So two unfortunate events led me to see family this year that I didn’t think I would get to see.  My SIL’s Mom’s memorial was on Saturday in Des Moines.  It was because of that event that I got to see my brother Charlie, his wife and two daughters, since they came through Chicago on their way back to Austin.

My Mom is selling her house this week, and it was the last time me and my brother would be able to see it.  She’s lived there since 1989 and was pretty much Hannah’s first home until she was six, since I moved back in with my parents when Hannah was six weeks old.

The tree that was barely as tall as my brother when Hannah was a baby now towers over the house!

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Knowing that they would be getting in late Saturday night, I told my Mom that I would bring breakfast.  I ended up making these cinnamon rolls, except I used regular milk and brown sugar.  The secret ingredient to the dough?  Pumpkin!

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I did end up adding about 1/2 a cup more flour to my dough though in order to roll it out.  And I used  1 tablespoon of room temperature butter, 1/4 cup regular brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon for the filling.

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And, I never took a good picture of the end product, but these were good.  I brought the glaze with me and just had them heat the buns up in the microwave for 20 seconds and dip it in the glaze.  I also made a classic breakfast casserole and a fruit salad.

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I have to be honest, I was a little nervous about seeing my brother because it’s the first time that I’ve seen him since his cancer diagnosis.  While I had seen some pictures of him on facebook, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

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I was a bit shocked at first, but after I got used to seeing him without hardly any hair and no eye lashes, I realized that he was still my goofy brother willing to take awkward family pictures!

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Hannah and her boyfriend Jacob were there too – Hannah is wearing very high wedge shoes and was loving how tall she was next to her cousins!

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Are you wondering where the puppy came from?  It’s Hannah and Jacob’s new puppy Rummy!  Hannah has always wanted a tiny dog and it was her first priority once she moved out.  It is so fricken cute. 

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Everyone wanted to hold her!  That’s my sisters youngest – Claire.  I realized I never got a picture of my nephews though. Sad smile

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It was our last opportunity to go through my Mom’s stuff to see if there was anything else we wanted to take that she wasn’t taking with her.  I’ve pretty much been through it all, but we found a box that was on a shelf in the basement closet that my Mom hadn’t looked through yet. 

My Dad was quite the pack rat.  He was in foster care a lot during his elementary school days and usually if he had to move on, he had to leave everything behind and start over.  So he basically kept everything! 

We found this in the box.  My brother was a boy scout and he signed up for the Pinewood Derby.  However, the boy scout “with the help of their father” was supposed to do the majority of the work.  Did I mention my Dad was an artist?

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The only thing missing was the drivers head.  Um, pretty sure that wasn’t made by an 11 year old, but I remember how much fun my Dad had putting that together.  While his car won the race (my Dad put a weight in the front body!), he didn’t win on design because it was obvious my brother didn’t paint it. Open-mouthed smile

My Mom and I ran to the store to make burgers for lunch – so good.  My Mom cooked them in the broiler – its been ages since I had a broiled burger and it was really good.

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And even though I think the rest of my family is crazy, I did make caramelized onions for them – is that love or what?! Open-mouthed smile

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We had a great day – mostly laughing and joking around.  And while the visit was short, I am so glad I got to spend time with them.

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I am thrilled that my brother’s cancer treatment is going so well, and that hopefully the next time I see him, his hair will have started to grow back.  He’s always had the most beautiful eye lashes, I hope they come back.

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So farewell to my Mom’s old house – lots of good memories there, but I am sure we’ll have many more in her new home. Open-mouthed smile

I actually think this is the best picture of all – whenever I leave a comment on your blogs with “hugs!” this is the picture I’ll think about.

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Is there anything better than a Momma’s hug?