Thursday, December 31, 2009

Love and marriage

This past Sunday, John and I had the privilege of attending J's friend, Austin, and Rachel's wedding in Coronado. John knew Austin back from college and we photographed their engagement last year.

I love weddings. Especially when the Lord is the center of the day.

This wedding reminded me of my own wedding almost two years ago. The joy of Rachel and Austin mirrored the joy of each bride and groom on their day. And John and I on ours.

The moment I got to grab my husband's hand for the first time... the hand with a wedding band on it... and walk out past loved ones and friends... and breathe. :)The first dance. Theirs was choreographed. Perfect for them.
Ours was not. But it was perfect for us.We even caught them for a quick photo. The wedding day is the one day in life when the bride and groom are famous. Everyone wants to see you. Talk to you. Take pictures with you. Everyone is there for you. It's humbling.
John got to hang out with his buddies, many of whom were at our wedding. And one of which was in our wedding.
I love weddings because they remind me of how special our wedding was. Of how blessed I am to have my husband. And how fun it is to get to go to weddings married. To come together and leave together. I am such a lucky girl.

Confessions of a mini traveler

On Monday, J and I headed up on our much anticipated little getaway to Santa Barbara for a couple of days. I was so excited to go to a new place, see the sights, and stay at a cute little bed and breakfast. Definitely one of my new favorite getaway places!

We made the trek in my handy dandy explorer, so J took footage of the ride up. We drove through the very center of downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood.
We saw the capital records building.
And we sat in a lot of traffic!
And then, we were suddenly driving along both the mountains and the ocean. Never have I seen that before. Amazing!
We finally made it to our much anticipated destination after 4.5 hours on the road. It was so worth it.
Seriously the cutest room ever! I was so glad I searched individual rooms for the perfect place. This was perfect. We headed out for dinner at this yummy Italian restaurant and walked around to see the sights. We were only three blocks from downtown Santa Barbara and the little shopping strip, which of course I planned. :)
I love to look at life through my husband's eyes. He finds the most random things and takes pictures of them. And then I think, huh that was kinda cute. Like this newspaper stand.
And the city lights. This wasn't quite as random. But I love how he sees it.The next morning we awoke to breakfast at our front door.
Apple pancakes, fruit, and orange juice. Adorable and tasty.

After breakfast, we headed down State Street to do some shopping in the cute stores as we strolled down to the beach. I love that J said, did you wanna go in there? at nearly every little nic-nac shop. I love my Vacation J, as he calls himself.
I resisted buying most things, but did manage to snag a few of these adorable little journals in both green and pink. I have been wanting one to make lists in and keep in my purse. I got 4!
We got to walk though this cool tunnel.
15 blocks later, we made it to the beach.
I must say, our San Diego beaches are just as pretty. That made me thankful for my little city down south. And for the opportunity to travel, so that I can see other beauties and still appreciate what I have.

We headed back up the street a bit to a fun and hip little lunch cafe where we chilled for a bit while eating sandwiches. I felt like we were ditching work or something, being out and about on a Tuesday afternoon. And I loved it.
On our way back, we stopped for some yogurt. That was my idea. Which was obvious when my yogurt was about 3x as big as J's was.
We went back home and I watched a movie while J read. Then we went to dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant. Followed by Starbucks and goal setting in my new little notebooks.
I love that we think so alike on so many things. We share each others' dreams and goals, and I love talking about those. We always do this around the new year, and I love this tradition.

We woke up to another beautiful breakfast served to our room. Complete with a little salt and pepper.
We had so much fun together. I love trips with John. He is my best friend and my travel buddy. We took one more photo before heading home to see our little bear, whom we missed big time. Thankfully, Auntie Carly took care of her and sent us a picture of her. We looked at it, oh, quite often. :) On the way home, we thought smart and took the 405 instead of the 5. Best decision ever.

Emma was so excited to see us when we got home. Especially her daddy.
I love that my husband and I get to take trips together. I love even more that we get to come home together.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Emma's 1st Christmas travels

We had a little downtime at home to relax with our bear on her first Christmas before heading over to John's parents' house. Emma also enjoyed some snacks from Santa. Of course.
Then we put the little one's leash on, loaded up the presents and us in the car, and headed down the road.

Kris always has such a perfect and beautifully decorated tree. And she's so sweet to hang a stocking for me as well as John and Sam. That's my white one.
Sam was home! John buddied up to his brother almost immediately. Brotherly love! I'm learning all about it :)
Emma even sat with him! Emma is pretty shy of strange men, which of course she classified Sam as, so when she went up to him on her own and sat down, I smiled proudly at the big step of bravery my little one had taken. They are friends now!
We had some nice conversation time with John's grandmas, and had a little photo op before dinner. We had a lovely steak dinner, and then all nestled on the couches and chairs for present opening. Emma got the first present, of course. We have identified that she is the favorite. It's because she's the first granddog.
Grandma and Grandmama had wrapped their gifts so cute!
Emma waited patiently... not. She paced and begged for attention and climbed all over everywhere. Good thing she is so loved!
My handsome honey.
And our little family.
Thank you so much for such a special evening, J and K. We love everything and had a great time.

I am truly so blessed to have such a wonderful family and family-in-law that has welcomed me so warmly into their family. God knew what he was doing when he came up with the idea of family. :)

Thank you, Jesus, for being born so we can come together and celebrate your coming, your dying, your rising, and your saving grace.

To Grandma's house we go

Every year since I can remember, whenever I spent Christmas with my mom instead of my dad, we went to Grandma's house. I love love love going to Grandma's house on Christmas. My family doesn't have a lot of routine things we do, but Christmas morning is an affair to remember. This year, John and I met my parents over there for breakfast.

The thing about my family is that it's big. As in, there are a lot of us. So, the tree is always so exciting. There is no tree like Grandma's tree on Christmas morning.
We always have a huge breakfast full of yummy foods. Then we head into the living room, stake out our spots around the room, and my cousins pass out the presents. My sister and I did it until I was about 18, and then I decided it was time to let my little cousins (who are not so little anymore) pass them out. Since that is of course the funnest job. Then it gets crazy. People are yelling,
Thanks Grandma!
Thanks Aunt Lindy!
Look Mom!

What'd you get? Oh cool!
It's the best!!
My mom found my littlest cousin, Nick, and helped him open her gift. He loved his new lion.
My grandma got glovittens just like mine! She was so excited.
John and Carly usually buddy up and take pictures together. I love that they love each other!
Steve got a neck massager, which he tried out a couple different ways :)
Grandma had gotten a digital camera for her birthday that she still didn't know how to use. I told her I would show her how and she would love it once she understood it. And boy did she!

She started off by saying, isn't this how you do it? You hold it out in like this? Is it pointing at us? I was cracking up. She's so hip.
Yay she gets it! She was so excited that she could see the picture on the screen and that it looked good. I am so proud of her!

And my most amazing beautiful ladies whom I love so much.
Christmas is the best. It was a bummer that we didn't feel good this year - John has been sick - but we still had a great time. It is always amazing to get everyone together.