July 2012

Monthly Archive

damir-weiss reunion

Posted by lynn on 26 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina, nalani

reunion 2012

kids_icecream

We pulled it off! After a casual conversation with Aunt Sharon in May about trying to get as many of us as possible together, we managed to do it: Every single family descended from Grandma Damir made it, and outside Robert – who had to work at the last minute – every person made it, too. Traveling from as far as Seattle (and as close as Novato and Berkeley), my sister and I, our three cousins, and our spouses and kids all joined Aunt Sharon and Uncle Ray at my parents San Jose home for a full Saturday of fun.

grandkids

flowergirls

We only had one planned event (if you can call it that). Ever since Rosa then Mary’s wedding, Melina has “really really really” wanted to be a flower girl. After Mary’s ceremony a few weeks ago, we told her she could be the flower girl of the reunion – an idea admittedly only half-baked in my own mind.

waterslide

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She latched onto this and had the whole event planned, from the dress she would wear, to the way the chairs would be set up with an aisle down the middle, to the Easter baskets she – and whoever else wanted to join her as flower girl or boy – would carry and toss flowers from. I warned the family ahead of time, and everyone played along beautifully after Melina and Lucas set up chairs as if facing a stage in my parents backyard.

storytime

pit

And then, Melina sat down too. After all the anticipation, the planning, and the setup, she either froze or was simply done. Ella and Nalani took her place, tossing flowers as directed (well kinda – they ended up in a pile by a single back-row chair) then doing a speedy, disinterested run down the aisle and back.

family

tomatocupcakeparty

Stacie and German brought a big, blow-up water slide that entertained half the kids (mainly Emmit, Jax, Melina, and Lucas) for the entire day. Another group of kids, including Kai, played board and computer games and planned a script for a video that unfortunately never got shot. After a pizza dinner and sundae-and-cookie-bar dessert, we started up a game of Pit – a tradition that seems pretty unique to my family and one that I’ve missed!

Everyone had fun playing, chatting, and catching up, and we need to make sure to do it again!

congrats, mary and craig!

Posted by lynn on 20 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: family, friends, travel

partyhat

loot

Over the Fourth of July holiday we packed our van full of gear and girlies for an extended wedding celebration at Asilomar, near Monterey. This was no ordinary wedding. Last January my friend Mary and her fiancĂ© Craig sent a preliminary save-the-date for a series of one-week celebrations hosted at the conference grounds throughout the month of July. In order to keep the celebration both intimate and full of their favorite people, they decided to divide it into four separate celebrations – each with a surprise theme and complete with its own ceremony on the beach.

sundaebar

bedtime

Wow. Then wow again, times three.

We arrived just in time for a private Independence Day BBQ. A looping shuttle took us from Asilomar to a courtyard in historic Monterey that was decked out in red, white, and blue, and circled by a dozen or so carnival booths. We drank delicious wine and beer, feasted on a huge picnic spread, and treated ourselves to the ice cream sundae and pie bar.

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rosa lynn laney

But most fun were the carnival games: Melina got to try each game until she won. (Didn’t pop three balloons in five throws of a dart? Try again… and again, until you win!) And Nalani just had to stand and look cute in order to win a prize. By the end of the evening Melina counted 24 stuffed animal prizes in all – not to mention a number of silly bands and glow bracelets. (We donated over half the animals to children coming to future wedding weeks, and gave another third to friends.)

bride_groom

ceremony

Other official wedding week activities included a well-orchestrated scavenger hunt on the Asilomar grounds (we had the team with the most kids, so guess where we fell in the competition?), a board game night, a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (complete with a picnic lunch!), and a lavish wine and cheese tasting party at a house they rented across from the conference grounds. Since Mary and Craig treated us to all the main events, Joey and I splurged on two nights of in-room babysitting, so we could attend game night and most of the wine tasting kid-free.

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bigtentcrew

The ceremony itself was intimate, unique, and full serendipity – very Mary and Craig. We gathered at a meadow near the main lodge, where roles for the ceremony – everything from usher and bridesmaids to officiant and mother of the bride – were decided by a game of “Wedding Pit” (their invention, surely). Earning the role of “audience,” Joey and I walked along a narrow boardwalk path through coastal woods, then out onto a fog-lit beach a few hours before dusk. The vows were perfectly woven with the week’s gaming theme, as was the rendition of “The Newlywed Game” at the wedding reception that evening.

Congrats, Mary and Craig. We were honored to be a part of your celebration!

playtime at asilomar

Posted by lynn on 20 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: family, friends, melina, nalani, travel

family

slide

Outside Mary and Craig’s official wedding week events (to be highlighted in an upcoming post very, very soon), we had plenty of time to explore the Monterey Peninsula on our own and hang out with friends. We also got to experience micro-climates even more extreme in the Bay Area, meaning the girls learned the true value of dressing in layers.

joey_girls

swimming

Melina and I especially took advantage of several opportunities to swim. Our very first full day, my childhood friend Laney invited us to her parents house in Carmel Valley to dip in the pool and enjoy the warmer, valley weather. Melina had a blast playing with Campbell (who is actually closer in age to Nalani, but also much closer to three.) It took Nalani a bit longer to warm up to the water, but before long she was also jumping off the side and practicing her kicking as I glided her across the pool.

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hands

The next day we took our chances at the chillier Asilomar pool. It was really chillier times two: the weather was a good 15 degrees cooler (and they sky gray instead of blue), and the pool wasn’t nearly as heated as the one at Laney’s parents’ golf club community. Melina didn’t seem to mind. We just kept moving! By the end she attempted to swim on her own, but we’ll need a few more pool sessions for her to fully take off. Nalani dipped one toe in the water and decided that was enough. But she had fun watching big sis.

wheeee_mina

bridge

The day of the ceremony we joined Laney and family at the Dennis the Menace Playground in Monterey. I have vague memories of this park from my own childhood, and it’s been around since before I was born. The place is fabulous, one of the larger playgrounds I’ve seen and set right against the water. The girls especially liked the big slide made of hundreds of thin red rollers, the lion’s mouth drinking fountain (that was a definite memory-jogger!), and the long wobbly rope bridge.

babygirl

trail

We also had plenty of mellow fun just walking around the gorgeous conference grounds, exploring Pacific Grove, playing games like Sleeping Queens in the Marlin room (designated social room for the entire week), and hanging out with friends old (my fellow BigTenters) and new (for Melina, of the 4- to 7-year-old girl variety). By the end of our four days, our appetite for recreation was sated and we were ready to take on our daily lives once again… at least until the next vacation!

nalani’s play date

Posted by lynn on 01 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: nalani

hands

tigerswing

Since the week she was born, Nalani has been “taken along” – to big sister’s ballet class, big bro and sis’s swim class, big sister’s play dates and play groups (where luckily she has a few little friends her own age). She’s taken two classes (music last year and soccer this spring) of her own, and today she had her very first Nalani-centric play date! Annabel is a friend from her old daycare, so a playmate since the two were crawling. Annabel’s daddy said “Nalani is a bit of a celebrity at our house; Annabel talks about her constantly.” On this cloudy Sunday morn our two families enjoyed a morning at Frog Park and the Claremont farmer’s market.