Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yosemite in the Winter

*Yosemite, Summer 1984 (my dad was SO young, 24 years old)

Some of my fondest memories growing up are of our annual camping trips to Yosemite National Park. My family has been going every year since my mom was a little girl. You might not know it by looking at me, but I am out-doorsy. I LOVE camping. And I'm not talking about that sissy motor home/cabin "camping," I mean real life tenting it (as long as there are bathrooms :).

*katie, stevie, josh, grandma, travis, melanie, grandpa, me, rachel, joey (Summer, 1987)

These are my grandparents, Dave & Meljean. They started the Yosemite tradition. They are so much fun to camp with. I can remember sitting next to the river with my grandma, while she gave my cousins & I painting lessons. I remember getting up early to go fishing with my uncles & grandpa. 

* Summer, 1992

Sadly, I haven't been to Yosemite since I've been married (almost 5 years!) which means Ryan has never been! So when I heard we were going to spend New Years in Nothern California this year, with day trips to Yosemite & San Fracisco, I was ecstatic!! Especially because I had never been there in the winter time & I knew it was going to be so pretty. 

Wendy had 5 layers on. And no, she could not put her arms down. She looked like a puffy pink marshmallow. 

Here you can kinda see half-dome behind us. My dad has climbed it a couple times. He's been trying to get me to climb it with him for years. Sorry dad. 

The ice skating rink was surrounded by trees & mountains- it was gorgeous. Then we had chilli & hot chocolate for lunch. Nothing tastes better than hot chocolate after ice skating. 

After ice skating, we took a nice, heated tram ride around Yosemite. I felt like I was showing Ryan around an old neighborhood I grew up in. I can't wait until this summer when we finally go back for a REAL camping trip. 


*thank you nessa for making these pictures amazing!

On Christmas Eve, Wendy turned 8 months old! I remember last Christmas when I was a sick, pregnant mess. I don't know about you, but for me 2008 just flew by. I almost feel like I blacked out through half of it (probably because of being stuck in my house for 4 months after having a baby).

Anyway, here's Wendy at 8 months:
  • Weight: 18.5 pounds
  • Height: 27.25 inches
  • favorite words: "dada," "momomom," and "babababah" ( I really don't think she quite knows what she's saying)
  • gives forehead kisses (not really kisses, but if you lean your forehead in she'll lean in and touch foreheads with you- this might sound lame but I LOVE it).
  • starting to get stranger anxiety- she won't go to just anyone anymore. 
That last one makes me a little sad. For some reason, I feel personally responsible when she cuts down someone's self-esteem by not going to them. Every time I hand her over to a great-grandparent, or friend I just think, Please don't cry, please don't cry, please don't cry... Other parents, is there any remedy for this?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

*notice how he's holding down her arms- she LOVED his beard & really wanted to pull it off

Christmas with a baby is so much more fun (and draining). It will only get more exciting as she gets older and realizes what's going on. This year, her favorite part was the wrapping paper. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tamale Night!

*The Becerra family! (notice: at this point I was the only blondie)

I love the fact that I married into a family with such a rich latin background and fun culture. I love the fact that Wendy has this interesting line of ancestors added to mine, I love it when Ryan speaks spanish to his grandparents, and I love the new traditions I get to enjoy...

Every year, Ryan's family celebrates the tradition of Tamale night. The whole family gets together and makes hundreds (no really, i'm not being sarcastic with that number) of tamales from scratch. We spend hours together with the whole extended family in the kitchen cooking and then we eat a bunch of them for dinner and freeze some to eat on Christmas Eve and to give to other people. This will mark my 5th year.

* I love to watch Wendy with her Great-Grandparents

Thursday, December 11, 2008

WENDY IS 7 (and a half) MONTHS!

Wendy turned seven months old on November 24th. I cannot believe she's over the half year mark! 

