Friday, August 30, 2013


Once upon a time, in a land far far away (and a land not so far away at all), there lived a girl with an incredible sense of adventure, an eye for the extraordinary, and a fun streak a mile wild.


There's a million things you can say about the friends who matter most.  But they are better said over the course of years during Veggie Wednesdays, Collage classes, Sunday morning hikes, last minute trips to the opposite side of the globe, late nights in dark hipsters bars and during the countless adventures that are yet to be experienced.

Happy Birthday, my friend.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

9 months

Poor Colin had his 9 month doctor's appointment the same day as his photos, but look what a trooper he is!

With the risk of sounding like a broken record (a phrase that I just realized will mean nothing to Colin and he'll have to look it up like I had to look up the phrase 'mind your p's & q's'), where oh where does the time go??

He is also becoming quite the hunter:

Take that wild animals!

Colin has really been working on his mobility lately.  No walking, but he's always ready to go.  He's also been eating like a champion!  Spaghetti?  Yes, please.  Steak, bread, beets, peas?  Yes yes yes yes.  Although e didn't like artichoke then again I'm not even sure I like artichoke, honestly, but I do like butter and mayo.

He's such a happy and social little guy.  Before the doctor could even ask us if he had stranger anxiety, Colin was waving excitedly at him and reaching up.

This month Colin really skipped headed when he headed to college! :)  Next month we're hoping to slow it back down a notch at lapsit story time, instead!

Happy 3/4 birthday, little guy!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Latest and Greatest from Book Club

I'm a bit behind in my book club summaries.

May: So May was a bit of a fiasco.  I was hosting, but I missed April and everyone forgot so they picked a new book.  I didn't know about it and I read the book I'd told everyone during the March meeting.  I read Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams.  (Complete with Peruvian snacks at my house for the meeting... oh well!)

In June we read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. That was not an easy book.  It the story of a young women with cancer and focuses primarily of her struggle to connect/disconnect with the world in light of her illness.  It's a young adults book and as I read it, I wondered how old I would want my children to be before they read such a book (the answer clearly being dependant on the child).  I'm glad I have quite a few years before I'll have to address such questions.

As an aside, another thing struck me was that the main character is hesitant to reveal a book that has had a significant impact on her life because doing so reveals so much about her.  The more I thought about this, the more I realized how true it is.  The books that we love do tell others a great deal about us, probably more than we realized sometimes.  I suppose the same could be said for our preferences in other media realms, but at least for me, books have a special place and the impact tends to be more profound and lasting.

In July we read Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.  I overall enjoyed the book.  There were aspects that annoyed me, but I enjoyed the story as long as I didn't take it too seriously.

This month, we read  Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and my goodness it was a headfull! The first problem is that I tend to read on several devices (primarily my iPad and my phone).  I sometimes have sync issues and end up rereading part of the book.  This is pretty much the worst book for that problem.  The story restarts again and again with minor variations each time.  You can imagine how frustrating that was given my sync problem.  "Did I read this one yet? No it's different... right? Wait.." Even without the sync issue I think I would have been annoyed at the restarts and trying to keep track of what year it was and how old the main character was and in what state of alive/dead.  I was so confused by one character that I've enlisted Gavin to read the book in hopes of gaining some clarity. (He's expressed similiar furstration with the story layout).

I have a quirk that makes some people crazy.  When I'm reading a book, I'll occasionally stop and read the last chapter.  Ms. Semple saved me the trouble by writing the last chapter first.  So the entire book, you know where you are ultimately going, but you can't help feeling like you're being drug two steps forwards and one step back over and over.

I think the book has potential for some very interesting conversations and is therefore a great book club book.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Date Nights, continued

I wrote before that one of our goals for 2013 was to have a date night each month.

We've continued to successfully achieve this goal!

We left off in April.

May: Sushi Plantation, Mission Viejo, CA

While Gavin's mom was in town, we decided to take a lunch date to our favorite sushi restaurant!  It was awesome that the sushi chef still remembers us and the food is still awesome.  

