I know I'm supposed to be sleeping. I've been tucked in by the tall one after evening kisses, but I just can't close my eyes. Perhaps I'm still on a high from the day, still amazed that my family is so close to me, buzzing from the wonderful evening with my loved ones...whatever it is, I'm kept awake by it.
After picking up my cousin from his house over in Greenlake I drove out to Seatac to pick up my Uncle George and cousin Blake. Together we all drove out to my cousin Stephie's house to meet up with my cousin Levi, my Aunt Shirley and my Grandpa and Grandma. I had forgotten how witty George was and how well he and I would banter and we had great fun on the drive over. Once we arrived I took great care to photograph all the boys in the family.
Aren't they a handsome bunch? I just love this photo, each man with his own personality. Blake stands out so much in this shot, even with his arms crossed his smile is so inviting.
I can't even remember the last time Zach saw our Grandparents so it was so neat to see him standing next to Grandpa with almost the same look in their eyes. Grandpa was so on it tonight. I never knew he was so quick with his wit! Earlier in the afternoon Grandma had been worried that she was the only woman holding a beer so I grabbed a can of Bud and drank with her, but she made a little bit of a fuss about the idea of a woman drinking out of can. It was so cute and old school. Later, once Carolyn and the girls joined us at Stephie's, we were talking about how Blake was a happy accident and I mentioned that tequila might have played a part. Carolyn and George looked to the other younger kids in the room and said "let that be a lesson to you, alcohol leads to babies!" Grandpa looked at Grandma and said "see!" (pointing to all the relatives in the room) "look what you started with your drinking!" Razzing her from earlier in the day when she was so concerned with looking proper. It was adorable, and although you can tell that sometimes his mind wanders off and the Alzheimer's is making its way into his mind, his humor is still as dry as quick as ever...if not more so!
I love this shot as well. I was surprised when Levi (who is looking into the camera) came up next to me while I was looking out to the backyard watching Jolie and Lauren play with Stephie and Judah's puppy and said that he wished we spent more time together...and then he invited me to come with him to see the Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge. Apparently the friend who was going to go with him had a little altercation with the law and can't go. I was so humbled that this 15 year old (16 on monday!!) wanted to take his 32 year old cousin with him to a show. It almost makes me cry just thinking about it. He loves music so much and it's so beautiful to me that he knows my passion in it as well and wants to share in it with me. Just awesome.
I spent a lot of time shooting the boys today. When the girls arrived I knew they were exhausted so other than a few iPhone pictures with Jolie and Lauren (who, per usual were attached to my hip} I am waiting on the wedding to take any shots of them. As we sat around laughing and telling stories I couldn't help but realize I was really missing someone, and it surprised me that it was the tall one who was on my mind. I really wish he could have shared in this moment with me. My family and close friends live so far away and it would have been nice for him to see me with them, in that environment, being myself surrounded by people who love me. It's not a typical occurrence. I have to keep reminding myself that he'll not only be able to spend time with them up here at the wedding, but will be accompanying me to LA as well to meet my friends.
We said our goodbyes and I headed back for home with George and the family in tow. They were heading up to Carolyn's cousin's house in North Seattle so I had them follow me. As we drove into the city, the lights shinning from the buildings, Seahawk stadium ablaze from the evening's game, I realized that this was the first time Jolie, Blake and Lauren were seeing my city. The Starbucks building, the stadiums, and of course our landmark; the space needle. For a second it made my heart ache that I couldn't be in the car with them to see the look on their faces.
But still...I get to have the kids over tomorrow night for a sleep over. I. Can't. WAIT!!