As many of you know we have been nomads for the last three months, traveling from St. Louis to Utah to California and back again. We had such a great time with parent, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that Norah doesn't know what to do with herself now that it's just her and mommy again (mommy doesn't either)! It is fantastic to be home though. I think you need an extended trip like that every once in awhile to really appreciate what you have. Here are some of the highlights...
The Twilight Zone
I started off in UT for a few ways, then jetted away with Cami to Seattle for a Twilight weekend, leaving Norah with my sisters who were kind enough to watch her for me. We had a blast! We began the trip sightseeing and shopping and ended at symphony hall at a "concert" with Stephanie Meyer (author of the Twilight series) and Justin Furstenfeld (the lead singer of Blue October). It was worth it just to see all of the people who attended! We were pretty much laughing the whole night. It was a trip I will never forget... thanks Cami!
We stayed in UT for about three weeks. Norah couldn't get enough of the kids... she even grew to like Grandpa Scott. (The first day we were there every time he would look at her she would start to cry- sorry dad!) They have since bonded and are great friends!
Norah's first masterpiece... by the end we had ditched the paper and moved to the highchair tray.
Meanwhile, Joel and his brother Tyler drove halfway across the country to pick up Tyler's dog Angus (bottom right). Higgins was reunited with his family! His sister is in the center picture with him- check out those rolls!
This is Joel, Angus, Seth, Charlotte and Norah at Tyler and Kristen's the day after the men arrived with the dogs. Marianne took these pictures- can we say professional?
The Crockett's other professional photographer, Mandi (see bottom left picture under "beach house"), took these adorable pictures of Norah one evening outside her home.
It wouldn't be a California vacation without a trip to Joel's parent's beach house in Pacific Grove, near Monterey and Carmel. We went down with Joel's brother Ben, his wife Mandi, and their two kids William and June to relax and get away from it all. Somehow when you have two crawling babies that are everywhere and into everything life isn't as relaxing!
Higgins loved the ocean. He would've chased waves all day if he could have. Norah- not so much. She started crying the second I dipped her toe into the frigid Pacific.
Babies and Bulldogs....and Bikes?
Mandi and I decided to be adventurous and take the kids on a bike ride through Monterey. We rented bikes, suited up and loaded them in. It started out great- smiling kids, sun and blue skies (which is a treat in Monterey)...
Somehow it didn't end quite the same. William fell asleep with June laying on his shoulder while Norah was trying with all her might to get herself out of the straps.
You can't say we didn't try!
We took a day trip to Tilden Park in the Berkeley Hills. Our first stop was the carousel (Norah's first one), followed by the steam engine trains where they even let Higgins ride!
I'm just now realizing that Joel isn't in any of these pictures although he was there for most of these events- he was taking the pictures- Love you Joely!
Watching two rambunctious almost one-year-olds made me grateful that I don't have twins and feel for those mothers with multiples! Here is a glimpse into what it was like...
I decided to corral them in one room and create toy stations for them to play with. That didn't turn out as well as I was hoping- they both wanted to same toys, fought over them and then came crawling toward the exit pleading with me to save them (top middle picture). In the end I had to resort to food... hmm...maybe I should rethink the "babies" thing? Mandi, I understand if you don't ask me to babysit June again!
Back in Utah we all went to the harvest festival at Thanksgiving Point. They had lots of large blow up slides and bounce houses, a children's haunted house, kids games and even a toddler station with toys and games for Jonas Norah. It was a beautiful day and everyone was enjoying themselves...until we tried to get the kids to pose for pictures that is...
Was this the longest blog post that you have ever read? I was trying to give you a feel for how looonnnng our trip was! And that wasn't even all of it- for more exciting adventures see Mandi's blog- there's fairyland, picnics, playing at grandma Vicki's, Berkeley, and Sunol.
THANK YOU to all of the grandparents, aunts and uncles who made our trip outstanding. You went out of your way to ensure our happiness and comfort- from Tyler, my dad and Vicki driving and flying around the country with us, to my sisters watching Norah so I could have some "me" time, not to mention Ben and family feeding us and letting us crash at their house whenever we needed, Mandi always being up for anything (and coming up with lots to do), and Kristen and Tyler opening up their home and lending out their car on short notice. Thank you all! We love you!