Christmas 2016: Highlights
Are you there?
Am I here? Maybe? What year is it? 2017?! Whew. I couldn’t take one more second of 2016.
There is truly no more motivating way to enter a new year than with a snazzy case of influenza, featuring a very loud and fairly constant cough and severe body aches. Since touching down in St. Louis on December 29th—also Ethan’s sixth birthday—I’ve felt like doing pretty much not one single thing other than blow my nose and sleeeeeeeeeep.
Then the rest of the family got sick too, including my mom who was visiting for the week. It was awesome.
But now, today, January 9th, I’m finally starting to feel like myself. The part that really gets me is I lost so much of the momentum gained from our amazing holiday break. Seven days in California celebrating Christmas with Stu’s family and exploring gorgeous San Francisco…it was incredible! Ethan turned six! We started a new year! I turned 3-…another year older!
So let’s focus on all that stuff in a few “highlights”…because I want to write about all of it in great detail but it would take you a week to read a post that long and I don’t have the stamina to write it. Therefore, here’s some bullet points to sum it all up until I get a few more posts done.
1. Christmas with Stu’s family in California was amazing! We flew into San Francisco then drove down to Paso Robles to a house full of cousins and siblings. We didn’t see much of Ethan as he and the other big kids played all. day. long. It was awesome. Finn bumbled around with his week-younger cousin Peyton. We saw Stu’s dad play keyboard with his band, my favorite part was his keytar solo on The Power Of Love…it was face melting. It was mighty chilly so we spent only about five minutes on the beach in Cambria, but the kids didn’t seem to mind the temps and spent tons of time exploring grandma and grandpa’s backyard. We consumed tons of food and Firestone 805 beers and laughed a lot.
2. The day after Christmas we headed north to Monterey for an afternoon at the aquarium. Stu and I visited this place ages ago, on my very first trip to meet Stu’s family in California when we were dating in college (14 years ago to be exact), so we were a little nostalgic about being there again—this time with the kiddos in tow. My favorite creature was the octopus, Ethan liked the moray eels. Finn was totally jazzed about the whole place before he passed out cold in the stroller, allowing the rest of us to take our sweet time.
3. Next stop, San Francisco! We spent three nights in San Francisco, another place Stu and I visited back in the day, before kids. Our first morning was spent across the Golden Gate Bridge in Muir Woods, a place we’ve been learning about throughout the last year. We were mesmerized by the giant trees in the gorgeous forest and could have spent all day wandering the paths—too bad we had a two year old with us.We stopped at the Palace of Fine Arts after crossing back over the bridge (even if I drove that every day I’d still be exhilarated!!) and walked over to the beach for a family pic…but the boys just wanted to play in the sand. By some miracle they sat for this picture.
That night we had booked the worlds most expensive babysitter (but she was amazing) through a service and had a proper date night. We walked a few blocks to the Yerba Buena Garden then on to Union Square to see the lights and festivities before popping into a couple places for drinks and dinner.
4. Day two in San Francisco included a walk through Chinatown and continued to Fisherman’s Wharf for clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls—over five miles of walking and Ethan handled it like a pro. We meandered through the streets exploring, stopping in a shop or at a park or to watch a street artist work. The sun was shining and the boys seemed to enjoy everything.
They were pretty excited to take the street car home from the Ferry Building…we were all exhausted. We ended the day in the hotel pool, which was tiny but totally perfect for our boys.
5. Ethan’s sixth birthday was our day of departure, so we stopped at the Lego Store the night before to let him pick out a new set. We grabbed breakfast at Tartine Manufactory and played at a fantastic park overlooking the city skyline before catching our flight. To Ethan’s absolute delight, the whole plane sang him happy birthday. Southwest is the best!
6. Our first egg!! The day we arrived home from our trip we were surprised to find our lady Rex had left us a gift. I think they may have missed us, it was just to timely. Now each day we head out to collect our one little “fairy egg”, always with the anticipation of finding a second or third. Remarkably, the chickens are all 100x more friendly now that they are full “hens”, they follow us around for pets and love treats. And the eggs are delicious!
7. My mom paid us a visit for some grandson snuggle time but I have not one picture because I was sick when she arrived and she was sick when she left so pictures were the last things we wanted. But it was great, the boys loved the one on one time with her and I appreciated the post-holiday help!
8. Ethan’s birthday party was a Bowling Bash shared with his classmate and our neighbor, Will. It was the most low-key birthday party I’ve ever thrown—didn’t include a single homemade decoration—and was super tons of fun. The kids had a blast. Finn only had his fingers run over in the ball return once, so I consider it a success.
9. And finally, I increased my age by one year. We celebrated in a dive-y bar, with dear friends and plenty of karaoke, till the wee hours. I may have needed ALL day Sunday to recover, but it was worth every minute.
There I did it, I made a blog post. It’s been ages since my last post and I’ve had a gnawing dread each time I decided to forgo writing. The question of whether to keep the blog going has crossed my mind, does it make sense anymore? Does it need a revamp, a new name? My kids are no longer “peanuts”, more like just “nuts”, but the thought of doing a redesign and redirect seems exhausting in this moment.
Look out for possible changes in the future, until then I’ll be making an effort to post more because at the end of the day I really still enjoy keeping this “journal”. It still works it’s magic of helping me stay on top of photo editing and life documenting.
So happy new year! Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday.