The day after we arrived, my MIL Lisa and SIL Cassi threw me a baby shower for the Larson family! It was the most miraculous event I have ever seen! It was a "feminine woodland" theme. They used burlap, moss, greenery, wood stumps, and a garland of pinecones/pine needles to create a forest feel. They made it feminine by adding doilies, pink and white floral, and other touches of pink. Cassi made the sweets (mini cupcakes with a roasted crème brûlée marshmallow topping, amazing owl sugar cookies, pecan pie, and s'more marshmallows) and Lisa made the savory (bbq meatballs, mini quiche, paninis wrapped in twine, and sugar cones filled with berries). They even made "acorns" out of kisses, wafers, and butterscotch chips! Everything tied in so flawlessly! Baby girl and I were so very spoiled.
(I burned that shirt after seeing these pictures.)
A few days later was Christmas! Kind of funny/cute that we had our California wedding open house the weekend before Christmas, and then my California baby shower the same weekend three years later. :)
Doesn't little Lenna have the best smile in the whole world?! Agh I love her.
Every year after Christmas (or before, depending on which day it falls on) the extended Larson family camps at the Glamis dunes. This year all of the campers were rented out, so our immediate family had to stay at a hotel a few minutes away. It worked out kind of nicely since I was 29 weeks pregnant. ;)
|I wasn't able to ride the quad, but Tara snuck me on a rail ride with Kyra!|
After Glamis, we took the long way home and stopped at Salvation Mountain. Holy crap that place is weird and amazing and breathtaking and humorous all at the same time. It is in the middle of NOWHERE and I'm kind of in love with it.
And then took another detour to picnic at The Salton Sea, which apparently used to be a beautiful oasis people would escape to, but is now a pretty disgusting placid fish-bone dump with billions of seagulls. I love this picture Cassi captured of Matt being all Bruce Almighty-y.
For New Years Eve Lisa made king crab! It was SO delicious! We watched the ball drop, danced to some performers, laughed at Miley Cyrus, and drank sparkling cider as we kissed our significant others.
I was leaving January 2 to visit my whole family in San Diego, so the day after New Years we celebrated my birthday. :) They made my favorite foods - chicken, fettucini, asparagus, bruschetta, and Cassi made an ALMOND JOY cake! What the heck! My favorite candy transformed into cake-form?! I love her. Matt keeps teasing me at how spoiled I was during our 3-week homelessness. (and it only gets worse... aka better.)
|om nom i want to eat this picture|
The next day I left for Mission Beach because my family was having a little reunion there at my SIL's beach house. It was so beautiful and I couldn't believe we were about to live there and be so close to everyone -- and the beach!
|View from the balcony|
|Everyone playing football|
|Infamous french toast on Mission Boulevard|
|I love my kiddos.|
After the "reunion" I didn't really have anywhere to be, so I went home with my sister's family an hour north to spend my birthday weekend! Melissa and I haven't been together on my birthday since I was 2! We kept pinching ourselves that our dreams of living close to each other have finally come true! (Even if it's only for a few months... we are in denial.) On my birthday we went shopping, ate at Nordstrom Cafe, got our hair done (yay back to my "natural" color!), ate ice cream, and saw Saving Mr. Banks. It was such a dreamy day with just us two!
The next Monday the kids didn't have school, so we all went to Disneyland! Sure, I couldn't ride many rides (I only went on Alice in Wonderland-- how have I never ridden that before?), but it was SO fun to all hang out, eat pineapple froyo, and play "Heads Up" in line. :) PLUS I got a BIRTHDAY pin and every single cast member that passed me wished me a happy birthday! I never got tired of it. I'm saving that pin FOR.EV.ER.
See what I mean about being spoiled? The next week was slightly stressful getting all of Matt's HR paperwork and preliminary employment forms completed and figuring out when/how/where to move in. BUTT that does not negate any fun or relaxing time we had before the final move. :) THANK YOU so much to Matt's parents for having us for so long and helping us move in!
We had a fun time playing hooky with no jobs and no school for the last time ever in our lives. ;)