Zandra had her Sweet 16 back in May.

A couple of weeks ago, Zandra’ s Mom sent Rob an email inviting us (including Zach and Josh) to a Surprise Sweet 16 party with all her family from her Mom’s side.

That in itself was a surprise, but we certainly jumped at the opportunity to celebrate the special occasion and surprise Zandra, in addition to try to make positive steps towards a much healthier relationship her with Mom.

Things didn’t start off too well when we were stuck in traffic along the way and ended up pulling up close to Zandra and her Mom (on their way to the party too) on the highway!! Zandra leaned out the window to wave and then quickly texted me to ask where we were going.

Luckily, the boys’ Dad lives that same way, or we are always on that route heading to soccer anyways so it was easy come up with an excuse. Not that she would ever be suspicious that we would be attending a family BBQ on her Mom’s side that she thought she was going to!!

We arrived at her Grandmother’s home (who has always been very kind and welcoming to us) and most people were just arriving too. I thought it would be stranger meeting everyone. But, the kids have talked about their aunts, uncles and cousins so much over the years, it was really just putting names to faces.

What was so nice to see (and really not surprising) was how happy everyone was to see Rob! He was greeted and hugged so warmly! Everyone said he had not changed a bit (although Josh nicely pointed out that he had more grey hair!!) and it was nice to see him catch up with people he had not seen in so long.

When Zandra arrived, I didn’t have my phone with me to capture the moment, but her reaction was priceless. It was irritation! She looked around and just said “What?” She had a lot of studying to do; she  thought it was a simple BBQ so she could sneak off and study, and all of a sudden her entire extended family was there. Then she saw us! She was perplexed and shocked, but then the realization set it that this party was for her!

I was so happy for her, as I know all the kids had wanted to have peace between their parents for so long. Life is just so much easier when you don’t have to worry so much about things between your two families. We have done things before all together and it definitely has gotten better over the years, but this was the first time that it was initiated by their Mom and we thought it was a great success. I think maybe we are all ready to turn a new chapter and forge a new relationship!

Here are a few pics of Zandra at the party:





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