Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011- Part I

This year, my parents graciously allowed us to have an early Thanksgiving with them so we could attend a friend's wedding on the 12th. We avoided a ton of traffic, which was a huge blessing with an active toddler in tow. As a bonus, Uncle Josh also made the trip with us, and Caleb especially enjoyed having him along.

We broke the trip into 2 days, stopping overnight at the Tews. No matter how short our time together is, it's always sweet. The kids had a blast entertaining Caleb.

His adoring fans

After we arrived in Florida, Brian (David's next youngest brother) and his wife, Amy came to pick up Josh. It was Caleb's first time meeting his cousin and our first time getting to snuggle our nephew. It was a wonderful, but brief reunion. We are certainly looking forward to getting more time with them at Christmas!

Meeting his cousin for the first time. So precious.

Family photo time. I love how coordinated our clothes are, considering this was totally spontaneous

Trading babies. Everyone always asks where Caleb got his blond hair and where Zachary got his brown hair. Despite this, we decied not to make the trade permanent ; )

After a night of rest at my parents house, we headed to Tallahassee for the weekend to visit David's Grandfather and our church family in there. Our time in Florida is always so busy, but it was so wonderful to see how friend's children have grown and changed and see them interact with our son. It's still surreal to me that I left less than 3 years ago, a new bride.

Our visit with Grandaddy was a treasure as always. We met at our favorite restaurant, Hopkins, a little deli near Lake Ella. Our time together was brief, but it was so special seeing the two of them interacting, passing Caleb's fire truck back-and-forth across the table. Caleb ate his very first kids meal out, a grilled cheese sandwich. Mommy was too hungry to share!

Visiting with Grandaddy

After an overnight away, we returned to my parents house in the country. Caleb had a blast getting to know all the animals on the farm. In preparation for the trip we'd been working with him on learning to pet dogs and cats gently. Not only did he do a great job with that, he also learned to "call" the animals to himself. After watching David, he began standing still, sticking out his hand and clicking his tongue a few times. Ocelot especially was very willing to come over for a few pets when called.

Caleb taking over Jimbo's bed

Caleb and Ocelot

It was wonderful seeing Caleb interacting with his grandparents. He was definitely spoiled rotten with stories, play ground time and all the attention he could possibly want. By the time we left for our overnight away, I knew he would be totally comfortable being cared for by my parents. He did wonderfully the whole time we were away, but did break down a little when we started packing for PA. We kept reassuring him that he was coming with us this time. I definitely wouldn't leave him often at this age.

Grandpa Snuggles!

Swinging with Grandma

Group photo!

We had a wonderful time celebrating the wedding of Dan and Kristen. David and Dan were room mates in college and I got to know Kristen a little bit during my last year at FSU. Seeing their joy and being there as a couple, were such wonderful reminders to not lose sight of treasuring one another in the fun and busyness of parenthood.

The bride and groom. I love the look on Dan's face!

Weddings are pretty much the only events for which I will go through the hassle of straightening my hair : )

Photo Op with my handsome husband outside the church

Jeff, another one of David's college room mates, dragged me out to the dance floor and David snapped a photo
Unfortunately, the trip also brought Caleb's very first stomach bug, which we were still struggling with on the way back. It was fairly mild, no puking (whew!), but lots of pants changes. Combine that with 16 hours in the car over 2 days with an active-despite-being-sick toddler and we were worn out by the time we reached PA.

However, the time with family and friends was more than worth it and we have yet another "first" that we've survived : ) Stay-tuned for Thanksgiving- Part II, where in I commit to my own big bird and make my very first Thanksgiving meal from start to finish *gulp*!