Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas in California

We arrived in California, Christmas afternoon after an easy flight. We had a beautiful dinner and retired first out of the group. We were all present with the exception of Uncle Tim. We awoke and celebrated our Christmas with breakfast and gift exchange. Davis enjoyed passing out presents, Noelani took a solid nap and Grace put everything in her mouth. We had a nice anniversary celebration with Mim and Pops at the winery before heading home to dinner prepared by Jeff and Kanani. Andrew and I headed out early (like 5AM!) the next morning to get to Andrew's tee time at Cypress. We had a wonderful 7th anniversary and birthday celebration for Andrew. We had not stayed at the Lodge since our wedding nigth. What a special time for us. We left the grounds only a couple of times and chose to eat all of our meals there. We visited the Church in the Forest and took a scenic drive on 17 mile. We returned home to a very sick girl and exhausted caretakers. Her cold lasted a good 7 days so we pushed our flight back a week to allow all of us to get back on track and rest. Davis enjoyed playing outside and riding his new balance bike from Mimi and Pops.  It was a gift to see our entire families this Christmas, with the exception of Uncle Tim, and to also have a very special getaway. Happy 2014!

he wore this hat all day, in Scottsdale, on the plane and into the next day to play Santa's helper

must be a cousin thing

pretty ornament from Mimi and Pops


her owl hat fit her just fine and kept her warm during her nap 
And Grace couldn't help but put more things in her mouth

tante reading The Cajun Night Before Christmas

And on a very foggy morning, Pops took us to the beach to jump in the waves and look for shells. There had been a very high tide that left so many shells. We came home with a bucket full of sanddollars. My toes were frozen!

She kept her mobility to a minimum while sick, but quickly got back on the move.

And by the end of the 2 weeks she was Grace again, our happy hen

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas at Home

We returned from New Orleans the night of the 23rd so we could spend our first Christmas with just our family of four in our own home and yes, so Santa could find us. We sat outside by the fire and shared a glass of wine with Ben and Lyndsay before dinner. Just the four of us had a nice dinner before Grace heading to bed. We read the birth story in Luke and I was so pleased that Davis referenced our Nativity. Davis set out cookies and milk for Santa and then listened to Andrew read . Davis awoke just at 7 and waited patiently for Grace to awake 15 min later. Davis opened gifts for himself and Grace while she ate the wrapping paper and our tree. This year Santa gave each child, something to wear, read, want and need. Davis' favorite was his firetruck and Grace's was her duckie pull toy that Davis gave her. He spent 30 min at Babies R Us deciding which one. It was cute to see his decision was the perfect one. We had a nice breakfast of fruit, breakfast casserole and homemade cinnamon rolls. Davis and I delivered some to the Sparks and Hayes families down the street in our pajamas before returning home to pack and leave the house by 12:30 for California. It was a memorable Christmas with just our family at home. It allowed us to take in the special moments more easily.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas with the Medleys

We ventured to New Orleans to celebrate Christmas with the Medleys and Tim's 70th birthday. It was ambitious but we pulled it off. We ventured there are little early to squeeze in some visits with Baton Rouge friends and to make the most of our time in NOLA. We arrived with 4 heavy suitcases, 2 car seats and 5 carry ons and one stroller. Not proud of it but we did it. It was Grace's first time to Louisiana and she did great. Despite sleeping in a closet, she didn't wake one time and took 2 beautiful girl.

Tuesday: NOLA arrival, meet Uncle William at the condo
Wednesday: Baton Rouge visit for the girls, NOLA day for the boys,  meet the boys at Mandina's for dinner
Thursday: Cafe du Monde, visit to the River, North Shore visits with Savoies and Jenkins; returned to the condo to meet Gran and Grandmother
Friday: Grand and Grandmother took Davis to the Audubon zoo for the day, rode the streetcar back home
Saturday: Davis to Farmer's market to get shrimp and listen to music with Gran and Grandmother, Auntie Kate arrives, Andrew & I stroll the Quarter looking at art, birthday toast at the condo before dinner at Galatoires.
Sunday: Pableaux Johnson took family pics, Poboys during the Saint's game, Christmas in the Oaks canceled due to weather; family dinner
Monday: return home :-(

Aunt Lynn & Uncle Ralph 
Isabel (5), Caroline (2), Grace and Davis. Sister was due anyday.
They loved on Grace so good and it made me want a sister for her.

Laurel, my college roommate, married Philips, Andrews college roommate. 
Davis oversaw Grandmother and Gran's gift exchange. 
And we toasted Tim with this beautiful bottle.
And for his birthday, a special bench will be placed in Margaret Place with a plaque that reads the above. I can already see him sitting on the bench, drinking coffee and reading the New York Times. 

 Margaret Place is a small park only a couple blocks from Lee Circle, named for Margaret Haughery (featuring a statue of her).  She was a renowned woman in New Orleans in the 1800s, largely known for her advocacy for children and orphans .

And Auntie Kate lead the bench effort.
Davis enjoyed reading the menu with Grandmother but was upset they did not have any pasta. none. He opted for some  etoufee, rice, some redfish and a lot of french bread
Sweet time with godfather
and Auntie Kate too.

and for the man of the hour... 
"now,how bout that!"
and after the restaurant sang 'Happy Birthday' to Gran and cheered loudly, Grace let out her first cry of the day...and we shared it with social media.  

Ash tray gifts from Gran were a hit. Mine is a Louisiana state with a large tiger - yes sir!
twins indeed!

love this exchange.