This Labor Day weekend we spent up in Radford, VA at my mom’s house.  Friday I worked my second day at the middle school (which went even better than the first day… what a pleasant surprise).  After work I came home and packed my bag, then picked up Bryan from work around 5pm.  We went straight from there to the airport and picked up my sister who had just flown in from NYC.  From the airport we drove on to Radford.

We stopped in Greensboro at the Steak’n’Shake for dinner which is usually such a treat.  The steakburgers and fries were delicious as usual but my sister Becky and I both had really bad experiences with our milkshakes.  She ordered banana and I ordered mint cookies’n’cream, and they both tasted like artificial flavors.  Mine especially tasted so much like chemicals to me that I couldn’t stand to take a sip of it.

My advice: don’t order the mint cookies’n’cream unless you like milkshakes that taste like chemicals.  So we both got new ones – Becky got the chocolate/vanilla, and I got the plain cookies’n’cream, and then we were much happier.  My advice is stick with the basic flavors at steak’n’shake because apparently they don’t use real ingredients and so the exotic flavors end up tasting awful.

We arrived in Radford at my mom and Tom’s house Friday night around 10pm.  Mark and Libby (Tom’s daughter) and their two daughters were already there.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer back around Thanksgiving of 2005, and she successfully kicked it, but has been taking chemo pills ever since as prescribed by her doctor.  Well, this past week she finally got to take her LAST chemo pill, and so she planned a big Mexican Fiesta themed party to celebrate!

Saturday we all spent all day getting ready for the party: decorating, putting up tiki torches on the deck and along the driveway, cleaning, making sangria, etc.  My mom had the party catered by a local family who made all of the authentic Mexican food from scratch!  It was fantastic!

There was even a pinata!

It was a fun party, and a good reason to celebrate.  I’m glad we were able to go!

And here’s the 2 crappy pictures we ended up with when we asked someone else to take a picture so that I could be in is as well.  The first one is actually cropped by me (it was primarily ceiling, so I tried to make it more about us and less about the ceiling).  It is blurry, but at least she got us all in it.  More than I can say about the second photo…

What was she thinking?!  “I think the people aren’t that important… let me make sure I capture the ceiling…”  She actually said to me, when I first handed her the camera: “I think you have it zoomed in.  I can’t possibly fit all of you in one picture.”  I looked at the camera, even though I knew it was not zoomed in, and I had just successfully taken the picture of the whole group without me, and handed the camera back to her and assured her that yes, in fact, she should be able to fit us all in the picture.  Well, now I see why she was having trouble.  She wanted to get the ceiling, the windows, the cabinets, and the lighting in the picture as well!  So the whole point of her taking this picture (below) was so that I could be included in a picture.  Oh well…  And this is why I don’t like handing the camera over to other people to take pictures.

I made a video to document the occasion as well.  Enjoy!