Karen’s Reunion

October 15, 2013

When Karen was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago, a mini family reunion was immediately planned. Andrew (Matt’s brother), Patrick + Megan (cousins), Becky (Karen’s sister) and Gran Bett (Karen’s mom) all arrived for a weekend to live it up together. Luckily Karen started to feel much more like her old self just in time.

{Smile Mazen!}


As everyone trickled in on Friday, we met at our place for a lunch from Ace Biscuit and BBQ.


Delicious Southern-style food: fried green tomato, pulled pork, mac and cheese, baked beans, collard greens and an awesome biscuit.


Mazen loves it when people wear his cat Pumpkin on their heads, and Gran Bett looked smashing with a Pumpkin hat!


She was so comfortable that 5 minutes later she was deep in conversation – still wearing the cat! Ha!!


Uncle Brain : )


Friday night we gathered at our place for burgers, sweet potato fries and beer in jars





Later, Mazen entertained us in his jammies


On Saturday we went to the market for breakfast in the rain. I slipped into the gym for a short workout after. We lunched on leftovers sporadically throughout the afternoon. I ate a pork, Brussels sprouts + bleu cheese salad.


Saturday afternoon we headed out in the misty country for a visit to King Family Vineyards


We snacked on Caromont goat cheese and crackers and sipped Virginia specialties: Cab Franc and Viognier



Foodblog-1216 Foodblog-1242

Mazen was dressed in his Gap finest…


Until he decided to get up and walk around. Mud comes out, right!?



We caravanned to Beer Run for dinner where we ate black bean nachos


And big chopped salads


And drank pumpkin beer, of course.

Sunday morning we met at our place one last time for brunch. I made baked Cinnamon Swirl French toast (a Great Harvest specialty) with oranges, bacon and gallons of coffee.



It was so sad for everyone to head home so quickly. I hope there is another reunion soon!

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 robin October 15, 2013 at 9:05 am

Arent grandmas great, wearing that cat on her head, priceless:)


2 Madison October 15, 2013 at 9:05 am

What a sweet weekend full of family, friends and delicious food! I’m sure Karen really appreciates it!


3 Jackie October 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

Aw what a good idea!


4 Jess October 15, 2013 at 9:42 am

There’s nothing like family and good food to make any struggle better, no matter how big or small! I miss southern food so much, I’d give just about anything for one of those biscuits! If only I could find a healthy recipe to make at home…


5 Parita @ myinnershakti October 15, 2013 at 10:02 am

Love that your family came together like that! Beautiful to see. :) And glad to hear that Karen is feeling better.

Also, I should’ve waited until after lunchtime to read this post. My hunger levels went from 5-10 in a matter of minutes!


6 Ashley R. October 15, 2013 at 10:06 am

I love your bicycle mug!


7 Heather October 15, 2013 at 10:09 am

Such a wonderful thing that you were able to put together the family reunion. Great family and comfort food go a long way. Thoughts and prayers with you all.


8 Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite October 15, 2013 at 10:11 am

Family weekends make everything better, no matter what is going on. Glad you were all able to get together and spend some quality time together. And that cat hat kills me! Too funny.


9 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats October 15, 2013 at 10:11 am

That’s great you were able to get family together – it looks like a really relaxing and fun weekend! And those biscuits look like heaven, seriously.


10 Julie October 15, 2013 at 10:23 am

Looks like a fun weekend! Mazen is getting SO big!


11 Theresa October 15, 2013 at 10:38 am

It’s funny, this morning on my drive to work I was thinking of Karen and that I should send an email and let you know, and here’s a post about her! I am so glad you could get the family all together and enjoy a weekend of fun together!


12 Elisabeth October 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

Looks like a great weekend to celebrate family! Glad to see Karen looking so well :)


13 [email protected] October 15, 2013 at 11:10 am

That was very nice of you all to get together for Karen! I’m praying for her to feel much better soon!


14 Jesse October 15, 2013 at 11:14 am

sounds like just what karen and you all needed during this difficult time. more family time always helps:)



15 Nicole October 15, 2013 at 11:39 am

I love that all of your family was able to get together for one lovely weekend. Keeping Karen in our thoughts and prayers!


16 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna October 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm

How wonderful that you could all gather together and enjoy a weekend full of family and good eats :)


17 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Sounds like a lovely weekend spent with family! I’m so glad that Karen was feeling week enough to enjoy it :)


18 Julia October 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

How do you make your burgers? They always look so tasty! Do you mix them with spices and/or prefer a specific kind of meat?


19 KathEats October 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm

We usually incorporate an ounce of fresh bread crumbs per pound plus salt and pepper and the occasional smoke paprika and spice


20 Tracy October 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Continued prayers for Karen. She has a lot of love and support!

