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Houston Celebrations

Family Fun in Houston Texas

This past weekend was full of celebration for my younger sisters when I went home to Houston.  One of my sisters celebrated her birthday and the other one had her baby shower.  I was so glad everything fell in the same weekend.  Can you imagine if I had to try to explain to the other sister why I could be at her celebration?  I can and I’m tellin’ ya, it wouldn’t go well…at all!  Thank goodness for the small things!

I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to go because it has been raining cats and dogs in Houston for the past few weeks.  Yes, I know a cat, nor a dog, will be falling out of the sky, but that’s just one of those Southern sayings I’m excited I can use again!  Luckily the weather cooperated and I got home Friday night and it was non-stop from the time I arrived until I left.

My older sister and brother-in-law (live in Kansas) had already arrived the night before. I arrived just in time because they just sat down for dinner!  As is done most of the time when it’s been a long time since you’ve seen family members, we stayed up all night talking and laughing.

Birthday Celebration

Saturday morning is still a blur!  We woke up late and had to prepare for my sister’s surprise birthday party.  My brother-in-law somehow managed to keep it a secret from her.  She knew people were coming over, but she thought it was just one of their usual cookouts.  It took her awhile, but as people began to arrive, she finally figured out is was a celebration for her.

Birthday Party

I saw cousins I haven’t seen in years and met new family members (family on my brother-in-law’s side).  We had a crawfish boil AND grilled!  There was so much food-crawfish, turkey burgers, hamburgers, hot sausage links, chicken, baked beans, and potato salad.  I have friends ask me what are crawfish and if you aren’t sure what it is, they are the little red guys below!  We had 90lbs of crawfish.  Yep, you read that right-90lbs. All was gone, but one small plastic grocery bag.

Crawfish BoilOf course, a birthday party would NOT be complete without a birthday cake; well, in this case, a birthday cheesecake.  Cheesecake Factory, and those cheesecakes…I just can’t get enough of them!  My favorite is the Dutch Apple Caramel Streusel Cheesecake-to die for!

My brother-in-law made this amazing drink called a Kentucky Mule.  I’d never had one before, but it quickly became my drink of choice for the weekend and my Pino Grigio quickly got kicked to the curb.  I think it will be my drink for the summer.  The recipe for the Kentucky Mule on the Liquor.com website is the closest recipe I could find to how he made it.  The only addition is that my brother-in-law added fresh Ginger.  You drink them out of these fabulous copper mugs.  I can’t believe I never heard of these while I lived in Kentucky.

Kentucky Mule

It was another late night and tomorrow we would have to do it all over again for my other sister’s baby shower!

Baby Shower 

To me, this was not a baby shower, it was more like a big ‘ole party.  Yes, I know a baby shower is a party, but I have never been to a 55-person baby shower and, have everyone who RSVP’d yes, actually show up!  Guess you can say my sister is loved.

Cupcakes at Baby Shower

salad

I was in charge of the games for the shower.  With so many in attendance, we only got to 1 game, which was the toilet paper game.  In this game, the attendees have to guess how much toilet paper will wrap around the mother-to-be; she’s 11 toilet paper pieces around! 

We had some great food and she received some wonderful gifts.  One thing I can say is that my niece will be very well dressed.  She received some of the most adorable outfits!  I’ve had to fight with myself to keep from buying her an outfit everytime I’m in a store. 

Baby Shower Gifts

Instead of buying her clothes, which she will outgrow and toys that will end up in the trash can or the vacuum cleaner, I decided to think about her future.  I started her college fund!

Why am I starting a college fund for a newborn?

By the time my niece goes to college in 2034, according to SavingForCollege.com, the average cost of tuition to a 4-year college will be almost $100,000!  That’s a good amount of money!  Using this savings plan and future cost estimator, $512 will need to be saved each month to pay for school.  I was shocked it was that high when I was researching.  I thought, “Oh!  She’s not even here yet so we have plenty of time!”  My advice to you is if you are pregnant or even thinking about getting pregnant, start saving for college now!

Time to go home

Back to the shower…to me, the best part was AFTER the shower.  Why?  Because after the shower, the family members stayed, reminisced, and took LOTS of pictures.

It’s funny to see my youngest sister as an adult and especially a Mom.  She’s the youngest of the 4 of us.  I was old enough to remember the day we brought her home from the hospital, I played with her, changed her diapers, helped her with her homework, and gave her advice.  Seeing her now as an adult, married, with a husband and expecting her first child is so surreal.  I just can’t believe she’s having a kid! 

Sister's Baby Shower

I’m so happy and super proud of the women my sisters have become (don’t worry, I’m not about to get all sappy and weepy on ya)!

I may not get home often, but I make the most out of it when I am there. Whew!  What a trip.  Now I need to take a few days off to recuperate!  All the planning paid off and my sisters each had a great time at their event.

When you visit family, what are some of your favorite ways to spend time with them?

See ya later!

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