… and a happy new year!

But first a little Christmas recap…

So, everyone chose to gather here in California for Christmas… I guess the sunshine, warm weather and sandy beaches won out over snowy, cold mountains this year…  I am once again so thankful that despite yet another relocation, we were able to spend Christmas together with Nani, Popi, my brother and sister-in-law and the kids (“Ca” and “Eee” as Lincoln calls them).

We had our big dinner on Christmas Eve, and Lincoln dressed accordingly for our oh so fancy evening…

I was pretty obsessed with his little bowtie...

I was pretty obsessed with his little bow tie…

squinty eyes are a signature feature of the Lincoln smile...

squinty eyes are a signature feature of the Lincoln smile…

rarely captured on camera! Mom, Dad and child...

rarely captured on camera! Mom, Dad and child…

Nani, Popi, and three silly boys

Nani, Popi, and three silly boys

Of course Lincoln chose to sleep in on Christmas morning… The poor guy has five teeth coming in simultaneously and has had quite a few rough nights lately, which often lead to late awakenings…

But as soon as he was up, the present opening began (his two cousins waited very patiently for him to get up- not an easy task for a 6 and 7 year old!)

reading up on our new city…

After presents, we hopped in the car and drove down to Malibu to play at the beach.  It took Lincoln awhile, but once he warmed up to playing in/near the ocean, I could hardly tear him away.

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And now we begin a new year… {and a new look for the blog… I’m still tinkering with it…}
I imagine that by the end of this year, my little Lincoln will be a walking, talking, running, jumping little boy, without a trace of baby in sight… Lately he has just been picking up new words and left and right.  Although many of them are currently only decipherable by me (and sometimes husband), he is desperately trying to say everything.  It is quite amazing to witness.

I am also hoping to do some serious exploring in this new city we are calling home…  I’ve got the local parks down and we’ve seen a few sights (Santa Monica Pier and the promenade, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Disneyland- although Lincoln only lasted a few hours before a nap was a serious necessity), but I know there is A LOT more to see.

Happy 2014!

it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Okay, well not really here in Los Angeles… sunshine and 60 degree weather do not quite say “Christmas” to me… Not that I am complaining!  I hear about the arctic weather back in Chicago, and I feel lucky to be trotting around in a cardigan, rather than a parka.  (I have been pretty amused to see the locals dressing for this “winter” weather.  Lots of puffy coats, lots of Uggs… I mean, come on people!)

Anyway, I’ve been reading a book called, “The Last Child in the Woods” which is all about the importance of nature and the outdoors for children.  Living in a pretty urban setting, I’m not sure that Lincoln is getting the kind of idyllic self-directed interaction with the natural world that the book advocates, but I do try to make sure Lincoln gets some time outside every day.

Here are a few of our recent neighborhood walks…

we may not have snow, but at least we have leaves on the ground...

we may not have snow, but at least we have leaves on the ground…

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representing our Chicago Blackhawks out here in LA…

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Merry Christmas?

a very happy Thanksgiving

We had family in town for Thanksgiving and boy, oh boy…
Lincoln loved playing with his two older cousins.

Every day, all day, he couldn’t have been happier wrestling, bouncing around, and generally rough housing with the boys.

one of their calmer moments together...

one of their calmer moments together…

We made a Thanksgiving dinner {thank goodness for my mother-in-law & sister-in-law who handled nearly all of the cooking… while I wrangled my crazy toddler boy…}, visited the beach and the aquarium, and laughed a lot.
I can’t wait for everyone to be back in town for Christmas!

So, now that it is officially the Christmas season, I am feeling the holiday spirit!  Our tree is up, halls are being decked and Christmas carols are playing on the radio.

Today we went to The Grove and Lincoln was in awe of the giant Christmas tree…

now that's a big Christmas tree!

now that’s a big Christmas tree!

attempting to see the top of the tree...

attempting to see the top of the tree…

And, as always, he loved spending weekend time with Dad.

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holiday recap

After a brief hiatus, I am back here on the blog 🙂

We had a great Christmas and New Year here in Spokane. Our house was filled with family and it was wonderful… My mother and father-in-law drove up from Bend and spent a week here with us. And, after some delay due to the stomach flu, sinus infections and some other unpleasant seasonal ailments, my brother and sister-in-law and their two boys also came up and stayed with us for a few days.

Highlights from the holidays include several delicious home cooked dinners (thank you Nani!), black light miniature golf, a hilarious game night, champagne on New Year’s Eve, a trip to Coeur d’Alene to see bald eagles, and (I’m sure the kids’ favorite) a game of laser tag.

I am so happy that 1800 miles away from the place we all called home for so long, we were still able to gather as a family and share the holiday together.

Now the house is quiet. Husband and I finished putting away all of the Christmas decor last night and things feel clean and fresh. I can’t wait to see what this new year brings.

And of course, here are a few pictures of Lincoln….

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

lots of fun tearing paper

lots of fun tearing paper

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husband in the background, entertaining himself with one of Lincoln’s new toys

another day... another present...

another day… another present…

and a shot of Lincoln checking out the snow...

and a shot of Lincoln checking out the snow…

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Happy New Year!

oh Christmas tree…

I just love Christmas… decorating the tree, wrapping presents, baking… I’ll even tolerate a little snow on Christmas morning 🙂

Well, we have our tree up and I wanted to share a few pictures of some of my favorite ornaments.  It used to be mainly a ‘woodland animals’ kind of theme, but now I seem to have all sorts of creatures…

new this year... and maybe my favorite

new this year… and maybe my favorite

a little pine cone penguin...

a little pine cone penguin…

a little polar bear

polar bear

you can't tell from the photo, but this is a 'baby's first Christmas' ornament...

you can’t tell from the photo, but this is a ‘baby’s first Christmas’ ornament…

and our star tree topper

and our star tree topper

Lincoln is obviously still too young to really be excited for Christmas, but he does love to stare at the tree… and he has been playing with some animated Snoopy Christmas toys we have…

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and now he's coming to get my camera...

and now he’s coming to get my camera…

silly boy

silly boy