Monday, July 27, 2009


As the family grows, so does the number of birthdays we have to celebrate. With 5 birthdays to celebrate within a month and a half's time, it only makes sense to combine them - even more so with family being scattered. We headed to Kristen and Bobby's place on Camp Pendleton to celebrate Gianna and Gabriel's 1st birthdays and Tyson's 6th birthday.

Base Housing - an archetype of the disappearing Great American Neighborhood.

Long are the days (at least in most places in the U.S.) when kids freely roam the neighborhood, knocking on doors for their friends to come out and play and do so in the streets until the sun goes down or someone's mom calls them in for dinner. Family housing on Camp Pendleton is a throw back to those days of old when neighbors all knew each other and before we became over-taken by fears of dangerous, lurking characters. The military base is a true gated community and there is little to fear when all your neighbors are family folk and you know who they work for. There is a familiar line in a Robert Frost poem (Mending Wall), "good fences make good neighbors", but Frost himself dislikes these words spoken by his neighbor. I probably put up more walls than most people, but seeing children running the streets in the summer night reminds me of how different the care-free spirit of a child is from the jaded, guarded, realist adults that life experiences make out of us.

By the way... there are no fences in this Pendleton neighborhood, and it makes for some good neighbors.

Taylor is the cautious type. Since Kennedy and I are both the same way, she was destined for it. She didn't dare enter the pool until all the big, rowdy kids were out. She went in by herself later, but after 3 minutes and a little water going up her nose, she was done with that.

She did, however, find a fascination with someone's swimming goggles. She didn't use them in the pool and I don't even know if she knew that is what they were for since she hasn't learned to swim yet; nonetheless, she found this pair on the grass and wanted to wear them.

She tripped and skinned her knees trying to play while wearing them.

Some pictures of the birthday babies.

1 year old!

Tyson turns 6!

Gianna loved her cake!

Cousins being silly

Ruth and Joe

I can't forget Bobby's mom, Ruth, and Joe, who kept our stomachs full of delicious Italian food and grilled meats. In true Italian tradition, Ruth makes the BEST Eggplant Parmesean! I could have eaten a whole tray of that myself. It has officially become one of the best things to ever pass my lips! I will be getting that recipe. These two labored for days before, preparing tons of food for our small army. On top of that they drove 5 hours from Nevada that day, and left to head back that same night so Joe could catch a flight! We can't thank them enough for their labor of love.

Oh, it was my birthday also this weekend. Can't believe I'm 29 already!

1 comment:

  1. Shan! Happy birthday. Late, of course. I am terrible at birthdays. And you totally fooled me. I couldn't believe I am that much older than you...33 today, you know.
    Love those pics of Taylor in the goggles.