Thursday, December 29, 2011

Max's First Cal Game!


For Christmas Max and Tyler got tickets to the Holiday Bowl from my mom and Max was just beyond shocked that he was going to get to go see the Bears play!! (Unfortunately he had to watch them get beat embarrassingly by Texas although he didn't seem to really notice and was just so excited that "CAL SCORED 10 WHOLE POINTS!!).

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The game wasn't until 5pm but all day he wore is Cal t-shirt with his Cal jersey over it and his Cal hat. And he would have worn his new Puma light up shoes but they had red on them so he opted for his Vans (his idea). He was SO SO excited!! Tyler said he was just beaming and loving every single second of being there. He even got to meet Oski!! I wish I could have been there, too, but Lia would have never lasted.




They sat with one of Tyler's friends from Cal, another diehard fan, and he taught Max some cheers. Max was ALL over the cheering! 



Seriously, this was 100% a dream come true for this little kid. He just kept saying it was the best thing ever. He came home exhausted but the happiest I think I've ever seen him. Such a funny cute boy! Too bad he didn't get to see them win. But like I said, he didn't really get that they didn't! He was pretty psyched that when they did score their ONLY touchdown he got a kit-kat.


Tyler said he never got tired or whiny or bored or anything at all. I think we have another lifelong diehard fan on our hands!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day-ing

The morning was filled with a flurry of wrapping paper and new toys and delicious egg nog waffles and rushing around to pack for an overnight in LA. I think I decided I'd be part of the unwrapping instead of having a camera strapped to my hand so there aren't all that many photos (again, photo taking fail by me!) I know we got some video though!

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The kids, of course, were beyond excited when they walked out and saw all the presents!! Lia got her giant giraffe from Santa, a scooter, some legos, a new doll carriage, a backpack with her name on it, a Woody doll and a Slinky Dog (her current obsession is anything Toy Story so now she has almost everyone!), a Leapster and so many more presents it's hard to even keep track.

Max got a new scooter since his got stolen, SO many lego sets, a new wiggle car, some movies, a Nerf gun, Puma light up shoes, a Flash costume... SO MUCH STUFF!!

Tyler surprised me with a gorgeous new necklace. I love that he likes to get me jewelry. It's something I never buy for myself and he always picks out the prettiest things. He knows my tastes better than me!


I surprised him with 12 months of preplanned, prepaid dates. Each month he opens an envelope on the first day of the month to see what the date will be (January is a whale watching cruise), we pick a date right then (if we can, kind of depends on his schedule) and get Danielle to come watch our kids! The kids got him some Cal stuff for his car and my mom surprised both Max and Tyler with tickets to the Holiday Bowl to watch Cal play!! I wish you could have all seen Max's face when we told him what the tickets were for. It was truly priceless. He was just in utter shock. The got some cal gear to go with it, too -- Max an Oski sweatshirt and Lia a pink Cal t-shirt.

After breakfast we loaded up the car and drove up to LA to meet up with Tyler's brother Cory and his parents. Cory lives up in LA now so it was a good meeting spot for us to get together. Sally cooked a delicious Christmas dinner of ham and potatoes and we of course had homemade pie and played games. I was actually feeling pretty lame most of the day thanks to the wonderful flu, but it was still nice to spend time with everyone, especially for the kids -- the LOVE Cory and they love Grammie and Papa!

After dinner we took a walk on the Venice Canals (no, not Italy, ha, I wish!) It was perfect! The kids took their scooters and it was just a wonderful ending to such a happy Christmas for us.


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That night Tyler and I took advantage of a hotel voucher we had that was going to expire and stayed there while the kids and Sally and Kevin stayed at Cory's house. Luckily we did though because I was up ALL night with horrible coughing spells. Seriously bad ones. The next day I woke up feeling SO horrible but took as much cold medicine as I could handle and sucked it up. I was a little freaked out when everyone decided they wanted to ride bikes on the beach because for one, I hadn't ridden a bike in literally 13 or 14 years AND two, like I said, I was feeling SO so sick. But, it's really hard to argue with Kevin when he gets motivated to have fun (thankfully I'm totally used to this :).




