We had a really nice Thanksgiving with Mike’s family. We head up to Mike’s childhood home every year to celebrate turkey day, and it’s become a tradition that Annabel looks forward to for months because it gives her 24-hour access to her cousins (they stay at Mike’s parents’ house, too).

Our drive up was uneventful. We somehow managed to miss all the traffic, and since the kids fell asleep fairly early into the drive, Mike and I had time to talk without interruption to open snacks or play games. Date night on the 101 freeway!

rigby enjoys the drive
Rigby enjoyed the drive, too.

My in-laws have a really great backyard. It’s two levels, with lots of hidden paths, tucked-away stairs, and plenty of wildlife in the form of rabbits, deer, and birds. The kids (and Rigby) love playing out there.


James in the magic backyard

Annabel in the yard

Annabel and her cousins, Daniel and Michaela, get along well and really enjoy playing together. On Thanksgiving day, Mike and his dad, sister, and brother-in-law took the three musketeers to a local farm in the area called Hidden Villa (I stayed back with James while he napped). They loved learning about the animals that call the farm home.

at hidden villa

no bull


Dinner that night was delicious. My sister-in-law is becoming an amazing cook! As we sat around the table, Annabel requested that everyone say what they were “literally thankful for.” Literally, because she knew her older cousins “wouldn’t take it seriously.” It was sweet to hear what the kids were all thankful for. Annabel said, “I’m thankful for my family, and this food, and my house, and Rigby.” James said, “Uptown Funk!”

Friday started with morning serenades…

morning music

…and then it was off to The City (San Francisco) to see a performance of The Velveteen Rabbit. Now, I’m not gonna lie…I didn’t think a two, five, six, eight, and eleven year old would enjoy the show. But I was wrong! They all sat still and when it was over, said they liked it. A Thanksgiving miracle!

Velveteen rabbit

Before we drove home, Mike’s dad pulled out all the old boxes of Mike and Monica’s stuff that they’d been storing. The kids had a field day going through the old toys, comic books, and figurines.

Mike's old stuff

As one of Mike’s aunts jokingly put it, this was our “Third Annual Last Thanksgiving” at the Spohr house. Mike’s parents have been hoping to sell their house to move down to Southern California to be closer to their kids and grandkids, and it seems like this might be the year it actually happens. I’m glad our kids have spent time there. Annabel says it, “feels familiar, like home.” I don’t know how much Annabel remembers of my parents’ old house, but I am glad she has a connection to where Mike grew up. It’s nice that we can share these old parts of ourselves with our kids.