… 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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California love…

So, I know I’ve been MIA here on the blog for some time. I have some BIG news that I’ve been dying to share, and I finally can…

Husband just accepted a position in Los Angeles!  We’re moving to California!
Crazy, right?!?

I am beyond excited… but, also slightly overwhelmed.  Searching for a place to rent in a city that I have never even visited is a bit challenging– especially when it’s a city/area as large as Los Angeles.  We are flying to LA this weekend to look at a few places and get a better feel for the different cities/neighborhoods.  Hopefully we’ll have some luck and find a place that we love.

Also, moving equals packing.  Ugh.  Never fun.  Now I have little Lincoln to “help” me out… I’m sure that will go smoothly 😉

But, more than anything, I am so excited to begin this new adventure and move our little family to sunny California.  The ocean, palm trees, farmers markets (year round!), local wine, great shopping, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine… I cannot wait!

Anyone out there with any recommendations on places to check out, places to avoid or any other general southern California advice, please let me know!

In the meantime, in addition to the house hunting and packing, I will be working on getting my wardrobe California ready…  Hopefully I can master a laid back, but put together look like these ladies…

{image from cupcakesandcashmere.com via Pinterest}

{image from cupcakesandcashmere.com via Pinterest}

{image from styletartare.com via Pinterest}

{image from styletartare.com via Pinterest}

{image from whowhatwear.com via Pinterest}

{image from whowhatwear.com via Pinterest}

Apparently, I need to bleach my hair and purchase some denim cutoffs ASAP 🙂