Momma Told Me: 50th Bash @ Angels Stadium, Chicken Purse, Family + More!

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50th Bash @ Angels Stadium, Chicken Purse, Family + More!

Momma Told Me: You define your own family, no piece of paper can do that for you.
Ahhh, family. Websters defines 'family' as "A basic social unit consisting of parents and their offspring." I don't need to tell you I thin that's a bunch of malarkey. You see, my grandma always preached that one's family was only limited by the length of their arms. Momma's Momma, or Oma as it's known in German, lived her life with her arms perpetually outstretched. Now, this side of my family, Momma's that is, is constantly rambunctious, sometimes offensive, but always supportive. We've been through a lot in the past year, adjusting without our Matriarch on the ground to guide us. But I regress, family is not what you are born with, though an allegiance to blood is always nice, family is what you claim to make you whole. For some its their furbabies, for others an adopted son, or in my family's case, any warm hearted soul passing by. Their outlook is infectious, and their love for fun, and contrasting compassion, makes them generous friends and lifetime loyalists.
Angels Stadium entrance
If I had to count the number of honorary family members on this half of my family I'd be at a loss for time to do so. The number of strangers, to me, turned permanent family gathering staples, throughout my childhood is immense. Through the years they've found lost blood relatives, and defied the very definition of family, creating their own. If there is a gathering occurring in the House or Costea household you should expect open doors and ample food; plenty of story-telling, and constant laughs. 'Stranger' is not a word, new, to me, people are merely future friends. And those who cannot attend will have a hearty plate set aside. I don't think my grandfather has ever cooked one of his feasts without bundling up a chunk for the local nuns. But these photos, and this post, is particularly for my Aunt; who was smart enough to marry a younger man, and has aged flawlessly to 50. This past Friday we all piled into a 'limo' party bus and trekked to Angel's Stadium for a surprise party in her honor.
Angels Stadium
Angel's Stadium
Before I tell you a little about our day, let me tell you a little about my Aunt. I'm ashamed to say, the majority of my knowledge regarding her is due in part to Momma's childhood tales. Though this half of my family lives but a few hours away, there was a great period of time in my life I did not get to see them but a handful of times throughout the year. In any case, my fondest memories of this woman are of her children, my cousins. My very first images in my mind those of myself balancing on a Fisher Price see-saw in my Aunt's backyard, clutching my younger cousin, a toddler, and planting a cheesy kiss on her cheek. A few years later my second cousin was born, and I remember watching her bounce up and down in those silly baby jumpers for hours as my Aunt, full on 80's big hair, ran back and forth cleaning.

Yes, to me, she was the mother of my cousins. As I've grown up, and my eyes have learned to focus less narrow, I've seen more of the woman she really is. I was spoiled enough to have my Aunt and cousins live directly across the street from my grandparents, so I could get the most our of our rare but treasured visits. Reflecting back, there is an astounding amount of my grandmother in this woman. Not only does her constant smile match her outstretched arms (not a single employee, neighbor, or passing stranger goes without her thought), but her strength and perseverance throughout the years of life's trials and tribulations serve as a model for my own life. She is not Momma. I do not have the same relationship with her as I do my own mom; but I do admire the way she gets the most out of life, always laughing, always loving.
Rubber Chicken Purse
Angels Cake
So that is a little about the woman we all gathered to surprise, the day after her 50th birthday (by the way, she is the blonde on the floor in the photo below- she hardly looks 30, right?) My two cousins and Uncle began planning this ruse several months back. It's much more complicated than it seems, as some of our relatives had to be flown in, while other friends and family drove for hours just to celebrate this woman. An entire suite was rented for the evening's affairs, and we got to watch the Angels game from a box with an amazing view (and all you can eat pizza, wings, hot dogs, cracker Jacks, and more, too!) I'm not really an Angels fan; they're the home team I choose to support, but I bleed Red Sox Red, for my roots on my dad's side of the family. Luckily, this day the Angels were playing the Astros and I didn't have to take sides. I did, however, bring Chicken Purse (look for Adventures of Chicken Purse on the blog soon), and received countless praise for my less than 'Coach' taste in style.
Speaking of Chicken Purse, a rubber chicken purse just about sums up this side of my family. We're always quite LOUD, incredibly cheesy, and don't care what others think, so long as we have our friends and family. My cousin Taylor will often entertain those in earshot with her Forest Gump impression, my Aunt has been known to begin comparing Fall gourds to male anatomy after a few margaritas, and Grandma Bea will drink any 21 year old male under the table without busting a sweat. To the outside viewer, like you, this photo may have some interesting notes; the 'photo bomb' of our family's close friend in his Dodger's shirt, the haphazard attempt to 'wear red' with Angels cocktail napkins, and the astounding number of gorgeous men and women (of all ages) among this group. But, to me, this is simply my family, in their natural habitat. No, not at the Angels stadium, but surrounded by smiles and love!

What Daughter Says: I have family members I may never know, in this great big group- but it is an amazing feeling to know they love me anyway!


  1. Your aunt looks amazing - I wish I looked that good.

    I love chicken purse. It's so cute.

  2. Aw, what a fun post! Looks like your family is a happy clan. It's great that you were able to celebrate her 50th together. She looks great!! And the chicken purse is hilarious. For some reason I thought it was on a cake stand, so it must be a cake. LOL!

  3. Um, now I miss my family. I have a large family, and I CHERISH the vacations we have together.

  4. such a touching day! Your aunt does indeed look very young..I am so glad you appreciate what you have. Many people don't!

  5. Looks like you certainly had a great time!

  6. Your Aunt is beautiful! What a fun day you had, and a fun family!! I think it is great that so many people came in to share her day. It is times like these that you really remember. Thank you for sharing. Love the Chicken Purse! :-)

  7. What a wonderful day you all had! I love that so many of you came out for her 50th birthday. I am sure it put a big smile on her face.

  8. looks like it really was a great time!!

    Sandy a la Mode

  9. I love hearing about your family! What a fantastic bond you have. And i love seeing all the fun you can have together! And that purse! Oh my goodness! That is a crack up! So much fun!

  10. It looks like you had a blast. You are so right. You can't define family by a piece of paper! Love the chicken purse too btw!

  11. Great photos. I cannot believe that chicken purse. Classic kitch! I love it!

  12. Oh what a wonderful day you had!!!! I love looking at all your photos!

  13. Jenna
    I can't thank you enough for sharing my special day with me :) I love you and always treasure spending time with you. Your blog made me cry , but it was because it made me so happy to hear how you feel about me. We did miss many years together, but we have now, and are making the best of of time we have left. You are special to me, and I look forward to many more memories with you.

    Kiss, kiss..... Auntie Leslie