Thursday, 13 October 2011

The cutest thing ever

One of the hardest things about being an expat is being far away from loved ones.  For the first 10 years of my life, I lived in the same city as my mom's parents.  We saw G'ma and Papa every Sunday for church and went to stay at their house rather than have babysitters.

After we moved to Dallas, G'ma and Papa moved to San Antonio to be near my cousins.  They were always within driving distance.  Even when my parents moved to Virginia after I graduated from high school, I stayed in Texas for college.  I never gave much thought to the fact that they are there.  They are the kind of people that just exude love for their family.

For most of the family and our closest friends, we used email to tell them about our impending arrival.  We didn't do anything cute, we just told them the news.  The only people who don't "do" the internet are my G'ma and Papa.  Ross and I put the phone on speaker and dialed them up through Skype. (They still don't believe that it doesn't cost us an arm and a leg to call them.)  They've been chomping at the bit for a great-grandchild for at least the last five years, so we knew they'd be thrilled with our news.  So once we got them both on the phone, we made our announcement.  "How would you feel about a great-grandchild?",  I said.  They were as excited and happy as we'd imagined.  G'ma proclaimed that she was "shocked and excited".   We told them the due date and how far along I was and they waxed adorably rhapsodic about the first great-grandchild.

G'ma announced that she'd bought a card and the first present for the baby years ago, but that now she could "really start shopping".  After we talked for awhile, she said she'd let me go so that she could "go gloat".  So cute.

And that's not even the cutest thing ever.  This is...  My Uncle, Aunt, and 3 grown cousins (the 2 girls with their husbands) all live in San Antonio.  I found out that G'ma and Papa hosted a Labor Day lunch, complete with a home-cooked feast and a champagne toast in honor of Baby Ameringlish.

My cousin sent me the pictures.

Papa with Uncle Bob pouring the champagne

Cousin Jen looks on as G'ma looks at the baby's ultrasound picture-
already in a frame.

Papa checks out the baby too.  Word on the street is Papa said "he looks handsome".
I guess we know what his vote is for boy or girl!

The whole family toasting.

The proud great-grandparents.
So cute!

Seriously, is that the sweetest thing ever.  I confess to getting a little misty eyed looking at the photos.  It's so sweet that they had this celebration, even though we couldn't be there with them.  It would have been nice to celebrate with them in person, but it was almost as nice to know how much they love us from a far.

(P.S.  Sneaky Cousin Erin was actually also pregnant at this celebration!  She and her sweet husband Kevin have just gone public with the news that a second great-grandchild will be joining the family about a month and a half after ours!  I bet G'ma and Papa are the happiest great-grandparents on the block.)

Has your family ever gone above and beyond to make you feel loved?
What's the hardest part of being away from family for you?