Remember Grandma Hollywood? The matriarch and queen bee of my family? Did I mention that twice a year she travels over 2000 miles from beautifully pleasant California to Grandma-really-likes-to-complain-about-the-weather Ohio - and she travels ALONE?! I know, I know, she's amazing.
So this year she flew out in June, one month before her 90th birthday. And let me tell you, my grandma looks damn good for 90. When I realized that my maternal grandmother was turning 90, I first thought, "Crap. I don't want those genes. I don't want to live until 90." But then I looked at the gal and thought, "Shoot! Screw 90. I'll live until 100 if it means looking like that." She's pretty hot, a fact that has been confirmed by her neighbor who has offered to "keep her company" if she's ever interested. The man can't keep his paws off of her. But don't you worry. Grandma Hollywoood's lived in Southeast LA for over 50 years making her the Mamacita de Samoline Avenue Locos and she ain't messin' wit no hombre.
So where was I? Yes, my hottie-bo-bottie almost 90-year-old Grandma flew out for a visit, and my always hospitable mamma decided to throw Grandma a surprise birthday bash. It was touching to see how many people gave up their Friday night to celebrate my Grandma - most of these people only knowing her from Grandma's occasional visits.
Her actual birthday isn't until July 24th, so she was obviously surprised to know that all these people showing up were there to honor her.
It was one of those amazing nights where I sat back and breathed in all the love that my family shares.
And I thank God that Grandma Hollywood is still around to share in that love.
And naturally, these two had to sample the key lime pie. It's a good thing that the dog and kids are cute.
We spent most of the night in my parents' backyard. It was beautiful.
The only thing missing was the rest of the family. My Grandma has three daughters and one son (her son has passed). Aside from my mom, her family, and my cousin Jared's family, everyone else lives in Southern California. The California family would celebrate Grandma's birthday at a later date.
9 candles - one for each decade.
Grandma with her youngest great-grandbaby. 88 years between them - amazing.
It's not easy shopping for a woman who has already started giving away many of her valuables. Nonetheless she had some wonderful gifts to open.
Bless my mom's heart. She read each and every card to my Grandma. Grandma can only read when wearing her magnifying eyeglasses and she can't hear unless her hearing aids are cranked to the max.
Grandma laughed a lot. It was such a blessing to watch her so joyful.
That's Pauline playing with Jenson. Pauline is one of my mom's dearest friends, and Pauline just happened to be my middle school guidance counselor. Pauline is really really good with middle schoolers and toddlers. It's peculiar, really.
My sister and dad. Love.
If you want your face to look thin in a photograph, stick your neck out. See?
I gave my grandmother a framed picture of all 7 of her great-grandbabies. Needless to say she couldn't tell who was who in the picture. She said, "I'll have to get out my magnifying glass and look at this later."
This is what happens when you give a 90-year-old a pair of white capri pants, elastic waist, size 8. She was ELATED. No seriously, she was so thrilled to be given those darn pants. Apparently my mom and Grandma had been to several stores only days before and could not find a pair to save their lives. All it took my fashionably savvy sister was a visit to ONE store to find the perfect pair. Thank you Penny's!
Here Morgan explains how she is awesome and found the magical pants. My Grandma's face says, "I'm in disbelief that you found white capri pants, elastic waist, size 8."
What kids don't love a party? Our friend, Aaron, came over with his niece, Audrey. The four minis were instant friends.
Getting four minis to sit still on a hammock proved impossible as you can see by how blurry the kids are in this picture.
I'm fairly certain this was their second helping of cake.
Harper had some very important "older women" questions to ask Audrey.
That's Susie. Another dear friend of my mom's. I just adore these women for loving on my Grandma so stinkin' well.
Did I mention that Pauline is also really funny? At least my 90 year old Grandma thinks so.
Audrey really wanted to be in our family picture. We kindly kicked her out.
Grandma with the Nameth clan.
Grandma with her Ohio family. Jared was in Cambodia and Ella & Jake were in California so only Lisa and Jenson made it to the party. Pauline is standing behind the camera trying to get the kids to smile. She was playing peek-a-boo, and instead of smiling, Harper was imitating.
Happy Birthday, Grandma Hollywood. I would not be surprised if in 10 years we are celebrating your 100th. You're a lifer.