Well, I hit a milestone in my age.... TWENTY FIVE. Yep, from this year forward I will continually turn 25. I have made this scenario in my head because it helps me to rationalize the fact that I am- from this point forward- going to be forever getting older. So twenty five it is. It's a nice round number and leads me to keep looking forward to the 30 that will never turn.
So here we are with a little TWENTY FIFTH shindig for moi and THIRTY FITFTH for old Chad. I wish I had clips from the whole week because it was all fabulous- baking cheesecake with Joni, handmade videos from remote African villages, dinner with friends- but I only documented (with camera) dinner with our Dinkel fam. I wish there was the right amount of words to share about each of these individuals but I can't seem to sum up all their crazy goodness.
I gave mom and dad (as I affectionately call them. Des swears the Lord told her to love me like I was their own a couple of years after I lost my parents and we have since been like kin ever since). Although nothing could literally take the place of my biological parents they do a STAND UP JOB of filling that gap for me. The two of them have this uncanny ability to love 100% of the people that come their way! As I told dad at his birthday last year, "he sets the standard for men very high".
They are parents to many but they are especially parents to all of us kiddos...
Chad and Angel here... Chad, the eldest of this Dinkel parade, is the one whom I share January 9th with as very special day. He is years older.. being that I am 25 and all... but not wiser. Sorry Chad. I win. John Robert lucked out having his best friend and wifey have the same special day. Makes things quite convenient for his two life partners as he likes to call us. Chad's bride, the gorgeous little lady to the left- Angel, is the one whom always makes our days so special for us- organizing the Dinkel dinner and making sure all parties have their favorite cakes present (mine is KingCake). There were even face masks this year in which only the kids wore. Thank you, Angel. You're the sweetest. It's truly a joy to have her as a sister. She makes me feel so special and swears my hair looks great always.
Next is my hunk, my babylove, my muse... (maybe not my muse, that's Jesus) but you get the point. Gosh, there is just seriously no amount of vocabulary to express what this guy consists of, mainly and largely sarcasm (no that is not a fat joke). But so many other things that make no sense to me at all. His love for me is seriously endless and his patience makes my brain hurt. I have never met a soul like John Robert and guarantee I never will. His heart is made of pure gold I am assured. His lumberjack beard is solely lagniappe. I love you, JRM. Aside from Christ you are the sole reason my life will never be the same and always be better and stronger and more wonderful since the day I met you.
These little lovelies are next. Corey, the second born, and Claire his blushing bride. These two make me smile. Corey is said to be a tad on the high strung side but he is all heart to me. He's gotta be one of the sweetest guys I know. Just always making sure his family is taken care of well beyond the second and third mile. He's the one that grabs the door first, goes in for hugs and has that good ol boy charm with his love for guns and shooting crap. Claire's hair is usually quite the top subject but since her pink do for Lila's (second born) arrival in August she's moved to a more casual-mommy-deep-chocolate-brown flow. Also, sometime recently she has found this uncanny way to speak her mind, the truth or aka no dang filter and it's fabulous and creates many awesome moments for us on the family text. Thanks, Claire :)
Next is the Geismen crew. Little Archer Burke was conveniently included. Cami, the youngest and most colorful of the Dinkel bunch married Hunter. What can I say about Cam? Gosh, the list could truly go on forever. She's the token life of the party, likes to make gourmet dishes and keeps us all on our toes with planning of lots of family activities. She's basically hyper to the fifth power. It's great and lends to very happy Dinkel activities. I suppose it only makes sense for her to marry a man like Hunter who speaks only once a month and only to Cami. He's gotta be the nicest introvert on the planet. Not the creeper, stalker kind of way but genuinely hospitable, calming and level headed. He lives for ESPN or CSPAN or whatever other channels accommodates very large amounts of sports only.
The family is just a great mix of all things wonderful and I didn't ever know that life could be so fun within the context of fam. I grew up different, John Robert grew up differnt and to have such an incredible blast with 13 other humans is beyond me. It's just terribly refreshing to have a group of people that absolutely love to spend time with one another. They are definitely the exception to every family rule I know. And we are greatly blessed because of it.
Along with LOTS and LOTS of laughs, Louis' brings gifts as well :) Corey and Claire's oldest is just cuteness in tot form! Geeezz!!!
I asked Lila Claire to smile but she was hardcore milk drunk for most of the night :)
I wish I had one of Abe and Brody... Chad and Angel's two boys... There's always next year :)
We always conclude the dinner with going around the table and sharing our favorite things about the person's birthday that it is. It's a wonderful tradition that is irreplaceable. There are bound to be repeats from year to year but it's just absolutely the perfect way to end a day where it is the goal for it to be special for YOU.
So here's to having such a sweet family and being a whopping TWENTY FIVE and an impromptu Family photography Session.