Thanksgiving WeekendNovember 29, 2010 by Victoria Strong
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder
We have had a lovely long Thanksgiving -- a quiet, simple, fun family weekend. And it feels so good! And throughout it all, we were especially conscious of our many blessings! I know we are not alone in feeling extra focused on what is good in our lives. For us, Gwendolyn is always at the center. Gwendolyn truly is the center of our world. When she smiles, we smile. When she laughs, worry ceases. And holding her seems to make time stand still.
On Thanksgiving, we drove down to L.A. to Gramma's house. Grandpa joined us, too. We chatted, told stories, ate, ate, and ate, and Gwendolyn had lots of snuggles. Gwendolyn joined us at the table, held a special fork, listened to everything we said, and then requested her "Princess music" (I think she found history and politics boring). Time with family always seems to speed by, but we relished every minute.
We spent Friday morning in our pajamas having dance-offs! Our wonderful friend, Chris, sent Gwendolyn an early Christmas present, the XBOX Kinext! We hooked it all up and before we knew it, our hearts were full and our sides were aching from the laughter it brought to our household. Bill and I took turns learning routines and Gwendolyn was riveted watching and tapping her fingers to the music. And she squealed with delight at certain moves. My favorite was picking her up and "freestyling" together as a family. Her laughter heals my heart and I found myself holding it, holding on to every intonation of each squeal. After she napped, we headed to the Santa Barbara Zoo for a few hours and Gwendolyn was really focused on each animal. She was extra skeptical about certain creatures, which was a new thing. It may have been because it was feeding time and so they were all extra loud and close to the cages. I thought this was great, but Gwendolyn had her eye on everyone. (Those little Tamarins can be tricky. )
Saturday was "Daddy Day" and Bill and Gwendolyn had a wonderful morning exploring Santa Barbara. They played a big game of "Eye Spy" as they walked to breakfast, bought some new outfits for our ever-growing, long-legged beauty, picked out a new book at the book store, and even found the time to get Mommy a Starbucks! This also meant Mom got to sleep in until 10:00 am - WOW! When they got home Gwendolyn was ready for a nap and kept telling me to stop hugging her -- before quickly agreeing to more hugs!!! When she woke up, we popped the popcorn, got all bundled up in blankets, and watched a new movie together! There's nothing better than cuddling and, although the movie was really fun, it was the snuggles that we were all cherishing.
On Sunday, Bill, unfortunately, woke up with a full blown cold. We were hoping it was just allergies, but it seems he is S.I.C.K. So far, Gwendolyn and I seem to be fighting it off. We are watching Gwendolyn extra closely. She has had extra secretions, but knock on wood they aren't thick. And fingers crossed she keeps fighting this off and doesn't get fully sick. We stayed home for most of the day, but late in the afternoon we did venture out to get some air. What better place to get some air than on the pier? And since we were there, we stopped into the Sea Center for a little shell and starfish studying. And then we watched the sunset over the sailboats before heading home.
It was a simple family weekend...a really, really good one. (Well not the sick part, but hoping that stays minor.)