Katya’s parents and younger siblings live a few hours away in upstate New York and we see them often throughout the year. We take a long trip to visit every year over the winter holidays. This is a really special time when we get to experience snowy upstate New York and all of the many traditions that come with the holidays.
Katya’s two sisters both work in healthcare and her brother is exploring a career as a soccer coach and referee. Katya’s brother joined her family through adoption when she was in college. They have a very close relationship and she has played an active role in his life even while living elsewhere. Katya’s mother loves to kayak and we enjoy getting out on the water whenever we visit. Katya’s father is a carpenter and is often explaining how things work or showing Sami how to fix something. Katya has a large, close-knit extended family that has been gathering for an annual family reunion in New Jersey for over 50 years!
Becca was raised in Southern New Mexico by two adventurous New Yorkers. Her sister is seven years older than her and now lives in Washington D.C. with her husband, son, and daughter. Sami adores his big cousins and we try to visit with them as often as possible.
In 2016, we helped Becca’s parents move from New Mexico to near our home in the Hudson Valley when it was clear that they were struggling to care for themselves. We spent a lot of time with them both caretaking and having fun until they both recently passed away, Becca’s father at the age of 96 and Becca’s mother at the age of 80.
Growing up, Thanksgiving was the biggest holiday in Becca’s family. It was a family tradition to cook arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas — a Puerto Rican staple) along with the traditional Thanksgiving foods. We continue to do that and celebrate Thanksgiving with Becca’s sister and family.
Our families — both immediate and extended — are an important part of our lives and we make it a priority to spend time with them as often as possible.