Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Garage Sale

Last weekend we decided to participate in the Ladera Garage Sale.  We mostly were using it as a motiviation to get some project done around the house.  It seemed to go well, but mostly we had an awesome time with our little helper!

"Step Right up!"


Sometimes I'm amazed at how much more fun Colin can make less than appealing tasks.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter Part II: Colin's First trip to the beach

After we found all (most) of the eggs, we decided to take a trip to the beach to enjoy the beautiful weather.  It was Colin's first trip to the beach! We decided to go to Doheny and Colin had a fantastic time!

I'm not sure how long his new 18 month swim shirt is going to last though!

Against my better judgement, I did allow a few pictures of the pregnant whale we found on the beach. :)

Colin loved everything about the beach.  He liked the sand, the sound of the water, even the waves around his feet.  Surprisingly he didn't seem to mind the cold water at all.  (We didn't swim, we just played in the foam).

We decided to buy a year pass to California State Parks so we won't have any excuse not to make a few more trips out to the beach and other outdoor places for adventure.  I can't wait!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Part I

We had quite a busy Easer weekend!  Gavin's parents made a surprise trip to visit and we were busy enjoying the beautiful spring weather.

On Saturday, we attended an Easter Egg Hunt at Holy Trinity.  Colin loved it!!  Before we left, I showed him how to put a plastic egg into his basket and he really took it!  As soon as we set him down in the Easter Egg Hunt area he ran straight to an egg and ran back and put it in the basket.  It was so sweet and so much fun to see him excited about his task!

He did take a few quick breaks to investigate the decorations and give kisses to the bunny.


Saturday night we attended the Easter Vigil Service and on so on Sunday morning we didn't have anything to do but play and enjoy the surpises from the Easter Bunny!

This picture reminds me of his face from last year!!


It cracks me up how much the kid liked collecting eggs!  He never stops surprising me.

He got a new desk for Easter.  Here he is completeing his first official tasks:

Opening a present

Analyzing data reports (or stickers)

His favorite egg had a chocolate cookie in it.  Yummy!

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gardening with Farmer Colin

We've been working on our new garden area for a while now. By 'working' I mostly mean Colin and I pick up rocks and then shuffle dirt around.  Colin loves dirt.

Last weekend, I finally actually planted our Garden!

First, daddy and Colin went to the Saddleback plant sale and bought a bunch of our plants.  We got almost everything we wanted except strawberries and basil.  We also got a few bonus plants and some flowers!

It may not lok like much now, but here's the start of our garden!

If you are wondering about that huge plant, it's leftover from last year.  About two months ago I removed all of his friends and I was about to remove him, but he looked pretty healthy.  I took off all of the green tomatos and left him about as big as the plants in the background.  He took off!  (The green tomatos all turned red while I was looking for a green tomato salsa recipe too, bonus!)

Colin didn't help with the actual planting this year.  I hope in years to come he will, but in the meantime, he'll just brush up on his tractor skills!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holy Week 2013

This week is Holy Week, and in our house, this year is a special year.

A very long time ago, I started a process called RCIA.  (I believe the first class I attended was in 2007).  It's usually a several month journey to join the Catholic Church.

As seems to be my custom, my path wasn't so straight.  The years from then until now have been filled with more twists and turns than I could have possibility anticipated.  My faith, my views of society, community, religion, family, marriage, children, God, and life have all streteched and shifted and grown.

From then until now, my family was born and has grown.

Family is a catalyst for many things, and for me one of those things was deciding to complete the journey.  The RCIA process has been a long one, and honestly, a painful one.  I think there are lots of ways it could be improved, but that's a post for another day.  This year, despite the challenges, I decided I was going to complete these steps.

Throughout Lent, and continuing into this week I've been spending time thinking about the people in my life who I love and who influence me the most.  I've been praying for them (you) and being so grateful to have so much good in my life.

If you have a moment this Saturday, send a prayer my way as I close a chapter on this journey that has been so long.  Thank you for your love and support.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

You're a bright little fish and I love you.

Colin's nightly lullaby is still "Bright Bug".  I painted him a picture of a bright bug that hangs over his crib (and accurately fits all of the descriptions from the song!)

When we started putting together Nursery 2.0, I thought it would be super cute to do a 'Bright Fish' painting.

I'm not a great painter, but I drew out my best idea of what a 'bright fish' would look like:
First Draft
Canvas Sketch

I then used some of the samples we had bought for the walls and got to work painting!  I'm so happy with how the painting came out.  Gavin told me pilot fish are supposed to be mean and have big teeth.  Luckily, bright fish are not. :)

  • Bright Bug? Check
  • Orange and Green? Check
  • Belly Does Glow? Check

I love my bright aquatic bug, already and can't wait to meet him!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Date night: Home Edition

We are still faithfully planning and executing our monthly date nights.

