Papa’s 80th Birthday and a Revelation

Along with most of the world, I have been constantly watching the Winter Olympics. I feel like I’ve watched them more this year than I ever have before. The last time they were on, I was a freshman in college. And I probably felt like I had more important things to do.

Fast forward 4 years.

I come home from work and am in my pajamas and on the couch with my computer by 6:30 at the latest and immediately turn on the Olympics.

My how the times have changed!

Curling has been VERY popular this year. I honestly have never watched curling before. But this is a sport I can get behind. You don’t really to be “in shape” to do it. I mean, a woman from Canada is playing and she’s 5 months PREGNANT. Seriously? Seriously.

This past weekend was my grandfather’s 80th birthday party in Charlotte. When I was a junior in high school (about 7 years ago), Papa suffered from a stroke and has been in a wheelchair since then. That was truly one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through (and am still going through. I don’t deal with some of my feelings very well. But that’s not fun to talk about. So I’m going to stop.) He truly is happy now and healthy.

On Friday, we went out to dinner. As we were leaving, the lady at the next table looked at Papa and said, “You are well loved.” She had no idea.

Here are the pictures from his birthday party on Saturday. Papa has 9 brothers and sisters. 7 of them were there. I love them all. His whole family is AWESOME.

I have no idea when this picture was taken, but it is hanging in my parents room and my mom got Mimi a HUGE print of it for Christmas a few years ago. It is our favorite picture of him. It perfectly captures Papa. He was most at home on a tractor. It was an extension of him. This picture was used in a Caterpillar ad.

Chance, Mimi, me, and Papa

plus Mom

Mimi and Papa

I love this because he looks like he is about to dig his finger in the icing! Ha!

My mom, Aunt Judy, and me

Papa and Sweet Aunt Virginia

(One time, a looooong time ago, Aunt Virginia called Mom and Dad answered the phone and asked who it was. She replied, “Her Sweet Aunt Virginia.” Mom responded with, “I don’t have a Sweet Aunt Virginia.” And so ever since then, in our family, she’s been Sweet Aunt Virginia.)

(Also, I was almost named Virginia Sloan instead of Catherine Sloan after her.) (There’s a good possibility one of my daughters may be named Virginia. Grandma Rea (Papa’s mom) was from Virginia.) (And yes, I realize I just put parentheses inside parentheses. It’s my blog and I can do what I want.)

Papa and Uncle Ralph. Uncle Ralph is Papa’s youngest brother and it’s his house that we have Thanksgiving at every year. Yes, all 120 of us. And technically it’s not his house, it’s his barn, but it’s behind his house.

Chance and Roy, one of Sweet Aunt Virginia’s sons who brought her all the way from Raleigh for the day.

Mimi and my cousin Wylie

Dad and my cousin Grace

Grace and Aunt Julie

Papa, Uncle Ralph and Uncle John

Aunt Julie and Jake

My mom. She’s a pretty good one.

Papa and his High School class

Papa and his grandsons: Jake, Wylie, and Chance

Mimi and “Mimi’s girl”

Plus Mom!

me with Frances Davis- one of Mimi’s best friends and my favorite people

Laurel and Sam- LOVE these beautiful children (and their Mama!)

Papa talking to Sam.

Chance and Daddy

I think he might have been tired of me taking pictures of him.

All of the Rea children that were there and their spouses

Papa, Mama and Uncle Mike

Happy Birthday Papa! I’m so happy we got to celebrate with you! I hope and pray for many, many more!

***Side Note***

I know that some people will be THRILLED to hear this, but I’m. So. Over. The. Bachelor. I am so ready for this season to be over with. And I realized the other day that by this point of every season, I am always ready for it be over with. Because they never choose who I want them to choose. So, hopefully in the future, I will remember this and not watch it any more.

The End.

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” -Mark Twain

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