Katherine’s family has been going to the YMCA of the Rockies family camp in Estes Park Colorado since before she was born. We’ve carried on the tradition, getting up there once every year or two and even extending the tradition to some of Stu’s family. Here are highlights including another birthday party for Claire, visiting our old standby the Bald Pate Inn, cooking around the cabin including Persian food, fun with bubbles on the deck, lots of hiking, and a group selfie.
We’ve fallen behind posting pictures here. Thanks to Katherine’s photo organizing skills, we’ll be posting a half dozen catch ups over the next week or so.
Christmas 2013 took us to both Houston and Oklahoma City to see family. In Houston, we visited the Johnson Space Center with the girls’ cousin Will and had a fun Christmas morning (new pajamas!). We also got to visit Katherine’s old friends the Taylors and see their girls. Then it was off to Oklahoma City for much fun with the family there involving another Christmas morning, bowling, baths, and of course cheerio covered waffles.
Our Christmas celebrations started off with a visit to Houston to see Grandma Judy, Laura, Rob and Will. Highlights included riding the train at Hermann Park, a saxaphone performance from Will, opening presents, lots of reading, brunch with the Hancocks, and dinner out at Katherine’s favorite Mexican restaurant Chuy’s. And, of course, lots of fun with Will on the trampoline. Click on the group picture for a slideshow.
My latest extended family reunion was this summer in Sun Valley, Idaho. Stu, the girls and I all drove out there on a fun road trip which included a stopover in scenic Elko, Nevada. Thanks to some savvy negotiating by my Uncle Steve, we got upgraded to a lovely cottage right on the lake, with five bedrooms and a basement full of bunk beds for kids. Highlights included a long but beautiful hike off Lake Creek Rd, lots of barbecues and visits to the pool, hanging around our cottage with my Mom, Laura, Rob, Will, my Dad and Sharon (including listening to an Avett Brothers concert from our house which was right next to the concern pavilion), a dinner and hike up at Galena Lodge, and of course my cousin Bryson juggling fire. Click on Uncle Bob’s family group photo for a slideshow.
Christmas this year was at home in California with a great series of visits from Katherine’s family. We’ve got pictures of holiday preparations including Claire going to see the Nutcracker with some of her friends, visiting Santa (which Claire enjoyed and Juliet did not), fun in the kitchen including making a gingerbread man, a gingerbread train, and frosting-covered cookies for Santa’s reindeer. Next up is the visit from Grandma Judy, Aunt Laura, Uncle Rob and Cousin Will, who helped decorate the tree and of course open lots and lots of presents on Christmas morning. Finally, Grandpa Jack and Grandma Sharon came for a few days of fun including playing on the new backyard swing set, “riding the horsey” on Jack’s leg, visiting the nearby Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford, and finally reading books with Grandpa Jack.
Our quote of the month comes from Claire, who demonstrated her increasing listening comprehension one day:
Katherine to Stu: Laura and Rob are thinking of going out and taking you-know-who with them.
For a slideshow, click on the picture of Claire and Juliet playing with their new pillow pets.
We made our bi-annual trip to Estes Park, Colorado in June to join Grandpa Jack and Grandma Sharon for a week at the YMCA of the Rockies. We enjoyed high mountain air, lots of hiking and fun camp activities, plus a great time with Aunt Laura, Uncle Rob and cousin Will. Highlights included a hike around Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, a hayride to a marshmallow cookout where we spotted an elk on the Y Camp’s main quad, a pony ride Claire went on that lasted 15 seconds, cycling around Lake Estes in a 4-person bike, and much time lounging around the cabin. Click on the picture of Will and Claire hiking for a slideshow.
We spent a long weekend in the snow at Lake Tahoe, meeting up with a group of Claire’s playgroup friends. Thanks to two or three big storms in the days before we arrived, there was lots of snowplay including an afternoon sledding adventure. Katherine and I even managed some skiing after a multi-year baby-related hiatus from the slopes and we all celebrated birthdays of both Katherine and her friend Jen. Also included are a few bonus pictures of Claire’s pigtails and her new hand-me-down train set from her cousin Will. Click on the picture of Claire sledding for a slideshow.
We headed down to Houston to celebrate a late Christmas and New Year’s at my sister’s house. We started off with a trip to one of my favorite college hangouts, a tex-mex classic called Chuy’s. We then had a round of Christmas gifts for the kids. We took Claire on a visit to see butterflies at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Will then showed Claire around his trampoline, which she really really enjoyed. Not shown in the photos was the stomach flu that went around, but we all managed to get through it relatively unscathed. And last but not least we took Claire for her first ice skating adventure at an outdoor rink at the local mall. Click on the family group shot below for a slideshow.
My extended family gets together every two years for a family reunion. This year’s was held in Stowe, Vermont, where Claire and Juliet were part of an influx of young children from the next generation. Highlights included Juliet sleeping on the floor under Claire’s feet on our cross country flight, more birthday cake and presents, visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory (and enjoying some samples at the end of a tour), lots of fun times with the Jack and Sharon, playing with Laura, Will and Rob, Claire smooching her cousin Elliot, a bathtime playdate for Claire with two of her cousins, and cousin Robbie doing a slide show on a sheet hung from the fireplace mantle. Click on our family group photo that Uncle Bob took for a slideshow.
We had a great Thanksgiving in Dallas this year. Katherine’s pregnancy made travel at Christmas iffy so we were lucky to combine two originally separate holiday plans (Thanksgiving with Katherine’s family, Christmas with mine) into one week-long trip to Dallas. Highlights include endless laps up and down the stairs with Claire, visiting Katherine’s Great Aunt Betty (one of the inspirations for Claire’s middle name Elizabeth), Claire’s cousin Susan in a leopard costume, playing with presents under the tree, and a piano duet from Claire and her cousin Will. Click on the picture below for a slideshow.