Family Love

I’m glad I know how lucky we are … our families are amazing. I could not be more grateful to live so close to the two most loving families I could call my own, and this weekend was bursting at the seams with the love that our families share.

Here we all are, just 7 short months ago celebrating the joining of our two families into one loud, crazy bunch:

Don’t we look fun? There is little I love more … actually, I don’t think there’s anything I love more … than sharing a meal with this group. Both our families, one of our families, half of our families … whoever, whenever, whatever, these are my favorite people in the world.

So we were blessed to get to share meals with both families this weekend!

Friday night, we picnic-ed in the park and listened to the Nashville Symphony. I can’t imagine a sweeter way to celebrate our city than music on the riverfront. And sharing food, music, good conversation, and a summer night … is there anything better

On Saturday, the family drove up from Alabama to celebrate a belated (but flood-free!) birthday for B. E and I plotted to take her to Marche, knowing that she would fall as in love with the local-and-seasonal-and-delicious fare as we have. We stuffed our faces, naturally … even A’s initial concerns that it was a bit froo-froo were abated with croissant french toast. (Haven’t had it? You should. It’s amazing!) I had crepes with the most delightful bechamel and joyfully munched on W’s french toast and Betsy’s goat cheese tart … Sigh. I love Marche.

The weather was beyond amazing (low 70s, not a cloud in the sky) and so we debated where to go after stuffing our faces at Marche.  A vetoed the Frist and the Farmers Market, so we headed for 12th South to introduce the extended Rainer clan to the joys of Las Paletas. At first, saying “let’s get popsicles!” didn’t really sound that special to those who had not indulged before, but two bites into any of the Paz sisters’ creations and “special” doesn’t begin to describe. And they have a sign now! Time for a new URL to go with the new space … I had strawberry-blackberry, which was brilliant. (Still not as good as blueberry-lime, though. Lime is, after all, the best natural flavor … )

Then we went to the park and played, which is what we do best. Favorite moment:

So our Saturday was lovely, as almost all days with the the family are apt to be. I am most excited for W’s graduation next week, and the subsequent hordes of family that will accompany the occasion. (And the cake … oh the cake … I can’t wait to bake it!)

Tonight we joyfully hosted my family for mother’s day. We never host my family and always eat at their place, so it was so much fun to have them come here! We got to show off all of the work we’ve done on the condo, and use all kinds of fancy wedding gifts that don’t normally come out. I felt like such a grown-up, being able to truly host my family in my home. And I made a whole chicken. And cooking whole birds always makes me feel grown up! If only Price would learn to carve them …

Here’s a picture of our amazing new dining room table (complete with leaf and comfy chairs, conducive for what I hope will be many, many nights of gathering around this table with family and friends) almost all the way set for dinner:

So we had a wonderful weekend with our families … And of course, little Puff was amazing as well. I think I promised at one point that there would be occasional posts about our slow cat Puff. Puff is part of the family, of course, so she deserves her place in this catalogue of family love.  We found this picture of her today that I can’t help but share. Dave did this to her a few weeks ago, and it still makes me smile:

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