the tall one graduates

Three weekends ago we flew home to watch my youngest/tallest brother graduate high school. I feel so old/short!

anna sniffs caleb's boutonnière

We flew in Friday morning. As we got off the plane, Ian pointed out that although it was only 10 a.m. local time we'd already been up for 10 hours. Ian's mom graciously picked us up at the airport, and after lunch at Noodles & Co., we spent the drive catching up while Ian passed out in the back seat. When we got to the Mini Max (i.e. Ian's house), Ian promptly forced me to put my newly acquired pinochle skills to use. Grandma Judy was so kind as to assist me in the finer strategy of the game, and Ian and I managed to do quite well.

We also met Ming, the newest family member, who is potentially narcoleptic, and slightly cross-eyed in the endearing sort of way.

ming is a narcoleptic kitty

Pfluff was still a little put out by her new little brother, but I'm happy to report she's now very attached to him.

After some tasty burgers, we headed the final 50 minutes to the Cornell House to stay with my family. The next morning was filled with lots of post-graduation party preparation, and Ian and I were part of the contingency to go early and save seats. Which also meant we got to watch the slideshow and see this.

baby caleb in the slideshow

The ceremony was short and sweet (30 minutes — what's not to love?).

the senior singers performing

And Caleb was happy.

caleb and ian

At the reception, we munched on shrimp cocktail pizza and kropek (chicharap at Chowking), and admired all of Caleb's accomplishments (we won't even discuss how much scholarship money he's raking in).

the awards

After cleaning up, we headed out to Colonial for a joint family dinner: 4 parents, 3 brothers, 2 grandmas, 1 aunt, and us. We discussed the special agent who came from Kansas City to investigate a case at Dad's office as well as Nathan's puffy face (the next week he found out it was a staph infection which is now all better). But you can't tell so much, right?

we love our brothers

Sunday was church and a potluck, followed by an intense family game of Pit. The point of the game is to trade with other players to collect all the cards of one commodity. Dad decided to be mischievous and collect one of each commodity ("diversify!"), so no one could win until he traded one of his cards.

views from the table

We headed back to the Mini Max so we wouldn't have to wake up quite so early to catch our flight Monday morning. We also squeezed in a little more family/cat time before heading back to Boston. In our 6+ months of living halfway across the country from the rest of our families, we've learned to cherish the time we do get to spend with them (and to not envy a jetsetting lifestyle: it isn't as glamorous as it sounds).

For more photos, click here.