the Beatty Convergence

 over the weekend, Beattys converged from all over the map to celebrate a very important event:
Grandma Georgie's 100th birthday!!!

can you believe this lovely, spritely little woman has lived a whole century?

we all got together to prepare for the party. i collected trinkets, clothes, and photos from grandma's house to remind everyone of all their visits there over the years. she has lived in the same little house in sacramento since 1962! my dad was in high school when they moved there, and he raised pigeons in a coop in the backyard.

mikie graciously helping me put up streamers. streamers are so obnoxious to use, but they make things look so festive!

my older half-sister jeanette baked 100 cupcakes.

it was a potluck. a good old-fashioned church-style potluck. 
i am used to my friends' potlucks with healthy quinoa and ginger pumpkin soup and stuff like that, so it was kinda fun to see stuff like this galore:

addie, who is a budding graphic designer, printed large photos and made some amazing posters. here is one she made with a sweet sentiment to grandma:

together addie and i made this giant wall-size timeline of grandma's life. addie put up all the photos and i made the timeline itself. we included historic and cultural events along with family ones, and people had a lot of fun checking it out and adding more Beatty occasions.

the guest of honor arrives!
since she broke her arm just before christmas, grandma can't walk very well because she can't hold herself up on her walker. so she came in a wheelchair, from which she sat comfortably like a queen and visited for hours.

on the right below is my cousin teresa. she was grandma's very first grandchild. darin and i visited her near sedona arizona once where she was working at a wild animal park. she is an animal caretaker and the most wonderful, hilarious person.

here we are cracking up with teresa.

it was so great to see so many beattys, but most of all my very own little group of them.
matt and amy and the kids came from utah; mikie and amber came up from LA. it is a party whenever we all get together.

here's my display table of some grandma georgie memorabilia. i found this antique fur jacket in her cedar chest. my mom made the pillows for grandma in the 70s. and she always had a clown collection ever since i can remember.

more beatty love.
this is my cousin allison, she is right around the same age as addie and i so we hung out a lot together when we were small. her father was my dad's youngest brother stephen, who died when we were kids. he and my dad were close friends and shared a birthday, exactly two years apart. i like to think his spirit was there with his family and adorable grandkids that day. allison has the two most outrageously adorable daughters, gracie and kassidy, who are about the same age distance apart as ade and i, almost like little twinnies.

and my cousin laurie hugging my pops. her dad was my dad's oldest brother, fred, who died in 2000 of throat cancer. laurie loves my dad extra much because he reminds her so much of her own.
and by the way, she has six kids and two adopted kids, all gorgeous!

the food line starts...

we were the photographers.
an outdoor session would have been nice, but hey, there's only so much you can do inside a mormon church building with twenty foot ceilings and fluorescent lighting.

i could look at old family photos for hours on end.

my dad took grandma to a hair and nail appointment the day before the party. she got to choose her own nail color, and guess what color she picked? LIGHT BLUE. she is so funny.
she and emily had matching nails!

amy brought activities like these word searches for the kids, here's darin helping jarom.

and people got up to share fun memories of grandma. here is my nephew tyler, my older half-sister jeanette's son, talking about how good grandma is at remembering birthdays and how every year for his birthday (and all of his seven siblings!) he got a card and money from grandma georige. he asked everyone in the audience who remembers that, and almost all of us raised our hands. that's a lot of cards and checks to send out!

it was fun to hear addie, who is only one year older than me, share memories that i don't remember as well, like riding in grandma's tiny honda on fun excursions. we all remember her two chihuahuas that she had forEVER, rocky and tinkerbell. i was scared of them.

this is my second cousin cassidy, laurie's youngest daughter. i remember clearly when she was born. WEIRD! she is studying creative writing at BYU now.

another branch of beattys, this is my cousin Kevin, his wife Caleen, and their six kids, including the illustrious RYAN BEATTY. in case you haven't heard, i have a famous cousin, hee hee. apparently the little girls go cuckoo for this kid. he really is quite a star. you can buy his single on itunes if you'd like :)

i think his mama caleen is the real star ;) 

another branch, this is my aunt mary with her three daughters teresa, kathy and kim and their kids. aunt mary was grandma's only daughter out of five kids. 

grandma with her three living children: robert, mary and dan. 
my uncle robert flew out from new york. i haven't seen him since i was a kid!

grandma hugs robert's daughter, my cousin marci who lives in taos new mexico.

cousin aaron visiting with grandma. he was always one of my faves as a boy. he played piano like you wouldn't believe. and now he has a baby boy of his own!

grandma snuck in a few bites of cake while my own clan gathered round for our photo.

