Yesterday we all had the pleasure of going over the river and through the woods …

To Shepherdstown, WV to celebrate my Uncle Ken and Tante [aunt] Tineke’s 50th wedding anniversary!

Tineke is my mom’s oldest sister. They were 10 years apart in age but so close in spirit! We all felt the loss today and wished my mom could have been at the party bustling around. It really wasn’t the same without her, but — it was wonderful to see Oldenhuises today. This was our first visit with them since the funeral and it was nice to get together for a happy occasion!

Here is an old picture of the Oldenhuises (pre-Uncle Bill, actually):

My mom is on the bottom left and Tineke is on the top right.

We had a great time at the party! There was cake:

(almond cake! yum) and good company.

Kare asked the bartender to make her a mocktail of pineapple juice + club soda. I stuck to club soda with lime, sigh.

(Steve looks like he’s photobombing my picture here. I promise he’s not.)

Uncle David and Aunt Jan Yi were there too! So fun to see them. I love when we get both sides of the family together — it’s a very rare occurrence. But everyone loves Ken and Tineke so this was the perfect occasion.

Tineke read a poem to Ken — every Dutch party needs to have a poem.

My mom used to write poems for various occasions, but the torch has been passed. I’ll have to draw on everything I learned during my creative writing classes at the Academy for our future family parties!

And my cousin Christina read a toast written by her brother Greg, who was unable to join us as he and his wife await the impending arrival of their little boy! As you can see, my dad listened intently to Christina reading.

Sophie had a lot of fun rolling around on the floor before lunch, too.

It was the perfect day for a party. The Bavarian Inn is one of my aunt and uncle’s favorite places, and we’ve attended several family functions there over the years.

Look at my handsome date.

It was also a very long day as we drove the 3 hours back to Charlottesville and didn’t make it home until 10:00! Good thing we fell back last night – we needed that extra hour of sleep. Today we are making up for it by spending the afternoon on the couch watching football!