So two unfortunate events led me to see family this year that I didn’t think I would get to see.  My SIL’s Mom’s memorial was on Saturday in Des Moines.  It was because of that event that I got to see my brother Charlie, his wife and two daughters, since they came through Chicago on their way back to Austin.

My Mom is selling her house this week, and it was the last time me and my brother would be able to see it.  She’s lived there since 1989 and was pretty much Hannah’s first home until she was six, since I moved back in with my parents when Hannah was six weeks old.

The tree that was barely as tall as my brother when Hannah was a baby now towers over the house!

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Knowing that they would be getting in late Saturday night, I told my Mom that I would bring breakfast.  I ended up making these cinnamon rolls, except I used regular milk and brown sugar.  The secret ingredient to the dough?  Pumpkin!

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I did end up adding about 1/2 a cup more flour to my dough though in order to roll it out.  And I used  1 tablespoon of room temperature butter, 1/4 cup regular brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon for the filling.

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And, I never took a good picture of the end product, but these were good.  I brought the glaze with me and just had them heat the buns up in the microwave for 20 seconds and dip it in the glaze.  I also made a classic breakfast casserole and a fruit salad.

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I have to be honest, I was a little nervous about seeing my brother because it’s the first time that I’ve seen him since his cancer diagnosis.  While I had seen some pictures of him on facebook, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

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I was a bit shocked at first, but after I got used to seeing him without hardly any hair and no eye lashes, I realized that he was still my goofy brother willing to take awkward family pictures!

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Hannah and her boyfriend Jacob were there too – Hannah is wearing very high wedge shoes and was loving how tall she was next to her cousins!

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Are you wondering where the puppy came from?  It’s Hannah and Jacob’s new puppy Rummy!  Hannah has always wanted a tiny dog and it was her first priority once she moved out.  It is so fricken cute. 

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Everyone wanted to hold her!  That’s my sisters youngest – Claire.  I realized I never got a picture of my nephews though. Sad smile

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It was our last opportunity to go through my Mom’s stuff to see if there was anything else we wanted to take that she wasn’t taking with her.  I’ve pretty much been through it all, but we found a box that was on a shelf in the basement closet that my Mom hadn’t looked through yet. 

My Dad was quite the pack rat.  He was in foster care a lot during his elementary school days and usually if he had to move on, he had to leave everything behind and start over.  So he basically kept everything! 

We found this in the box.  My brother was a boy scout and he signed up for the Pinewood Derby.  However, the boy scout “with the help of their father” was supposed to do the majority of the work.  Did I mention my Dad was an artist?

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The only thing missing was the drivers head.  Um, pretty sure that wasn’t made by an 11 year old, but I remember how much fun my Dad had putting that together.  While his car won the race (my Dad put a weight in the front body!), he didn’t win on design because it was obvious my brother didn’t paint it. Open-mouthed smile

My Mom and I ran to the store to make burgers for lunch – so good.  My Mom cooked them in the broiler – its been ages since I had a broiled burger and it was really good.

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And even though I think the rest of my family is crazy, I did make caramelized onions for them – is that love or what?! Open-mouthed smile

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We had a great day – mostly laughing and joking around.  And while the visit was short, I am so glad I got to spend time with them.

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I am thrilled that my brother’s cancer treatment is going so well, and that hopefully the next time I see him, his hair will have started to grow back.  He’s always had the most beautiful eye lashes, I hope they come back.

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So farewell to my Mom’s old house – lots of good memories there, but I am sure we’ll have many more in her new home. Open-mouthed smile

I actually think this is the best picture of all – whenever I leave a comment on your blogs with “hugs!” this is the picture I’ll think about.

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Is there anything better than a Momma’s hug?


33 thoughts on “Family!

  1. nothing better! ::Hugs:: to you 🙂

    The pinewood derby car is so funny. I remember my brother doing that!

  2. Love family time – so happy you got to see your brother, especially for the last day in your mom’s house!

  3. So nice to be with family and your brother looks great!

    Glad the onions came out ok this time 🙂

    Love the puppy, so cute!! And, Mom’s hugs are awesome!

  4. I think Charlie looks terrific even without lashes! So glad you guys had this time together to make one last memory at that house.

  5. Great pictures, Biz! Family time is definitely the best, no matter how short it is!

  6. Finally made it over here to comment- but I just couldn’t not tell you how much I enjoyed this post and all your pictures! I can tell that y’all had a fantastic day by the smiles on the faces AND in the eyes! Your family’s smiles are from the inside out! Your brother looks fantastic! I’m certain he will pull through this with flying colors! Hugs!

