01 April, 2011

Flatlands - Chris & Janet, Part I

Surprising Chris was fantastic!  Even better was being able to watch as surprise after surprise unfolded.  It was a magical weekend, due in large part to Janet's unparalleled Mad Planning Skilz.  In addition to coordinating to get all the people there, Janet also arranged for time off work for Chris - all without him being aware of anything.  {Janet, if you ever go job hunting, you should definitely look into Project Management or event planning.  You're a natural!}
As is typical of this vacation, most of the pictures are courtesy of Greg and his fancy-pants camera.  I've contributed a few from my old, slow point-and-shoot, but I also used some of Janet's pictures too.  We started the morning by heading to breakfast, of course!  It was a  lot of fun to be with the whole family - rather reminded me of my own childhood, and being surrounded by all my siblings.
The Girls
 The Boys
Cheers! with Piper
Greg and Chris
I took a picture of all the girls, and Janet had all the boys - together, we've got everyone!  =)  Janet and I took the kids and headed out to the retreat (by way of the Shoe Tree - where additional shoes seem to randomly appear), while Greg and Chris were sent after coffee.  After waiting and waiting for the Birthday Boy (and my husband) to arrive, Janet finally had to call and prompt them to speed things along.  Chris didn't know, but Janet's family was already on site, and more people were scheduled to arrive soon.  We found out the cause of the delay: Chris wanted to show Greg the Bass Pro shop.  Upon seeing some of the pictures Greg took, that place is great!  Next time we're in the area (or in any area that has one), we'll have to stop in to do some store-sightseeing.
Bass Pro Magnificence

Shoe Tree Landmark
The rest of the afternoon was filled with one surprise after another for Chris, as friends and family from far and near began to arrive.  It was wonderful to watch as the space filled with people who care for Chris and Janet, and to see Chris's elation as each new surprise was revealed.
Chris and Janet haven't changed a bit.  The kids, on the other hand...  We saw Caleb a couple years ago, so he looks a little taller but similar.  Madison was still in diapers (come to think of it, that's the last time we saw Janet too), and Cody, Jessica, and Piper were just twinkles in mama and papa's eyes...  Man, it's been too long!

The evening was warm and the sky clear, so the stars were out en mass.  It's been a long time since I've seen so many stars. When it's dark enough (and we're out of the city) back home, it's too cold for me to star-gaze for long; when it's warm enough, there's too much sunlight.  I took a walk last night.  To savor the pleasures of the day and enjoy the refreshingly warm evening.  It's been a good day; an engaging day of socializing with and celebrating our friends.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

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