Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yes, I'm One of THOSE People!














You know the type of parent. They flood your e-mail inbox with dozens of pictures of their children, saturate their blogs with funny stories about their kids that only they care about, perpetually send Christmas family portraits conspicuously missing adults, and generally make cutesy nuisances of themselves. You know the type.

I thought I knew the type, until the type became me.














No, there aren't any kids on the horizon for Stephanie and me. I’m talking about my niece, Aaliyah. Though she is already two years old, we'd not yet met. She lives with her mom, Shino and her dad, my brother Jonathan, in Okinawa, Japan. Stephanie and I haven’t had the opportunity to get out there yet and Jonathan and Shino hadn’t been Stateside in several years.

Then, two weeks ago, my entire family converged on Portland, Oregon, for a reunion. In addition to the Japanese Fibbs’, my sister Gabi came up from San Diego with her new wife Helen (whom we’d also not yet met).

We spent a wonderful week and a half together. Some of the days were packed (as when we rented a 15 passenger van, crowded in with all the cousins, and took a drive through the Hood River Valley as my grandfather described his family’s immigration there from South Dakota during the Great Depression)...


















...and some were deliciously restful (just sitting around reveling in the sound of each others’ voices and the pleasure of seeing each other in the flesh). Though Stephanie and I would also find the time for some side trips to Mount St. Helens and Seattle, the real purpose of the trip was to spend time with family.










































































It was a wonderful time. Helen was a delight and we loved discovering exactly why Gabi is so in love with her.
















































But the star of the show had to be little Aaliyah. She was the one who stole everyone’s hearts. Even now, slightly more than a week later, I can still smell her hair, feel her soft skin, hear her giggles. Jonathan and Shino, I want her back!

If you're already sick of my post, then we'd better just move on to the pictures while we still have time. Many parents claim they have the cutest kids, but you and I know differently. However, with Jonathan and Shino, it simply happens to be true.

































































































































If you actually want more, click here, here, here and here.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Bethany L. said...

I never understood aunt/uncle love and never expected to, being an only child. Ross' sister-in-law has called me "auntie Bethany" from day one of Jayda's life and it is literally the most amazing thing ever. If you ever want to swap niece stories or pics, you can always count on me to reciprocate :)
Glad you had such an amazing time with your fam!

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Tim G. said...

Absolutely delightful!

You, my friend, are indeed blessed.

Much love to you and your family!

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Nell said...

Oh, oh, adorable!!!!

8:46 AM  
Anonymous DC said...

Excellent. I have looked at the pics on your facebook page. She is a beautiful little girl!

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Brendan said...

Brandon
Thanks so much for sharing. Looked like a wonderful time. Heck - I would have loved to tag along. I'm so happy for your family. and yes - Aaliyah is ridiculously gorgeously cute! She is captivating!
Brendan

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Deon said...

Brandon,
As an Aunt of 11 Nieces and Nephews, I know and understand the joy you feel and felt in meeting a new Niece. She is a very beautiful little girl, and a very lucky girl to have such a wonderful and great Uncle and Family. I hope that you will have the opportunity to enjoy more time with her very soon.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just think how you will feel when you have your OWN!

She IS a DOLL!

:)

9:18 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I love how much you and Stephanie have fallen in love with one of the cutest little girls EVER! (I have to say one of because I have the other two cutest little girls ever!! Hehehe) Go ahead and saturate your blog with your sweet niece and then, when you have kiddos of your own!!

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt any could deny that she is adorable. Beautiful smile. Yeah for Jonathan and Shino! Glad you guys enjoyed her and the rest of the fam so much. Families are a BLESSING! No matter how crazy they make us at times. I certainly miss my wonderful family in Oregon and parts between and beyond.

Miss you guys too,
Paul et al

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Joy said...

Thanks for sharing your great pictures, how fun for your family! Kids bring such an energy to everything.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Gilly said...

Family looks great buddy! Mom looks good, everyone looks good! When you going to start making babies?

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Calvin said...

Yes, she is a delightful little girl! It's also good to see your's and Stephanie's smiling faces in the pics as well. I'm glad you had a good time with family. Hey, when are you visiting the Springs?

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is so cute... enjoy the blessing of family. Thank you so much for sharing the joy!

Sherene

2:21 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

We're coming to Colorado for New Years though I am unsure if we'll make it to the Springs. We plan on cloistering ourselves away in the mountains to go snowboarding for a few days. With 97 degree temperatures and humidity factors outside, the snow is sounding more and more heavenly.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

WHAT A CUTIE PATOOTIE?!?!? And I thought my niece was the only adorable little girl! Of course she's still the apple of my eye, but I can see why little Aaliyah stole your hearts! :) What a neat time with your family!
Thanks for sharing.
Lisa

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

Am so thrilled for your special time with family and with your new niece-she is darling! Being an aunt is truly one of the greatest joys in my life!

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie B. said...

Well my daughter Lucy thinks she is super cute!!!!!!!! Looks like a good time, great pictures. I like how you made the hose green...perfect touch!

10:39 PM  

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