Main / Holidays

October 25, 2008

Ania, Ari, and I went to get our pumpkins today. This was Arianna's second time enjoying our tradition of getting pumkins at Mangini's. She wasn't even a month old her first time.

Pumpkin Patch 2008

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007 Christmas Card 2007

Marlena took the photos on our Christmas card.

February 14, 2007

Ania made a delicious breakfast for me on Valentine's morning. She intended for it to be breakfast in bed, but it was such a nice day, we decided to enjoy it on the patio. It was a pleasant start to a great day together — she was off, and I surprised her by taking the day off too.

Valentines breakfast

December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Family Christmas Photo 2006

November 26, 2006

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving this year! Jené and Carter came to visit from Kentucky and we had some good family bonding time. For Thanksgiving dinner, we went to Kenny & Shirley's and had a delicious dinner and a great time. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, laughing, joking, and sharing stories. Everything and everyone came together in that rare and truly magical way that creates a sense of real holiday cheer.

PHOTO SUMMARY: Thanksgiving 2006

July 04, 2006

I don't think I've ever actually personally honored the tradition of BBQing on the 4th of July, so I wanted to grill some chicken. Wanda made perogies earlier in the day, and we thought it would be fun to give the day some international flavor & make a meal of both, so we had my parents over for a great dinner in our backyard.

Afterward, we joined many of our neighbors on the hill at the top of our street, and watched the fireworks against the backdrop of Mt. Diablo. We didn't bother to learn how to photograph fireworks (especially since I figured it would require a tripod, and we have one, but it's too small), but one of the pics we took resulted in an interesting effect!

PHOTO SUMMARY: 4th of July 2006

May 27, 2006

At Kenny & Shirley's house on Memorial Day.


April 16, 2006

We had Easter at our house this year, and decided to make it a lunch.  We grilled tri-tip (Morton's, from Costco, which we really like) and asparagus, and Mom brought a ham, to keep with tradition. 
This was our first time having our extended family over to our new house, and it was great!  I'm glad to finally have room to comfortably host larger gatherings. 

It had been rainy and cold until just before everyone arrived, but we had a few hours of sunshine and just enough warmth that we could all enjoy the sun on the patio as I was cooking.  We were really lucky with the weather; about 20 minutes after everyone left, it started raining.  It seemed like everyone had a good time, and we enjoyed the afternoon!


December 24, 2005

We celebrated our first Christmas Eve Dinner at Skyview with my parents and Dave, as has become our tradition, and Ania made the delicious traditional Polish Christmast Eve dinner we've all started to look forward to at this time every year.
PHOTO SUMMARY: Christmas Eve Dinner 2005


October 23, 2005

Today, we went to the pumpkin patch at Mangini's, a fruit & vegetable stand situated at the front of its own  fields, that's been a part of Pleasant Hill for as long as I can remember.   Mangini's has never been a large operation, but it's got a long-standing and loyal customer base because it's produce is excellent.  I grew up eating Mangini's corn, and going there to get pumpkins & Christmas trees.

Pumpkins at Manginis

The afternoon exemplified Fall; long shadows, crisp, cool air, and golden sunlight.  A bunch of kids waited with their parents for a ride on the tractor, others buzzed around with excitement at being on a "real" farm, and going to get a pumpkin for Halloween.  Their infectious energy got us in the spirit too; we darted from place to place with silly grins, calling "look at this one!" and "wow!", ooohing and aaahing at the pumpkins.  Sure, you can get them at a grocery store, but there's nothing that takes me back to being a kid quite like being out in a field among rows of tilled earth, sunflowers, and dried stalks of corn rustling in the breeze.

As we were looking through the gourds and decorative corn inside the stand, I was surprised to hear a woman ask, "Are you Mr. Mangini?" to a friendly looking older man, who looked like a farmer.  I waited until they were done chatting, and introduced myself and Ania.  I told him how I'd grown up going to Mangini's, which is just around the corner from my parents' house, and how happy I am to be able to do so again, now that we've bought a house in my home town.  I also thanked him, not just for putting on this event, which everyone so clearly enjoyed, but for keeping Mangini's going though the years.  This small, family-owned produce stand is a part of what makes Pleasant Hill special.  For us, it certainly makes going to get a pumpkin a fun and memorable event!

Happy Halloween!

August 06, 2005

PHOTO SUMMARY: My 33rd Birthday

For my birthday, my parents, Marta, Ania, and I went to Rutherford Grill in the Napa Valley and had my favorite Caesar salad and their delicious BBQ ribs.  It was a gorgeous day, so we ate outside, and had a fun time.  Afterward we drove up to Calistoga and back down the Silverado Trail to show Marta the valley.