Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

“Firsts” in Texas

My head is going to explode. I mean so much has happened since the last time I wrote, I either have to just list it all in boring chronological order, or write an epic novel. But maybe there’s an in between.

Gettin’ There
I think the last time I wrote we were headed to Texas. I had a work trip in San Antonio from 11/19-11/22 and Sarah, Keana, Maia, and Uncle Peter flew out that Sunday afternoon/evening to meet me on our way to Fredericksburg to see Grandma Linda and Grandpa Sam for Thanksgiving. What a day that was. I called Sarah first thing Sunday morning to check in and make sure she was doing okay. Packing for three people is no small chore, especially when two of those people are actually monkeys that need constant supervision while climbing and crawling all over the house, whisking everything you’re trying to pack away. So I called and found out that Uncle Peter was AWOL. He was supposed to be there the previous night, but didn’t make it out of Santa Cruz and said he’d be there first thing Sunday morning. Here it was, three hours before needing to leave for the airport, and no Peter. After many calls in all directions, Peter surfaced and made it to the house just in time to pack up the car and head to the airport. I was a thousand miles away in San Antonio and couldn’t do a thing, so I tried to enjoy the day with mom and Sam. Their flight landed around 10 p.m. and we spent another hour picking up bags and getting the car seats strapped into the mini-van rental. (SIDE NOTE: I pretty much hate mini-vans. Call me vain, but I hate the way they look and it seems like every jackass on the road either drives a mini-van, a Hummer, or a Prius. But let me tell you, this Toyota Sienna was spacious, easy to drive, had two side doors that opened and closed automatically/remotely, and we easily fit seven people—with two car seats—in it. Sarah was totally won over but I still can’t quite get over my vanity.)

It was another hour+ to Fredericksburg and Maia cried the whole way. She was more than over it. Miraculously Keana fell asleep and rest of us were beat. We stayed at a friends guest house that was outside of town and in the middle of the countryside. It was beautiful with lots of deer, windy roads, and millions of stars visible at night.

Maia’s First Birthday
On Tuesday, November 25, it was Maia’s first birthday. In attendance were Grandma Linda, Grandpa Sam, and Uncle Peter. During the day we went into town for the first time and enjoyed some cowboy boot shopping and the quaint offerings of Main St. Fredericksburg. The girls took a little nap in the car on the way home and Grandma LInda and Grandpa Sam came over to the guest house to cook the birthday meal. Poor little Maia was so tuckered out from the day’s adventures, that she fell asleep before pie and candles, so we enjoyed them in her sleepy absence. Not exactly the pomp and fanfare that some first birthdays hold, but it was certainly one filled with lots of love and of course the novelty of celebrating in a small town in Texas.

Maia’s First Thanksgiving
For Thanksgiving we enjoyed dinner with our hosts Rex and Marylou at their house, which was right next to the guest house we were staying in. They had their nieces over and one of their friends from their ballet company, another couple that had transplanted from California and their son from Santa Barbara, and our clan. It was a great dinner with the usual tonage of the traditional foods, and Maia and Keana enjoyed roaming all over the house, Maia holding on to just one of our fingers for balance. The evening ended a little abruptly when their dog Weasel nipped at Keana’s ankle and made her cry, so we took a sad and tired Keana back to the guest house. I laid with Keana while Sarah put Maia to sleep, and Maia fell asleep without a hitch, but little Miss Keana was too amped to fall asleep, so we let her watch cartoons while we sat with Uncle Peter in the freezing cold drinking beers and relaxing. It was too cold to really sit outside for long, so we called it a night and brought the now VERY sleepy Zooba with us.

Maia Walks
On November 27, 2008, while we were at Grandma Linda’s house, and while Sarah was talking on the phone with her mom, Maia really walked on her own. She was do excited. She walked in circles and walked between Sarah and I, squealing and laughing with pride and excitement. It was truly amazing. She had been practicing for weeks holding on to just one of our fingers, so her balance was really good and she did quite well, right at first, all on her own.

