Nov 19, 2014

celebrating two

it already feels like ages ago that we celebrated carter's second birthday. it has felt like he was 2 for about 6 months. i know this is because starting in august, when you asked carter his age he would respond saying, "two!" i would correct him every time but to no avail. then two weeks before his birthday, he was back to saying one. i think he was really confused on his birthday whether he was 2 or 1 which totally cracked me up.

daron and i woke up early on the morning of his birthday so we could hang a few decorations, blow up balloons and make carter daron's family recipe of swedish pancakes. once carter was up, we videoed him seeing all the balloons for the first time, me and daron singing happy birthday to him and his first attempt at blowing out a candle. {we had been practicing for a week how to blow out candles. he caught on in the knick of time!} after that, he played with his balloons for about an hour straight. he was so content; i thought to myself how we should have given him the balloons and called it a day!

just before lunch time, daron's parents and two sisters came into town! they were in hawai and made a quick stop on their way home to see carter for his birthday. this made the day pretty special. daron also took a half day at work so he was able to see his family and hang out with carter. i knew having extra dad time was the best present we could give to our birthday boy. 

carter had two requests for his birthday: 

fries and an "i-ceam-cone" 

so of course we had some fries as part of our lunch and got an ice cream cone after for our first dessert. after that, we headed off to the tide pools at la jolla. we got crazy close to a seal and carter had a ball chasing the birds. 

that night, we all headed back to mine and daron's place to meet up with some members of my family and do the whole dinner, dessert and presents shebang. carter was thrilled to have another dark-chocolate cupcake again as his birthday dessert and could hardly wait to dig his face into it. sometimes it's alarming how happy chocolate makes carter, but then i realize, he totally gets it from me! woops!

present time was a little overwhelming. the first present carter saw had a two suckers wrapped into the bow. carter snatched one for himself and then shared the other one with his cousin ellie. i couldn't believe it. i had serious heart throb and was so proud! throughout the night, there was a death grip on the sucker. we couldn't open the presents or enjoy them without the sucker in our mouth at all times. next time, we will hide the suckers inside! 

^^ carter was a little less quick to share the new scooter he got.
baby steps!

carter's birthday was wonderful because of all the family that was able to be a part of it. that really made the day. carter also makes it really fun because he is absolutely hilarious when he gets excited. it's so funny to me because that is something he has had since he was a tiny baby. one time, i wrote about it in this post when he was 10 months old. i have about a bizillion videos of carter during his first year capturing {what i called} his "i-can't-take-it-anymore" laugh/scream

gosh i love him.

last year's birthday celebration here, because that face with that chocolate is just too good.

Nov 17, 2014

"grammy & grandpa"

"grammy & grandpa" {daron's parents} came to visit. it was such a treat to watch them watch carter and all of his hilarious antics. when they are in town, it's like, "wait, mom who?" it was hard to capture all the sweet moments because i really enjoyed just sitting and watching him soak up the time with them. 

the goodbye was sad because carter was napping when they left. so daron and i had to see his sad little face when he realized "grammy & grandpa" had gone. on the other hand, it wasn't so sad because we will see them in 6 short weeks for CHRISTMAS! and just thinking about having a white Christmas brings immediate joy to my soul. 

Nov 12, 2014


my darling boy turned 2 today. 
carter is a sweet boy who brings joy to all those around him. 
his excitement for life is contagious. 
he has a fiery little spirit that is always on the go and has expressions for all of his emotions. 
you can read him like a book {just like his mama}. 
but like his dad, he is cautious and thinks before he acts. 
he loves an audience to entertain, the bigger the better. 
he will do anything to get a laugh. he cracks himself up on the daily. 
he is also the absolute biggest tease i know. {his papa gets the blame for that one} 
he is affectionate and animated.

he is my firstborn, how i love him so.
happy birthday carter!!

