Friday, July 30, 2010

just because

Here's another video just because. A little peek into what goes on around here every day. Life is good :-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I had another great trip to Missouri last week. It's always difficult to put into words what it means to me to spend time with my family, to sit back and watch them love on my daughter, knowing that these very same people have been loving me in the same way all of my life. It's overwhelming, really. And even though there is always too much time and distance between our visits, I'm so grateful that God allows me to fill up my storehouses of love and joy and peace when we are together. Now I'm back in Tennessee, praying that those storehouses will hold out once again until next time.

her new best friend - Scout

P.S. in the world did you manage to evade the camera the whole time? I can't find a single picture of you from this trip!! I blame Kelsey.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My 10-month-old

What did we ever do for entertainment before her?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweet Corn!

I've been a bad bad blogger. But perhaps these photos will allow you to find it within your heart to forgive me. While I was home last week (yes, I went home to now I owe you the second half of our Cali pictures plus the bazillion-and-two that my sister took plus at least a little commentary to explain it all...and that's why I haven't blogged lately), Nana thought it was time for Caroline to experience one of the finer things in life - sweet corn! Apparently one of my Grandpa Schoon's favorite things to do with babies was to give them a buttery cob once someone had finished the corn (we're all family, right?), so my Mom decided to carry on the tradition. I'll let you decide from the pictures whether or not Caroline found this to be enjoyable.

It was obviously pure torture.

As a bonus, here is a picture of my Dad's plate. Yes, he ate all of that by himself. And yes, we had a full meal apart from the sweet corn. And I'm pretty sure he's eating ice cream in this picture. Perhaps now Dan will understand why I simply cannot bring myself to only make two ears of corn for a meal.

Monday, July 12, 2010

a couple more

Caroline's first trip to the beach

As promised, here is a video of Caroline's first trip to the beach. My apologies to Grandma for my poor camera skills and cutting her head off...geesh. Anyway, you get a good taste of just how much Caroline enjoyed playing in the sand.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Going back to Cali (part 1)

Is it really Saturday already?? Geesh. It always seems to take me longer than I anticipate to really get back into the swing of normal life after a trip to California. For one, the 2 hour time change, though seemingly insignificant, totally throws me for a loop every time...and apparently Caroline agrees with me on this point. Secondly, I look forward to the trip for so long that it's always a bit of a let-down when we arrive home and are forced to carry on with life as usual. And of course there is the fact that I hate unpacking and the bags usually sit for some time before they are completely empty and everything is back in its rightful place. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?

Anyway, on with the good stuff!

If you've never spent time in the central coast of California in July (or March or December or, you get my point), I highly recommend it. Particularly if you live in oppressive humidity much of the year like we do here in Tennessee (90% humidity people...are you kidding me?). Suffice it to say that every time I step off the place into the crisp, clean California air completely devoid of humidity and bugs ( is this possible?), I fall in love all over again. With Dan, with California, with his wonderful family, with life in general. I think the hippies had something figured out when they all made their pilgrimages West. As my Dad said, you certainly don't find many of them in North Dakota (although that probably has something to do with the fact that they wouldn't have survived long). I digress.

We arrived in the LA area and spent the night at Aunt Jeanne, Uncle Mitch & Grandma's house. We were a bit groggy when we woke up the next morning after only a few hours of sleep (did I mention the time change kills me?), but we were able to spend a few precious hours there, even taking a dip in the pool out back. Caroline was able to meet her Great Aunt Dolly & Uncle Joe, spend some time on Great-Grandma's lap, and show off some of her new skills to Great-Aunt Jeanne. We even saw some cousins in the short time we were there. Apparently I didn't drink enough coffee that morning and didn't get any decent pictures of Caroline with family, but here is a quick one of Grandma & Great-Grandma together:

Just before noon, we loaded up and hit the road for SLO. Even time spent together in the van was sweet as we caught up with two of Dan's sisters who made the trip - Jewel & Katee - and of course with his mom. In typical Grandma fashion, she eventually crawled all the way in the backseat just to watch the baby sleep for awhile :-) We made it home in time that night to hit the local farmer's market, which is unlike anything I've ever seen growing up in the Midwest. The fresh fruit ranges from strawberries to peaches to mangoes, all hand-picked that day, with more veggies and herbs and even fresh flowers that I've ever seen in one place (probably including my local grocery store). It was a very nice "welcome-to-California" evening.

We knew the time would go fast, so we decided to pack as much in as we could, knowing Grandma was more than happy to help with our girl at any time. So that next morning, we got up and headed for Jewel's "office," a kayak shop at the beach. She served as our tour guide on an amazing kayaking adventure that included seals, caves, and even a dolphins that literally swam right underneath us! It was absolutely incredible. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera then either, but I think Katee got some pictures (if you wouldn't mind sending those my dear, I'll put some up!).

Afterwards we headed back to the house, picked up Caroline & Grandma, and headed back to the beach to introduce our Tennessee girl to the beach! I did get some video that day that I'll try and post soon (I'm making lots of promises, huh?), but let me just say that Caroline fell in L.O.V.E. with the sand! I was a nervous wreck, assuming she would simply try and make a snack out of everything she found, but shockingly she was more than thrilled to bury her hands, pick up a couple fist-fulls, and let the fine granules run through her chubby little fingers. It was adorable. Grandma & Grandpa also provided a bucket and shovel which kept her entertained for quite some time.

That night, we decided to take full advantage of the eager baby-sitters and went on a lovely date. We decided on a restaurant we had eaten at 5 years ago (almost to the day!) when we had our engagement pictures taken at Shell Beach, a local Italian place called Guiseppe's. It was every bit as delicious as I had remembered, and it was so fun to reminisce about some of the sweet memories we have shared in that beautiful place. We almost forgot for a few minutes that we are all grown-up with a baby now :-)

The next morning we headed out once again to do some exploring. There is a stretch of coast nearby that has just recently been opened to the public, so we decided to go for a little hike and check it out. Oh my is the definition of breathtaking! Caroline was a happy camper with the nice breeze tickling her face and lots of pretty flowers and birds to check out. I'll just let these pictures speak for themselves:

My California man

A quick family picture (I was so proud of this one - EVERYONE looking at the camera and smiling!)

This makes me happy :)

California poppies! Oh Jewel - we love you!

Ummm...Grandpa, I think you were suppose to stay on the trail...

Happy cows come from California (talk about some ocean-front property!)

Jewel & I were pretty sure there must have been buried pirate treasure here.

It was a long hike!

I'm going to pause here as this post is getting incredibly long as it is. I'll pick up with part 2 next time!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

beach bums

We're back! We had an absolutely fabulous time in California with Dan's family. Caroline got LOTS of love from her Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, and some dear extended family as well. I have tons of pictures that I will be sorting through and promise to put up a "real" post soon, but for now I thought I'd offer a few of our little family at the beach. As you can tell, Caroline thoroughly enjoyed herself :)