Aunt Martha. I've gotten closer and closer to my Aunt Martha over the past few years. She lives in Lexington, KY with her husband, Jesse. They have a farm and some horses. She comes up to my mom's for holidays, Jesse is able to join her a couple times each year. She is bubbly but not in a flighty cheerleader way. Just upbeat and positive and overflowing with this energy. When I was a child, she gave me this denim purse that had a picture of a horse on one side- I treasured it for years. She also once gave me this little gold pendant of 2 horses running together. I still have it and I love it.
Here's Kathy and Martha with my grandma, their mom.
Martha, my mom, and my Aunt Liz... all only have eyes for Zach, of course!
My Aunt Kathy spent some special time with my daughter. Kathy isn't a mom and doesn't spend a lot of time with kids. So to see her with such patience and care and calm with my daughter... it really touched my heart. Once Kathy realized that Teagan loves to be in the kitchen and that Teagan has experience in the kitchen, they were quite the partnership. These pics show them working together to hand brush olive oil on sliced up yellow squash and then sprinkle it with kosher salt.
We were staying at my Aunt Liz's house. She and my Uncle Chuck are both doctors- she an ER doc, he a colon and rectal surgeon (retired). So it is a big house. They have 2 grown boys. Michael is in the Army and Stephen is at Purdue but will soon be joining the Navy SEALS. I didn't get enough pictures, apparently, because I don't have many with them. I spent a summer nannying for them when Michael was just a year old. My mom would come to visit almost every weekend. I mostly remember that my TV watching was majorly restricted, my uncle got me hooked on Stephen King, and I spent time at the mall.
But this big, beautiful, roomy house also has incredible grounds. The summer that I nannied was the summer they started building and I used to go with my aunt to the property to help water the newly planted trees prior to building starting. My kids had a great time enjoying the fruits of that labor so many years ago. The back yard is overflowing with flowers and wide open spaces. There is a giant vegetable garden. It used to be cared for primarily by my grandpa but has since become the responsibility of my aunt. Our dinner that night primarily came from that garden- green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.
With all the vegetation, there has to be a good amount of wildlife. There are all kinds of homemade contraptions in the garden- that is also fenced in- to ward off birds and bunnies and such. We still managed to find this very unscared little bunny. We assumed that maybe she was nearby her kids or something? But she hung out in front of the house, munching on clover, never concerned if we came right up to her. If you got closer than... a foot, she would semi-move away. But only went running away if you came running at her. Which my kids did, with the encouragement of my mom. They spent 20 solid minutes chasing the bunny all around the house. And for the rest of the night and first thing the next morning, all Zach wanted was "Bun-ny!"