June: Green Vally Ranch, Henderson, NV

We were in Vegas, so we decided it'd be fun to head down to Green Vally Ranch and deposit some money into my brand new Ultimate Poker Account.  Only I failed.  My account got messed up and I couldn't deposit money.  We ate at the buffet, which was about like you'd expect.  We couldn't find a pai gow or black jack table that met our specifications (two seats next to each other.)  We did enjoy a drink at Hank's Steakhouse which had a very nice ambiance.  We still had a great time just talking and enjoying each other's full attention.

July: Cheese Cake Factory, Mission Viejo, CA

The Cheese Cake factory is our favorite because of their appetizers and dessert.  So we went for appetizers and desert!  It was a perfect low key evening out and a great opportunity to catch up.

August:  Downtown New Braunfels, New Braunfels, TX: Worst date night to date

Since we didn't have a chance for a date on our anniversary, we decided it'd be fun to take one while my family was vacationing at my sister's place.  We usually like pretty low key dates where we can catch up.  My sister recommended a fun bar, but when we arrived it was a bit boisterous for our date night needs.  We set out to find a quiet table.  We did eventually find one, but the restaurant, which we thought was just dark to set a scene, was apparently closed.  The staff was eating at the bar and it wasn't nearly as quiet and peaceful as we'd hope.  We still had fun talking, although on the way home we decided it was our least successful date.  Then I got a speeding ticket.  Officially worst date night ever.

We do our best to take time for each other whenever we can, but having our date nights to look forward to each month has been awesome.  We are also very lucky that we have regular visits from Grandma and Buma that allow us to sneak away without much planning or coordination.  I hope this tradition sticks!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Concerts in the Park

We've always loved going to the concerts in the park, but with the arrival of Colin, it has become one of our favorite summer activities!  

Because of travel/school/life we only made it to half of the events, but we had so much fun!

The most recent two concerts daddy was home and we all got to go together!

Hanging out in the grass


mommy tries to teach Colin some 80z dance moves

making new friends

The Colins plotting together to get into the cookies

Fun with friends

We had such a great time, especially at the most recent concert when Jax and Colin joined us.  I feel so lucky that we live in such a beautiful place with weather to make these type of events perfect!  We can't wait until next year, although I bet those boys will be much more difficult to corral!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Orange County Fair

I like fair season, and we try to go every year.  Last year we went with Terrence on his way though California.  The year before we went with Alyssa.

This year, I didn't think we'd make it since we'd just returned from our Texas trip, but when Jax's family asked if we wanted to go, we decided to go for it.

We used the third row of our car for the first time...

Family Photos at the fair:

The boys didn't seem incredibly interested in any of the fair offerings.  Colin made a funny face at the animal smells, but we couldn't even get him to look at the actually animals!  We did take them on the Merry-go-round, but neither seemed incredibly excited about that either.  They were both pretty content just hanging out though and we had a nice trip.

Firt Ride!!
First Carnival Game (Colin)


With their prizes!
Colin's Daddy and Jax's Mommy did less well:

We had a great time and after Texas, I don't think I could have been more grateful for the weather!

I'm looking forward to future years when the boys are running around driving us crazy and begging to go on upside rides and touch animals and paticipate in all the fair has to offer.  Geez, even just writing that sounds exhausting!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Our Third Wedding Anniversary

Despite some difficult years, we've had some awesome Anniversary Celebrations.  Our first anniversary, we spent at Big Sur at the very Romantic Post Ranch Inn.  Last year, we visited Disneyland and had a Romantic Dinner at Club 33.

This year, was a little different.

We were traveling in Texas for our Anniversary, and on that day had to move from our dorm to a hotel, Colin in tow!  Gavin also had classes all day and the next day.  As a result, we had to tone down on the romance a tad, but we still had a great night!

We ended up eating at the hotel.  The choice of restaurants with a squirming, food tossing, baby are fairly limited and while we've had mostly positive experiences with Colin eating out, he was being a little rambunctious and we decided not to push it.  

After dinner, we headed to downtown Fort Worth.  I'd read about the Water Gardens and we decided to check them out.  Despite the heat and humidity, we had a lovely walk and enjoyed the gardens. 

After the gardens, we went to Pizzaria Uno for dessert where we took our Annual Anniversary Picture.

It may not have been particularly romantic or exciting, but I had a wonderful time honoring the promises we made to each other three years ago.  I love you, Gavin!