Tag Archives: brother

Celebrating Some Anniversaries (or Remembering Awesome Family Moments)

This past week had a couple of family anniversaries. I try to remember to celebrate each one when it happens, but things have been a bit crazy lately for me so my mind did slip a bit. But I figure it’s never too late to celebrate.

The first anniversary that happened recently was my grandparent’s anniversary. We don’t necessarily celebrate this anymore since my grandpa died because we don’t want my grandma to be upset. But I still like to remember it because it is a good reminder of how a marriage can last a very long time. I was lucky that I got to celebrate my grandparents’ anniversary with them several times. For their 50th, they took the entire family on an African safari. That still is one of the coolest trips I’ve ever taken. And for their 60th we had a family party up in Portland.

I also got to be there for what would end up being their last anniversary together. It was their 67th anniversary and it was a pretty simple dinner as a family. But even though that anniversary wasn’t a huge celebration, it’s still a good memory because it was such a fun dinner. Obviously at the time we had no way to know that was going to be the last anniversary my grandpa would be alive for, but I’m so grateful that I was there and got to celebrate with them. Also at that anniversary, my grandpa was telling the story of how he met my grandma. We ended up taking a video of that and it’s something that we all are so glad we have forever now.

I think we all wish that my grandparents would have been able to celebrate more anniversaries together. If my grandpa was still alive, this year would have been their 70th anniversary. I’m sure that they would have done something special to celebrate that. It probably wouldn’t have been a trip, but I bet we would have done a family dinner like we did for their 60th. It’s sad that they weren’t able to make it to that milestone, but to know that they made it to 67 years is pretty special. Not everyone has a marriage that lasts that long and it’s proof that you can stay married that long as long as you work at it. And it’s an inspiration for me even though the chances of me getting to 67 years with someone is a long shot (if I got married this year, I’d be 101 during a 67th anniversary).

Also this past weekend was my brother and sister-in-law’s anniversary. This one is awesome because I’m reminded of going to their wedding in Hawaii. I don’t get to take trips that often and going to Hawaii for a week was such a treat. And of course, I love that Krystle is my sister-in-law because she and I have gotten so close. Celebrating their anniversary is cool, but celebrating the day that Krystle officially became my sister is almost more special to me (sorry Ross!).

And they shared a pretty cute photo from their anniversary this past weekend. They both ended up buying each other the same anniversary card. It was not planned at all, but I think it shows how they are meant for each other.

I think that some of my single friends don’t love celebrating other’s anniversaries like I do. Maybe they see it as something that they haven’t achieved yet and they might be jealous. And I can understand that feeling even if I don’t feel it myself. But even with all the craziness I’ve encountered with my online dating, I’m still hopeful that I will find someone one day. So being able to celebrate isn’t something I’m jealous of, it’s something I’m looking forward to having myself in the future.

There are a couple of times a year when family celebrations are bunched up together. My mom’s birthday and my aunt and uncles anniversary are on the same day. My parents’ anniversary, my cousin’s birthday, and my birthday are within a few days of each other. And then there are these two anniversaries only a few days apart. I don’t know if all families have bunches of celebrations like we do, but it’s fun for me. It also makes it a bit easier to remember to celebrate everyone since I’m doing it in batches (except of course this year where I didn’t do things in advance). The next big family celebration will be my grandma’s birthday/Thanksgiving. And it’s crazy to think that November will be here before we know it!

Family Brunch (or Sibling Catch Up Time)

Even though all my immediate family lives in CA, I don’t see everyone that often. I was lucky that I got to spend about a week with my parents recently, but that was only because that was when I was supposed to have surgery and they weren’t going to cancel their trip here. Usually I see my parents maybe 4 times a year and it’s mostly when they are down in San Diego. But I do talk to them on the phone pretty much every day so at least I’m catching up with them that way.

