Sunday, July 22, 2007

Does this bath mat...

make my belly look big??

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Taylor Family Reunion

After the 4th of July holiday, we packed up our little family and Wyatt made his first trip beyond the borders of Texas. On Friday morning, July 5th, 2007, we left for El Dorado, Arkansas. This is a little town on the southern edge of Arkansas near Strong, Arkansas, where my mother grew up. My mom is the 9th of 9 children, and this reunion would include 7 of her brothers and sisters. One sister, my aunt Dorothy (also known to the family as Virginia) was not feeling well and not able to make the trip from Red Oak (a suburb of Dallas).

There were about 50 people total in attendance, with aunts, uncles and cousins I hadn't seen in many years. It was great to see so many familiar family faces, and young Wyatt was quite the hit with the extended family. He was passed from person to person and loved every minute of it. From the time we arrived at the hotel and met my Aunt Ann and cousin Janice in the lobby, Wyatt was doing the rounds and soaking up all of the attention he was showered with.

The reunion was intended to be held at my Uncle Ernest's home, which is the same home my late grandmother and grandfather lived in and I visited as a boy. It's located in Strong, but the weather was very rainy and the decision was made to hold the reunion in a large hotel meeting room in El Dorado. It was convenient for us, since it was the same hotel DeeDra and I (along with many other reunion attendees) were staying, so we just came down stairs to meet up with everyone. Everyone brought food and by noon on Saturday, July 7, 2007, most people had arrived. There was plenty of fried chicken, and tons of homemade dishes, along with the pizzas that I brought from Pizza Hut (I thought I'd be a little different).

After everyone got their fill, DeeDra started gathering the family up for photos. As is often the case when DeeDra attends any family function, word gets out that she is a professional photographer and she gets to offer her eye to capturing the moment. I've done my fair share of photography in the past, but DeeDra is SO much better with human subjects than I am. She's got a great way with people and it comes through in her photography. She was able to get a good shot of everyone (except for the 2 or 3 people who were hiding), but the resolution on this post is about 1/100 of what the photo and the print are, since blogger doesn't seem to like the panoramic format. If you click on the photo, you can see it much more clearly.

DeeDra also got the 8 brothers and sisters together and here's a nice shot of them. The brother are, from left to right, Ernest, John, Harold, Charles (the oldest), and Franklin. The daughters from left to right are Marthell, Ann (Nadine), and Lucille (my mom, the youngest).

Wyatt was a great traveller and held up well in the car. He got pretty cranky just before we left the reunion Saturday evening to start the drive home, but once we got on the road he settled down quickly. He loves looking out the window and watching the scenery. He gets bored and cranky if we stay stopped too long, which makes city driving more difficult. On a long trip, though, he's got constant visual stimulation and between that, his naps, a couple of bottles and a couple off diaper change stops, he a breeze to travel with. I'm actually as high maintenance as he is, since I have to stop to eat as often as he does!

It was a good trip and the first of many excursions for WAP. We'll leave you with an action shot of Wyatt, in the arms of Guy (husband to Regina, who is the daughter of Ernest - far left in the brothers and sisters photo) being entertained by my cousin Janice (daughter of Ann, AKA Nadine, who is the middle daughter in the photo).

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Great Great Uncle Parky

Last night, surrounded by so much of his family, we lost our sweet Uncle Parky. His heart was huge, and he loved us all as if we were his own. I'm sad that Wyatt will not get know him better in his lifetime, but grateful that we got to spend a little time with him before he passed. Wyatt's Great Great Aunt Louise will no doubt do her best to show him what that love was like. Today the sun shines after a week of rain, and Uncle Parky has found his peace. I feel happiness for him, and heartache for us.