We watched movies and played games. Lots of candy was consumed by all, per norm. The girls (excluding Cara, as she wasn't back from her trip to Houston yet) went to see "Breaking Dawn: Part 2" and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves while Patrick and Joshua watched "Wreck It Ralph" in another theatre. April, Anna, Patrick, Cara, and I participated in the yearly jam-making process. Dad had to work overtime, which is pretty normal, but we got to spend a bit of time with him on Saturday morning and on Sunday. He and I played in the back and front yards as he showed me his garden, aquaponics, the benefits of watering with diluted ocean water, etc. He also ended up giving me his macro lens for his camera phone after he saw how much fun I had playing with it. To say that I am stoked is an understatement.
I love my little McIver family so much, and I miss them like crazy when I'm not with them. They are bursting with absolutely unique personalities that I couldn't love more.
My daddy is truly one of a kind - a brilliant, honest, hard-working man with the goofiest sense of humor that you ever did see. I could go on and on and on about how much I admire his strengths and the fact that he is always working on bettering himself.
My stepmom, April, has always been so much more than that to me and has been such a good friend for so many years. She works so hard and always has the cutest, coziest home, and her door is always open.
My 18 year old stepsister, Cara, is so über smart and hilarious and beautiful, and she is definitely a young woman that marches to the beat of her own drum. She is full of a confidence that I wish I had at that age. She's going off to college next month and I can hardly believe that the bratty, adorable 3 year old that I met so many years ago has become a woman who I am so blessed to call a friend and a sister.
My 13 year old sister, Anna, has always been the entertainer who just loves to laugh and have a good time, but she is growing up before my eyes. I am totally loving watching her become a young woman, remembering the angst and struggles that come with being a teenager.
The baby, Joshua at a ripe 11 years old, is ALL BOY and totally hitting that "gross" stage right on time, but he is still so much the little boy that I love - the boy that wants to ride on his daddy's back, play with his legos, tickle and/or annoy his sisters, and snuggle up to the nearest family member under a cozy blanket.
I do love them so. Today, I am so very thankful for my family away from home.
(The above photo was taken last December. Not a lot has changed!)