Sunday, December 21, 2014

Family Gift Exchange

Each year, my papa and his brothers try to organize a gift-exchange sometime beginning or mid-December. Issue is, every since my grandma passed away I feel like I have to basically force my papa to send out the "when canya do it?" email to his brothers, and once he finally does we are al free on different days. Last year, we ended up getting together twice - once in December with one of my uncles and his family, and another time in January with my other uncle and his family. Uncle #3 lives in New York, so we get to see him every couple years or so, but not during the annual gift exchange.

Surprisingly, this year we could all get together on the same day! It was before December even started, but how can you be picky when this once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity arises? November 30, 2014: Matthews Family Gift Exchange. Our home. 1:00pm 'till 3:00pm, since my papa and I have to leave at 3:30pm for a 5-hour dress rehearsal for our church's Christmas production. 2 hours?! For a 19-person gift exchange that includes a 2-steal rule, a light meal, and complex conversation with family that begins with the words, "so, what have you done this year?" ?! Yes. For this family, 2 hours is more than enough time. That's just how we do life. There is a lot of love, just not a lot of words.

Onward to the festivities!






















Monday, December 8, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

It brought a huge smile to my face to edit and dive into these pictures.  Enjoy the copious amount of baby and toddler photos!





















Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Reptile Zoo

The other weekend we decided we would take a drive to the Reptile Zoo where there are lions, tigers and bears? No, son, there are things much creepier, crawlier, with scales and lots of furry legs, and bumps on their skin, and breakfasts of frozen, then defrosted mice. While you enjoy the images, I want to point out a few things so you don't miss them:
  1. Santi's expression in the pictures inside the zoo. It says something like, "I'm sweating, this place's temperature is way too high, and no- I do not want to pet the snake or watch him eat a dead rat for breakast." But you can interpret his expressions any way you see fit.
  2. Some of these pictures are so fantastically in focus I feel they should be printed the size of a poster and sold to people around the world - while others are blurry messes. Like I always say, I'm learning.
  3. Cockrocoaches
  4. Tarantulas
  5. That soft-shelled turtle-like swimming thing that has so much extra, soft, (probably slimy) skin that it can basically make all its limbs and head disappear, much like a turtle, but in a weird, bizarre, make-you-do-a-double-take way.
  6. A snake actually really truly you are seeing that right - consuming an entire mouse.
  7. The BBQ food truck that we didn't eat at, but will some day. maybe. maaaaaybe.


















































In conclusion, we'll return. But maybe in a few years when Santi can appreciate it more - much like the dozen school-age boys and girls that were at the zoo the same time we were. They we literally running from one animal habitat to another saying, "WOAAAHHHH" "Did you SEE that?!" "WAOOAAHAAA" - Yes, some day.. Santi will act similarly. Or maybe he will prefer the playground, the soccer field, an art studio, or computer programming....