were divebombing (that means attacking furiously (that means frantically, harshly, or angrily) in a downward manner) her trying to feel the kicks. I even snuck in there and got to feel Baby Bissell moving around.
This has most of us. My mom, bottom front in the purple, with her back to the camera. Going clockwise (that means in the same direction as a clock turns) we have Colleen, Kelly, Frank, Emily, Zack, Jamie, Roy (who is married to her SISTER but has his arm around her) Carrie (seated and drinking a mocktail (that means a fake cocktail)) Natalie, Matt, (seated with blue cap and head in hand), Paul, standing behind Matt, and Kathy.
I just like this one because of how hard everyone was laughing. Zack and Chad are about to burst. This was before Colleen fell off her chair from laughing so hard (no lie, that really happened).
Another fun group shot, I seem to have caught everyone in the midst (that means middle) of disputing (that means arguing or discussing) some long-forgotten point about family vacations. This was not the Great Easter Egg – Was it Vermilion, Otter Tail, or Ely? Debate. That was earlier. I don’t remember what they were arguing, but I love the varying stages of  expression from everyone.
Jeff found us boring and decided to take a nap. (Just kidding, he’s awake, it’s just the angle I caught him at).
Frank, telling the “Better Mousetrap” joke. I think I’ve heard that joke 5 or 6 times (and it is still funny) but somehow it was the first time for his daughters. Strange! But, damn, that is a funny, funny, joke and NO ONE tells it like Frank.
See? Told you she fell off her chair from laughing so hard!
Lastly, two inebriated (that means drunk) friends:
At the tail end of the night.
It was a night of laughing until your stomach hurt, telling tales and jokes, and just being with friends that are practically family. We’ve got a plan. Twice a year! One in summer, one in winter, from here on out.
And that doesn’t count the beer fest, coming to you in March!
Thanks for coming everyone!

6 thoughts on “Family and Friends

  1. What a fabulous and memorable night! It’s so wonderful your families have another family to love like that. What was with the meanings? I was waiting for the punchline on that one.

    • They are a wonderful family and we are lucky to be such close friends with them. It was great to spend time with them, I think we all had a good time.

  2. Oh my God Olivia, you crack me up! Thanks so much for doing that! We had such a great time and so happy it worked out for everyone. Can’t wait for the family vacation movie night! It’s bound to be a GREAT time!!!!!!!!! YOU ROCK!

    • I’m glad you thought it was funny! I had such a great time that night, I am glad to hear you did, too. It was fun to get to know your girls some, too. Next time we all get together, we should try in the summer, so the kids can come and play together.

    • No kidding, I was drinking cherry 7-up and snorted it through my nose when I read that. My nostrils are burning, but that was a damn funny comment!

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