I got an email from my mom a couple of days ago.  She’s on a 2 week long vacation in Morocco.  She talked for a long time about visiting Morocco, and she’s finally doing it.  But her going to Morocco has brought up a lot of emotional stuff surrounding my dad.

In 1954 my grandfather (dad’s dad), was sent to Morocco (then a French colony) for work.  My grandmother, uncle and my dad followed.  My grandfather was a Captain in the Air Force, as well as the School Officer liaison for Nouasseur and would later open a school for the Arab workers children.  They lived in Cacablanca, and unlike the other military families they lived in suburban housing.  In 1956 my grandfather was shot and killed by French guards in his car coming home from a night out with my grandmother.

My dad, Curt, and his father, Nelson, at the Roman ruins in Morocco.

My mom wrote about visiting these very ruins and how amazing they were.  When I read that she was there my heart sank.  I have been looking at these childhood photos of my dad’s since she left and the above image stuck with me.  This trip is more than a vacation for her.  It’s seeing a part of my dad’s life that we weren’t a part of.  But it’s good.  It’s like a full circle type of thing, you know?

My dad’s on my mind a lot lately, with my mom in Morocco and Max’s first birthday coming up and him not having the chance to meet and know his grandson.  This is just another one of many waves of sadness I’ll feel.  It’ll go soon, and it’ll come back again, and it hurts a little less and gets a little easier each time.


Favorite Things: Home Edition

In packing the house up I’ve been faced with having to say goodbye to the things that make this place special.  This is a collection of my favorite things about our house.

First up, the built ins:

Good golly, am I going to miss these.  The shelfs on either side of the fireplace housed our dvd’s and many, many picture frames.  The cabinets in the dining room are perfect for displaying family heirlooms and holding my estate sale found wine glasses.  Sadly, the shelves that once housed our dvd’s are now empty, and the cabinets in the dining room will be packed up by the end of the week.

My little retro kitchen.  If we were staying here, I would give this room some new flooring, appliances, and hardware for the cabinets.  Otherwise it’s perfect.  I love the countertops, and the beautiful wood cabinets.  I think in Future Home I want to get new countertops similar to this formica, but in marmoleum.

I am going to miss my Sex and the City Blue living room.  I know a lot of people probably can’t stand all the bold colors in my house, but I can’t get enough of it (obviously).  You know in the first SATC movie (The only SATC movie in my eyes.  That second one should be forgotten by all) when Carrie paints her apartment blue with white trim?  Well, I just fell in love with that look.  I found out the paint that was used in her apartment was Benjamin Moore’s Electric Blue, bought a can of it and got to work.  I still love the blue walls with white trim.  I also love all the switch plates and outlet covers I Mod Podged. (Cross stitching provided by my lovely BFF Joy, of Joy’s On the Side)

These glass doorknobs are just the prettiest.  Some of them are on the verge of breaking (please don’t notice future buyers!).  I wish I could take these with us.

This is Diego’s perch.  He spends most of his days up on the windowsill watching the passers by, alerting us with a wagging tail or an excited bark that someone is approaching the house.  I’m going to miss coming home and seeing Deej in the window waiting for us.  At Future Home there is an even bigger window that starts about 18 inches from the floor, so I think we’ll be seeing Deej peeking through there.

The red door.  When we were house hunting we both liked the idea of a red door.  So when we came across this place with a red door, we thought this was it.  A red door symbolizes good luck in a lot of cultures.  In China it’s customary to paint your door red to welcome the New Year.  In Scotland a red door can symbolize the mortgage being paid off-HA!  If only.

While these are all things I will miss, there are certainly things about this house that I won’t miss.  Like the bathroom.  The one teeny tiny bathroom with insanely unforgiving white tile.  Future Home has two full bathrooms!  2!  I will also not miss how I can hear Rob talking and working in the basement through the vents all the way upstairs.  Also, I will not miss our super sucky neighbors.

