California: Thanksgiving

Last Tuesday we made the trek from North Carolina to California [thankfully flying – not driving] for Thanksgiving with Steve’s side of the family! Since we’re here for the week, we have lots of activities planned, but the big event for the week was Thanksgiving dinner, of course. We’ve gotten several opportunities to visit my family during our marriage, but this was the first time we could all come see a group of his extended family in one place! [Mitchell and I made it out to Cousin Bridgette’s wedding this past summer but Steve was stuck in EOD School]. And to top it off, Mitchell had never met his Great Nana Martin! Grandma and Grandpa Martin were also in attendance! I am so grateful to this guy for letting me a part of his family. Our families are two of our greatest blessings!

Steve comes from a BIG. Family. How cool is it to have so many aunts, uncles, and cousins? Nana had six children, five son/daughter in-laws, four grandchildren, one grand-daughter inlaw [me!], and one great grandson. And there were a bunch more family members who couldn’t make it! So much to be proud of, and I was so happy for her to have so many of them in one place! And so honored to photograph it. 

Here’s our little part of the family with Nana. 

Mitchell’s Grandma Martin, Grandpa Martin, and Great Nana Martin!

Nana with six of her children. Aunt Mary, Grandpa David, Uncle Chris, Uncle Patrick, Uncle Tim, and Uncle Paul. We were missing Uncle Joe. 

And four of her grandchildren and one great grandchild!

The girls in green! Cousin Jasmine is one of my favorites 😉

Steve and Cousin Micheal. 

And Cousin Patrick.

Thankfully they put up with my obligatory family pictures without any complaining. Since nearly everyone [except Nana] traveled from various parts of the country [New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, etc.], we had dinner at the Fairmont in San Jose. It was delicious and there were no dishes. Score. They had every Thanksgiving and non-Thanksgiving dish you could think of, but I stuck with the traditional ones – heavy on the mashed potatoes and stuffing 😀 There was even a pianist in the middle of the buffet! 

We had one of the biggest tables in the whole place. Again, I am loving being part of a big family. 

Once dessert time hit, the musical chairs ensued and everyone kind of switched seats to visit with everyone. The last big family event was the wedding a few months ago, so there was plenty for everyone to catch up on. 

I loved catching a few pictures of family just sitting around being thankful to be family. 

Steve and Mitchell catching up with his cousins. 

Cousin Jasmine, who loves Mitchell!

Nana saw lots of iPad slideshows of all her grandchildren. 

And also caught up with her grandchildren the good old fashioned way.

Steve with Cousin Patrick. 

Uncle Chris’ family.

And here is Grandpa David, Uncle Paul, and Uncle Tim. 

Grandma Martin and Aunt Teri. Who we are thrilled lives in North Carolina also!

After the dining room cleared out and we realized we were some of the only ones left in there, we headed downstairs. There was a football game on the guys were interested in, and the wives continued chatting away. Nana stayed out late with her family and was the life of the party!

Since Cousin Sian couldn’t make it…

The aunts were really happy when I passed her around on the iPad. 

The uncles were pretty happy too.

All-in-all, the Thanksgiving dinner itself was worth the cross-country trip. But we also get to spend the week doing other fun things and exploring Steve’s hometown! I told him I feel like we’re on the Bachelorette and he’s taking me on his hometown date… he’d definitely be getting a rose 😉 More on our trip to California to come!

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