Friday, September 10, 2010

Aunt Nancy comes to town, part I

I've mentioned before that everyone should have an Aunt Nancy (see also: duck fat). And we were honored by a visit from ours a couple weeks ago - yay! Aunt Nancy is the perfect visitor - loves the kids and every word they say, brings delicious treats, makes for great conversation, and doesn't mind a couple low-key activities with lots of inactivity sprinkled in-between.

Dono burns his hand on the display

We have a bunch of pictures, but I'll start with our little drive down to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. I'm a little embarrassed that it has taken us four years to get down there. It's really breathtaking. Especially when that breath is taxed by extreme heat. It wasn't horrendously hot, but the cloudless skies make for some intense UV rays that seem to crisp your skin within minutes. But still, the landscape and colors were beautiful.

Not really.

I seem to have forgotten to make mention of a rather significant event in my life - the arrival of COUSINS! Back in April, when I found out these cousins were probably moving out here, I was so excited I could barely sleep. Well, that was also when I thought there was a chance they could live a few doors down. They're not THAT close, but within a 15-minute drive, and I'm still excited. See, my cousin Mark lived a few doors down from the time I was 3-13, also known as the age at which anyone more than 2 days older than you is MUCH wiser and MUCH cooler. Add the fact that he is the world's hardest worker and best "it" guy, and you've got yourself a party. "It," in this case, refers to being "it" for hide-and-seek or freeze tag or our own made-up game: Jail. My siblings and I would race over to their house to see if Katie and Marylynn and Steve could join us, and what Mark was doing and if he could play. More often than not he deigned to chase us around.

Donovan holds up the big rock.

Years later, he has a fantastic wife and five of his own kids who are phenomenal. When I told my kids they had cousins moving close, Donovan asked, "Are there any boys?" Oh dude, you're in luck. They have FOUR boys, all of whom are big Indiana Jones fans, as well. The two youngest (twins) crack me up as they spew words disguised as nonsense. And, on top of all that, Mark has a wise and calm demeanor that I find reminiscent of my Grandpa who passed away a few years ago. Mark doesn't like being compared to Grandpa because, "I'm not that OLD, Sarah!!" But he does. And it just feels RIGHT to have them around.

Dono and the cousins

So it was great fun to have Angela and the twins join us at Garden of the Gods while we looked at awesome rock formations and tried not to get skin cancer.

Nancy shows Donovan the pictures she has been taking. She's nice and patient that way.

While Nancy was here we also went to another breakfast place (Snooze) and it was outstanding. I should have taken a picture of it, but I opted to shovel it into my mouth as soon as possible. Donovan thought that s'mores french toast, complete with chocolate sauce and toasted marshmallows was the greatest thing that ever happened to him. Nancy and Joel enjoyed some impressive variations on Eggs Benedict, and Gemma inhaled most of the peach pancake set before her. It was WONDERFUL.

It's great to have someone who really listens to what you have to say, whether you're two years old or 34. It's great to have someone who laughs with you and loves you and loves your kids and makes a phenomenal salad. I've said it before, that everyone should have an Aunt Nancy. But I think I should amend that to say that everyone should have MY Aunt Nancy. Luckily, that's impossible. Which is a good thing since I hate to share the finest things in my life.


Kellie Knapp said...

Could Gemma's dress be any more adorable?

The answer is no.

Tell Aunt Nancy to stop by Montana next, please.

Katie Ross said...

Those were great days, growing up with cousins like you around the corner. Amen, to everything you mentioned about Aunt Nancy- we always look forward to any time spent with her. And so jealous that you get to be so close to my awesome brother Mark. :)

NancyO said...

Thanks, Sarah. Looking at the pictures of scenery and the kids makes me wish I could do it again - but who's that old woman in some of the photos?

Annie said...

Yes, I agree! Gemma looks so adorable! Love her little pigtails.

Nataluscious said...

Oh I love your Aunt Nancy, tell her hello for me! :) And I love Gemma's dress - I think Kailee had one just like it at one time.

(oh, and shame on you for just getting down to the Garden of the Gods. It's a fabulous place ;).