Monday, December 31, 2012

wrapping up 2012

before it's february and things start getting really ridiculous, i guess it's time to give an official close to 2012. (i'm back-dating this entry so it fits into my 2012 blog book, but let's be serious -- today is actually january 29.) here's a look at how we ended 2012 -- the year the universe DIDN'T end, much to my relief. ;)

christmas day was a lot of fun. we got jack a bunch of new train tracks & thomas-related engines to go along with it -- he spent most of the day sitting with those, chug-chugging along, occasionally coming up for air to open other gifts or eat food.

he also got the infamous utah helmet, which he wore along with his jersey for the majority of the trip. grammie & pop pop gave him a motorcycle-bike, and he got to ride it OUTSIDE with NO JACKET. that, my friends, is the way christmas should be every year. dang i miss living in california.

we spent most of the rest of the trip just relaxing and taking advantage of free babysitting. ;) we spent new years eve playing games & watching rat race (until i fell asleep on the couch) -- new years day i watched the rose parade, mourned my former pasadena life, ate a giant smorgasbord of food while watching football, and got a massage. just a typical january 1. ;)

i did an okay job sticking to my resolutions for last year -- talked to more friends on the phone, got a good camera and sort of learned how to use it, dressed up a little more and who knows if i made a difference. i think i pulled my flute out a total of 2 times so...definitely an improvement. i came up with a few resolutions for 2013 but i think i can sum up all of my goals with one word: FORWARD. [not an homage to obama...i just like the word. ;) ]  i want to progress and move forward with everything in my life, and for this year that means a lot of scary things coming my way -- potty training, baby #2, figuring out my priorities, making choices about work and life. i don't have to be amazing, i just have to move forward.

and with that, here's our 2012 in review. (see also: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011)

see ya in 2013, if i can keep up with this whole blogging thing... ;)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

jack's first trip to disneyland

one of the things i was most excited about when it came to our trip was DISNEYLAND. my family has a tradition of taking kids on their first trip to d-land right before their third birthday (once they're old enough to "get it," but before you have to actually buy them a ticket ;) and since this would probably be the last time the three of us would be in CA before the summer, we went for it.

i'd been brainwashing prepping jack for it by letting him play the totally awesome disneyland app on the ipad leading up to our trip -- it walks you through a virtual park, so before we even got there he already recognized the castle, matterhorn, dumbo, etc. the thursday before christmas we dressed him up in a mickey t-shirt and hit the road.

it was a BEAUTIFUL southern california day. i mean, seriously. look at that #nofilter blue sky.

b and i scored some free park-hopper passes from a family friend (do you know we've been to disneyland four times since we've been married and never once paid for a ticket? it pays to know people, i guess ;) so as soon as we arrived, we ran over to california adventure to grab fast pass tickets to world of color. then we met back up with my mom & jack and went to disneyland!

first stop: city hall to get jack an official "1st visit" pin. then we checked out the christmas tree and all the cute decor and walked down main street. i LOVE disneyland at christmastime.

it was a little too sunny for our poor seattle eyes ;)

our first ride was dumbo and jack LOVED it. he did awesome in line the whole day and never got restless or whiny.

they were shutting some fantasyland rides down for a parade after that, so we walked to toontown. i'd really only been to that section of the park once, right after it opened, so i didnt know much about it -- but was pleasantly surprised. jack thought all the characters were really cool. especially the cars. :)

seriously, the faces on this kid!!

we got in line to meet pluto and i was freakedddd -- i've had an irrational fear of costumed characters since birth, so i've never really taken a picture with one or anything. but i got up close and personal to pluto with a smile on my face so that jack wouldn't be scared -- i just stayed two feet away the whole time ;)

we went to mickey's house and jack was in HEAVEN. i don't let him watch much TV or movies, so the only disney thing he's ever seen is mickey mouse clubhouse -- and he is a huge fan. he was so, so excited to meet mickey.

post-mickey, we realized we'd still only been on one ride so far and that needed to change asap. the closest thing was that roger rabbit cartoon spin thing and there was no line, so off we went. THAT was a mistake. have you been on that ride?!? it's all clowns and flourescent lights and spinning and horrible music. jack totally cried and i felt awful. moral of the story: do NOT go on roger rabbit's cartoon spin.

after that we needed to lighten things up so it was back to fantasyland. we went on the storybook boats (my favorite!) and small world. the christmas parade was going on RIGHT next to small world when we got there, so a.) there was no line and b.) we got to see the parade up close! i loved watching santa & his reindeer come through the gate -- the very same gate i marched through in high school when we did marching band parades at disneyland. so much fun.

