We’re BACK…with a birthday surprise for Daddy!

Monday, September 11, 2017

We announced we’d be homebound in September, but we may have told a little white lie about WHEN.  We led my parents to believe we were arriving later in the month.  My sweet siblings had arrange a special surprise for my daddy’s 70th birthday and planned months ago to fly me in for the occasion.  As things panned out for our whole family to be coming back for a year of fundraising, we managed to coordinate the timing so that our Smith tribe could attend this special family reunion in the North Carolina mountains.

Daddy knew my mom was taking him away for the weekend, but we kept under wraps that almost all of his ELEVEN children, and spouses, and 20-something grandchildren would also be there for a weekend in log cabins in the beautiful blue ridge mountains.  18 months later, our little Eden finally got to meet his American cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles.


This is our tribe!  We are many.  We are loud.  We are sometimes a little crazy.  But we are loyal and happily FAMILY!

….normal we are not!…..

Not exactly “restful” for our tired jet-lagged minds and bodies, but so good for our hearts to have time with these people we love so dearly.


The kids picked up with their cousins right where they left off 5 years ago.



We hiked the beautiful Smokies, roasted s’mores, played in the hot tubs, drank gallons of coffee, ate inordinate amounts of food, caught up in rocking chairs watching sunsets, played corn hole, star-gazed, and laughed….and ate some more.

This is a blessed man right here!  We are the lucky ones to have a daddy that has so faithfully loved, patiently served, and intentionally poured into our lives.  He is a man of integrity who has sacrificed and prioritized us, his children, and modeled Godly character for us!   This is what a full quiver looks like!

My talented friend Melissa has just started a business called Breadcrumbs creating memory books for special milestones and birthdays to tell stories of family members or commemorate relationships or honor individuals.  We loved working together with her as siblings to tell stories about my dad and bless him with letters and pictures through a beautiful book that he will have to read and cherish from all of us!

And check out these cakes by Cecilia Villaveces Cakes!!  We heard remarkable things about their bakery and were not disappointed.  In the book we wrote for my dad, there were dozens of references from us as kids sitting on the kitchen counter helping him make pancakes every Saturday morning.  It is a tradition he has continued with his grands as well.  It seemed fitting that we’d have a “pancake” themed cake to commemorate his trademark brunch contribution.

We just loved how this turned out and the grandkids got a kick out of it.  Delicious Italian Cream cake under all that frosting.  And since one cake isn’t enough to feed this motley crew, we had a Reeses Peanut Butter cake for him as well.   Delish!  Check out Cecilias Villaveces Cakes – a family owned specialty cake bakery located in Athens GA.

Happy Birthday daddy!  Hope these golden years are rewarding and full!  You are the daddy I would have chosen if I could!!

We’re back in beautiful America enjoying fall temps (and bracing for hurricane Irma).  Grateful for many things, not the least of which is proximity to family to get to participate in special gatherings like this and renew ties with the people we love the most!

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