Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Little More of the B-S-M Reunion

We made it home from Colorado tonight, tired, but SO happy we made the trip.
I'm feeling the pull of the comfort of sleeping in our own bed,
but thought I'd take a moment to introduce you to a few of the extended family.

This is Susie, Bob's cousin (Aunt Pat and Uncle Bill's daughter).
 This is Jane (pronounced as Jaynee, as that's her nickname), Susie's daughter, and Carol, Susie's sister.
 Here, we're joined by Walter, Jr., Susie's son.
 And then Adrian steps in, and he's the son of Greg, Susie and Carol's brother (who didn't make it to the reunion). And if you look closely, you'll see there's another about to join us...
 Karen!, Carol's oldest daughter, and I think a few people got knocked in the head
or something as she made her entrance.
Aw, there now...we're all settled.
I must say...I already love these folks!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bevington-Sulahian-Mellem Reunion

Actually, the reunion was a lovely bonus that transpired because Bob's cousin, Marie Sulahian, eloped in April with Mason Torry. They live in Eagle, Colorado, and since Marie has Bevington and Mellem relatives on the West Coast, and Sulahian relatives on the East Coast, having a reception and mini-reunion on their home turf in the center of the country was ideal, yes? 
So, not wanting to miss out on any of the B-S-M action, Bob, Johnny, and I hopped into Bob's truck last Tuesday and headed to Colorado.

 We were in a hurry, of course, as it's a two-day drive, and we wanted to spend as much time in Eagle as possible. Thankfully, though, there was just enough time early on the first day to stop in Bridgeport to give Mom a quick hug and kiss, AND pick up my FIRST chicken-burrito-of-the-season at the Jolly Kone to eat along the way. Yuh-mee! 
 After spending the night in Wendover on the Nevada/Utah border, we pushed on through Utah. In Green River, we stopped at a really good restaurant called Tamarisk, and I left with a little box of this Watermelon Fudge made by the owner there. I know - weird and unexpected! And all three of us agreed it was also surprisingly delicious.
 The absolute best part of the second day, though, was stopping in Fruita to visit for a bit with these two -- Willard and Joanne Eidson. Willard and Dad went on the CHP together in Ventura, and though Dad got transferred from there by the time I was two and they were never stationed in the same place again, our families remained very good friends -- they're really like family to us. Such a treat to see them and introduce them to Bob. Well, and Johnny, too.
 That second evening, we arrived in Eagle, and the B-S-M festivities began. Bob and Johnny had not seen many of these folks for close to 30 years, they think. Pat and Bill Sulahian flew in from Shelter Island, New York. Pat is Bob's mom's sister, and the only remaining Mellem from that generation in their family. She's 81 or 82, and describing her as "a pistol" would be a serious understatement. Bob's mom, Cathy, was her older sister, and it was really special to talk with her about Bob's mom and dad. Pat and Bill have five kids -- Bob's cousins, of course -- Marie (pictured below with her new husband, Mason), Karen (pictured below with her husband, Christian; 10-year-old daughter, Karen and 8-year-old daughter, Madeline), Susie (who arrived later with her two kids, 12-year-old Walter and 10-year-old Jane), Greg, and Billy (who did not make it out for the get-together). Clearly, the B-S-M clan are breeders (and I mean that in the nicest way), and Bob has really fond memories of traveling across country with his family to visit the Sulahians in Shelter Island, as well as hosting them in the Bevington's digs in Yosemite, AND making the trek to Los Angeles to see the Mellem side of the family. I've heard so many great stories about those times, so it really was cool to begin to meet the stars of the stories.
As I write this, though, we're on our way back to Cali, spending the night in Elko, and I really need to get my little arse to sleep. We have to leave really early tomorrow morning to get back to Fresno in time to get settled and ready for a new busy work week.
So, I'll continue this tomorrow evening. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Things that Make You Go "Hmmmmm...."

Second day at the Bevington-Mellem-Sulahian Reunion.
Fun, full day.
Must sleep and repeat tomorrow.
No time to explain any of these.
Just a few highlights from the day.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bevington-Mellem-Sulahian Reunion

After meeting this crew this evening, and having dinner with them...
I'm pretty sure the good people of Eagle, Colorado have no idea what they're in for.
And there are still more arriving tomorrow.
There's a rodeo in town, too...
but I think our gathering might just turn out to be more rowdy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Here's Lookin' Up Yer Kilt!

"Outlander" will air on STARZ on August 9. It is based on the "Outlander" books by Diana Gabaldon, historical novels that begin at the end of WWI in England, but take you back to the 1700s in Scotland.

I've read the first four books, and need to also read the newer ones, but LOVE them! Absolutely can't wait to start watching this!

