my friends make me marketable

Birthday in pictures because my friends make me marketable 🙂  Thank you to everyone who made my day so special!

Beautiful flowers from my Dad

I’m a sucker for sweets

Birthday Kids

Z girls

gang’s all here

Chandler Girls

Surprise champagne from my best friend Joe!

Thank you Joe!

This never gets old

LDLL

Birthday Celebration

Another year older, another year wiser?  Not so sure on that one.

My birthday is actually Tuesday, but some of my family came down to visit and celebrate over the weekend — I am one lucky girl!

I pulled up to Mema’s house and she had the banner outside. It put a big smile on my face.

I love family get togethers at my grandmothers house. We love good food and good wine 🙂 I wasn’t complaining about the appetizer spread.

My Aunt surprised me with my favorite food: BOILED PEANUTS! I almost died of happiness.

The nephews –Day and Ford– came running in saying “Happy Birthday Jill! Happy Birthday Jill!” I could just tell they practiced it all day 🙂

Of course, Carlos came — we are born one day apart and celebrate every year together. Here is our birthday kids photo:

There is nothing better than being around the people you love for special occasions.

Aunt Ginny, cousin John, Mema and I

After we got done eating, my nephews ran over to me.  I see the cake coming at me and everyone starts singing. Then I realize the boys had decorated it for me.

It was such a sweet moment. They were so excited to see it and help me blow out the candles. I love those boys with my whole heart.

Libby and the cake

I wasn’t surprised or anything?!

It was great to celebrate with close friends, laugh and remember all of the great times we have had together. Of course, we missed those who couldn’t be there. You know who you are.

Daddy’s Girl

Play Time

What a wonderful weekend with family for Memorial Day Weekend!

I am the oldest of seven cousins and five of them are under the age of 7! They are kind of confused if I’m their Aunt or Cousin– but whatever, it’s fun!

Playing with them brings me back to my childhood. We played a game of baseball in the neighborhood and I laughed so hard watching them hit and run around the fake bases.

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Gabriel thought his way to carry the bat was pretty clever 😉

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I can’t get over how cute they are and I’m a little jealous of their tans!

The rest of the weekend was filled with sand castles and swimming. My arms about to fall off from throwing them in the water but it never gets old.

What is your favorite childhood beach activity?

I painted their names on the sand buckets and they were all wearing them as hats, how creative?!

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“it will get you a marriage proposal”

One of the things I love the most about Easter is being able to spend time with family.

Before the weekend arrived, my step sister Brandi told me it was my annual duty to dye the eggs for the Easter Egg hunt.  (probably one of the only things they trust me to do)

Here are some of the photos from our EGGstravaganza on Friday night, and Kirstin helped me out!  By the way, this was Kirstin’s first time dying Easter Eggs, pretty sure she was never a kid.

Saturday was the REAL becoming marketable challenge.  Brandi decided it was time to put our big girl pants on and learn how to make the Easter Dinner dessert: BANANA PUDDING.  Looks like it isn’t ONLY Mema trying to help a sister out!

This is Brandi & Kirstin’s family recipe, which is why I am not allowed to post… Brandi might kill me, but on a lighter note, she says “it will get us a marriage proposal!”

We learned all about peaks, making your own pudding (I didn’t know this was even possible, doesn’t it all come in a little box?), and how making this dessert can be a real workout.

To start we made the whipped cream… now I finally know what a Kitchen-Ade is, and I want one!

Kirstin and I are ready to take on this puddin’

Brandi tells us “just a little bit of water in the double boiler… don’t screw this up, girls!”

The double boiler is key to making the perfect pudding (apparently)

Once the whipped cream has “peaks” it is ready to be chilled!

I was in charge of the pudding stirring… they didn’t tell me this would take 45 minutes…

This was seriously a work out, and I worked up a sweat…”Sometimes cookin’ ain’t pretty!” – Brandi

Kirstin did a fabulous job of slicing the perfect banana.

Here’s our homemade puddin’ after what seemed like hours of elbow grease!

Here’s another trick Brandi taught us… If you don’t want a film on your pudding, you put saran wrap on it while it chills.

“Try to make this one pretty!”

my favorite part: licking the spoon!

Cheers! We aren’t TOTALLY helpless 🙂