Friday, November 29, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

Grandpa Frank is still in a rehabilitation facility so this year we brought dinner to him!
Kurt and his family and Frank and Trish all flew in and we spent the day together.

We left our house at 7am for the drive to NY. Ally and Cloey slept for about 2 of the 3 hour drive.

The cousins played games before heading to see Grandpa Frank.

Girls in the backseat. We talked to Aunt Suzie in Arizona in the car blue tooth and listened to her play Happy Birthday on the oboe. Meredith kept talking about it all day.

Kaitlin and Ally really wanted canned jellied cranberry sauce. 

Ally’s plate. The only thing left was some corn.

Playing Spot It with Grandpa Frank after dinner.

Group photo time

Ally wanted some apple pie with her whipped cream for desert.

And she ate every bite of pie and cream.

We then played Heads Up for about an hour. Lots of fun with this family friendly game. 

Later after we said good bye to Grandpa Frank for the day and Uncle Frank for the Holiday we want back to Grandpa Frank’s house to hang out, watch the Cowboys football game and wait for Target to open.

It is a tradition that we go shopping on Thanksgiving. This year Jackson joined us too. 

Quick note that before we left Ally and Kaitlin finished off the canned cranberry sauce. Crazy! The 2 of them are the whole can.

I give the kids a set amount and they shop for their Burthday Christmas gifts. 
Jackson finished his early and so Becky brought him
back to the house. The girls and I had a snack break and then shopped some more.

One big request they had was for matching pajamas. It’s something I have done for them every year we spend Thanksgiving together. I had thought they were too old for this tradition but I was wrong. 

Above is this year 2019. Below is 2016. 

And of course they wanted to recreate their iconic hold Meredith pose. 

It was a different Thanksgiving from years last. We ordered a full catered meal, had it in a rehab but we were together and being together is more important that food or location.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Ally’s 13th Birthday Party

Well it finally happened. Ally is officially a teenager. 
As I write this she is actually in the living room watching a movie with her boyfriend Claudio. Becky and I are watching football in our finally finished 3rd floor. 

It’s been a bumpy weekend as life is for us right now but today we are basking in the glow of a successful party and a good night’s sleep.

Ally has practice at 7am Saturday morning but she was too tired to make it for that early start. But she was there at 8 to join in and brought munchkins to share with her teammates during break time. 

After practice she came home and opened her gifts.

Some jewelry. 

A whole pouch of rings. 

New Nike AirForce One sneakers she has had her eye on for months. This year she did a Pinterest board of things she wanted for her birthday it made things so easy! 

And none of these pictures were rehearsed. This is her honest raw glee and joy over gifts. 

Some cash from great Aunts and Uncles (thank you Suzie+Phil and Cindy+Denny).

Such fun.

Beth helped as usual and Becky and I are eternally grateful that she has helped us host 13 parties to date. 

Becky and I put the photo booth props together. Becky had to try out everything. So cute.

Beth and Becky manually blew up the banner and the 13.

Then it was all Beth and the helium tank. 

She inflated 50+ balloons. 

Ally’s friends Angie and Coco came over before the party started to hang out.

5 of Allys 7 teammates came. Katherine, Mia, Elian’s. Stella and Dahlia.

We figured out how to fit them all in for pasta dinner all 17 of them. 3 more came after dinner during games for the second half of the party. 

All of us had fun in the photo booth we set up in Ally’s room.

Ally and her teammates.

We  had 3 games set up
1) guess how old Ally is; we had 10 pictures printed out and taped up on the wall. 
2) how well do you know Ally? There were questions about her. 
3) get to know other guests; find guests in the group with various things

The games were a big hit and we had Starbucks gift cards as prizes.

An ice cream sundae bar was instead of cake again this year.

I think when your teenager posts to Instagram that she had a great birthday that is about as much validation as you can get as a parent.