When we moved from California to Maryland 16 years ago I never imagined that it would be that many years until I spent Thanksgiving with my family again. But that's the case so that made this Thanksgiving even sweeter. Bittersweet, yes, too, as the main reason we didn't travel at the holidays was because my dear father-in-law lived with us and didn't like to travel. He passed away last year, the day after Thanksgiving. Hence, the bittersweet. But, moving forward, it was great to be with my "family of origin" on the best holiday of the year. Above is my beautiful sister, Valori; her son, Aaron; and her daughter, Maya. Maya was my first baby love; now she's married with two children of her own! How time flies!!!!
It had been over four years since we had seen them at all; us having travelled to Oregon four years ago this last July. Above is me; Ben, my niece's son who is six; and my 15 year old son, Matt. Matt and I went to Oregon 6 years ago right after my sister and her partner, Courtney moved there and Ben had been born six weeks early. Though a preemie he was full-sized and we thoroughly enjoyed loving on him; he was Matt's first baby love. The next time we saw him was when he came with the rest of the family to Maryland for my 50th birthday in 2007. The poor guy was sick the whole time he was here and I only got to hold him a couple of times. This time he didn't remember seeing us four years ago. He warmed up to Matt immediately but, by the time he warmed to me, he got sick and I still didn't get to love on him-poop. At least he'll remember we were there and he knows who sent him the Buzz Lightyear costume a few months ago that he so loves!
There are so few photos here from our trip it ridiculous. But Courtney's son, Jer, took an enormous amount of photos and I'm waiting, hopefully, to receive many photos from him that I can add here. Here's one of our latest family member, Amelia, at almost 6 months. What a doll.
These guys had a great time together; they played with that Nerf ball all the time...
...except when Ben wasn't feeling well which was off and on. We left him the football that Paul and Matt had bought to throw at Beaver Stadium on their doorstep on our way out of town the day after Thanksgiving. He had been in bed all TG day and Maya said this was the first time he had smile in over a day, when he got the football. It ended up that he had Fifth's Disease. Whew, glad we dodged that bullet. They have all been spreading strep, colds, etc. since we were there and still are trying to all recover before it goes around again.
And speaking of the doll, Maya was the last girl who I got to dress up like a doll. Amelia had just had a wet outfit and I got to change her. It took me almost a half hour to choose this outfit from all of the adorable things she has. This was definitely the last time she was going to wear these precious shoes; I had to pry her poor tootsies into these but they had to be worn!!
And then she konked right out after she finished her bottle.
Maya works at OSU and we went to pick her up for lunch for lunch one day...
she showed us the sign above. Michelle Obama gave the commencement speech in May and Maya had been the main person who made all of the arrangements. The day before Mrs. Obama arrived Maya was put on bed rest because she was having contractions and she was too far from her due date to go into labor. She was the only one from her office who didn't get to meet the first lady!
Right across the street from Maya's office is the OSU Beaver Stadium. Paul and Matt had bought a football the day before just so they could throw it around on the field and here it shows they did. Several touchdowns were made in only a few minutes!
Another overdue visit was with these guys. Clifford, on the right, was a roommate of mine in 1978. I don't think I'd seen him since 1980. Mark and his wife, Cindy, live in Eugene as do Clifford, his wife, and children. By happenstance. Since reconnecting on facebook, I had found out that Clifford lived in Eugene; I had kept up with Mark and Cindy and had gotten to visit them when we were there four years ago. All of us being from Bryan/College Station, Texas meeting up in Eugene, Oregon-it was so fun.
I forgot to show this picture to Clifford when we were together but I sent it to him via email. This was taken on Thanksgiving in 1978. My beloved daddy, Clifford in his beard, and my sister and her friend, Laurie, who had driven from California to surprise my parents and grandparents (I was in on it). Time does indeed fly.