I am SO glad I got on that bike!! First, getting on a bike after a decade isn't that big a deal after all. A few wobbly pushes on the peddles and it's like you never took a break. I guess it was extra fun that that old adage "it's just like riding a bike" is 100% true. Anyway... this was seriously one of the most fun things they've ever made me do. I loved it! The path was perfectly flat, the weather was perfectly sunny and not to hot, the kids were perfectly happy in their bike trailer with snacks and water and the fresh air just felt heavenly! I seriously could have ridden on that bike all day. It was awesome!





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After the bike riding we spent a little while on the beach letting the kids run around. In the late afternoon we packed the kids in the car and headed back to San Diego. This Christmas was seriously so so good and happy! I liked being able to do our own traditions and outings and baking. Seeing some family, too, was an added bonus!!





Such a great Christmas this year! I have a feeling that this might be Max's last Christmas believing in Santa (and thus, Lia's because how do you really prevent that?) which is a relief and a little sad at the same time. Part of my wish that he would just figure it out is that I'm a little jealous Santa gets so much credit for picking out such awesome presents. Plus, I'm not a big fan of lying to the kids about stuff like that. It's kind of hard to avoid it and as long as it's not detracting from what Christmas is really about I guess it's not a big deal in the end. Anyway... I'm just really grateful this year for getting to spend it with my sweet little family!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve-ing

Despite a few glitches in our vacation time (post about that to come later) I look back on the few days we celebrated Christmas just the four of us and I can't help but smile. Christmas Eve day was filled with last minute present shopping, LOTS of baking and an amazing little outing to watch the sunset at Wind 'N Sea beach. It actually couldn't have been more perfect.


That morning, as I attempted my hand at baking rolls and failing miserably (bread is definitely NOT my thing) Tyler decided to don one of my aprons and plant himself in the kitchen baking away! He made two kinds of cookies and a complicated but delicious Finnish bread called Pulla. I had never had if before and was pleasantly surprised not only by Tyler's mad baking skills but by how delicious it was! He ended up with enough dough to make 3 huge loaves and took some with us to Cory's house on Christmas Day.


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Tyler also made gingerbread cookies and peanut butter blossoms. Like I said, he did a LOT of baking!! The kids were having kind of a rough day and found that Buddy (our Elf on the Shelf) had left them a message when no one was looking that said Santa was going to just fly right over our house without stopping if they didn't shape up. The note seriously worked and they were SO much nicer the rest of the day!


Later in the day we all drew names out of a hat and got $5 each to spend on the person we chose. Max chose me and got me another oven mitt. Lia had Max and got him some lightning McQueen stuff. I had Tyler and got him some random stuff and Tyler had Lia (I'm forgetting what we all ended up getting each other). It was a fun little tradition! Max and Lia also got some gift cards from a friend of ours to Toys R Us and since they had already gotten some from family members for themselves, we convinced them to use them to buy presents for each other and they loved it!

We then headed out to my favorite beach Wind 'N Sea, to explore the caves and tide pools and watch the sunset. The photos will show you how absolutely gorgeous it was. Perfection. Truly. The kids had a blast running through the sand and finding crabs and shells. It felt like we hadn't been to the beach in forever and it was extra special to be there on Christmas Eve, just the four of us, watching the sun set and enjoying every second being together.

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When we got home we found that the Elves had left new Christmas jammies (another tradition) on our doorstep for them to wear to bed. We showered the kids and ate our dinner (crab cakes and spaghetti with a tomato tuna sauce) and then read the story of Christ's birth from the bible. It was so nice and peaceful. We talked with the kids about why we truly celebrate this night, that it's not about presents and toys and treats. Max actually seemed to kind of get it. Lia not so much, I mean, she is only 3.


Christmas Eve just felt so nice this year. After the kids went to bed Tyler and I put all the presents under the tree. Luckily we had been on top of the wrapping so we weren't up past midnight trying to get it all done! Can you believe all the presents?? Those were ALL for the kids. They have incredibly generous and kind grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. It's no surprise that being in school is tough. And every year around July or August I start to stress about how we'll buy the kids Christmas presents that year. I want their little hearts to have everything they desire and I stress and stress about it. Obviously the stress is unnecessary! Even without Santa's presents and our presents our floor would be filled with lots! Christmas is just so much better with kids around!



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(P.S. I realize my photography skills this holiday were SERIOUSLY lacking!! Mostly we used our cheapy point and shoot, hence the extra grainy images. I was just totally burned out and had zero desire to pick up the Canon! Oh well... lesson learned!)