December 5, 2017

Family Pictures

Before Thanksgiving we had some family pictures taken in Santa Clarita by the talented Jen Martin and I love how they turned out.
Nora is a bit, shall we say, strong-willed and I had been prepping her for weeks for this. She only likes to wear what she picks out so I was nervous she'd throw a fit the day of but thankfully, everyone cooperated and we got some nice pictures (even if she had to be a ham).

 I think the photographer asked the kids to look at their favorite sibling and this was the result.

My kids say that this one is "Have a. Merry. CHRISTMAS!"

At this point, I think everyone was more than ready to be done.

December 4, 2017


Oh the house of my dreams! 
(beware: this post is probably a bit too emotional and introspective -- so just scan the photos if you aren't into that)
I cannot believe we accepted a job offer, went house hunting, did tons of little repairs, repainted, laid rocks in the front yard, packed and packed and packed, and actually moved all within ONE month. Oh and also, throw in Thanksgiving too.
November was probably one of the craziest months of our lives.

We've always talked about moving as our kids have gotten older for a variety of reasons, but this move just came so dang fast I didn't really have time to prepare myself for all that it entailed. This was the house we brought Nora home to as a baby, where we brought Benji to after his heart surgery and yes, where his snake bite also occurred. It's where Peter broke his arm and where both boys learned to ride a bike. It's where Benji and Nora took their first steps and said their first words. It's also where I've hosted mommy and me preschool with all three kids and where Benji and Peter both started school. We've hosted a wedding, so many parties, we got a dog (sniff, sniff), and just really enjoyed a great life in our gorgeous home.

I think part of what has made the transition so hard (besides you know, moving halfway across the state) is that since the cost of living is so much higher in Silicon Valley, we will most likely be renting for years to come in a much smaller, older house for waaayyy more money that we were paying on our mortgage. Which is total first world problem, I know. But apparently, Change Is Hard.

Goodbye beautiful kitchen and house.

One of the quickest ways I knew for our new house to feel like home was to fill the bookshelves. Decorating for Christmas also didn't hurt :)

The boys have done okay with the transition. I had a very insightful conversation the week before we moved with Peter. We were in the car and I asked him how he was feeling about the move. He told me, he felt so-so. When I pressed him, he said, "Well, I don't always get along with people here."
Me: "Is anyone mean to you?"
Peter: "No, it's not that. It's just, I have Nehemiah (his best friend) and Logan, but other than that, I don't really fit in with people here. They're still nice. It's just like if we were all a big puzzle, we'd all fit together but I'd be the one inch tall puzzle piece and stick way out. But I'm hoping where we go that everyone is a one inch tall puzzle piece."
I could not believe his insight and the metaphor that perfectly illustrated his feelings. That kid blows me away.
Since we've been in Sunnyvale, Peter has really been welcomed in by the kids in his class and already has a few friends. It also didn't hurt that on his second day of school his class went on a field trip to the Tech Museum. 
But he does have quite a bit of work to do to catch up with his new class coming in during the  middle of the semester and that has had him feeling a bit overwhelmed and blue. But otherwise, he's been pretty low-key and happy with the changes. Mostly, I think he's glad to finally have his own room.

Benji really likes living in a neighborhood with both school and a great park within walking distance. He was pretty against the move from the start but we weren't surprised about that. He handles change just about as well as I do (which is to say, not too great). His first day of school, Travis and I both took him to class and his teacher was incredibly nice and open but he totally started bawling when we left. It just about broke our hearts to leave him but he said he really liked it when I picked him up after school. 
He loves his sweet teacher and is already making friends in his class too.

Nora has been pretty chill since we've moved out here. She does keep asking me when she gets to start ballerina class again (I've got her signed up for one that starts in January). She loves walking with the boys to and from school every day and has met some friends from primary too. I keep looking for a preschool option for her, but I think that will have to wait until next year.

So we are slowly get accustomed to all the changes this move has brought. But so far, we are impressed with the beautiful weather and super nice people. Travis especially loves his job and loves to tell me what amazing thing they were served for lunch that day. He's also started riding his bike to work, which he seems to really like and isn't quite as frustrating as spending 50 minute in traffic every day for the 9 miles to drive home.

November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving with the Novaks

We spent Thanksgiving with our dear friends the Novaks. I have no idea what I am going to do without Barbara when we move. They are our adopted family and we are going to miss them all so very much.

Peter and Benji having fun with the Pound Puppies set. I'm sure this will be blackmail-worthy in a few years.

We usually spend Christmas Eve with the Novaks and Barbara always brings Christmas crackers -- but since we'll be gone by then (sniff, sniff), she had some for us to open with our dinner. 

Delish food and the best company. My absolute favorite things in this world.

November 22, 2017

Goodbye to Edwards

Of the many goodbyes we've had to make the past month, saying goodbye to all of Travis' co-workers has made us very sad. As a proper send-off, we had an adults-only trip to Six Flags one day. It turns out that screaming your lungs out on roller coasters is a great stress reliever.

I took the kids up to the base for Travis' fini-flight. Basically, Travis flew around for 1.5 hrs in a F-16 while the pilot did all sorts of crazy maneuvers. Upon landing, their entire team was waiting on the tarmac. The tradition is, the 'honoree' is pulled out of the jet and restrained (tackled and bound up with duck tape) and then sprayed down with cheap champagne and fire extinguishers.
It's quite the production and it didn't help that it was freezing outside and poor Travis got drenched after having pulled 6 or 7 G's consistently and was feeling a bit queasy.
But it was great to be there to celebrate with him -- it was an awesome perk. Notice his personalized flight helmet behind us.

November 20, 2017

Horse Crazy

Ever since school started back, I've been taking horseback riding lessons at a ranch near our house. I've loved being able to be outside in the sun and my buns and thighs have been getting quite the workout. 

This has been my view every Tuesday morning and I couldn't love it more. 

Meet Noah.
He's teaching me to run the poles and ride barrels. 

And of course, I needed the proper footwear.

We've read several cowboy books with Benji lately and he kept asking and asking to take riding lessons with me. We finally were able to schedule a day with my teacher and he had a ball. 
He was fearless and followed directions like a champ and talked out riding non-stop for days afterwards. He still asks me every couple of days when he's gonna get to go again. I guess he comes by it honestly.