Aug 29, 2013

carter with a hose + labor day plans

i can't believe it's a 3 day weekend. usually i like to plan some wild adventure for the 3 of us to embark on during these long weekends because they are so rare but this one snuck up on me! luckily we live next to family which means there is almost always something going on. we are planning on going to the beach (what's new?), maybe watching some sports games and having a bbq on monday. your typical labor day weekend. except, monday is actually bringing something unique. aaron, my oldest brother, is bringing a date that doesn't speak english. she is colombian and has been in the US for only a month! my mom has been calling every member of the family ordering them to brush up on their spanish. i am so curious how it's going to be. i have heard stories of other families being in this situation before and it has always perplexed me. of course aaron knows spanish but i will want to ask her tons of questions and get to know her. how do you do that when you don't speak the same language!? i'm pretty anxious to see how it all plays out. 

oh and thanks to my mom, carter discovered the hose this morning. he was so fascinated. i could see the wheels turning in his head trying to figure out what this long black thing with water spewing out was all about. naturally the kid tried to put the whole thing into his mouth! no doubt the hose will be part of our labor day along with smothering dad while we have him all to ourselves!

hope everyone has a wonderful-safe-no work-labor day!

on two wheels at newport

we went to newport over the weekend with our friends emily and stuart. daron and i have been talking about riding bikes with carter for a very long time. we both love the idea of riding bikes together as a family and making it a regular thing. having newport be your back drop during this activity is not so bad either ;) we would love to go again soon and invite all couples who are interested to join! we think a big group would be a blast, the bigger the better! we ended the night with an incredible dessert dish from sprinkles. daron and i had never been so it was quite the treat! i had no idea ice cream between a cupcake even existed, but i find myself still thinking about it 6 days later...

Aug 27, 2013

.strands beach.

a goal daron and i have while living in southern california is to explore all the different beaches this area has to offer. even though i grew up here, it's shocking (or maybe not shocking ;) how little i know about this area and how few beaches i have been to. thanks to megan ham, we discovered strands beach. this beach is unique in the fact that there is a little trek to reach it. you have the choice of going down a lot of stairs or taking a funicular down to a short but steep hill (pictured above). along with carter comes a stroller and about 10 pounds of stuff, so we opted for the funicular. the beach has perfect sand. white and fluffy. and the water is a gorgeous blue. it's also very family oriented with children and families stretching along the shoreline. i must say though, the water was ice cold(!!!) and there were rocks in the water. 2 things i'm not so sure about. but overall, the beach is a winner!

daron and i found the perfect spot, plopped our stuff down and set up camp. we bring an umbrella every time even though we enjoy shade for 2 seconds before carter is bolting to the sand. he loves watching the sand run through his fingers and i don't blame him! later, we tested out a new spot. we wanted to see if he would like the "in-between" sand. there are less rocks, dry seaweed, shells etc... for him to shovel into his mouth but the freezing water doesn't come up high enough to reach him. we were so happy because he loved it. he could have stayed there for hours. that's what i call a win win.
^"in-between" sand, the good stuff
^if you are wondering what carter is saying in the above, left picture- it is, 
"dad, i love you.
you are my favorite."
it's a fact of my life. these two have something unique between the two of them. it's been there since the day this kid was born. it's my favorite thing to watch. and i don't mind it at all. i actually adore it.

for my personal favorite pictures of day...
^that pointer finger in that mouth! he cracks me up. this is carter's new trick to help him stuff things into his mouth. my child is a chipmunk. another story for another time.
^and, "mom! what the heck!? i was going to eat that seaweed!"
this picture really represents my life at the beach,
i am swatting carter's hands all day long

until next time strands!

Aug 26, 2013

times up

daron's break from school is over.
i am grateful we were able to take full advantage of it.
we did things like swimming in my parents pool
daron threw me off his shoulders
like we were dating again
one of my most favorite activities
i was informed by my mother that if i am going to take pictures of myself diving off daron, i better have good form. so i apologize for my form. i'll do better next time.

we stumbled upon strands beach

enjoyed a wonderful time in colorado with daron's family

discovered the view from way, way up high through the airplane window
diaper only stlye

introduced carter to pasta and chicken
...that's a big deal around here

and other things of the like.
it was a total of 10 days that we had 24/7 of each other. 
daron and i both already can't stop talking about his next break.
we enjoy the time together so much. 
having dad around here all day, every day is something that never gets old.
i used to have this fear that i wouldn't be able to find someone that i wouldn't get sick of.
then i found daron.
and i now i think that is the silliest worry i have ever had.
i couldn't get sick of daron if i tried. 
sometimes i do try.
it never works. 
i can't get sick of him.
me and my sweedish love bird at the top of estes park. 
i love him.

