Happy Holidays!


I like these people. We had a truly wonderful Christmas. We spent a lot of time together, ate a lot, watched movies, and Em and I played some Scrabble. Marvel walked right over when it was time to take the picture. She knows where she belongs, front and center.

I Like My Dad

This guy stopped at my house yesterday morning on his way to go see my grandparents. This guy has always been there and taught me how to be practical. He taught me to not spend money I don’t have. This guy taught me that an education or a certification or anything you can do to better your mind will somehow pay off. I love this guy.

The Pickerts take Pensacola

Pickert Family

This past week we visited the Pickerts in Pensacola, FL. My grandparents live there and we rented a house at the beach that all the families could stay at. We probably had less relatives than we had before, but we also have more college graduates than we have before. Cousins have real jobs and commitments and no longer have a holiday break. I got my own room because of this. I have never had my own room. There is usually a room with twin beds or bunk beds to be shared. Michael wasn’t there, I like it when Michael IS there. Overall, it was a great little trip. There was lots of walks on the beach, a lot of bonding with relatives, and an exorbitant amount of eating. Everyone brought the sweets they had been gifted by neighbors and coworkers so there was an entire counter space designated for holiday treats. My grandparents thoroughly enjoyed having us all come to them, and that is what it was all about.

Pickert Ladies 09Pensacola Beach 09Emily and Reade

On the last afternoon I realized I had not taken any pictures, so Emily, Reade, my mom and myself walked down to the beach. As a result I only have pictures of the four of us.

The Pickerts Take New York

This past week my entire family flew to New York and my brother took the train down to meet us in NYC. We stayed at a little vacation rental house in Brooklyn and took the train into Manhattan. Here are just a few of the things we did….

The Pickert Family

We ate at Lombardi’s Pizza, the first pizzeria in America. I’ve eaten here with JMO before but it was a fun place to share with my family. The day we went my friend Bonnie was with us, so we were able to get a picture of the entire family.

Mike and Meg on Ferry

We took the ferry from Battery Park to Liberty and Ellis Island. It was VERY COLD.

Emily and Lady Liberty

Emily looks adorable on the ferry. She took close to a million pictures of everything New York had to see. Our family only makes it into about 5 of her pictures. Check out her Facebook to see how little she cares about us.

Octopus and Me

We walked around Chinatown and SOHO. Michael found some spicy sauce he likes to put on all his foods. He thinks it will spice up the bland food on the farm. In this pic I am holding up a dried octopus. I have no idea what these are used for.

Bull and Parents

We walked around downtown, Wall Street, saw the NY Stock Exchange and fought other tourists to take a picture with the bull.

Black and White cookie - Emily

We ate black and white cookies, Emily was the only person who would let me photograph them eating it.

Overall, it was a fun trip. We were exhausted from walking everywhere, but we saw a lot on the four days we were there and not a lot on the days we traveled to and from the city. Michael is back at his farm and the rest of us have made it home safely.

If you are interested in the complete collection of our vacation photos, check them out on Flickr!

Giving Thanks

I may have spent my entire day traveling from New York to San Antonio, but I traveled with my dad and we ate hamburgers in an airport and it was quite enjoyable. I live a pretty great life and I am truly truly thankful for all my blessings.

So, in no particular order, these are the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

1. I got to spend time with my family this week. All of us. We are all healthy, together, and we don’t want to kill each other. The more people I meet, the more I realize that what I have is precious.

2. I am thankful for my job. I get to laugh at work and hang out with a 7 year old who says he wants to turn the school to cheese. It is a much happier existence than my former life of financial communications.

3. I am thankful for all that I learned in my first job from college and for the good friends was able to keep from that career. I am grateful for the people in my life who made me realize that I needed a change and wouldn’t be content until I made it.

4. Teaching English has taught me a lot about what a “real problem” actually is. I don’t have any of these real problems. I am truly appreciative of how grounding this experience has been for me. It has also stretched my days and showed me what it is like to truly work to exhaustion.

5. PEOPLE. I have the best people ever in my life. I watched some Golden Girls episodes over the past few days and the theme song has been in my head, “Thank you for being a friend!”

I have been lucky in life and I am thankful for it.

Happy Day After Father's Day

This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad. He is milking a fake cow at a museum and he looks like it is the funnest thing he has ever done. Like my brother, he doesn’t smile in pictures, so when you get either one of them generally happy, you get something like this. The smile never happens in a family picture – just of them doing something slightly absurd.

My dad spend a good chunk of his weekend talking about all of the history of the US with me. He went more in depth than the text I was looking over and had some interesting historical insight. Then he reminded me I need to buy a car.

I’m lucky to have him. Happy day after your day Dad!