January:  Irvine Spectrum.  We were unaware that visiting the Irvine Spectrum on a Friday night, we would be among the oldest people in the crowd.  Since it was my birthday, we bought me a new diaper bag (which I still love) and ate some Japanese food.

February: Brunch @ Coffee, Tea and Tulips.  In February, Gavin researched well reviewed brunch restaurants nearby and we ended up here.  I've walked past it a bunch of times because it's in the Micheal's shopping center.  The food was good, and we had a great time watching the worst rain storm of the season.

March:  Barnes and Noble.  We realized that one of the things we don't ever do anymore is browse.  With a toddler in tow, shopping is more about survival than enjoyment.  Since we are still doing on book club, we thought it would be a nice date to just go and wander around a book store and get ideas and hang out.  Strangely, we didn't buy any books.  I'm sure that's at least partially due to our reliance on e-books and audio books, but we both picked up a few good ideas.

April: Home Date

When I sat down to look at our April Calendar, a date night was looking a little difficult to fit in.  Our normal date night sitter (Grandma) is off on an exotic two week vacation, and we had several NOT date night activities (like doing our taxes and church services) that we were already using a babysitter, so I decided it was time to pull out a home date night.

I decided the key to making a home date night successful was to make sure it didn't feel too ordinary.  For me, that mostly means special music, special lighting, and forgoing our normal evening routines (that's the hardest one!)  It also means setting aside the time beforehand to get things planned and ready.  While it didn't take too long, I think the extra planning helped make it feel like an event instead of just an evening at home. (Although both are nice!)

We fed Colin and put him down and then made our dinner of Salmon and Mashed potatos.  We had a great time cooking and eating together.

The original plan was a movie, but I am self aware enough to realize there was no way I was going to be able to stay awake for a movie, so we played a game instead.  We bought some of our favorite candy and played "Pandemic"  It's a cooperative game and we had a great time.

I am so grateful for the relationship I have with my husband.  Having children, especially the long road to get here, has been challenging on our marriage, and I'm so glad we both still have the love and energy to put in to making this stage of marriage sustainable, but also fun.  I love you, Gavin!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Griffin Book Club

I mentioned in my date night post that Gavin and I formed a book club.  We are currently entering month four, and so far it's been pretty fun!

January: The Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

For our first month, I chose the behemoth of a book I was alerady reading for fear I'd never have time to start and finish another book!  I accidently read this book.  I was actually trying to read another Follett book that several people had recommended to me, Pillars of the Earth.  Somehow, I got this one instead. I'm not a huge historical fiction reader, although I do like it occasionally.  I liked Follett's writing style and the book was fun and easy to read.  Gavin liked it as well, although we didn't discuss it much because I was fairly far ahead of him most of the month.

February: Moonwalking with Einstein, Joshua Foer

I read a lot of dorky books.  Read ahead to next month if you don't believe me.  But I'm pretty sure this one takes the dorky cake.  That's not to say I didn't find it interesting, because I certainly did.  But it's still the dorkiest book I've read in a long time.  I know lots of people consider Professional Poker Player as a fringe profession... what about professional memory expert??  Still, overall I enjoyed reading it and Gavin and I had lots of interesting conversations about things in the book.  More importantly, we had intersting conversations about us, our lives and our dreams inspired by things in the books.  THAT'S what I really hoped to get from this book club, so in that sense, the book was a huge success!  I have no interest in having a better memory, especially using the methods discussed (the book isn't a how to book, although it presents a few methods).  I much prefer to rely on notes, calendars, and books than my memory.

March: My Brief History, Stephen Hawking

While the number of books he sells would indicate otherwise, I always feel alone in enjoying Hawking's books.  I've read most of them and I just like them.  I consume science media for entertainment more than for education and his books are easy to read, but still leave me with a sense of accomplishment and 'brain growth.'  I thought it would be interesting to read aobut his life.  It was... for me.  Gavin wasn't really impressed.  He was also annoyed that Hawking couldn't discuss his life without discussing his work in detail (especailly time travel.) I was a little surprised by Gavin's adamance.  The man is passionate about his work so to me it makes sense he would talk about it, I'm sure if you saw the earlier drafts of his autobiography it would be more prevelant!  Not much to discuss in the book though.

April:  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig

I haven't read this book, but  I did raise my eyebrows at Gavin when he announced it at this month's book!  I'll let you know next time what I thought.