Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Real California Adventure

At the beginning of September, Mom, Damon and I went on quite the adventure. We had the opportunity the fly to California to attend Cousin Marissa’s (daddy’s cousin) and her fiancĂ©, Dan’s wedding. Unfortunately, daddy was not able to attend because the CMU volleyball team had a home tournament that same weekend and he couldn’t get away. He was devastated to miss this event and he was sorely missed by all.
After the trip was planned and mom decided to brave flying alone with two kids, she did as much prep work as she could so things would go as smooth as possible. We departed from Grand Junction on a flight to Las Vegas.
It was there that mom had to locate a shuttle to take us to our hotel where we would be staying for the night (Terrible’s Hotel and Casino). The whole shuttle business was the hardest part of the day. Mom had to lug me in a stroller, Damon in a carrier, a diaper bad, a back pack and a huge suitcase to the pick up area where we had to wait for about 45 minutes in the late night heat. Even though it was late, both Damon and I were quite well behaved. When we arrived at the hotel, it was in fact not “Terrible” at all (other than the huge, loud, busy casino as soon as you walk in). Mom and I each had our own bed and Damon slept well in a crib. When we both were asleep, mom felt like she could finally take her first deep breath of the day.

Our flight to Santa Maria the next day was in the afternoon so we had no rush in the morning. We ate a nice breakfast at the hotel’s cafĂ© and watched some cartoons while mommy packed up and got ready.

We got to the Las Vegas airport with lots of time to spare so we did some exploring and ate a nice lunch. Other than a really hot airplane, the next flight went quite smoothly.

When we got to Santa Maria, the cool sea breeze was like a breath of fresh air after being in hot, dry climates for so long. As soon as we got off the plane we were looking for Grandma and Granddad. They were anxiously awaiting our arrival as well and greeted us with lots of hugs and kisses. From Santa Maria, we had a little drive to Santa Barbara which is where we stayed. When we checked into our hotel, we went to find Great Grandma and Grandpa Cooper, Uncle Ike and Cousin Paige. Later Uncle Tim, Aunt Lora, and Cousins Kit Kat and Ry-guy arrived and we all went out for a nice Italian dinner. The Vacation had begun!!
The next day was the day of the wedding but since it wasn’t until the afternoon, we had time to go have some fun. First we went to a beach close to our hotel and I thought the ocean was spectacular!! I was a little funny though… when grandma Cari or mom took me down to the water my body would move with the waves so each time a wave would recede I would almost fall over into the ocean. Damon also loved the ocean… well loved it in the way that it put him to sleep.

When we got back to the hotel, after a quick swim in the pool, we all got ready for the wedding. Granddad and I watched a movie while mommy and grandma did their primping and Damon was sure a trooper and slept the whole time!

The ceremony was held at a beautiful ranch on a cliff that over looked the ocean. It was the perfect setting for Marissa and Dan, two love puppies who love to surf and spend time outdoors. Houston, like all the other cousins, had a very important part of the wedding. Each cousin had something special to walk down the isle and Houston and Ryan each carried down abalone shells. It was so special that Houston could participate and he did so good!

After the ceremony, we headed over to a huge tent for food, speeches and lots of dancing. By this point mom was stressed because I hadn’t really eaten or slept since we had gotten there. But I remained in good spirits and enjoyed being passed around and adored by everyone who saw me. Mom and Houston danced the night away until him and I had reached our limit. We then headed back to the hotel with Granddad and crashed after a full but awesome day.

The next day we met Uncle Adam, Auntie Andi and Cousins Marin and Troy for lunch before heading back to Alameda. The Aunties and cousins decided to stay the night in Alameda so that we could go to the zoo the next day. This was my first time at a real zoo, and though a little tired and grumpy I loved seeing all the animals!

The following day Grandma Cari had off work and we shared a very special day with her. First we went to the Temple and I got to see a huge statue of Jesus! Then we went to a restaurant that serves the yummiest ice cream. Mom discovered her all time favorite ice cream on this trip: mocha cookie crunch!

After that we went to a fun theme park called Fairy Land. There were tons of play structures based on traditional fairy tales and I was in heaven exploring it. I even got a magic key that I used to hear songs and stories around the park. At the end we caught an impressive puppet show based on the Sleeping Beauty Story.