Oct 9, 2014


3 big things happened in september.

number 1
one of my best friend's got engaged to her one and only.

this was one exciting day.
me and mary are best friends since the womb people. 
we are the real deal. 
our mom's knew we each other when we were in their tummies, we came out playing together
and have never stopped. we picked up a few more besties along the way and have never looked back.
i am a lucky person to have the best friends i do. 
they have completely changed my life, for the better.
i love them like my own family.

number 2
daron's sister, becca, returned home from her mission.

she was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 18-months in the stockholm, sweden mission.
how we love having her back!
the family feels complete again.
and i couldn't be more impressed by her decision to serve. missions are not easy.
 i am so proud of her for accomplishing such an incredible thing. 
i say to her what she said to her friends and family at the end of each weekly letter,
puss och kram, becca!
(hugs and kisses)

number 3
i turned the big quarter of a century!
it was actually kind of a rough day. daron had strep and was feeling awful. i was exhausted from the weekend pulling off the engagement and traveling to CO. once we finally arrived home, i knew it was either cry from exhaustion or take a nap. 

i took a nap ;) 

daron and i decided celebrating later would be best.
but then a few of those best friends i was talking about earlier dropped their plans to come hang out with my birthday self. 
they saved the day. 
they are the sweetest.

we ate at a unique, fun restaurant in LA and then, per my request, ate our weight in cheesecake. 

it tuned out to be a good birthday.

Sep 11, 2014

santorini, greece!

it was a really hard decision to pick where to go for our belated honeymoon. we were going back and forth between different places when one day we met an older gentlemen at a very random party. he made it known he was very into travel so i asked him where daron and i should go for our honeymoon. he started gushing about santorini, greece and explained how he had just returned with his wife and it was the most romantic place they had ever been to. anyway, the guy was convincing! i hadn't even considered santorini. i can't tell you how grateful i am for that random stranger! at times, daron and i considered eliminating santorini all together because it was more expensive and tricky to get to than many other places we could have gone. in the end, it was most definitely worth the extra travel time.

daron and i arrived in imerovigli sunday evening. after being completely lost and barely finding our hotel by nightfall, we still had time to enjoy the best part of santorini - sunsets over the glistening aagean sea. we plopped our stuff down, sat on our balcony and were in awe of the stillness of such a large body of water. the peacefulness of santorini surprised me and daron. we had just come from lively positano where you sit on your balcony and can hear the chit chatter of the town late into the night. 

this place was so still.  

the next day, we rented four wheelers and explored the island. we started out visiting the lighthouse and worked our way up taking in the landscape and all the unique beaches santorini has to offer. our favorite beach was red beach. it has red cliffs and sand, crystal clear water and no naked people. :) daron and i spent the most time on this beach because there were some fun rocks to jump off and little islands you could swim out to. 
^red beach

the landscape of this next beach was amazing to me and daron. i felt like we were in afganistan. we also took a dip here because the water felt so good but we didn't stay long. too many boobies!

that night, we took the four wheeler to the postcard city of Oia. for me, Oia far surprassed all the other places we went to as far as aesthetics. i could have starred at the city alllll night. the twinkling lights everywhere are so magical. it really is heaven on earth. 

^the twinkling! gah! i couldn't get enough of it.

Oia really comes alive at night. one reason we stayed in imerovigli is because we heard it would be really crowded in the Oia. there is only one pathway for people to walk down to get through the city so it does get crowded. daron is repulsed by crowds, i actually don't mind them. surprising we are opposite, huh!? ;) 
^still blows my mind we actually were there!
i'm so glad we have proof to remind me it wasn't in my dreams!

the very last day of our trip was spent enjoying the delicious breakfast served to us on our balcony of homemade jams, yummy breads and orange juice because no, we don't drink coffee. i will never forget people's faces after we would tell him we don't drink coffee. it was as if two aliens appeared before them. i was actually looking forward to not having to say that sentence back in the states. 

after breakfast, we headed off to our tour of the island by boat. we toured the volcano and hot springs, went swimming, and spent our last night in Oia. 
^i wanted to try octopus sooooo bad.
but i chickened out! 
^a beautiful, delicious, affordable restaurant we ate at.
3 wins in my book!

every night, hundreds of other tourists gather at the end of the island to watch the sunset. this was a really cool experience. once the sun officially dips down, every one starts cheering and clapping. 

wish list:

- visit the white beaches santorini has to offer. you can reach these only by boat. 
- next time, daron and i would love to do a sail boat tour instead of the generic tour by boat. the white sand beaches are included in this too!
- take a hike to the point in imerovigli during sunrise
- eat octopus ;)
- and stay loooonnngggeeerrr!

and that's a wrap!

i hope to one day relive this wonderful adventure!