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 :)