left to right, back row: art, addie, pops (dan), emily, joey, mikie, amber, amy, matt
left to right, front row: darin, me, grandma georgie, bella, jarom, orion.

old people can't party too long.
in the afternoon we had to wind things down and say goodbye to family we probably won't see again for five years or so. my cousins are so scattered in age and distance that it is really rare to get together. that's why i want all my siblings to have kids around the time i do, so we can have a big group of cousins to play together and grow up together!

it was so weird to think that we all have grandma georgie to thank for being here at all!
for beatty traditions, like loving white rice, homemade handknit christmas stockings, and coconut cupcakes.
100 years on this earth is a long time, and i am proud of her. she now has a caretaker living with her, the wonderful Marika, but grandma retains her endless charm and talkative spunkiness. i think she'll make it a few more years :)


Teeny said…
I love family food lines. They're the best. Laughter, memories, anticipation and sharing. Then to sit down and talk about old times and catch up on the last twenty years. Grandma Georgie is a cute little peanut with her blue nails...I'm sure I can see some resemblance between you and she. I sometimes think that the stronger social ties a person has, the happier and longer their lives are. That's part of why family and togetherness are so important, in my small way of working out things anyway. I bet you walked away from that birthday happy, peaceful and just feeling completely blessed to have been born into your own family. I know I do after one of our parties.
Thanks for sharing sweetie x
Celynne said…
Now that's a family! You folks sure are prolific haha. I really love that timeline on the wall... you guys put SO much time and effort into this. That's love :D
Lorlore said…
Wow!!!! What a party!!! I knew a Marika in Sac in the mid 70s, been looking for her, would be in her 50s, I guess. Wonder if it's the same one........
that made me get all teary eyed. i love grandma georgie's nails. family is wonderful.
Milla said…
Dear Beattys,
Why do we love you so? Because of your vastness, the many branches of a family tree stretching to the sun, but still firmly together, bound by roots, because our own families are smaller, not as attached. Because of your seemingly boundless sense of fun, your love for each other, adventures, blue nail polish, the good things in life. Because you're the kind of family that drives miles and miles to see each other, that throws parties and takes photos and shares the good and bad. Because you remind us of what our short, eventful, glowing lives are all about. Because you inspire us to call our moms and aunts and far-flung relatives, dance all night and cuddle little ones all day, built forts and marvel at the world. Because of your spirituality (I must assume it's a family trait-being entrenched in the church and all-and just looking at you and Adie) and your spirit, one that seems so tenacious, not willing to give into the bad times, the sad times.

Happy 100th birthday Grandma Georgie, you are a matriarch of a mighty clan! (and more on the way!)
Andrea said…
You never cease to amaze me, nor do the Beattys. Grandma Georgie seems to radiate a wonderful and strong female spirit, that I'm sure has played a wondrous role down the Beatty line (they are quite numerous, aren't they?). It so sweet all of the special thought and care you went into planning the event. Really touching!

PS: Are you exhausted yet? Where do you find the time? It seems you are always galavanting this way and that...
Missa said…
Aw, reading what Addie wrote brought tears to my eyes, so beautifully put. Grandma Georgie is the cutest thing ever. Those blue nails!!!

You all did such an amazing job with her party, all the photos and the timeline! She must have felt so proud and so loved surrounded by all you beautiful Beattys.

Way to go Grandma Georgie for creating this amazing family! Happy 100th Birthday, you are clearly one special lady :)
Katie said…
its not very often i'll ready a big ol' blogpost online, but i always make time for posts about family! i love the timeline you made up, too. :)
mo marie said…
I loved this post! That's so beautiful that you all gathered to celebrate your grandma's 100th! that is so very special. I LOVE that she picked blue for her nails. Addie and you were dressed so cute and I love the spirit of all of you. What a great idea to showcase some of her belongings from the past and of course all the pictures. That amazes me how many old photos there were. Not very many people seem to even hold on to those things anymore. Great shot of Darin at the end with all the decorations. I love that family came from far and wide to celebrate such an amazing day, and for your family to honor her like that must have made her whole heart and spirit glow! You Beatty's sure are a special bunch!
Violet Folklore said…
Awww, Milla's comment is the best.

Heather, this post made me cry! SO, so sweet. I know I've said it ten thousand times but you are so blessed to have the family you do. I mean, you're set for life. No matter what happens, things will always be good and always be okay, because you'll have so many and so much to fall back on. And you get to bring a new little being into this lively bunch!

Awesome job on everything- I am especially enamored of the timeline, what a great idea! Adding cultural and historical events alongside the personal ones makes it that much more special and relevant.

Happy Birthday Grandma Georgie!

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