2011: Favorite Photos

I was thinking about all the many things that have happened this year and all the photos I took of those many things, and I thought that I’d share my favorite photos.  But then I thought that that would be way too many photos.  So I decided to pick a favorite  photo from each month that I haven’t posted before.  Still very difficult to do, but I did it.  So, without any further ado, I give you my 2011 Favorite Photo Roundup!

January: The last bare belly shot of me without stretch marks.  Sometimes I miss being pregnant, I always miss not having stretch marks.

February: I know you’ve seen this, and I know it’s not a photo, but I’m making an exception cause this is just one of the single greatest things ever.  And I didn’t take many photos in February.March: This was the first time I held Max.  He was brought to our room around 10:00 the morning after he was born.  I vaguely remember this moment.

April: I took this after a bath.  His hair still gets all curly after a bath.  I miss the way his fat cheeks would rest on his chest.

May: Katrina took this one.  These were the days of hanging out by the baby gym in Max’s room while he watched the lights go round and round on the mobile.  I have every song from that thing memorized.

June: Naked baby.  I wanted to be able to remember his naked little baby body like this.  Those little wrinkles on his back, the dark newborn hair with a few curls, and the stillness of a new baby.

July: This was taken on Del Ray beach (I think) when we visited Rob’s Aunt Christi and her husband Greg for the day.  It was Max’s first trip to the coast.

August: My Aunt Karen and cousin Brandon were in town to meet Max. This was taken at Arch Cape, on our first overnight trip with the kiddo, his second trip to the coast.  I’m usually behind the camera, but Rob is a good husband/photographer and got this shot of us.  I love it.  Mostly because I’m smizing.

September: I took this during our friend’s, Dave and Jeanine, wedding.  I like the contrast in color with the grass and mine and Max’s shoes.  Going through all these photos I realized I have, unknowingly, taken a small series of photos like this with myself and Max.

October: This picture makes me melt.  His little Kewpie doll swirl, the goofy little grin, and puffy cheeks.

November: I love the expression on his face, his giant blue eyes.  And the drool dribbling down his chin.

December: Bonding time.  Rob and Max’s new favorite game.

While this has surely been an incredibly challenging year (who knew having a baby would be so difficult?) it’s also been just the best ever.  I can only hope that 2012 will be as good for us and for you as well.  Happy New Year, everyone!  Celebrate responsibly, and please don’t drink and drive because nobody likes an asshole.

Being thankful

This last year has been full of exciting adventures and our little family has so much to be thankful for.

This last weekend I was so thankful to have one of my most favorite people in the world come and meet Max.  My cousin Kristin flew up from Las Vegas for a long weekend and I had such a great time showing the kid off to her.

Thanksgiving was spent at Rob’s parents after Max decided to take an unusually long nap making us 2 hours late!  We were in charge of the potatoes, dessert, and of course the deviled eggs.  Well, Rob was in charge of the deviled eggs.  Have I mentioned before that I hate deviled eggs?  They smell like farts.

I am thankful that my applesauce spice cake turned out to be downright perfect.

Pecan turkey!

I am thankful that we have family to be with.

Left to right: Rob’s dad, Joe, Rita my retarded dog (I can say that because she is), Grandma Betty, my mom, Clare, me (duh), Diego licking my face, Rob, Max (in Rob’s babyhood high chair!), my brudder Cameron, Brady (family friend), and Rob’s mom, Sherri.

I am thankful that I have a little boy who makes everything worthwhile.  I am thankful that I have a little boy who has the sweetest, toofiest, cheekiest, dimples showing up sometimes grin.  I am thankful that this boy likes to eat and enjoyed his first Thanksgiving dinner.

I am thankful that this guy is his dad and that we’re a cute little family.  I am thankful that this guy puts up with my crazy, and loves me in spite of it.  Or because of it, cause some guys are into that, ya know?

