Thursday, June 19, 2008

Family events of spring

I've been bad about making posts lately, but I wanted to share some photos from some recent family events. I'm also hoping someone who got a good family photo from Matthew's graduation will share that. That might make a good new blog banner photo. I'm also interested in seeing photos from Maya's first communion.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Here's to the graduate

We haven't had any posts here in a while, and I know several family events and milestones have gone undocumented. But I wanted to pop on to wish Matthew a happy graduation. Here's to the Class of 2008!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone over the weekend.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The surprises keep on coming

What? You mean no one else has posted here in the month I've been away from here?

Shocked! Shocked I say!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's your day young lady

Disneyland, Spring Break 1997 It's become something of a an unintentional family tradition. We tend to celebrate Suzanna's birthday early in our immediate little circle. In some ways it has worked out well, because Spring Break always seems to fall the week before her birthday. In the 10 years I lived in California, Spring Break was often a convenient time to make a trip home.

The good news was that it we got the better part of a week of quality time in such exotic locales as Pendleton, Portland, Seattle, Orange County, San Diego and Palm Springs.

Journal excerpt, March 31, 1997:

The last four days have been among the best in my life. I had the unequaled pleasure of spending that time with Suzanna and taking her on her first trip to Disneyland. I want to preserve every precious second in memory and carry that memory forever....

I can only hope that she had a good time and that the memory of this trip lives with her throughout her life. We spent two days in Disneyland. Like most children, she loves Disney movies and the characters. And she got a chance to meet many of the characters she reveres -- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Jasmine, Aladdin, Cinderella, Snow White, Goofy, Chip, Dale, Pocahontas. It really is a magical place for a child, and through her the magic was worked on me. I have been to Disneyland twice before, but it was nothing like this. ... But this time I enjoyed it as it is meant to be enjoyed, through the eyes and dreams of a child. Suzanna’s aunts, Catarina and Marquita, also came over for the weekend from Tucson.

The bad news was I have rarely been able to see Suzanna on her birthday. There have been some notable exceptions. Suzanna and I even talked about one of those exceptions Saturday, which was the year Marquita and I drove to Oregon from Southern California.

Journal excerpt, April 18, 1998:

For now, I will turn my anticipation toward getting film from my Oregon trip taken to the photo lab and getting pictures of Suzanna back. Seeing that gap-toothed grin will make me smile. Her mom had a surprise party for her the night before her birthday and I got to attend. She had her cousins, Sarah and Matthew there... Martha and her husband Michael were there, and Marquita and Monica. ...

On Suzanna’s birthday, April 2, I met Monica and Suzanna’s school.... We picked Suzanna up and took her to the park. It was a lovely spring day in Pendleton, sunny, with only a hint of a chill in the air. We walked around the park and watched Suzanna play on the playground equipment and try to skip rocks in the creek. Pleasant, quiet, family-type moments – precious moments.

Palm Springs Aerial Tram, Spring Break 2002 The most notable exception of those April 2nds, the very first one, back in 1991.

Excerpt from an April 3, 1991 journal entry:

Today, I became a father. OK, if you want to be technical, actually it was yesterday. But on Tuesday, April 2, 1991, I became a father at approximately 10:20 a.m. Such a day. The contrast of emotions is nearly overwhelming. The pride and the joy are immense. I want to shout to the world, "I’m a father. I have a baby girl!"

... I got the chance (no matter how awkward or out of place I felt) to see my daughter less than two hours after she was born. And I got the chance to hold her and caress her in my arms. Happy birthday Suzanna.

I've been thinking about that day a lot in recent days. It's hard to believe that tiny little creature, with the pudgy face under that tiny little cloth cap and the impossibly tiny fingers and microdot fingernails, with the lovely young woman who is celebrating her 17th birthday.

But on the big day, Suzanna's got a pretty full schedule, so we opted to resurrect our tradition of celebrating her birthday a bit early. Saturday was our day. We spent the afternoon together. We Explored a bit of the Pearl District where we found a nice little restaurant, Mio Sushi (with attractive decor, mouth-watering food and great service), cruised around Chinatown and downtown. Then we dodged rain, sleet and hail to venture into Pioneer Place. Afterwards, once we returned to her house, Suzanna demonstrated her skills on Guitar Hero III. I got to try it out too, under Suzanna's tutelage, but my skills definitely need some work.

Suzanna has taught me so many things over the years. One of those lessons is that special occasions don't always conform to preset dates on a calendar. What makes occasions special isn't just what number there is on the page in the datebook. It's the people you spend your time with that make occasions special.

Happy Birthday, Suzanna. Thanks for so many special days that all began 17 years ago on April 2.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A modern Sarah

Sarah's 17th with AndrewMy thanks to Sarah for providing some updated photos. These photos are much more indicative of Sarah as she looks today, now that she is 17.

I am certainly glad I don't have to deal with a candle representing every year of my age on birthday cakes anymore. From this photo, of Sarah with Andrew, even 17 candles looks daunting.
The other photos is Sarah getting ready to attend the Oregon FFA Convention in Pendleton over the past weekend.

You remember FFA, its the organizations that used called the Future Farmers of America. It's a great organization, but if you've forgive me for ranting for a moment, if there's one thing more annoying than acronyms its and acronym that doesn't stand for anything.

The rant aside, Sarah sure makes that classic-style blue cordoroy jacket look good! I'm trying to persuade Sarah to share some of her impressions from the convention in a post here on the family blog. I doubt I'm the only one who would be interested in hearing about all the excitement of the convention and Sarah's views on it.
My thanks to Sarah for sharing the photos. I hope she had a great birthday and a great time at the convention.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy birthday, Sarah

As of this writing, Sarah's birthday is just a few hours away. I had intended to write a post earlier, but the week got away from me.

Happy birthday Sarah! I hope your 17th birthday is the best one yet. I'm sorry I couldn't find a more current picture (if you have one you'd rather see in this spot, send it to me and I will be happy to change it).

There's lots of big stuff going on for our young family members. Sarah's birthday is Saturday. Easter is Sunday. Next week is spring break. Suzanna's birthday is is coming up soon, as is Andrew's.

There are lots of reasons to celebrate. So, have a great birthday Sarah. And to everyone, have a great holiday and a great vacation (if you get one).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Suzanna at the mic, Maya lays down the guitar groove

I'll probably get in HUGE trouble for this one (if it's ever discovered), but here's a little snippet of the fun had Sunday during the Rock Band festivities and Monica's enchilada fiesta.

Fortunately, there is no footage of my performance on bass.

And no one has won the Powerball, so don't forget to buy your ticket! $230 million!