  • 18 1/2 pounds (getting CHUBBY and I love it!)
  • 27 inches tall
  • completely sitting up on her own
  • about to break my heart & start crawling any day now (we're going to have to make some changes around the house)
  • no teeth yet, and I really wouldn't mind if they didn't come for a few more months
  • turning into a daddy's girl now that yo gabba isn't filming and he takes care of her
  • favorite word: "dadadada..." (what did I tell you?)
  • reaches out for you when you go to pick her up- i lOVE this!!!
  • eyes are still blue gray and I don't think they'll ever turn brown (Wendy really does have stormy eyes)
  • on the top of her christmas list: daddy's glasses & some wrapping paper to crinkle

*super cute pictures by aunt nessa, yet again

Friday, December 5, 2008


December 5th was my mom's birthday! I started this post a while ago, but I've had a hard time putting into words how wonderful she is and how much I love her... Then Ruth beat me to the punch (and did an amazing job, which made me procrastinate even more). Here are some reasons why my mom is so great:

1. She's fun & spontaneous! I can't even tell you how many times she took us & our friends toilet papering, or night swimming, or let us skip school to take us to Disneyland, or go on last minute road trips to Northern California. I remember taking advantage of her  spontaneousness once when my siblings & I toilet papered our own house one night while she was gone, leaving a whipped cream note on the sidewalk framing one of our friends. When she got home she told us to "get the toilet paper and get in the car- we were going to get them back!" After "getting back" at our innocent friend, guilt ridden, we confessed. Then she confessed she knew the whole time (a brand new costco pack of t.p. doesn't get used up in one day). I'll always remember how cool it was of her not to get mad at us for wasting all that toilet paper and making a fun night out of it instead. 

2. She has taught me how to be a hard worker. She waitressed through 3 pregnancies to put my dad through school. She started her own business. Now, she's super-real-estate-agent-woman. She's always being productive (like when she re-organized my garage). The only time she's not getting 3 things done at once is when she's asleep. 

3. You can always count on her to womp up a great family vacation. I'll never forget all the fun memories we've made, all because my mom loves to travel! Our trips to Yosemite, San Francisco, Mexico, Philadelphia, New York, Europe, etc. were so fun because of her. She has sat on the phone ALL DAY to get a camp site, planned out numberless agendas, and will make sure we get hooked up with free hotel rooms if our plane can't take off. She gets so excited to be in a new place and it's contagious- it makes the experience so much more fun!   

4. She's the most giving person I know. She's given me SO much. I watch her give to others all the time. She always talks about what she would do if she won the lottery, and it's pretty much a list of what she would do for her family and friends. One of the many things she gives freely of is her time (which is very valuable, let me tell you). She gives her time every Monday to watch Wendy while I'm at work (and even takes it a step further by driving all the way out to Tustin to have lunch with me so I can see Wendy). 

5. She's brave. She's not afraid to do things that would terrify other people. She's the only mom I know that goes swimming in the ocean every time we go to the beach (last year the life guards had to swim out and save us from the rip tide). She's not afraid to stand up for what she believes in- I've seen her bear her testimony to a complete stranger (weirdo who wouldn't leave her alone & was trying to bible bash) in the Costco parking lot. 

I could literally go on and on about my mom and it would not do her justice. I really hope I can live up to her standards and be the kind of mother she is with my own kids. Happy birthday mom. 

Thanks for always being there for me. I love you mom.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wendy's 1st Thanksgiving

*super cute photo by Vanessa

*wendy sitting at the head of (one of) the Thanksgiving dinner table made me think of Alice in Wonderland at the Mad Hatter's tea party

*we always eat on my parents driveway/courtyard. I can't believe we all fit.

Lucky for me, my parents and in-laws both live close by. But that means TWO Thanksgiving feasts every year!  (Imagined how stuffed you feel after Thanksgiving dinner... now double it. That's me. I still feel full.) We go to my parents house at 2 then over to the Williams house around 5. I always try to just eat dinner food at my parents house and dessert at Ryan's parents, but thanks to Chrissy's pumpkin cookies and Annette's creamed corn it's impossible. Oh well. What would the holiday's be without a little over-eating guilt?