Okay, remember on the honeymoon link-up I told you that a friend last weekend offered us a week in Honolulu where we’d only have to provide our own airfare and food? Well, we saw that friend last weekend at our 3rd Annual OBB (October Baby Bash).
See, this is how it goes. Way back when Jeff was in high school in Goldsboro, NC. His best friend and his best “girl friend” (or BGF) had the same birthday, October 11. Then about 18 years after he graduated high school he met me and my birthday happens to be…October 11. In addition to that, his “little sister” (a close friend from high school, the one who offered us the place in Honolulu)’s birthday is October 14. So, a few years back (thank you facebook), we figured all of this out and decided to have a big event annually for our birthdays. In the past two years we went to an NC State Football game and to their high school homecoming game.
This year we decided to meet in Raleigh and walk in the 5K for the NC Autism Society as Team Shelby’s Bells. Our team began arriving in the “Capital City” on Wednesday. This year we had friends from as far away as London join us (he was our early arrival, he made a proper holiday out of it). By Friday night we were all in the area (except Jeff who had to go home and come back on Saturday morning). And Saturday morning I took the kids to the hotel where everyone from out of town was staying (where Jeff and I stayed Saturday night) to bring them their t-shirts and we were off to the races.
This is the walking contingent of our team consisting of (from standing l-r) Aunt Teresa, Uncle Neil (Jeff’s best friend from school), Uncle Ricky, Aunt Sherri, Uncle Tim (who flew in from London to join us), me, Aunt Kathy, Jeff and the kids in the stroller. (In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve adopted the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern tradition of our kids calling adults we are close to “Aunt” and “Uncle.”)
The walking contingent taking on the 5K. Neil is leading pushing my kids. He offered to push for a while and then took off shortly after this pic was taken. He pushed 80 lbs of kid in a 20 lb stroller the majority of the 5K.
This was our entire team including some late arrivals and all our runners. On the furthest right, standing, is my brother Ben’s girlfriend Lee Ellen, next to her is my brother Ben and next to him (holding Joey) is my brother Matt. Next to me (I’m holding Shelby) is my mom, Lynn. My dad, Mike, is standing third from the left holding Will. We were only missing my brother Mike who was out in the field, my sister-in-law Autumn and our niece Bella from my side of the family. In the back sort of diagonally behind my dad in the green shirt is “Uncle” Lewton.
After the race we went to the NC State farmer’s market and ate at their yummy restaurant which serves lots of fried, southern food. They also have a John Deere tractor sitting outside that you can ride on. Here is Will taking his turn at the wheel.
Then we went over to the actual Farmer’s Market. Here, in the pumpkin patch, Joey and Will are meeting “Truffles” the pig. My brother Ben’s girlfriend Lee Ellen brought them over to see it. I didn’t catch the girl’s name holding the pig but she was very gracious in letting the kids pet him and ask questions. Truffles was not the only excitement we had there. We lost Joey. I had gone with Shelby to buy some apples and my mom had the boys picking out a pumpkin for each to buy. Will had a melt-down about paying for his pumpkin (Joey had already given his dollar) and as my mom tried to calm him, Joey walked away. As I returned to the scene, Jeff was holding Will and I had Shelby and my dad asked me, “where is Joey?” We fanned out to find him. My prayer the whole time was “Please let our friends have gotten here and find him.” My family had left the walk to go eat some others had stopped by an Irish Pub and then came a bit later. As luck would have it, Joey recognized the group, walked up to “Aunt” Julie and said, “Look at my pumpkin!” She immediately asked him, “Joey where is your mommy and daddy?” And he said, “I got my pumpkin and I walked away.” Through a few frantic cell phone calls and flagging down one of my brothers we were all reunited. Later that night, my parents had taken the kids home with them so Jeff and I could have a night out and my mom took the opportunity to ask Joey about his “adventure.” She asked him if he was lost and he said, “No, I wanted to find those other guys and show them my pumpkin.” Thanking God for answering my prayer exactly as I asked still!
Jeff and I with Sherri and Kathy. All three birthday girls with one lucky guy that night at The Flying Saucer in downtown Raleigh. Thanks to my parents for keeping the kids so we could enjoy some adult friends.
A week later and we miss our friends who have returned to the various corners of the country and globe. We all agreed to do the event again next year. We had a great time, raised money and awareness and spent precious minutes catching up. Next year can’t come quickly enough!