A Birthday Tradition With the Mathis Family

While my family might be almost 3,000 miles west of where I live, I am very thankful for my new family. Today was another reminder that I am truly part of it.

Sidney has a large portion of her dad’s extended family living in the Myrtle Beach vicinity. Every month a pretty cool tradition takes place. The Mathis family members make it a point to get together and celebrate the birthdays for that particular month. The gathering usually consists of a delicious lunch, birthday cake, and presents for the people born that month. Today was the October celebration and I was one of the family members of honor!

The lunch today consisted of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, potatoes, brown rice, butter beans, green beans, corn, and rolls. The biggest challenge was fitting it all on your plate. Of course I was up to the task and loaded up on the food. As 18 people attended the meal, we had to spread out a little in the beautiful new house of Sidney’s sister and brother-in-law. I sat at a table with Sid, her dad, her cousin and his girlfriend, another cousin,¬†and her niece.

A look at the food spread on the left and then my own plate on the right.

A look at the food spread on the left and then my own plate on the right.

After we ate the men watched football, the women talked at one of the tables, and the kids played on a jumpy castle that was set up outside. Once the food all settled, it was time to open gifts. Over a week since October 8, it was just like a second birthday for me! I was showered with gifts and cards from Sid’s family. Luckily I had her niece and nephew to help me open it all!

I was very thankful that I had Russell and Harrison to help me open up gifts.

I was very thankful that I had Russell and Harrison to help me open up gifts.

My future in-laws gave me a rain jacket and cash. One of her aunts gave me a Yeti koozie with my personal motto on it! With her family knowing that I had picked up golf and got clubs for my birthday, I received¬†THREE Dick’s Sporting Goods gift cards! Sid’s cousin and girlfriend capped off the “afternoon of spoiling Brent rotten” by giving me cash.

On the left is me wearing my new rain jacket and holding my koozie. On my left are my birthday cards and Dick's Sporting Goods gift cards.

On the left is me wearing my new rain jacket and holding my koozie. On my left are my birthday cards and Dick’s Sporting Goods gift cards.

I was trying to organize all my gifts when I was called up to the front of the kitchen. It was time for the family to sing happy birthday to the October birthday people. Steph (Sid’s sister), Rhonda (Sid’s aunt), Dylan (Sid’s cousin), and myself all had the honor of listening to everyone sing to us. We then blew out the candles on the cake (with the help of a couple people who didn’t have October birthdays haha).

On the left was the birthday cake. On the right the October birthday folks plus Russell and Sidney) help to blow out the candles. The photo is courtesy of Carla Edwards Shelley.

On the left was the birthday cake. On the right the October birthday folks plus Russell and Sidney) help to blow out the candles. The photo is courtesy of Carla Edwards Shelley.

Not that I needed any cake after the tremendous lunch but I still had a slice with chocolate ice cream. This time I sat at a table with Sid and her Aunt Martha.

A look around at the birthday celebration today.

A look around at the birthday celebration today.

The November birthday celebration will coincide with Thanksgiving. How fitting! What a great time it will be for me to truly be thankful for both my family back home and my new family down here. Don’t Blink.