Here is a little about the STARZ series if you're at all interested.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vacation Haiku

We are on the road,
Headed to Colorado.
To see Bob's famly.

(Yes, had to misspell family to keep syllable count correct.)

CFS Weddings!

I began teaching Child and Family Sciences (CFS) at Fresno State in 1998. Before this past weekend, in all that time, I'd been to one wedding for a department colleague -- the wedding of our former chair, Nina Dilbeck, who is still happily married to Brian (they met on a cruise!).

This past weekend, though, along with Bob, I attended the weddings of TWO CFS colleagues, and it was terrific fun.

Dr. Amber Hammons got married on Saturday at a country club in her hometown of Arnold.
This is her dad walking her down a lovely green hill to where her beau awaited.
Doesn't she look gorgeous? Don't let the fluffy dress fool you...she plays roller derby. Seriously.
She married Dr. Ryan Robart. 
Thankfully, they did have a professional photographer,
so are not reliant on any of my very amateur iPhone photos.
The reception was on the second floor of the club house, 
and this beautiful picture and hanging was above their cake.
And these were atop the cake. Note the egg between the bridal penguins...
Amber and Ryan announced at the reception that they are expecting
Baby-Boy-Hammons-Robart on New Year's Eve!
So excited to have a baby in the department again!
And though the cake looked inconspicuously white on the outside,
THIS is what it looked like once cut -- complete with chocolate icing
and bits of fresh fruit in between the layers. Fun AND delicious!
Amber and Ryan's wedding was Saturday evening, so we spent the night in Angel's Camp, just down the road from Arnold. The tricky part of the weekend was making it back to Fresno in time on Sunday to change, and then make the 2 1/2 hour drive up to Courtright Reservoir in time to witness the second wedding at this gorgeous spot at 8,170 feet elevation in the Sierra National Forest: the wedding of Dr. Katie Dyer and Dr. Ray Hall.

We made it by 1:30 actually, with plenty of time to 
watch the clouds darken all around us...
...gotta love the grandeur of a High Sierra storm gathering.
Not a problem for this hardy lot, though, as assembled guests began building shelter.
Bob helped put up a bug-screen-type-tent 
just in case the couple needed to take cover during the vows.
The anxious but happy groom, Ray, with his brother, awaiting the arrival of his intended. 
The wind began picking up as a cold rain started, and since I was in a summer dress,
I retired to the car to stay warm, and watched the ongoing creation of the shelters.
The wedding was scheduled for 2:00.
This was taken -- from the car -- at about 2:18.
After helping put up all the shelter available,
Bob wisely joined me in the car. 
A former colleague, Gary Malone, and his lovely bride, Laura,
were in the car next to us, and while I tried to take their picture through the rainy window,
the camera wouldn't focus through the water!
Being the seasoned Eastern Sierra traveler that I am, of course, my car
is outfitted with cold weather gear. 
Anticipating that I should be ready at a moment's notice to hop back out of the car
and attend the wedding, I put on these very stylish and sexy rain-proof pants
under my dress. Not only were they warm, but they'd negate the need
to be sure a wild gust of wind didn't provide a disturbing distraction
from the nuptials. 
Thus outfitted, we settled in to watch through the wet windshield for Katie's arrival.
And, just as the skies began to clear 
(as they will in the Sierras after 20 minutes or so of downpour)
the beautiful bride and her lovely daughters-in-waiting arrived in their all-terrain vehicle.
Sophie, Ellie, Katie, Letty, and Gabby --
stunning, yes?
While my gorgeous man looked on.
As you can see, Ray was thrilled Katie had arrived, and stood
waiting expectantly with Katie's college friend, Steve, who would marry them,
and his oldest son, Max.
With guests dutifully humming the wedding march,
the glowing bride was escorted to her waiting groom
by her five daughters, as Ray's lovely daughter, Kendall, joined.
Now, mind you, I realize these are not professional photos. 
However, Katie and Ray went a little more informal than Amber and Ryan, 
and instead of hiring a photographer, 
simply asked friends to share any photos they took on a wedding website.
So, we snapped away, hoping we captured at least a few they can use.
And the long awaited kiss, reflected in the puddle from the rain
 that had miraculously stopped for the ceremony.
It's official --
they're a family!
So very happy for them all!
I had to steal a shot with Katie.
Well, and a selfie with my groom-to-be, too!
There was a delicious meal that included tri-tip, roasted corn-on-the-cob,
salad, and incredibly sweet watermelon,
followed by just about the BEST carrot cake, EVER.
Which the Dyer-Hall girls were more than happy to share!
Katie and Ray had said no gifts...
but I saw this while shopping last week.
How could I resist? 
Two fellow CFS professors.
Two beautiful and personalized wedding ceremonies in very special places,
surrounded by the people who love them.
Now, that's a great weekend.