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Our Nebraska Thanksgiving — Ethan’s First!

2011 November 28

Visits to our home state of Nebraska are never disappointing. I never get sick of driving through our old stomping grounds of Omaha, Lincoln, and so many surrounding small towns.

We usually fly into Omaha airport, which means we have to get all nostalgic and sappy and go through the same old stories as we drive West on Dodge Street.

“There’s where we had our first ‘fancy’ date!”
“That’s the bar where I had my first waitressing job!”
“Hey, that’s the first place I used my fake ID sang karaoke.”

But soon the buildings become fewer in number and farther apart. Then there is nothing but fields and the occasional farm house, sometimes horses or cows in the distance. And before long we arrive in the small town that Stu’s family calls home.

This year there were at least 15 of us gathered at the grandparents’ house to celebrate Turkey Day! And everyone was excited to see Ethan. His holiday onesie was a hit. Grandma got first dibs of course!


There were toys from grandma and great-aunt Suzie and tons of hugs, kisses, and tickles from everyone else. Ethan was in attention heaven. Great-grandma even brought out a ‘vintage’ pull toy! The string was mesmerizing. All the cousins reminisced about dragging this little raccoon around the house when they were little.

Stu’s dad joined us on Friday for some Ethan time and a trip to Lincoln with Stu for the Husker game. Little Man had a great time with grandpa!

Now I’m not saying Ethan is perfect all the time, that’s pretty far from the truth. He has his regular fussy times, especially in the evenings when the day is winding down. But I can safely say that he was on his BEST behavior on this trip.

He napped, slept through the night, ate anything we put in front of him (including turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a little taste of pumpkin pie!), and laughed a lot. He even learned some new acrobatics!

To our great relief, he was really good on the planes—all three of them. Fellow travelers thought he was the cutest thing—except of course the evil woman sitting next to us on the way home. (And we solidified her hatred when I woke her up, after she’d been asleep for five minutes, because I needed to get out to dispose of a poopy diaper.) But really, who can resist this face?

We’ve noticed a significant change in Ethan over the last two weeks. The only way we can explain it is that he seems older. He’s just really involved with what’s going on and he is SO much fun.

Our trip was wonderful and we miss being with family already! Good thing Christmas is only three weeks away.

Seriously people, what the heck happened to 2011???!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

3 Responses
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    November 29, 2011

    We ALL had such a wonderful time visiting, eating and playing with Ethan . I really miss the little man and wish you lived a bit closer. Ethan is such a joy to be around and such a good baby. You and Stu have done a great job as parents.
    Give him hugs and kisses and thanks again for coming.

    I miss waking up in the morning and looking at his happy face….miss you buddy

  2. Vi Spinner permalink
    November 29, 2011

    So glad you had a nice family time. Ethan really has changed a lot and yes he does look older. Really a handsome fella. I’m thinking about coming in May when you are in StL. Keeping up with him is great but not like hands on. Sorry you can’t make it down here next April. Maybe one day soon.

  3. Sandy Schon permalink
    November 30, 2011

    Looks like you had a great time. Hard to believe all the growth that happens in the first year of life. Can’t wait to see him for Christmas and his first birthday!!! Glad so many family and friends will be here to celebrate. Bring on the “smash cake.”

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