My brother and sister-in-law live in Santa Barbara which is only about an hour an a half away from me. But between them and me, we all have pretty crazy schedules. So even with them being so close I don’t get to see them that often. The last time I had seen them was Thanksgiving and there was a chance I wouldn’t see them again until this Thanksgiving. They were going to come down here for the day if I had surgery and was in the hospital, but since that didn’t happen they didn’t make it here.

But my brother and sister-in-law were in LA for a wedding this past weekend and they invited me to get brunch with them on Sunday before they drove back. Of course I said yes because I need to take advantage of any time that I get to hang out with them. I don’t get to talk to them that often on the phone (again, we all have crazy and conflicting schedules) so I’m not as caught up with them as I am with my parents.

They suggested going to Momed in Beverly Hills for brunch. I had never been there before, but I’m always open to trying new brunch places! And it’s not too far of a drive for me and I wanted to go somewhere that they wanted to go since they don’t get to LA that often. They made reservations for us on Sunday morning and I was excited to get to see them.

I got there before they did and sat at a table outside. It was pretty nice being able to sit outside and even though it was a hot day it wasn’t too bad that early in the morning. And I like being able to people watch because it’s always interesting to see who is out and about on Sunday mornings. I only was there by myself for a few minutes before my brother and sister-in-law were walking up the street to meet me.

They had just gotten back from a trip so they were telling me about their vacation and the vacation that they are planning for later this year. And they were telling me about the wedding that they went to the night before. Then they asked me about everything going on in my life. I still don’t feel like I have a ton of updates on my life beyond saying that I’m working on getting things back to normal. I filled them in on the plan for the tumors and that I should be having another MRI in the fall to make a new plan.

My sister-in-law was also curious about my adventures in online dating. She had seen some posts of mine on social media and wanted to hear more of the stories. My brother didn’t really want to hear about it so we had to wait until he went to the bathroom so I could tell her more of the stories. But they met online so I think they feel like it’s very possible for me to meet someone amazing online so that’s good.

Since they had to drive back home that day, we didn’t get to spend too much time at brunch. I did have an amazing meal though! There were a bunch of Mediterranean dishes on the menu, but I went for something a bit simpler. The potatoes had a really nice spice on them and everything else was basic breakfast food. But that’s exactly what I wanted for my brunch.

We were only at brunch for a little over an hour, but then we all had to say goodbye. My brother and sister-in-law did walk with me to where I parked my car because they hadn’t had the chance to see my new car¬†yet. I think that they both liked the car and agree that it is a major upgrade from my old car. I think I’m still getting used to having a new car and having the chance to show it off to family members who haven’t seen it yet keep the car feeling new to me.

I’m so glad that I was able to see my brother and sister-in-law for brunch. I know we all need to work a bit more on trying to meet up more often, but we all also understand that our schedules aren’t the easiest ones to work with. We don’t get upset with each other if we only see each other 2-3 times a year even though they live so close. And while I’m hopeful I’ll see them again before Thanksgiving, November will probably be here before we know it and I’ll see them (and my entire family) again then!

More Family Time (or Seeing All My Immediate Family Last Week)

After having my parents here for their long layover, I prepared for another family visit.

My brother and sister-in-law were coming to LA to attend a wedding.

They had plans to go to the USC game on Saturday and I had to work my box office job and babysit that day, so we made plans to get together on Sunday for brunch.

We headed to my favorite brunch place, Rush Street. They have the best tater tots and my brother is a huge Bloody Mary fan and they have a Bloody Mary bar there. We had a nice relaxing brunch and since my brother’s birthday was just a few days ago, I didn’t mail his card and gift so I could give it to him in person.

After brunch, my brother and sister-in-law had a few errands that they needed to get done. And since they didn’t have a rental car for the trip, I drove them around and helped them out. My brother has a couple of interviews with different hospitals this week and needed some more dress shirts (because he didn’t pack enough) and a nice folder for his resume. And since we were going to a clothing store for him, my sister-in-law and I shopped around for dresses because she has another wedding to go to this upcoming weekend.