Aug 22, 2013


we are back from our much anticipated trip to colorado. i can't believe we are already home from it. i remember being in idaho when daron called to let me know that we were going. how has it already come and gone? we arrived late thursday night. carter was a champ on the flight over. the flight was from 7 - 9 p.m. which is carter's bedtime, so it was not an ideal. luckily we sat next to a woman that had a 7 month old and was very understanding. we chatted all things baby and i basically felt like her best friend by the end of flight. she ended up showing me pictures of her little one and i was sad that i wasn't going to meet him and that in all reality we probably wouldn't ever see each other again. it was a good reminder of the bonds motherhood instantly creates. you could have nothing else in common and then you realize, "hey, you have baby!? hey... me too!" suddenly, there is everything to talk about. 

the mornings of the trip were pretty dreamy. linnea and steve would hear carter crying in the mornings and sneak in and grab him before we woke up. this resulted in me and daron getting almost an hour of extra zzz's every morning. can i get a hellelujah?! if only i could tell you how long i had been dreaming of that exact scenario. thanks to grandma & grandpa, it actually happened! 

daron and i had a blast watching carter interact with the family dog, scooter. it was sort of this love/hate relationship. he would crawl after him but the moment scooter turned around carter would throw up his hands with a little yelp and squint his face in the funniest expression. 

we ended up dubbing it his "dog face" 

watching scooter and carter interact made me want a dog, really bad. but then linnea would bring me back to reality and remind me that i actually don't want a dog and i realized she was right. not yet at least. but one day, mark my words, a dog will be part of this family!

saturday we went to the infamous lake that daron has wonderful memories of growing up. i actually slalomed and wake boarded which i hadn't done since last summer when i was 4 months pregnant (which doesn't really count). so it was more like 2 summers ago. daron and i also chased each other around on bumper boats which are a new favorite on our list. 
(thank you jen and dustin!)

later that night, we took carter to the denver aquarium. it took a little bit for carter to realize what he was supposed to be looking at. but once he caught on, he was fascinated! of course i was looking more at him than the fish. 

                mmm yummy barracuda^^
                                                                            smile! you're on camera :)^^

sunday we relaxed, chatted with neighbors, and had dinner with carter's great-grandparents lee and shirley. i also got bit by mosquitos which i truly wish i could zap away from the planet. there are a few things on this earth that i could really just do away with.
monday we drove about an hour north to estes park. a beautiful little valley town, nestled up next to the bottom of the rocky mountains. 

we took the gondola up to enjoy the views,
                                             carter and his iron grip on that sucker^^

walked up and down main street checking out every dessert shop available. 
i have steve to thank for that! he and me. we share the same love for all things dessert. if only i could get daron on that band wagon!

we stopped at the greatest taffy shop i have ever seen. i am not a taffy person. but this is the best taffy you will ever have. i repeat: it is the best taffy you will ever have. not sticky. not so chewy that it hurts your teeth. just melt in your mouth taffy that brings happiness. i wish i ate more of it. but unfortunately, i ate my weight X3 in ice cream.

                                                         as my mother would say, go big or go home^^

we ended the day with a trip up trail ridge road. 

trail ridge road is the highest maintained road in the nation. it takes you up 12,000+ feet and people from all over the world come to check it out. the views were stunning. daron and i both had headaches because the air was so thin but it was worth it. 

our last day was spent enjoying time with cousins. it all went by too fast. colorado is a wonderful place. but even more, i feel so blessed that carter has such wonderful grandparents. they love him dearly. they care for him as much as we care for him. it means so much to me to watch them love carter with all of their being.

we already miss you colorado!
that means you grandma & grandpa

Aug 6, 2013

i am thankful

for a baby who loves the sand. 
and doesn't burst into tears after face planting in it.

for my brother aaron who was born 35 years ago today.
 he really makes me laugh and shares my love for 
golden spoon / all things frozen yogurt 
and is and an example of strength and resilience. 
i am so very thankful for  him. 

for Gail Ham who introduced me to puffy, golden german pancakes.
and that when i couldn't think of anything that sounded good for breakfast this morning,
these popped into my mind.

for the opportunity daron has to attend the school he wanted 
and meet new people 
from all walks of life. 

(USC's first building on campus)

that is what i am feeling thankful for today.

{the inspiration for this post HERE}