Posts Tagged ‘family’

We’re back! We had a blast whirlwind-ing our way through Virginia, with a highlight event being the wedding of John’s cousin Sara-Manson. She married Chad (an Australian by birth, now living in Indonesia by way of the U.S. and Dubai. An Ausdonericain? Something like that) on her parents’ farm, and it was one of the most stunning wedding backdrops I’ve ever seen!

There’s too much to catch up on to bother with making this three different posts, so let’s get it on:

Rehearsal Dinner

Friday night’s festivities were in Richmond (yay!), so we were able to catch up with some of our old peeps after the dinner wrapped up. It was a fabulous, festive event at Bank, with tons of toasts to the ridiculously cute and happy bride and groom (of whom I managed to snap no pictures that night, so here’s one of me and John. You’re welcome.)

And one of John and nephew Alex making a statement about how slowly the rest of us were following them back to the hotel. (This photo makes me all misty and nostalgic for my Richmond cobblestones!)

(Also, Cousin Bo: if you are at all squeamish about horse poo crumbs or hobo spit, you may want to have the blazer that John borrowed that evening dry-cleaned. Just sayin’.)


Saturday’s weather was dicey, but looked for a while like it was going to hold out. Which it did, until the minister was able to utter “…man and wife”, at which point the heavens opened and a torrential downpour commenced. It lasted just long enough to drench everyone as they left the church and made their way to the farm, but then it more or less held off for the rest of the evening.

Weather aside, it was just an absolutely beautiful reception! So quaint, and so special that it was right in Aunt Nancy and Uncle Bagley’s backyard. The barns were strung with lights, the buffet was stocked with fried chicken and deviled eggs, and we rested our jam-jar cocktails on top of old tobacco barrels serving as tables. The plus side to the moody weather was that it served as a dramatic backdrop to what I’m sure are some AMAZING photos. (Not mine, mind you – but the event photographer probably captured some real crackers!)

John with his brother Chuck, nephews Alex and Charlie, and cousin Bo:

“Recovery” Party

With “recovery” in quotes, because it was not that at all! I have conducted dozens of post-wedding recoveries, and they almost always involve lots of sleep, several ibuprofen, and a large Gatorade. This sham of a recovery event involved at least 4 kinds of pork, 6 different kinds of pound cake, 2 kegs, a guided tour of Lunenburg county, and a pint jar of moonshine. So, in other words, was awesome.

Here we are tucking into the lunch spread — with my plate thankfully shielded by a large hat (my plate was so unwieldily piled with food that the bride’s aunt shouted across the yard to make fun of me. I felt more pride than shame.)

Cousin Robbie Hawthorne (3rd cousin? Removed? Regardless, a Hawthorne) rounded up a few of us after lunch and piled us into his Excursion for a tour of the area. We ended up at a beautiful babbling stream known around those parts as The Rock.

The longer John Hawthorne remains in Lunenburg, the more he starts turning into Huck Finn. Here’s Huck posing with an Old Milwaukee tallboy beside Robbie’s awesome, homemade grill-trailer. He’s got a grill!

Here, Chad looks on lovingly as his blushing bride tips back a pint of ‘shine with Cousin Robbie. You can take the girl out of Virginia, but you’ll never take the Virginia out of the girl!

We made sure that all of the Dubai contingent and the rest of the internationals all got a sip of our local delicacy. We still wonder if they all got through customs in the UAE with the smell of White Lightning still lingering on their breath!

Our gracious luncheon hosts had welcomed us with these words: “Food’s inside, drinks’re oustide. Eat when ya’wanna eat, drink when ya’wanna drink. It’s gon’ be here til ya’eat it and ya’drink it.” We took them quite literally and stayed at “lunch” until 5pm. Thanks Billy, thanks Normadelle!

So all in all, an amazing weekend in a gorgeous setting, built around a happy and beautiful event. So, so glad that we were there to be a part of it!