After the errands, I took them back to their hotel so they could get ready for the wedding. My sister-in-law had to leave early from the wedding to fly back home, but since my brother has his interviews he was staying in LA a little longer.

So on Monday, I picked up my brother and we went to lunch together. It’s been a long time since he and I hung out just the two of us, and it was actually really nice just to catch up without other family being there too.

Then, I dropped him off at a car rental place so he could get a car to drive to Santa Barbara (where his interviews are). He heads back home this afternoon and there’s a chance he might come hang out at my house for a few hours waiting for his flight. I guess my house has turned into an airport lounge for my family.

It was so great to have so many family visits recently. While I did get to see my parents and sister-in-law last month, I hadn’t seen my brother is a while.

It’s always nice to have some family time, even if it’s only a few hours here and there.

The Big Event! (or The Reason I’m In Maui)

On Tuesday the 10th, it was finally the wedding day! (BTW, this is a very photo heavy post, but I think you will all love the photos.)

Since the wedding didn’t start until 4:30, my brother and the rest of my family spent the morning relaxing at our rental house.


My parents and I got ready at the house, but my brother got ready at the hotel he had reserved for that night. We all went to the hotel together and just before we left for the wedding, we got this picture of all of us.


Yes, I wore that dress to Marie and Chris’s wedding last year, but Krystle wanted me to wear it. Her mom, my mom, and I all wore lace dresses so I think she wanted us to match a bit.

We then drove 5 minutes down the road for the wedding. It looked just as beautiful as it did for the rehearsal the day before.


While we waited in the air-conditioned bar, guests started to show up. Ross had a couple of friends from elementary school and college there.


And the guys got him this gift for his wedding.


Finally, it was time for the wedding to start. I walked with my parents down the aisle and took our seats in the first row. Then Ross was there waiting for his bride.


Because the sun was in our eyes, it was tough for me to get photos of the wedding (I’m sure the professional photos will look awesome though). I did get one that turned out nicely.


It was a pretty quick ceremony (they did write their own vows though). And before you knew it, the officiant was announcing the new Dr. and Mrs. Levin!


We all headed back up the aisle to celebrate the wedding.


I got a picture with my new sister.


And of course a picture of the bling.


Then the family headed over to the side for the official pictures. I tried to snap a couple of my own between shots. This one is of me, my brother, and our cousin Adam.


Then Ross and Krystle went off to take their photos alone and the rest of us went to enjoy cocktail hour with an amazing sunset.


Just as cocktail hour was coming to a close, Ross and Krystle joined us again.


And we headed inside for dinner.

I was seated at the head table with the rest of the immediate family. It was nice that we all got some time to chat because I know how tough it can be at some weddings.

DSCN0790 DSCN0831

Dinner was 4 courses (when you counted cake). And it was seriously delicious!


DSCN0800 DSCN0812 DSCN0815 DSCN0835

There wasn’t really a cake cutting (just a photo-op), so I didn’t get any pictures of that.

After the food, it was time for dancing.

There was the traditional first dance.


And then even though I think technically we weren’t supposed to have music out on the deck where the dance floor was, the wedding coordinator plugged her iPhone into a speaker so we could have some good dance music!

DSCN0951 DSCN0953

I spent a lot of the dancing time just catching up with family. We don’t get to see each other all too often, so I take advantage of any time I get.


I also got this picture with two of Ross’s oldest friends (they’ve all known each other since kindergarten). My dad may or may not have said a pretty dirty word to try to get us to smile (which explains the surprise face on one of Ross’s friends).


Overall, I’d say it was a pretty great wedding. It was very small, but that made it easy to talk to people. And I think Ross and Krystle were beyond happy with how everything turned out.

I still have a few more Hawaii posts ahead with the rest of my activities, so those will be coming next week!