I know you’ve probably explained before, but why is Andrew called Brain?


21 KathEats October 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Just a nickname from their childhood :)


22 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles October 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Family reunions are the best! Looks like you had a lot of fun things planned…including lots of good eats! :) Celebrated Thanksgiving this weekend with family ourselves…including lots of good eats too! :)


23 [email protected] October 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Matt looks so like his brother you’d swear they were twins!! Great idea to get everyone together….good food, family and a little Mazen to entertain…what more could you want? I’ve a question for your upcoming Q & A post…do you plan to have more children in the near future? (too personal maybe!) And another less personal…what food processor do you have or use most? Mine just broke so I’m trying to decide on the Cuisinart or ? Or do you use your blendtec/vitamix more?


24 KathEats October 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I’ll answer the first one in the post: )

I don’t think anything can do what a Cuisinart does, but I think Cuisinart verses Vitamix depends on how much you like smoothies. If you have one a day, a blender might be a better investment than a food processor that you use a few times a month. We have this Cuisinart and love it.


25 [email protected] October 16, 2013 at 7:34 am

Brilliant thanks Kath! Is that the one with the 3 different sections? Was going to go for the the one down from it! I reckon it’s a food processor that I need, I have a small blender that does the trick for smoothies! The Cuisinart good for nut butters?


26 KathEats October 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

I’m not sure what you mean by sections?


27 [email protected] October 16, 2013 at 11:26 am

Is there three different processor attachements as in the part you fill up?! I’m sure they must have a proper name! I think it’s the 11 cup one I was going to go for…so much more expensive here in Ireland. It’s about the equivalent of 362 dollars!


28 KathEats October 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

There is a grater, slicer, etc


29 Sammy @ Peace Love and Ice Cream October 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm

If something positive could come from Karen’s diagnosis it’s this family weekend! What wonderful family time!
I hope she is doing well. I know we are ALL thinking about her during this tough time.
-Sammy @ http://www.peaceandloveandicecream.com


30 Tania October 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

haha I totally thought that was a real cat!! Prayers for Karen.


31 Karen October 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Happy to see Karen doing well! She’s been in my thoughts…wishing her the best outcome possible! xo


32 Maureen October 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Awesome that your family could come together for a fun time!


33 Melissa October 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Looks like such a great family weekend! How is Karen feeling? I hope better! Seems everyone that reads your blog is praying for her, myself included.


34 KathEats October 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm

She is doing much better. Thanks for asking


35 Erin @ The Grass Skirt October 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I love that you all got together like this. What a beautiful memory!


36 Averie @ Averie Cooks October 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I read the title of this post and it all feels so bittersweet, Kath. I’ve read almost every post you’ve written since 2009 and remember Karen’s previous struggles like they were yesterday. And now…again. I know you all cherished this time together and it was such a wonderful thing to think of and do. She is in my prayers :)


37 KathEats October 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm



38 Cait's Plate October 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I love this so much. I’m praying for Karen every single day! It looks like this was a perfect weekend to help lift her spirits!


39 Mom October 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Handsome family and Pumpkin looks quite happy on Gran Bet’s head.


40 Alex @ Kenzie Life October 15, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I’m glad you had a mini-reunion and hope that next time it happens you’ll be celebrating Karen’s remission!


41 Eve October 16, 2013 at 12:14 am

I’ve been thinking about Karen, and hoping that, “No news is good news.” It’s wonderful that your family is rallying around her, creating lots of happy memories. Prayers to all of you:-).


42 Lynn @ the actor's diet October 16, 2013 at 1:36 am

Xo to Karen and the family that is rallying together


43 Lauren @ Lettuce Eat Cake October 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

Seconding Alex’s kind words–hopefully the next family reunion will be a remission celebration! What a lovely weekend.


44 Rachel October 17, 2013 at 10:28 am

Is there something in the bottom of Mazen’s sippy cup in the picture at Beer Run? Just curious :). Having a baby in less than 9 weeks so just trying to get ideas :)


45 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Yes it’s the bottom of the straw, which has a weight. This is the cup. It’s a good one (when it does leak on me)!


46 Leslie October 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm

What’s your favorite pumpkin beer Kath? My boyfriend and I loving trying different pumpkin beers. So far our favorite 2 are pumpkin head by shipyard and pumking by southern tier.


47 KathEats October 23, 2013 at 11:37 am

Pumking rocks!

Here’s my post on my favorites: http://www.katheats.com/the-best-pumpkin-beers


48 Neil Butterfield October 24, 2013 at 7:34 am

Good to see family rallying around to support like this.


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