Our trip to California was so supereffingamazing I cant even deal! Of course, I was so happy to see everyone, but I realized how much I miss being around my brothers all the time! And, seeing them with Jake? Melted me into a puddle.
Of course, within 12 hours of being there, my first brother attacked me in the hallway with his wrestling expertise and made me tap.
My, in chronological order, second brother flew in from Minnesota, where he happens to be kicking ass as a sophomore in college and on the football field; kid's a beast. He flew in so that he could have some one-on-one time with Jake and drive with us out to the parents' house and we were sooo happy he came! I made sure to treat him right: cinnamon rolls and homemade cocoa for breakfast and comfort food, pizza pie meatloaf and alfredo pasta for dinner! The way to a man's heart, right? ;-)
We left the house by 7 on a Wednesday morning, completely ready to go!
Some of us were ready to go...
When we first talked about driving out to CA for Christmas, Gary said I wasn't allowed to drive because he's "...the dad, and that's what dads do"
But, we did leave before the sun so Patrick took over during our first gas-up.
Also? We, collectively, hate New Mexico, as it is the state that never ends. But, I did have some great talks with my giant brother!
We were in Colorado that morning and in California that night. Marathon driving. I don't recommend it.
Once we got there, we hit the ground running1 Seeing people, going places. It was faboosh! I snapped these pics one evening after hanging out with a friend of mine, Gabby, whom I've known for 7 years! She's one of those friends, if you're lucky enough to have one like this, where it's always the same no matter how long it's been since you've seen each other. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding and is Jake's godmother. I adore her! I'm so glad we got to hangout!
Oh, and here's a digression that might pay off! Right before we were due to leave for CA, a diamond fell out of my wedding band. I took it in, ASAP, to have it repaired. Zales wanted $300 to fix the one stone and $649 to fix the entire band because the stones were all coming loose. I guess it's not at all unheard of and happens because gold is soft, therefore not holding the stones as tightly. My parents told me to wait and that we'd go to a jewelry exchange in CA, so I did.
Thankfully, we were out with friends of the family one night who pointed me in the direction of a guy who does those types of repairs. He was in a hole-in-the-wall kiosk in the mall, but I immediately felt ok about him. He works right in front of you, doesn't use scare tactics to squeeze more cash out of you, and works on a first come, first serve basis. This guy replaced my stone AND tightened all the others, which he showed me were super loose, for $150!!! That's a 300% savings!! So, don't run right off to the jewelry stores, shop around!
But, I'm a simple girl and one of my favorite parts of the trip occurred while my mom and I were waiting for my ring to be finished (it took about an hour and a half!). We had Panda Express in the mall, and some Starbucks, but also did some shopping. One stop was GNC for my vitamins. I haven't stopped taking prenatals since I was pregnant because they're amazing for hair and skin (I also take fish oil, cod liver oil--both in pill form-, and coconut oil for those wondering. All amazing for you and all OK to take pregnant or not!).
Anyway, we walk into GNC and an annoyingly chipper employee bombards us. She said lots of irritating things, but she also said the obligatory, "LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS!!!!!"
Umm, Simmer Donna.
We eventually are ready to checkout and she sees my prenatals and exclaims, "CONGRATULATIONS!" I let her know I'm not pregnant, that I've just continued taking them since I was and she lets this gem out into the universe, "Oh, I hear PARENTALS are so good for you. I should start taking PARENTALS" The best part? She said "PARENTALS" about 7 times in our short exchange. Completely made my day.
Gary and I got to go to THREE MOVIES. And they were AT NIGHT! Big, big things in our life! Two of them (Sherlock Holmes and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) were with my brothers, don't worry the youngest brotha didn't watch the Dragon one!, and one (Mission Impossible) was on date night on New Year's Eve. You guys? We had a DATE NIGHT on NEW YEAR'S EVE!!!! We got dressed up and went out and it was AMAZEBALLS!!!! And, it secretly made me enjoy the night even more when I saw other tables at the restaurant with babies and ours was just us. Is that wrong? Because I don't care. I HAD A DATE NIGHT!!!!
We also got to meet up with Gary's aunts and cousins and it was so much fun! It's so great for them to see Jake. Because of Jake not being a reliable sleeper for a few days of the trip and traveling, I got sick, which never happens! So, I got to meet Gary's cousin's wife when I was mediocre. At best. My face felt enormo from some sort of sinus issue, was working on a pretty serious food baby, I had a terrible cough, and, because of all that, ended up with a cold sore. It was not a sexy situation. But still fun :-) Grateful for that time!
Well, loverfaces, I had to break up our CA trip into separate posts or else you'd go cross-eyed. So, hasta manana!