  7. myjourneytofit

    Thanks for making me tear up with that last picture, Biz. What a wonderful day – such a sweet house full of memories; I’m sure the next family will feel all the love that comes with the house.

    Good to see Charlie and I’m glad he’s doing so well! That pinewood derby car is awesome. Great find!

    Hannah’s pup is adorable.

  8. Great pictures! Charlie looks great!

  9. Time with family always goes so quick! Love that you shared the pictures with us.
    Good to see Charlie smiling & doing well!

  10. Family time is the best!! Thanks for sharing this with us, Biz – it gave me goosebumps!

  11. I’m glad you had a good time. That puppy is so cute!

  12. findingradiance

    Charlie seems in really good spirits! Glad you got to spend good family time together – and the new puppy is uber adorable!

  13. NOTHING is better than Mama’s hugs!!! And I get all misty eyed when I think about how my mom’s hugs have made it all better, and now, being a mama, I get to GIVE those hugs! Stupid hormones making me all weepy LOL.

    Glad to see Charlie is doing good!

    We also just got a new puppy (Jack Russell/Beagle). Puppies are a blast, but a lot of work!

  14. Glad you all got to spend some time together and have some laughs. Charlie looks great! Love the new puppy of Hannah’s so cute. I’m surprised you even cook onions Biz 😉

  15. Glad you got some quality family time in. Hard to say goodbye to a house thats meant so much to you. Those cinnamon rolls look ridiculous. I think your brother looks incredible!

  16. Your brother looks so healthy! I’m so glad you got to see your family – it’s sad that we all don’t get to see our families as much as we’d like to.
    Your dough always looks so fluffy – I need you to teach me the trick!

  17. Roz@weightingfor50

    AWwww!!! LOVE these photos. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful family shots with us. Charlie looks FANTASTIC!!! And Rummy???? SOOOOOO cute!!!!! (I admit, I welled up when I saw that last picture. You can NEVER hug too much or too hard!!!!

  18. melissalikestoeat

    Family get togethers are the best, aren’t they!?! Love the name Rummy!

  19. That puppy is ADORABLE!!!! It’s a breed we’ve been considering getting, too.

  20. I am glad you got to see your family, it looks like it was a great time. I love that little Boston Terrier puppy, she chose a wonderful breed. We have had Bostons for the last 13 years so if she has any questions I will be glad to answer 🙂

  21. Such a heartwarming post!

  22. I ❤ that although sad times brought you together, you still had some happy times with each other. RUMMY IS ADORABLE! I remember you saying you and Hannah used to love going to the pet stores to hold little dogs–no surprise she got herself one! I could die-she's so cute. Love the last picture. 🙂

  23. There is NOTHING better than a momma hug! Jim can always tell when I’m really sick – my phrase is (still) “I miss my mom”

  24. I felt like I was there in the heart of your family. Thanks for sharing. Charlie looks great. Why is it that guys get the best eyelashes? My youngest grandson is AKA The Eyelash King. I’m off to follow the link for those pumpkin cinnamon rolls. My mouth is watering.

  25. Family and puppy… two of my most FAVORITE things 😀 oh, and hugs!
    My least favorite thing? Cancer. But I’m glad to hear Charlie is kicking some cancer ass.
    Love weekends with the fam, they are too few and far between anymore.
    Enjoy your week Biz!

  26. What a great and beautiful day. The last pic with your comment brought tears in my eyes.

    I love Hannah’s new pup, adorable.

  27. Family Time is the best! What a wonderful day!
    You’re right, there is nothing better than a mom’s hug.

  28. Aww Biz these photos are wonderful. I’m just so happy to hear that Charlie is doing well. How great that you were all able to get together like that. I hope my son always hugs me even when he’s a grown man. He makes my heart melt when he’ll come to me out of the blue in the middle of playing and tell me he needs a momma hug.

  29. I thought at least one person would reply with, “Actually, your brother looks like experimental high fashion surgery gone rather wrong.”

  30. Thank You so much for linking my cinnamon rolls to your blog. Glad they tasted so good for you. I always have to add more flour to the dough to when I am kneading it. 🙂 I have to check out all your recipes now. 🙂

  31. I think you look awesome Tao…I want to come visit so I can get a picture of two baldies…!!! I was so sorry to hear of Laura’s Mom, reading your blog made me think of ‘The Odyssey’…long trip, but all worth it 🙂

    Take care brother.


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