Friday, July 27, 2012

50th Anniversary Reunion

Our Condie family reunion was very special this year, because we were celebrating my Mom and Dad being together for 50 years!  All of my brothers and sisters were able to attend.  Our location?   National Harbor in Maryland, just across the bridge from Alexandria.    It's a relatively new harbor, hotel, condo, restaurant, shopping area.    Fortunately Ryan, Dara and Lillian were able to represent the Baird family with us.   Unfortunately, no one else could come.   We had some wonderful times with everyone there.   The first evening we arrived, we had dinner together (my Dad's treat) at Harrigan's right there in National Harbor.   It was a great kickoff for the weekend.   Some of us strolled around the harbor after dinner enjoying the sunset.   The harbor is the new home of "The Awakening"  sculpture that is like a giant man buried in the sand coming to life, with his head, hands, and knees breaking through the ground.   

The next morning we had a family fun run.   We mapped out a 2 mile course around the area, and had a great time running, talking, and walking.

Here's the view from our 9th floor suite.

We looked down on the pool from our room as well.   We enjoyed swimming a couple of times.   On Saturday we spent a little time in D.C. , then met up with everyone again for dinner.   After dinner all the girls went to Charming Charlie's to shop for bling.   

This is what happened when Grandpa got to babysit Lillian for awhile:

It's official.   She loves licorice!  She's in Grandpa's circle for sure.

  On Sunday, we had permission to hold a sacrament meeting together.  It was a very special time to be together, and feel the spirit as we took turns sharing some of our favorite hymns by speaking of them and singing them together.

Sunday evening was family picture time.   The photographer was wonderful  (Weslie Woodley), and we're excited to get the finished photos.   This one of the five of us is a preview

Our photo location looks like its outdoors, but it's actually INSIDE the Gaylord hotel and convention center at National Harbor, a block from our Wyndham timeshare.

Lillian was in great spirits and really hammed it up for the photographer!

Here are my fabulous parents with their nine children.  

Another thing we did on Sunday afternoon was family craft time.   With my sisters' help and expertise, we tie dyed t-shirts.   On Monday, we sported them around the harbor while shopping and eating lunch:

Ryan and Lillian had matching tie dyes, although you can't see Lillian's due to the bib.

Skip smiling and sporting the "skipper" hat he bought that day:

On Monday evening we had a special family home evening, where Julie presented an object lesson about family and faith.   Then we presented Mom and Dad with the book I had been helping to put together for them.   It had several pictures of their history together interspersed with letters and tributes from each child.   We took turns reading our contributions, expressing our love and thanks for the example they've given us through their 50 years together.

We had such a wonderful weekend together.  It was sad everyone couldn't stay longer.   We're definitely looking forward to our next one.   I think it may be a cruise next time!  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Part 4 - Last stop: Colorado!

After Natalie's graduation, we left Utah and headed across the mountains to Colorado.   The drive through the canyons and mountain passes was breathtaking!   We arrived in Parker that evening at my sister Jamie's house.   We had fun visiting with her that evening and the next morning.   Then we went to the wedding and reception for Skip's niece, Erin Mohl.   The wedding was in the beautiful Colorado temple.

Erin was a beautiful bride escorted by her handsome groom.
After the wedding, there was a dinner reception at Maggiano's in Denver.  
Here's Ginny, the proud Mom and Derrick, brother of the bride.
It was a special treat to see two of Skip's other siblings there, Peg and Scott.

The food was delicious, as was the cake, but we were especially thankful to have time there to visit with family.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Part Three - UTAH!

Utah Valley was definitely our favorite vacation destination, because that is where we got to stay and visit with our four daughters, our son-in-law, and three sweet grandchildren.   We were able to do lots of fun things together in the all too short time we were there.

We went into Salt Lake City one day to try the waffles and pomme frites at Bruges Waffles and Frites.
It was soooo good!    

Next door to that was  Tony Caputo's, a gourmet food market.  We were thrilled to see our hometown of Woodbridge, Virginia represented by our friend Ben Rasmussen's fine chocolate that he makes in the basement of his home, just three blocks from ours.   Just below Ben's Potomac chocolate was the Amano chocolate display.   That chocolate is made in the town where Laura lives - Orem, Utah.   

Beth, Owen, Emma, and Aiden (famous explorer)
We love those three smiles so much!
 It was fun to see how much they had grown since we saw them in December.   Owen especially had learned so much.   He was talking a lot, repeating everything you say, and insisted on doing almost everything himself!

"My do it!"

Aiden has really grown up a lot as well.   He's six now, and has just finished his first year of public school.   We watched him participate in a summer Lego Robotics class.   He has such a great imagination.    I had fun one afternoon playing police and bad guys with him.   He has a "real" police uniform, so of course I had to be a bad guy.   We were able to go with him to pick out his birthday present - a new and bigger bicycle that he's hoping to learn to ride soon without training wheels.

Aiden and Grandpa hanging outside a bakery near Tony Caputo's and Bruges.  

 Beth lives in Las Vegas, but we were so happy she could be in Utah with us while we were there.
She's such a fun aunt to Aiden, Emma, and Owen, such a great sister, and daughter as well.

We spent Father's Day evening with Kart's parents and family.  We had a delicious dinner reminiscent of Laura and Kart's wedding reception with chicken salad croissants and Skip's meatballs.  

Kara outside the Barnett home.   They have such a beautiful garden.   I love the hollyhocks!    
Beth looking great outside the Barnett's garden.

Emma and Owen enjoying some ice cream.

Emma loves the "Belle" dress she got from her Barnett grandparents for Christmas.   She  also loved the frilly aqua dress we brought her, and wanted to wear it everyday.   We had to talk her into wearing play dresses, and to save the frilly one for Sunday.  

Laura is such a fun Mom.   She lets the kids "help" at the car wash vacuuming station.  

One of the reasons we wanted to come to Provo/Orem in June was to see Natalie graduate from the Aveda Institute.   She's been working very hard for the past year and a half learning how to do hair and other cosmetic skills.   We got our hair cut by her soon after we arrived.   She did a great job!

Natalie's graduation was a nice event.   She found a really pretty new dress and shoes for a graduation gift.     All the graduates got to say a little something about the highlights of their time at AVEDA.   Natalie's highlight was fashion week in NYC of course.   I'm glad we were able to support her in doing that, and finishing school there.   After the graduation we all went out to dinner at P.F. Chang's and had a fun time eating family style.  We're so proud of Natalie!

One of the fun things we did together was have a picnic in Provo canyon.   It was a beautiful setting for an awesome evening together.  

Kart and Owen
Emma and her Grandpa Baird

Emma and Owen

Kara and Mom

Beth and Laura

Laura and Mom roasting marshmellows

Owen loved this!

Three cuties!