by that time the park was getting reallllly crowded (apparently it was the last day for season ticket holders to go before blackout dates so everyone in a 100 mile radius decided to join us for one last hurrah) but we still squeezed in a few rides. buzz lightyear (again, who jack didn't even know existed), the jungle cruise, tiki room + dole whips, pirates of the caribbean. jack did great on all the rides, even pirates, and didn't cry at all. we got churros and took a potty break and got the best mickey sighting of them all:

and then we parted ways. mom & jack braved the INSANE crowds and went back home, and me & b stayed for date night! we had dinner at the carnation cafe on main street, then headed to california adventure. i loved the renovations and had so much fun walking around. we got ghiradelli hot chocolate and perused the new cars land (two thumbs up) and didn't ride anything because pregnant people totally get the shaft. eventually we just headed over to save good seats for world of color and that was my favorite part of the night. we sat on the ground, finishing up our hot chocolate and looking up random disneyland trivia on our phones to read to each other. i loved hanging out, just me & b.

world of color was pretty awesome but nothing sob-inducing or anything like i'd heard. after the show we took a spin on the new little mermaid ride and then headed home. such a good day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

home for the holidays

not going to lie, i was STOKED to be headed home to california for christmas. sunshine & family time were definitely needed and i couldn't wait to get down there. despite a few travel mishaps on our way down, we made it just in time for me to drive to orange county & teach a PR workshop for some awesome bloggers before we officially launched our holiday. work before the play, am i right?

after that was done, it was time to party. we squeezed a loooot of fun into our visit, not even including the holidays themselves. it's the only natural thing to do when you're visiting the best place in the world ;)

one of our family traditions is to do a christmas dinner at lawry's prime rib in beverly hills. it is super festive and incredibly delicious -- i love getting dressed up and driving to our old hood. carolers come around and sing to each table and this year we got TWO songs -- my favorite, carol of the bells, plus frosty the snowman for jack.

after dinner we headed to the LA temple to see the christmas lights. it was beautiful.

we had time to get amazingly spoiled by having my parents babysit! so incredible to go shopping or to the movies whenever we wanted, kid-free. one night our best friends the fackrells came out from pasadena and we saw les miserables. i felt like a college kid, staying up super late with them. :)

my mom & i (plus jack) took our annual pilgrimage out to the san fernando valley to hit up all of our favorite haunts. garlic bread from the smoke house, tea cakes from martino's bakery, a drive by st. joe's hospital in burbank where i was born (across the street from disney studios), and a visit to the graves of my great-grandparents in forest lawn hollywood hills. the best!

while we were on that side of town, we stopped at griffith park to ride the train! we used to go there all the time when i was little but i'd never actually been on the train before. jack was in heaven, of course.

AND...we crossed something off my bucket list. i'd always heard about the mysterious magic castle in hollywood and was dying to check it out, but you have to be a member to get in (basically impossible as memberships cost like $10,000). i had mentioned to b that i really wanted to go, and he tracked down some tickets for us as one of my christmas presents! such a good little researcher, that one. :) we went with my parents & brother a few days after christmas. i spent the first part of the night wondering what all the hype was about -- it was crowded, the magic was so-so and the food was overpriced -- but then we went to an amaaaaazing magic show and all was redeemed. seriously, the whole night was worth it just to see those magicians. loved it!

besides all that, there was plenty of time for reading, relaxing, going to the park and soaking up the sun. it was such a fun trip!

Monday, December 17, 2012

christmas in washington

well hello 2013! time for some catch up after all those crazy holidays. we spent christmas and new year's in california, but before we headed out there was plenty of washington fun to be had.

we met up with our friends at the mall to see santa. and see him is all we did -- i wasn't about to drop any cash to put jack on santa's lap, when judging by the past two years i knew he'd go ballistic. so instead we accompanied our friends through santa's workshop and then headed downstairs for lunch. this picture of jack, rose & emery makes me smile every time i see it. such cute little BFFs!!

luckily, our ward had a christmas party complete with "special visitor" so i could get my santa shot for free. it went about as expected.

there are SO many fun christmas things to do in seattle, we couldn't even fit them all in this year due to other commitments -- and oh yeah, being pregnant & tired. (woe is me ;) after the ward party we brought a babysitter home with us and skipped out to another, adults-only party full of video game industry peeps (plus DELISH jalapeno jelly + ham popovers, my new obsession)...and ended up chatting with the president of nintendo. not a bad night, not a bad night at all. anyway, one new thing we tried this year was snowflake lane in bellevue. fake snow, drumming toy soldiers, all sorts of festivities and of course the perennial holiday favorite -- crowds. not sure i'll ever need to do that again.

 jack and i hopped over to pike place market one day to do a little shopping. it is so festive for the holidays!

we celebrated christmas a little early by opening up presents from b's family before we left. b's incredible wood-working grandpa built jack this amazing airplane! he loooves it.