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Thanks a Mil

This post isn’t meant to be sad. It’s meant to give mad props to my kick-ass grandmother and to celebrate her for a life well lived. My Nanny Baughan passed away on Monday. She was 95 years old.

What an amazing time to be alive on this Earth, and she took full advantage of it! Seldom will you have met a person more self assured and comfortable in their own skin, and with a hilariously wicked sense of humour to boot.

Mildred Baughan lived her life joyfully, passionately, with the highest of personal standards, and without compromise. She was full of life and joy, and she had a smile that could light up a room and did every time you saw her. She was a great sister, daughter, friend, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, croquet player, church member, card player, teacher, squirrel lover, comedian, donut lover, and Nan.

My Nan and Pop were the example of what a marriage should be – they were absolutely in love with each other every day of their married lives. My Pop died 6 years ago, and Monday Nan went to be with him again. We are so happy for the two of them that they are reunited.

Two of my favourite of the many stories about my Nan:

  1. Way back in the day, on Easter Sunday (obviously in the time before PETA), you used to be able to buy a little baby chick dyed pink or blue or yellow at the local grocery store. My mom got one when she was a kid living in Martinsville, Va. That night, after mom was fast asleep, my Nan found the poor little baby chick shivering and cold in her shoe box, so she decided to just turn the oven on real low to warm it up. Yep – you can guess the outcome of this story. Poor Nan, poorer Mom, and especially poorest little crispy chicken – God rest her soul.
  2. I used to work for my brother. By 2006, when Lizzy and I went to Alabama for a visit, I was working at Capital One – and Lizzy had just started Weight Watchers (I promise all these random details come together in a minute).  I mentioned Nan’s wicked sense of humour – well it got sharper the older she got. We all gathered at my Aunt Jeane’s house to enjoy a lovely cake Jeane had purchased at the local bakery. Upon her first bite of cake, and without missing a beat or taking a breath, my Nan proclaimed “John, I’m just so glad you finally got a real job of your own. Jeane, this cake is delicious – you didn’t make it. Liz, should you be eating that?” She smiled sweetly, and tucked back into her cake while the three of us cracked up. A major perk of making it to your 90’s is that you can pretty much say whatever you want and your family will not only take it, but be completely endeared by it.

Nan, you were a great, happy, joyful, funny lady and you will be missed.

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Thanks to the awesome gift-giving skills of some of our family members, we receive a couple of American magazines each month. Cook’s Illustrated from John’s aunt Jeane, and the awesomely named Garden & Gun from John’s brother Chuck.

We received our first issue of G&G today, and look who’s on the cover! Our longtime faves, the Avett Brothers. (Though I have to say I’m almost as excited about “Oh My, Chicken Pot Pie”).

After last weekend’s food-and-drink marathon, we plan to be huge nerds (I know, huger than normal) this weekend – so a little poolside magazine reading will be just what the doctor ordered. Thanks, Chuck and Jeane!

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Thanks, Given

After 7 flights, 40 hours’ flight time, 8 beds, dozens of family members, and a bajillion calories, we’re back from our Thanksgiving whirlwind trip! Thanks to all of you who made it happen – it was truly awesome to spend a holiday with some of our favorite peeps.

Here are a few highlights from our 10 days on the ground:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Same deal as ever with pics… Roll over to see additional controls, then click on the speech bubble to see captions – or just click here to launch a full-size view of the album.

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Family Tree

Sometimes the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; and then sometimes, the apple turns out to be a miniature orange from outer space.

Roxy's parents, Alexa (L) and Boris.

Roxy's littermate, Gustav, who weighs 30 pounds (next to a pic of Rox for comparison). That's almost 3 Roxys! Gustav, if you are reading, don't be hard on yourself: she is the weird one.

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If you’re a Hawthorne, you’re laughing.

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May 21, 2005

1,826 days / 60 months / 260 weeks / FIVE YEARS!

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