Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

My daughter just called me at 7:15 a.m. on Christmas morning--so that I wouldn't miss those early morning wake-ups when she and Andy couldn't wait any longer to see what Santa had brought.

She nudged old memories of late night Christmas Eves, coming home very late from a full Christmas Eve at the Burdettes, church, and McCraws--kids would go to bed excited from opening presents at their grandparents houses, and anticipating Santa's magical visit.

Santa Claus did not get to bed. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus stayed up until the wee hours of the night bringing out the toys--arranging them, putting them together, and admiring the whole effect. Sometime around 2:00 a.m. I think, they would stumble to bed--only to be pounced on a few hours later by enthusiastic Andy and Julie begging them to get up so they could go see the magic of Santa's gift giving.

Thank you Julie for waking me up......again! ;-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I have memories like Bob at Grandma Skeen's house. Playing outside in the leaves, climbing the apricot tree in the back, and playing and talking inside while we could smell delicious smells coming from the kitchen. Cooking was clearly Grandma Skeen's domain. I don't remember much more than a Thanksgiving prayer and lots of good food. I don't remember much Thanksgiving conversation at Grandma's. Did we?

Then we graduated to Mom's house on
Carr street. Lots of food and pies. Mom always doing more than her share. Sharing the Thanksgiving Story and personal Thank You's. Babies and kids everywhere and lots of sweet chaos.

As our extended family boomed--the McCraws pulled away for one peaceful holiday a year with our own family. We had such good times together, making placemats, taking silly photos. Everyone got to make something for the dinner (except Ron who never cooks). Andy was always in charge of slicing the turkey. Between Julie and Andy--they made the green bean casserole, the yams with marshmallows, and the frozen cranberry salad. Sitting down at the table--we all took turns sharing for what we were most grateful. I remember Kelsey always loved Thanksgiving--and loved the mashed potatoes and turkey and gravy. It was a special treat for her too. Usually we traveled to Grandma's house for dessert and to see the rest of the family.

Now our kids are adults--and farther away--and we needed to pull back into our extended family again. Thanksgiving with two or three of us is kind of empty. So we have joined the Burdette Clan again. It is getting more and more important for me to connect with siblings and nieces and nephews--because the importance of family is taking on a new perspective for me. There is some kind of thrill and comfort in hearing from Jacob, and Annie, and Wendi, etc. There is some renewed sense of joy when I get to hug Peter and meet his sweet wife Tracie. Traveling to see my sister Julie with Mom was wonderful--and satisfied some deep need in me to connect, and laugh, and talk, with my family.

I LOVE MY FAMILY! I love you guys,


Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Mom, Grandma Marti ;-)

PS: Mentioning all 17 cousins and families would have been laborious--so I hope you all gave me some slack. The love is there too.

Monday, July 23, 2007


On July 18 2007 we started our trip with Kelsey in our new Toyota Prius to Colorado to see Julie and Sean.
Thursday July 19: We pulled into Julie's driveway around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m.


In front of Julie and Sean's door as we walk in the doorway...IS A HUGE BOULDER!
Evidently that is how the city got its name. You never know when a boulder might fall in your path. This mammoth boulder broke off and fell on Julie and Sean's doorstep from here:

It is so good to see Julie and Sean! Ron had never seen their home--and Julie has decorated beautifully! It is homey, pretty, spacious, and comfy. I didn't focus on taking pictures that show you how pretty it is, but I DID take pictures to show you how pretty it is OUTSIDE. They live on acreage--LOTS of acreage with cattle and horses. One of the first mornings I was there I got up early and went on a walk with Kenna. Since she deserted me, why don't you come with me on my morning walk. It is absolutely beautiful!

Out the doorway...

Through the front entry....

Up the walkway....

Into THIS!

What a beautiful morning for a walk!

Home from our walk to see Julie and Amos.

Grocery shopping at Safeway with Ron--who terrorized us with his motorized chair.
inner at Julie and Sean's with Janice and Clark.

Barbecued Bratz, corn on the cob, dinner salad, and chocolate covered strawberries and blueberries for dessert.

Went to Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar and rode with Clark and Janice in Bugsy touring UC Colorado campus.

Sunday July 22:
Harry Potter with Janice Oldroyd in the afternoon.

Italian restaurant for dinner at Raddo's near where Sean had been studying.


Watching "Finding Neverland" in the evening

Monday July 23

Julie and I shop. Kenna shows off her new booties so she can walk in the snow and hot pavement with comfort.

Ah-h-h...perfect fit.

Rockies game: This was DEFINITELY a highlight for Ron. Beautiful stadium and GREAT game against the Padres. A close one that the Rockies brought in at the end. Ron became a new Rockies fan...(after the Dodgers of course).

Sean Ron and Julie with their happy faces.

I spend a quiet evening home with Kelsey--writing about our trip on my blog.

Chilling out watching TV
(I think it is a baseball game)

Reading is what you do here.

...and here

or homework between turns playing 3-13.

During the game, Julie laughing at something ridiculous
that MOM said....and Julie couldn't stop. Something
about fermented beans.... (you had to be there).

Dinner at Steuben's, a Sixty's Diner

Delicious comfort food: fried chicken with mashed potatoes, meatloaf with veggies. Great place!

Driving home: ANOTHER great sunset!

Crazy in the car time…blaugh#@

And then, our last dinner out
before we leave...at Chataqua's
a famous historical dining hall.

The Chautauqua Dining Hall was built in 1898 and is part of a National Historic Landmark in Boulder.

We never can remember to take the picture of our food until we have eaten it. Hot Fudge Brownie was delicioius. As you can see we shared :-)

Time to go back to California.

This is Julie’s invention for her dad since there was no railing for him to hold onto. This is her version of a portable railing. Pretty clever, and worked GREAT

Bye Kenna.

Bye Amos

Bye Sean…where’s a picture of Julie?

Packing last items.

Are you ready Kelsey?

Off we go--through beautiful Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and home.

All in all, a wonderful trip and a GREAT visit!