TUESDAY TRAVELER - April 2014 - Family Matters

A few weeks ago, we talked about reasons why we don't travel; and family was one of them.  Well, family is also a reason for us to travel. 

Why, because Family Matters

Late last year, Amanda, my middle daughter announced she would be graduating for college in the spring of 2014; two weeks before her wedding.

With graduation being in North Dakota, her wedding on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic), and me living in Florida she did not expect me attend her graduation.

SURPRISE, dad does stuff that is often unexpected.

My girls and I, well we do a good job at surprising each other.  For instance, when Danielle turned 30, I was working outside the US and told her I could not be there to help her celebrate.  However, Amanda and I knew differently.  

When Amanda announced her graduation, Danielle wanted to plan a bridal shower for the same weekend.  Together, they worked out all the details; the small stuff we guys don't worry about.  Danielle told Amanda "don't worry about a baby sitter; I'll take care of that".

So in November my plans were set to be in North Dakota the last weekend of April.

I arrived ahead of (but on the same plane) as my sister, Danielle and Oliver, our newest family member to find Amanda waiting.  I had it all planned in my mind and even had the camera in my hand to surprise her.  But she was waiting upstairs, not the normal waiting area. 

Rounding the corner and expecting to have a minute or so before going downstairs, I heard "Dad, what are you doing here?"

Hell the camera wasn't even ready so a decent photo was out of the question.

I approached Amanda, gave her and Grayson (my grandson) a hug, and told her I was here for her; and to attend your graduation.

Danielle, Oliver, and Sheryl (my sister) followed.  The real joy of family was when Grayson and Oliver first met.  Neither one of them are old enough to talk but the bonding has started; and will last forever.

My grandsons laying and playing on the floor
Grayson eating lunch
Grayson feeding Oliver his lunch

Grandsons playing one

Grandsons playing 3

Friday night was 'boys' night with grandpa and his two grandsons just chillin' around the house while the girls went to Amanda's bridal shower.  All we did was sit around playing a little poker, watching MMA, and throwing back a couple of drinks.  Those boys know how to party....

No but seriously, the boys were great.  They both didn't cry at the same time, they both ate their super without hesitation, and they went to bed on time.  Life is good.

Saturday afternoon was spent at Amanda's graduation.  Her mother works at the university and was the person introducing the graduates and introduced Amanda as "My daughter Amanda..." I thought it was a great gesture but I wasn't the one standing in front of a couple hundred people.  Amanda took it in stride and one day, she will laugh at the slight embarrassment. 

Amanda's mom introducing Amanda
Amanda receives her diploma
The graduate
We all left on Sunday to return to our respective homes.  Our next family gathering will be in two weeks when Amanda and Casey will be wed.

Families grow and enjoy/endure good and bad times, but most importantly, Families Matter.

Until next time...

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