Saturday, October 16, 2010


(Lizzy,Dad, Steven, Me, Rebecca, Scott)

I don't know why but I absolutely adore this shot. It's heart-wrenching and very raw but I think it is beautiful. It shows how very much we loved my Great Aunt Edith, and how much we love each other.
We released balloons in memorium of her. She always told us that she didn't want flowers at her service "because flowers die". "I want balloons, lots of balloons.", she said. So we released balloons...and sang "You are my Sunshine". How appropriate. She was quite absolutely sunshine in my life. And only she could take the sun out of Palm Springs that day...In all my childhood, I never once remember it raining in Palm Springs. It rained the day we laid her to rest.

She was Aunt Edith... "Just call me Aunt Edith", she would say. No one else had an Aunt Edith...but I did. And I am so proud that she was mine. She made me want to be my best. She kept every trinket and every picture that we colored for her. She was so proud of us and that made me feel so special. She laughed and sang, loved and lived with gusto. Life was a song to her. And it was in her beautiful Contralto voice. The smell of bacon and the taste of tangerines remind me of her. She always made us bacon and always let us explore in her yard and pick her tangerines. She was never ashamed...of anything. She told stories because she loved her sister and mother so much. We knew them because of her story-telling. She always made sure that all 14 of us had coats and shoes (with NO holes in them). She was kind to everyone...everyone. She (and Uncle James, of course) paid for weddings and missions. She supported us in everything we did. She would never get annoyed or tire of us. She loved us dearly...and she was deeply, deeply loved and adored in return. Edith Alice Ruffell-McDaniel. She is my daughter's namesake.

My wonderful, quiet, hansome Uncle James with my handsome brother, John. Her heart belonged to James.
Derek, Mom, Doug, Emily, Steven
My beautiful, talented, lovely sisters (excluding Crystal & Jena)
{Heather, Shelley, Mamma, Me, Ashley, Melissa, Rebecca}

These are some of my favorite people on this earth. My brothers and sisters. How did I get so lucky?

{1st row: Me, Shelley, Heather, Uncle James, Ashley, Melissa, Rebecca. 2nd row: John, Travis, Steven, Derek, Doug, Scott}

My Daddy and Kathy-Mamma.
My handsome, tough brothers.
Little Nate got a taste of his new cousin. The more slobber, the more love.
My beautiful sister, Rebecca. My Alice Rebecca's namesake...for so many reasons.

Heather, Jane-y, Travis

Me and my yummy little niece, JaneThis is what I LOVE about getting together with my fam. Story-telling and laughing.

My beautiful sister, Heather that I don't get to see NEARLY enough because she lives way too far away. I absolutely ADORE her. I talk to her at least once a week.

My brother Johnny, little Nate, Uncle James and a very fussy Ali.

My tough brother, Travis. (Not really, he's a big Teddy-Bear)

HAD to see Danny the Dinosaur and T-Rex on the way home...nastalgia, ya know.The "Rock". Had to do a pose. I remember taking many a pictures on this rock. :)
Old Town Temecula Girl's Trip!
We ate at the oh-so-yummy 'Rosa's Cantina Then headed out and browsed the shops. One of my FAVORITE days ever.
We really missed all the sisters that couldn't make it.

Heather REALLY liked her food...she's prego and she's been drooling for it ever since.Ali REALLY likes her reflection...and she smiles 10 times bigger when you tell her she's pretty...NO kidding. She loves to be pretty. ;)

That night we headed over to Shelley's (because she's on bed rest and couldn't come with us) and met up with the boys and Crystal too! We had a blast as always.

Doug wanted to try one of Shelley's pickled peppers...(yes, there were a lot of "Peter picked a Pepper attemps) Playing on Shelley's property

Laura (Shelley's), Trev, and Tyson (Crystal's) Hailey, Audrey (Shelley's) and Lizzy

Crystal attempting (notice I said "attempting"???) to show Doug a card trick. Hillarity ensued, as it always does.

Candid Laugh-out-loud shot. This is what we do as Whitmans. :)

Tellin' more stories!

Massaging the much deserving, bed-resting prego Shelley's feet.

*More Cali trip with the Tomseth Fam & the Lowe Fam to come*