Other Events and the Wrap Up
Other activities while visiting in Fredericksburg included great visits and meals with Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Peter, a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s property where they will be building their house, visits to the town, a great brunch on an outdoor patio at Silver Creek with live country music (solo guitar, singing), and some of the best burgers we’ve ever had anywhere at Porky’s and the Alamo Springs Cafe. Man, those burgers were amazing and we will honestly miss them. Okay, moving on.

The trip home wasn’t too bad. We flew back with Uncle Peter so three adults and two kids is just about the right ratio. Of course the girls were tired, but a nice layover in Denver allowed us to get dinner and run around a bit which was very helpful. We landed in Oakland just before 8 p.m. and as always, it felt great to be home. It was a great little Texas adventure we definitely look forward to going back for future visits, especially when Grandma Linda and Grandpa Sam get their house built!

Babies don’t care about holidays

Keana does not care about the holidays…yet. Some people out there may be getting a little worked up over that statement, so let me explain. Holidays are really for us adults and older kids. It’s for those who realize how important getting family together is, even if for just one day. But it’s also a time for us to express and recreate all the traditions and expectations that surround the holidays—for better or worse—that we’ve learned and assimilated for ourselves through our lives. I think Keana sees things differently. I think Keana is excited to see our extended family any time and there just happens to be some random pumpkin on the porch—which, by the way, someone totally messed up by cutting holes in it—or everyone makes a big deal about eating turkey instead of the chicken and rice she requested. But as a whole, I think she just takes everything and everyone in stride, at the moment, and enjoys (or doesn’t enjoy) things as they happen. There’s no expectations or sense of tradition and I think that’s pretty cool. It’s so fun to see Keana still really new to this world taking one day at a time, and hopefully she’ll grow to love and understand the traditions we create together. Or, I guess it’s always possible she’ll grow up hating our family traditions and once she turns 13, when November/December rolls around, she’ll dress in all black, swear she’ll disown us when she turns 18, and refuse to get in the car to go to so-and-so’s house for “one more stupid, pointless holiday celebration”. I truly hope it’s the former and not the the latter. Anyways…

Unfortunately we just couldn’t see all the family this Thanksgiving. This year we drove to Fresno with Sarah’s sister Iana (Tia) to be with Sarah’s family. Thanksgiving day we saw Grandma Jennie, Grandpa John (our hosts), Tia, Great Uncle Jim and Great Aunt Christina, second cousin Shawn, Great Aunt Blanche, second cousin Shanti and his girlfriend Alysa…and I think that’s pretty much it. Uncle Michael got stuck in Olympia where he’s attending college because plane ticket prices sky-rocketed. It sounded like he was going to have a typical college tofu-no-stuffing-kegger-video game-potluck Thanksgiving—which I’m sure was fun—but we did miss him. My family (Grandma Linda, Grandpa Sam and Uncle Peter) went over to our friend Rhonda and Baptiste’s house for Thanksgiving in San Jose, so we had to settle for the holiday phone call instead of actually seeing them. I’m not sure what Great Grandma Jacquie and Great Grandpa Vic did (or the rest of the Petersons), but hopefully we’ll get to spend Thanksgiving with them next year.

Speaking of great grandparents, Sarah’s Grandma Ellie passed away very early Thanksgiving morning. It wasn’t entirely unexpected and we just imagine her somewhere wonderful and peaceful with the love of her life Charles and all the other family and friends that have gone before her.

The day following Thanksgiving we had a great visit with Sarah’s Dad Robert and his wife Cindy. They are always great hosts and Keana had a blast playing in the backyard and with all the little treasures that Grandpa found for her. Eventually she got so sleepy that she drifted off to Nap Land and had a nice two-hour nap which gave the rest of us a chance to catch up on the last year. Once again we were reminded of how fast time seems to be flying by.

Saturday we packed up and headed back to the bay. It was great to see everyone but we we were very thankful to be home. Then, tonight, Grandpa Jon flew in from Denver for business and took the three of us out to dinner in celebration of my upcoming birthday. It was fun getting caught up and we are thankful that he’s out here so often on business.

It’s been a week filled with family events, a little road trip, and great food. I think it’s safe to say Keana’s second round of holidays are shaping up nicely, even if she doesn’t know she’s supposed to care about them yet.

(look for November pictures in the upcoming weeks)