Family, Letters to My Kids

In Michigan for Thanksgiving 2013

Dear Child of Mine, 

You have a wonderful family – both mine and your dad’s – that will absolutely adore you when you make your way into our lives. We were able to spend time with both the Eccles and the Fishes over Thanksgiving (I never knew how to make my last name Fish plural).

Just hours after disembarking our Carnival Cruise your dad and I met my mom (your GRANDMA!) at Olive Garden in Buffalo. We enjoyed a nice meal together and then mom took me back to Ashtabula where I would spend the next two nights before heading with Kevin to Michigan. I had a great time with Mom and Dad, Grams and Chuck, and Gramma Mary. I baked an apple pie and chocolate chip cookies because it’s what I love to do (and, if I’m completely honest, the raving compliments they gush onto me, don’t hurt.)

Before I knew it, we were back on the road for Southern Michigan! Kevin and I, along with your Uncle Brian and his girlfriend Beth, were busy little bees working alongside Mom E. Just in time for dinner, the rest of the crew began arriving. And what a fun, rowdy, completely new group it was! I had been the only “outsider” in the Eccles/Arvidson family for many years, but now Elise has been married to Matt for 2 years, Marlene is engaged to be married to Daniel in 2014, and Brian is dating a fantastic girl, Beth.

Left to Right: Beth & Brian, Daniel & Marlene, Elise & Matthew, Melanie* & Kevin

*please note the water bottle/cup at Mel’s feet. She never goes anywhere without it. It might as well be an appendage. 

The 8 of us had a blast together – the additional significant others really adds an entertaining dimension to our group dynamic. “What’s that, new people to get to know? to tease mercilessly? to find topics to debate? to play ridiculous games with? Oh this is going to be good.”

And just think, little one, as each of our generation adds children to the mix, the volume will increase, the entertainment ratings will SPIKE, and the love will multiply. Come quickly, child. You’re delaying the fun!

The average age around the dinner table was now much lower than ever before! I’m the oldest in our generation, at 28, Beth is 18, and David (Kevin’s youngest cousin) is 13. You should have heard the conversations flying around that beautiful Amish-made dining room table. I sat at Dad E’s left (as I have for the past 9 years), and he, Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa and I couldn’t even carry on a conversation over the volume. (Your dad and your Uncle Brian are both quite loud when then get to telling a good story. It’s quite entertaining, really!)

Let’s just pause for a moment and admire the spread my mother-in-law put out for all of us. Beautiful heirloom China and a fantastic pot roast dinner (just as delicious as your dad remembers it!) And this was the night before Thanksgiving! AKA Prelude to Thanksgiving as I like to call it.

Matthew and Elise (Arvidson) Schnaars
Daniel Globig and Marlene Arvidson (soon to be Globig)
Larry and Ruth (Ruiz) Arvidson
David Arvidson
Gordon and Linda (Arvidson) Eccles
Kevin and Melanie (Fish) Eccles
Brian Eccles
Mert Arvidson and Wanda (Walton) Arvidson

Thursday, November 28th, we all indulged in a wonderful Thanksgiving feast, took some family portraits, played a rousing rendition of Quelf, watched the Lions beat the Packers, pieced together a puzzle, took turns napping, and shot a few gourds with a 9mm handgun. All in all, exactly what Thanksgiving should be.

Yes, that *IS* your mother shooting a gun.
Yes, she was a pretty good shot, if she does say so herself.

The day AFTER Thanksgiving was significantly more quiet and subdued, aside from this little gem:

Ok, that wasn’t the only “rowdy” moment of the day. You can’t me quiet during a game of bowling after all. The first round would have made my dad hang his head in shame, but the second game was decent. A few strikes, spares, and *almost* the top score. My darn husband *would* beat me in the last frame. Of course that *may* have had something to do with the fact that I took down ONE pin. (Did you know, dear one, that your Papa Fish and Great Grandpa Nick were extremely talented bowlers? There may or may not be trophies and plaques and Hall of Fames involved.)


The 6 of us, Mom & Dad, Kevin & Mel, Brian & Beth, went to Kohl’s around 10am, waited in a crazy long line, ate an awesome lunch at Bone Island Grill, shopped at one of our favorite stores (SAM’S CLUB. woot!), and retired for an evening of Hallmark movies.

We love spending time with family and only wish we weren’t quite so far away. In a perfect world, you’ll get to see your grandparents and aunts and uncles every week or two, because we’ll live just down the street. :) But even if our world isn’t perfect we’ll be sure to give you lots of time with this great family of yours!



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