Last night, our whole family gathered for Grandson Ethan’s 11th Birthday Party.
Ordinarily, I would have been working overtime on a meal that would feed at least 16 people in grand style.  Not the case here.  It was a school night.  All of the adults had worked until at least 6:00 PM.  We got together anyway because the children in this family are special and we want them to grow up with that understanding. Otherwise, they won’t be able to repeat it and that’s what matters.  

We all gathered at my Son Jeff’s house in the woods near Lowell, Mi.
His wife Alicia (I call her A.J.) baked an incredible chocolate cake with fresh strawberries separating the chocolate layers.  It was incredible! (Still dreaming about it)

Photo by HANA76/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by HANA76/iStock / Getty Images

But instead of worrying about a fancy La-De-Dah meal, we ordered pizza!
Yep, a family full of foodies and we ordered pizza.  The result was that we were able to spend that extra time connecting and talking bout things that really mattered and a lot of things that didn’t.  The pressure was gone!  

Ethan got a new bow and we spent the evening outside sighting it in and watching him shoot.  My Son Jeff has a go-cart for the kids and they rode it around until they were exhausted.  The trampoline got a workout it will not soon forget.
The beauty of all of this was that we were all able to be together and enjoy ourselves without the extra fuss of “The rolls will be done in a minute” OR who sits where.  This was a good lesson.  Jeanie and I have always tried to make everyone’s Birthday or Anniversary special.
We have always done that with an extravagant meal.  We learned last night that THAT is not necessary, but being together IS. 

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