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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A whole new world

Jake has now officially experienced "food." I use that term loosely, because I can't imagine that brown rice cereal is all that fantastic, but you know. It's opened the door to a whole new world for his little taste buds and we're already having so much fun with it.
His first cereal feeding was hilarious. He started out all excited, like, "Sitting on the table is the best!" But that excitement was followed quickly with, "What on earth are you doing to me? And why?"
(You'll have to excuse our baby voices in these video clips.)

Jake was so not into it, and it was so funny watching his reaction, which could initially only be described as utter disgust. He warmed up to it a little more as we went on, but mostly just because we let him play with the spoon and the bowl. The bowl was extra fun, apparently. Especially when he flung it across the room! Let me tell you, he was quite pleased with himself for getting rid of his nemesis.
Let's just say Jakey was happy when it was all over... and even happier when he got to take a bath.
Round two was definitely more successful. Jake gave that cereal quite the side eye at the beginning though. "Oh. This again."
But as it turns out, cereal isn't so bad after all!
A week later, my little cereal hater is now a cereal lover and he gets really excited when he sees the bowl and spoon. He'll be six months old next week(!), so we'll jump into solids then. I have a feeling he's going to like them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Italy and Catan

News of our impending move made me realize just how awful I've been at documenting our more regular activities here in Southern California, like our daily walks around the park, last summer's block parties, Saturday tennis matches, or dinners with friends. You just don't think about whipping out a camera when it's so typical, you know? That's one thing I really regretted from our time in Colorado. We spent nearly every Friday night for 2.5 years at Anthony's house and have maybe ten photos to show for it, and that's a bummer.

So this weekend, even though we just laid low with some spring cleaning and a night at the Moores, I made sure to whip out the camera because we really want to remember those simple good times. With Duane and Kaley, that is -- not the Clorox. Our night consisted of homemade pizza, fancy soda, cookies and ice cream, Settlers of Catan, and hours of conversation. The girls talked about important things like nursery decorations (they're having a girl in June!) while the boys talked about nerdy things like engineering. You know how it goes.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I never thought I'd say this, but...

We are moving to Utah!

Matt just received orders to PCS to Hill Air Force Base at the end of the summer. It's something we never really considered at this point in our lives, and we're still trying to wrap our heads around it. When we found out we'd be moving, we had hoped to either relocate in California or go on a grand adventure. But when it came down to it, our options were Ohio, New Mexico, or Utah. Needless to say, we are thrilled with Hill. Living in Utah means we'll save lots of leave (since, if you haven't noticed, we use all of Matt's days off to visit Utah for holidays and weddings), have plenty of fun outdoors, and -- most importantly -- spend lots of time with family and friends. We'll be there for 2-4 years and will then embark on another adventure.
Of course, Matt and I want to live and die in Southern California -- we intend to move here for good when Matt gets out of the military -- and plan to have one big party for the remainder of our time in the happiest place on earth (oh, you thought that was Disneyland? It's this whole half of the state, my friends).

This was originally supposed to be a 4-year assignment, which meant we would move in the summer of 2013. Being the planner that I am, I had all of our major adventures mapped out clear through June of next year. This year, 2012, was going to be especially fun because we had deemed it our "Year of California," in which we would forgo any "big" trip (think flying over oceans) and explore our home state with lots of little trips throughout the year instead. Ah, but I should have known better than to put all my eggs in one military basket. Medium-ish story very short, our "Year of California" has now become our "8 months of California," and a very busy remaining-6 months they will be. Our calendar is packed, as are our bags!

Many happy memories to come.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Saturday in Santa Monica

Over the past few years, Santa Monica has become our go-to date. We get a little smell of the ocean, walk on the beach, window shopping on the Promenade, and a yummy dessert all in one outing. Last Saturday, we were back again with our Jakey in tow. It's all about the family dates these days.
I love the views of the pier and Malibu from Ocean Avenue.
Ah, I just love Santa Monica! (Don't even get me started with how jealous I am of Coley and Jordan for moving there this summer! Lucky ducks, those two.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

While we were gone

It's no secret that long-distance relationships make you good at goodbyes. So while I know I'll miss Matt when we're apart, we're both perfectly fine with short separations. But suddenly, throw a baby into the mix and it's a whole new ballgame. I felt all sorts of guilty taking Jakey away from Matt for seven whole days! Thank goodness for Skype keeping my baby in touch with his daddy throughout the week.
Jake got so excited every time he saw Matt on the computer screen and tried his best to grab and eat his daddy's face, to no avail. So when Matt walked in the door just after bathtime one night, Jake was thrilled!
Although, Jake seemed a bit unsure if this daddy was really real, or just more of that computer screen business. He checked the best way he knew how -- by eating Matt's nose. Jake was quite pleased when it worked! That little guy loves his daddy.
"Are you real?"
"Yes, you are!"
 "It's my dad!"
I mentioned earlier that this pre-Jon's-wedding trip ended up much differently than I had planned. It was originally meant to be filled with play time and lunch dates with friends that I never get to see since trips to Utah are normally so packed with family things. But then just a few days before our flight, my Grandpa Smith was rushed to the ER and hospitalized. And nine hours after my arrival, he was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer and given just a few months to live. Needless to say, this trip ended up being very much centered around family and I am so grateful for that. I don't think it was a coincidence that Jake and I were there when we were needed most. I got to help at home and spend time with my Grandpa, and Jake got to be the bright spot for everyone.
Jake and I visited my Grandpa every day, except the one when he was finally released from the hospital and sent to a rehabilitation center (since he wasn't yet well enough to return to his assisted living home) and was too busy for visitors. That night, when my mom took her shift by his bedside, he asked her where his little grandson was. I'm so glad that Jake was able to establish a relationship with his Great-Grandpa and be a source of happiness for him during a hard time.
Our stay also coincided with my Grandma Smith's birthday, which meant we got to party with my Smith cousins that I don't see nearly enough.
Jake also got to catch one of Kaleb's basketball games, hang out with his aunts and uncles, and cuddle up with both sets of grandparents.
More pictures of the trip:

At last, it was time for our little Cub to head home. My backseat buddy was a gem and slept for most of the drive to California.
So long until the next wedding event, Utah.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sleepovers and such

Sleepover parties are all the rage around here! Last weekend, Jake, Matt and I all had sleepovers with our best friends and it was fantastic. Matt's Air Force Academy buddies had a Mormon-style bachelor party on Friday night (read: steak, ping pong and an ex-girlfriend-picture-burning-party) so he spent the night at Mike's parents' house in SLC while I took Jake to Idaho Falls so I could hang out with Liz and he could play with Isaac. It was so nice to spend quality time with our BFFs!
On Saturday, we met up in Twin Falls, Idaho for Jon and Erin's wedding. Jon was one of Matt's best friends at the Academy, and Erin is Chase's little sister, so we've known them both for a long time and were so happy to see them finally tie the knot. Another bonus was meeting Mike's new fiancee Aimee, who we fell in love with right away. It's wedding season already!
My boys looked so handsome!
The Arch of Sabers
Matt, Chase, Mike, Jason and Dan.
I also got to go out to dinner with two different sets of former coworkers while we were in Utah and had a blast! They made work far more exciting than it should have been, and after all these years, we still have such a great time together. On our long drive home, Matt and I couldn't stop talking about how lucky we are to have so many great friends. They're all just such good people and are so fun to be around. We love you all!
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