** disclaimer: jack has developed the endearing and oh-so-annoying habit of making silly faces whenever you ask him to smile. you will notice this trait in many of the following posts. please enjoy the entertainment. **

it has been so fun to decorate and celebrate the holidays in our new home! don't mind the jersey...or the face. (i told you.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

an epic update

first, a little annoucement. ;)

does that help explain the radio silence around here a little bit? between jack giving up naps for good and my new-found 24/7 exhaustion, we've just been trying to survive around here -- and blogging is loooow on my priority list. BUT i'm 14 weeks this week and finally, finally starting to feel like i have a bit more energy so i think we're on the upswing.

so with that, here's a big fat update on what we've all been up to lately.

brandon. b got himself a new job! no no, don't worry, he's still at microsoft, just switched over to a new role as a product marketing manager for xbox. after working for nintendo in LA i think he's just never stopped loving the video game industry, and this is pretty much his dream job. i'm so proud of him and so happy to see him loving his work. his new office is closer to our house and seems great so far. he also just put up christmas lights on our house for the first time (since we've only ever lived in apartments) and was pretty proud of himself. in his free time he does "work research" (i.e. plays video games on the computer against my brother) and has been mourning the end of college football season. he & jack still have "man dates" every saturday and it's pretty cute. b is an awesome daddy & an even better husband to my crazy, hormonal self, putting up with my emotional breakdowns and lack of motivation for household chores. ;)

lyndsey. hooooly cow that first trimester is NOT to be underestimated. i feel like i'm just barely coming back to life after weeks & weeks of nonstop nausea and going to bed by 9 p.m. i haven't been working much (jack is partly to blame for this too) and frankly haven't been doing much of anything -- no cleaning, shopping, socializing, etc. i do feel like i'm handling things a tiny bit better this time though, since you can't be THAT lazy when you've got a two-year-old to chase around. i've also been having kind of a hard time with seattle's dark & rainy skies but i'm trying to keep my chin up. i only manage to get a few hours of computer time in per day, which is spent doing the most important bare minimum stuff, so i'm pretty much falling apart when it comes to my former life of freelancing, blogging (here and there), managing my seattle blogger group, reading a zillion blogs and checking facebook. :( if you want to know what we're up to, check my instagram feed -- it's the only place i update regularly.

jack. my volatile little monkey. the twos are both adorable and exhausting. he is speaking in full sentences and says the funniest things to me, he's so smart, he LOVES trains and football, and he's got a lot of energy. but his tantrums & whining are off the charts and it is SO exhausting to try to be patient with him all day long. naps are officially over in this house, which makes it hard too -- i give him "quiet time" in the afternoons so i can try to get anything something done, but he doesn't love it and it never lasts that long. good news is, i can always count on an early bedtime! i doubt my parenting skills pretty frequently, but most of the time he seems like he's mostly turning out okay so i'll just keep plugging along. the thought of having to do this all over again in another 3 years gives me a major headache. ;)

and there you have it, the wells family in a nutshell. we find out the gender of this baby on january 31st; i'm due on june 12 -- hooray for another summer baby! hopefully we can just keep it together in the meantime. :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

thanksgiving 2012

we flew to utah this year for thanksgiving with the wells clan. it was sunny and HOT -- and by hot, i mean 60 degrees. my poor seattle blood has gotten so thick! we arrived a few days early and had time for really important stuff like cafe rio, in n out and shopping. we also got to visit my adorable grandparents in provo -- i miss them so much!

tuesday night we went to dinner at another favorite restaurant (asian star in midvale, i highly recommend) to celebrate b's dad's birthday and jack finally got to meet his first & only cousin, cole! "baby cole" is adorable and jack thought he was pretty cool...until he started grabbing jack's hair. haha.

the weather all week couldn't have been better (maybe a little less lips were peeling & i was getting daily nosebleeds by the time we left) and i loved seeing the sun!!

thanksgiving was a great day with lots of family & lots of food. :) three pieces of pie for dessert? sure, why not.

on thanksgiving, i always like to make a list of the things i'm thankful for -- things i don't necessarily think about on a daily basis, but that i'm really blessed with nonetheless. (does your family go around the table & name something they're thankful for? i love that tradition & plan to start it once i start hosting the big meal.) at the top of my list this year was having all 4 of my grandparents, healthy & happy. i've had so many friends lose grandparents lately that i feel like i'm starting to become one of the lucky rare ones. i love our extended families, on my side and on b's, and feel so lucky that there are so many people who love us and love jack. case in point -- b's grandparents with their two little great-grandkids.

the funniest part of the week: while i was getting my hair done on tuesday, b took jack to the university of utah fan store to pick out a little football helmet. we'd been planning to get him one for christmas (since he demands a helmet while watching football but all we currently have is his scooter helmet...not quite the same effect) and up until now we'd never had a problem buying his presents with him sitting right there -- but no longer. jack was OBSESSED with this helmet and wore it all around the store, wouldn't even take it off to pay or to get in the car. he ate & drank with it on his head and wore it nonstop the rest of the day. b got it out again on thanksgiving and jack wore it for all the football games, all day long. it was a wrestling match to get it off of him and into a box to ship to my parents' house for christmas -- he's asked for it twice since we've been home. oy, that kid.

just running around, entertaining the fam...

after a little required black friday shopping (at 10 a.m...i'm definitely not the die-hard i used to be) we grabbed one last cafe rio burrito and headed to the airport. we got home to a cloudy, rainy seattle and finally stopped sweating. :) good to be home!