I am also thankful for my dad, who I know was with us tonight.  After dinner Brady turned on the stereo and was trying to find a station.  He picked up on a station that was playing Vince Gurauldi’s Linus and Lucy.  My heart sank.  I smiled.  That was my favorite song that my dad played on the piano.  I know it was him.  There have only been a handful of times I’ve experienced his presence like this, it’s very comforting.

Lastly, I want to dedicate this post to my very dear friend Joy who I am very thankful to have in my life and who I love very much.

Ghosts of Halloween Past

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday.  There are costumes, candy, parties, and the decorations.  Oh, the decorations!  Choosing a costume is always the hardest part.  I start thinking about what I’ll be months in advance, but always decide a couple of weeks before halloween.  This year is no different.  Well, it is a little.

This year I’m, sadly, not as excited about halloween as I should be.  One reason being that I can’t decorate.  With the house on the market it just wouldn’t be wise to put all my awesome decorations up.  Another reason is Max.  Usually we either throw a big party or attend a party.  Obviously throwing a party is out of the question, but I will have my mom babysit the weekend before halloween so Rob and I can go to a party.  On halloween night we’ll have our regular Monday Movie Night and we’ll watch The Worst Witch and horror movies and hand out candy to the trick or treaters.  It’ll be different, but it’ll be nice.

I’m still not sure what I’ll be.  I’ve been more focused on Max’s costume than my own.  Cause you know, my 7 month old son has big plans for halloween.  He’s going to be Evel Knievel.  I know, awesome right?

I had an idea for a family costume and it was something I’ve always wanted to do.  I want to be Sarah form Labyrinth in the big ball gown, Rob would be David Bowie’s Jareth, and Max would be Toby.  Diego could even be Sir Didymus.  And then we could recreate the scene where Sarah and Jareth dance to As the World Falls Down (I walked down the isle to that!).  BUT, that’s a lot to recreate in a short amount of time.  The real issue is that Rob’s not allowed to shave.  No, really.  I don’t want him to shave.  I love Rob’s beard that much.  Is that weird?  Maybe a little.  Oh well.  I’ll figure something out at the last minute.

All of this halloween planning had me reminiscing about past halloweens.  So I thought I’d share some of my favorite costumes from the last few years.

Jordi and I, Halloween 2006 I believe.  Like my Cher hair?  I just couldn’t justify spending $50 on a proper wig, so I settled for the $10 Cher wig.

One of my favorite costumes Katrina has ever worn.  A circus tiger.  The face paint made it.  She did it herself too.  2008

Hot Dog and Sarah Palin, 2008.  I was one of many, many Sarah Palin’s that night.

Me as David Bowie, Katie as Charlie Brown, and Katrina as Medusa, 2009.

Mike always has one of the most creative costumes.  This year he was Ronald McDonald Trump.  “You’re Fried!”.  2009.

John came to our party as Creepy Uncle Batman.  2009.

Rob didn’t pick his costume until right before the party started.  You see, I was Joan Holloway from Mad Men.  So Rob dressed as me, dressed as Joan Holloway, in my old prom dress.  It was weird and frightening.  2009.

Diego as Elvis, 2009.

I can’t wait until Max fits in his Elvis costume our friend Chris gave him.  I will dress both Max and Diego up together and it will be fabulous.  This is why people have kids and pets, right?

This was at a party last year.  Rob had 3 halloween events last year and he had 3 different versions of this costume.  This one was titled: Rob Campbell After Dark, Nude Portrait.  On halloween he was the Mona Lisa.  One of my favorite costumes he’s done, ever.  I was coming out of my morning sickness around this time last year, so I was just a simple witch.  2010

Joy was an amazing Dolly Parton.  I wish we went to karaoke that night.  2010

I LOVED Mike’s costume last year, Elton John Wayne.  Genius.  2010

Rita was a burrito.  Or a burRita, as we call her.  2010

Now that we’ve got Max, halloween’s are definitely going to be full of greatness.  I just have to take advantage of being able to choose his costumes while I can.  In a couple of years I won’t be able to dress him as Evel Knievel or Elvis.

Bring it, halloween.