We left the next day and had two flights back to Grand Junction. This time there was a shorter lay over in Vegas which made for a very long day. We were happy to be greeted by a lonely dadda and, though we had an amazing trip, were excited to get back.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

bust'n moves


I am just so cute and everybody loves me!!

Check out my brother's white boy moves:

So far we have been to everyone of the CMU women's volleyball games to support daddy and to see awesome volleyball. All the girls adore me and treat Houston like he is a rock star.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Grand Junction So Far

When people ask mommy if she likes living in Grand Junction, she usually gives the same answer: no complaints about the town it’s self. Overall it is a great place to live and there are many positive aspects:
1. We love our ward! There are lots of families similar to ours and we are developing lots of new friendships. Mommy got a calling in the Young Women’s presidency and she just adores the young ladies and other leaders she gets to work with (and they all adore me – if mom ever has to bring along to an activity during the week or to class on Sunday, all the girls are usual fighting to hold me). Houston also loves going to church because he loves going to nursery. All the nursery leaders that are so dedicated and loving and he always comes away learning something new. His new favorite primary song is “I Love to See the Temple” and he sings it to me all the time. He even lets me help him build temples and churches with his blocks. Daddy should also stay busy with his new calling as the Elder’s Quorum secretary.
2. Daddy loves his job! As expected, Dad gets along with everyone and I’m sure they love him and his dedication to his profession. One huge blessing is that the head trainer at the university, Josh is LDS and has a lot in common with daddy. They seemed like best buds from the start. His wife, Amberlee and mom have also become great friends. They have 4 children who are so sweet to Houston and I and we love playing with them. Overall their friendship has made the transition a lot easier for our family and we are grateful for their welcoming efforts.
3. Grand Junction is a great size! Mommy always compares it to her hometown, Medicine Hat. It is big enough to have everything we need but small enough that it isn’t to crowded and crazy. And no rush hour!! One of the best parts is, there are tons of really nice parks and the city seems family friendly. Also, there are a few little surrounding cities (comparable to Red Cliff, Bow Island ect) that also offer fun things to do. We are discovering new fun things to do almost every week!
4. Mommy can work! Unlike Utah Valley, piano teachers are actually in demand here so mommy has been able teach 5 students from home. She also got a job teaching group and semi private piano lessons for a local music school (Sera Schools). She works for them 2 days a week and we get to have a super fun babysitter come watch us. Our babysitter is so fabulous, she can even get me to sleep which, if you know me, is no small task. So far mom is enjoying the work, especially the students she teaches at home.

One thing we were obviously scared of is that we wouldn’t see family as much. But since we have moved here, we have had so many visitors and we are so grateful! Our first visitors were Great Grandma and Grandpa Campbell. Having them come gave us an opportunity to go explore some of the touristy things the area has to offer. The coolest thing we found was the National Monument that is 20 minutes from our house. It is basically a mini national park and has some breath taking views and lots of hiking trails. Another thing we experienced was the down town farmer’s market. There were lots of fun things to see and sample and we had a great time.

One weekend mom was informed of a peach orchard that was allowing people to come pick peaches for FREE! If you know my mom, you know she LOVES peaches so she was in Heaven after filling two boxes with peaches and eating about 5 a day.

Later in August, Granddad and Grandma Cari were our second visitors. Their visit was over Daddy’s 30th birthday and it was great to celebrate with them.

Daddy’s big gift was a ride in a tiny little airplane over the spectacular landscape that surrounds us in Colorado and Utah.

Granddad and I made some pretty awesome memories! One night, I got to stay up really late and go to a CO Rockies (Grand Junction’s AAA baseball team) game. I had a pretty good time hanging with the guys!

Hat switch:

Granddad also took me on my first bus ride!! It was pretty exciting especially because I got to ring the stop bell and eat ice cream at our stop.

Grandma and I also got lots of playing in whenever she wasn’t holding Damon. She also took me on my first visit to the Dinosaur museum in Fruita.

Bath time!

Craft time!

Normally I love pizza but this night I decided to give mom a fight. But she was pretty determined to have me eat it so falling asleep was the only way out. I won that round!

My little brother is so fun to play with!

Lastly, mom has recently joined a Recreational volleyball team called “the church ladies”. She plays every Wednesday night and is ecstatic that she can be a part of organized sports again.