Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Brief Prologue: Blogger has been supremely lame lately and unwilling to show Adventures of the Family G correctly in both Internet Explorer and Safari. This lameness brought me mere moments away from transferring our entire blog to a new system. Luckily Blogger got their act together in the nick of time and pulled some strings. I am just sending this out into the blogosphere to apologize to our readers and remind Google that they had better get their act together or there is going to be a mighty migration to other much more refined systems.

So we are finally at our new home and settled in!! Drum-roll are the first pics of our new house.

It has a sort of rustic-flair, don't you think? Great open window and floor plan. Lots of space for entertaining.

Just kidding. I got you there for a sec didn't I? Do you take me for the rustic type?

This is the real deal. The front of our new townhouse. Not quite as rustic...

This is a view of the rest of the complex from our front porch. Please note the close proximity to the pool/spa.

We are super happy in our new place and will be sure to give everyone the 'inside' tour as soon as I get a chance to do a little indoor photography. For those of you interested in a California get-away we do have an extra guest room available for a reasonable price. Mostly Free. But we might tax you a meal or two out.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Building Traditions Part II: Advent

What's the best way to make a child even more excited about the Christmas Season? Give them cheap little toys on each day until Christmas!

On our first Christmas together, I noticed that Ben received a festive home-made advent calendar/stocking type creation from his mom. The advent calendar was complete with little pockets for each day and had Ben's name emblazoned in red felt at the top. Each of the little pockets were fitted with a tiny wrapped package to be opened on their corresponding day. The gifts were mostly things like pencils, chocolates and even the occasional mini-Norwegian flag.
Once we were married Ben's mom figured that I could start purchasing and wrapping little gifts for my husband's advent calendar. I thought otherwise and decided that I did not have the time or patience to wrap 25 tiny gifts for my 6'4" husband. I tend to lack skills in the whole doing 'thoughtful' things department . Thankfully Ben is my better half and is extremely thoughtful. He recently purchased a Norwegian advent calendar for our own daughter. Ben took the time to put her name on the top, buy her gifts, and wrap 25 little surprises for the Lil! Now every morning we go the Lily's advent calendar and she gets to unwrap a gift. The only obstacle to the cuteness of this whole situation is that a 19 month old does not really understand the concept of 'only one each day.' We have been dealing with 2.5 mini-meltdowns each day over why she cannot open another gift. Sigh....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Building Traditions Part I: The Man in Red

We are thrilled to be in our own home this Christmas. In the past we usually camped out at our respective parent's homes on their corresponding years. That was fine and good for a while, but now that we have our own little 'elf' at home we are excited to start our own family's Christmas traditions.

Bizarrely enough, one of the first major arguments that Ben and I had while dating was concerning whether or not our children would 'do Santa Claus.' Please note: we were probably 19 and 20 at the time- we didn't waste time getting to the 'big issues,' you know about things like Santa and our future kids' names. Things that all 19 year-olds think about. Anyways, I was on the pro- Santa side being that I did the whole Santa thing growing up.My parents always told the kids in our family that they had to write out a check to Santa for the cost of all of our toys. This tactic kept us from becoming greedy little gremlins who thought that we could ask Santa for a pony and receive it without any financial repercussions. To me Santa was just a glorified toy-maker who somehow squeezed down our chimney to deliver the goods. On the other side of the spectrum, Ben's family never really 'did Santa.' Rather in Norwegian fashion Ben's family would open all of their presents from each other on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning they would receive their stockings filled with chocolate and goodies. There was always an understanding that the gifts came from Ben's parents not a jolly fat guy in red velour.

Fast forward to 2009, we have a 19 month old and the age old argument is hanging around in the back of our minds. At this point we have decided to compromise and combine our traditions. This year Lil will be receiving gifts from her Mom and Dad (have not yet duked it out over whether that will be on 'Eve' or 'Day') and a stocking from Santa. This way she will not be the odd Debbie Downer in her elementary school class, crushing little children's hopes and dreams by declaring that 'Santa is not real.' Yet, she will also recognize that Santa is not a huge deal and focus on the fact the merry man should not be the reason that most of the world is having a giant party on the 25th. Victory on both accounts! Now we just have to put this plan in motion. We figure that we still have a couple of years to change our minds- if things don't work with the compromise their won't be any serious damage done to our child's naive little presuppositions.

P.S. If you are loving the sketchy Santa pic at the top of the page you might want to check out this fabulous holiday blog . It will definitely bring you a little yuletide cheer.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Ha, irony! So in my last post I basically bragged to all of you about how warm and toasty we were in the 70 degree December sunshine. The bragging has now officially come to an end because I am currently looking at ice on the ground and the thermometer is reading a high of 40 (4 degrees C) in the middle of the day.

Yesterday morning, Ben dashed to grab a screaming Lily (side note: that would be a good name for an emo band 'Screaming Lily,' maybe I need to channel my inner musician and start one?) and yelled down for me to grab my camera quick! What could possibly need photographic documenting at 7:20 AM? Snow! Snow that actually stuck to the ground in the balmy San Francisco East Bay.One of the huge reasons that we moved down to California was to escape cold, wet weather... hmm we are feeling a little confused at the moment! Victoria has yet to see a single snow flake and San Francisco gets a dumping? Have I mentioned that in the 18 years I grew up in the Bay Area I never once saw snow on the ground? There was occasionally iciness on cold, winter mornings but never the white stuff.

A small part of me is secretly excited that I did not have to miss out on the annual winter dusting this year... I could get used to this whole global warming thing.

There is an abominable snow-woman in this picture if you look very hard...

Shot of the backyard!

Shot of my parent's lovely neighbor's house looking all quaint in the snow.

Poor little California stone birds and seasonal flowers.... they don't know what just hit them.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy December!

This is how we spent the beginning of the Christmas Season! Basking in the warm Santa Cruz sun with the Booth family. Nothing says 'Merry Christmas' like a picnic on the beach.


I know that you have missed our smiling faces and witty banter for the last three weeks! It's OK, you can admit that there is a small hole in your heart that can only be filled by our weekly blog updates.

There are a couple of reasons for our absence in the blogosphere. 1. We are still living at my parent's after nearly a month and it just seems strange to update a blog when its main devotees live under your roof. 2. I have been lazy about downloading our pictures and blog posts sans pics tend to be dull.

We have been having a lot of fun for the last few weeks and feel as though we are on an extended visit to California. I am happy to report that the vacation-like atmosphere will soon be a thing of the past when we move into our own space next weekend! Ben is heading back up to Canada in a couple of days to bring down all of our earthly belongings. Can't wait to get on with the next chapter! Wha-hoo!

Here is the brief re-cap of the month of November... we have been going to parties the entire month!

True Friends! I had the pleasure of being a bridesmaid in my friend Catherine's beautiful wedding. I have known these two gorgeous girls since 6th grade! I am thrilled to be living a short-drive away from the TF's.

We were excited to be able to attend Canadian cousin Sienna's 3rd Birthday Party! Here is a pic of all of the party's VIP guests.

Lily got to celebrate her 1st American Thanksgiving in California! Cousin Sienna and Brian came down to celebrate too. Here is a pic of the cutie cousins having some Thanksgiving spirit with their little gourds.

Posing with their Dad's on American Thanksgiving.

Lil and cousin Forest on Thanksgiving. Not sure if she likes her cousin pushing her around...

Take that cousin Forest!