Thursday, September 16, 2010

Labor Day Weekend & Saying Goodbye to San Diego

Ha ha, gotcha didn't I? Dan and I aren't saying goodbye to San Diego, our friends Eric and Jenn are. More on that later - first I want to talk about our super fun Labor Day weekend in TX with my mom's side of the family! It's become a new annual tradition for our extended family to get together at my Uncle Brian and Aunt Margaret's ranch house over Labor Day instead of trying to coordinate time together at Christmas. Christmastime get-togethers worked before several of the cousins got married, but now there are just too many family schedules to work around.

Unfortunately, our weekend started with a bang - literally. We spent Friday night at my parent's house and loaded their brand-new Hyundai Veracruz on Saturday morning. And then ... accidentally backed out of the garage with the car hatchback open. It wasn't pretty. The "safety glass" in the back window hit the top of the garage door and it didn't just crack the glass - it shattered it into a million pieces! I guess the idea of safety glass is that it gives way if a person hits it in an accident, instead of holding strong and forcing the person's head to give way. It was a horrible, sickening way to start the weekend, especially since the car was so new. But we cleaned up the best we could and drove it to the dealer and picked up a rental while my parent's car went to the shop.

Cleaning up all the glass that shattered inside the car and garage. Don't worry, Steve and Dan stopped smiling as soon as my dad turned around.

**Warning** DO NOT use your fingers to pull glass out of the crack in the seat. This could happen to you!!

Sad Mom with a sad Veracruz

Once we got to the ranch house, though, the weekend was great! We had the best time catching up with our aunts, uncles and cousins. There are so many fun things to do around the ranch house, like playing whiffleball, eating, card games, ping pong, eating, relaxing on the back porch, riding the 4-wheeler, eating, stargazing through a telescope, tree-climbing, napping, laughing at each other, and eating. Our cousin Kolby would disagree that tree-climbing was part of the *fun* since he got roped into climbing a monster tree to rescue a kickball, while everyone else stood around laughing and calling out generally unhelpful suggestions. And Dan is probably the only one who would classify napping in the fun category, but hey, there's a little something for everyone at the ranch house!

Great Uncle Jim and Great Aunt Astrid

My mom with Cousin Beryl Ann and Aunt Merle

Praying before the meal

Playing a family whiffleball game

A great shot of everyone playing whiffleball with the ranch house in the background

My cousins made up an awesome new ping pong game called "One Bounce". It was the source of many many hours of hilarity.

The cutest members of the family, Addi, Jackson, and Laura. That's a cricket on Addi's arm. Jackson is also holding a cricket in his hand, and this photo was taken right before he ATE IT. I wish I was kidding. My cousin Emily took these awesome pictures of the kids.
Emily, photographer extraordinaire
Emily also took some family photos of us with her nice new camera. Somehow she managed to get fantastic shots, despite the "I don't want my picture taken" crankiness and "I can't sit still and smile nicely" goofiness going on that I'm sure didn't make it easy for her. I won't name any names, but it wasn't me, Dan, my mom, or Paul. Anyway, a few of my favorites are below. It was a perfect weekend full of family time, which we fully appreciate every chance we can!

This is where I suggested that my Mom & Dad kiss in one of the pictures, and Steve said "Well why don't we ALL kiss!" He's trying to sell Paul on the idea, but Paul is having none of it.

The following weekend, we had dinner with our friends Eric & Jenn and Dave & Cynthia and their kids. Eric & Jenn are quitting their jobs as pathologists for the Navy (do you "quit" the Navy? or "un-enlist"?) and moving to North Carolina, where Eric has been hired at UNC. They have two kiddos, James and Sarah, and Jenn's dream of being a stay-at-home mom will finally come true. They're so excited about the next chapter in their lives, so we're excited for them, too. Even though we wish they could start a new chapter in San Diego instead so we could have more time with them. They're an amazing family and have been a part of many of our happiest memories here. We're going to try to meet up with them when we visit Dan's family in VA, so we'll see you guys on the east side!

Left to right: Debby, Eric, Jenn, Sarah, James, Cynthia, Dave, Olivia, and Dan

We'll miss you guys!!
(How awesome is the crayon in James' mouth? He liked them better than his dinner, I think.)