Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks

This ranks among the best Thanksgivings we've had in our married life. They're all good (how could a holiday centered around food be bad?), but this year was extra special. We had both Dave and Teresa, and Ryan and Liz's families come visit us for the long weekend, and it was absolutely fantastic.

Dave and Teresa got in Wednesday night, and the boys started off almost immediately with their debating. You can't have a Weitzel-Carr hybrid Thanksgiving without lots of political debates. I welcome this time openly, as it gets the debates out of Paul's system for a while and holds him over until the next time he can meet up with one of his brothers/bro-in-laws.

Dave and I also have a tradition of going on late-night walks. Usually those walks are through the streets of Chandler, so I was very excited to show off some of our local sights.
Ryan, Liz and Owen came in early Thursday morning to join us, and the day was spent cooking in my tiny kitchen and distracting the kids with multiple walks to the park, football games, and lots of laughter, noise, and bed-jumping. Dave and Teresa stayed in our guest suite, which includes one twin bed (complete with slide), one deflated air mattress, and plenty of floor space for their kids. Ryan and Liz opted for a more comfortable spot at the Navy base (thanks to everybody for being so flexible!).

Thursday and Friday nights we forced the adults to play board games with us, but I will go out on a limb and say that everybody had fun. They knew what they were getting into when they came to our house. Paul claims we had the most successful game of Encore! in history. I would agree (Team Carr won with flying colors!).

Friday we hit the beach. We went to La Jolla Shores and let the kids run wild while the boys braved the freezing water to do some boogie boarding. Amelia, Liz and I enjoyed the sun and sand.

After the beach we walked around the San Diego temple. We were accosted by the Sister missionaries, but got away without giving any referrals. Whew. We almost had to do missionary work. That was close.

Dave and I took some time that afternoon to jog through the zoo. It was my favorite visit I've had at the zoo yet (mostly because I wasn't pushing a stroller). It was fun to quickly enjoy the zoo ambiance, but more fun to just hang with Dave.

That night was dinner and more games. Teresa made her amazing white turkey chili and Liz beat Ryan in a balance contest during our Uno game.

Saturday we headed to Old Town and visited the Mormon Battalion museum. We hadn't been there yet, and it was pretty cool! Old Town also provided the only downer of the weekend, as we picked the wrong lunch spot and got stuck with a dirty and sub-par Mexican restaurant.

Then some of us visited Cabrillo National Monument to get some great views of the city, while Teresa took some of the kids to Mission Beach for some more beach time.

Ryan joined me for a jog around the park, which was the fastest jog I've had yet in San Diego (and surely his slowest). But again, the best part was getting the brother-time.

After dinner Ryan and Liz went to dinner with Liz's cousin and the rest of us walked to Balboa Park for a tree-lighting. We missed the entire program, but we made it just in time to see Santa. He was the BEST Santa, and they even gave us a free picture. They had a nice Nativity scene and beautiful lights. The kids did amazingly well, as the walk was about 2 miles round-trip and they'd already been going full speed all day. They kept up with us, no problem. I do have to say that Reece was leading the pack, running and jumping the entire way. That kid has no end to his energy.

I love my family. I am so grateful that I have siblings who live close enough for holiday visits, and who want to be my friends. I'm grateful that my brothers married such amazing women so I can be good friends with my sisters-in-law, and that my son and daughter have such awesome cousins. I'm grateful for excuses to be together, and I look forward to many more!

Friday, November 18, 2011

November Videos

My kids are too cute to wait this long between posts, and I apologize. Pictures to come.

First we have one of our many impromptu dance parties (which occur far too frequently for a family with zero dancing skills):

Don't you love Paul in that video, dancing with his little girl? Precious. Next we have one of Reece making Amelia laugh. He is her favorite person by probably a million:

Next, we documented Amelia's first haircut. Not really her first, since I had cut a few hairs the day before. But close enough. I think she looks cuter now:

Finally, we have a video of Robot Reece. He pretends to be a robot quite frequently, and it's actually very convenient. I can push a button and he'll do anything. In fact, even if he's not playing Robot Reece, I can say something like, "Which button is the 'Take a bath' button?" and he'll show me a "button," let me push it, and instantly obey. They say you should train your kids to be independent thinkers--I prefer the robot:

Maybe next time I'll gush about how thankful I am to be a stay-at-home mom. After all, 'tis the season for gushing. But not now, 'cause this is taking a long time and my computer tolerance is much less than it used to be. So in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!