Monday, January 5, 2009

Our Trip To Santa Barbara: The Highlights

We were lucky enough to spend The Holidays in Santa Barbara with my family. It was a great trip, two weeks long. We had a great time with all the various family branches, and even got to see a few friends (though not as many as we would have liked). So here are the highlights, not including things about which I already blogged:

- Hanging out with my sister Jenn and her beautiful daughter Chase, who is 4 months old
- Visiting SBMNH with my mentor and astronomy inspiration, Amanda (who I know will read this and blush)
- Finding out that Stellan's limp was caused by a mere ankle strain and not something more serious (injury was sustained while jumping off furniture)
- Watching Grandma and Granny ride Hers & Hers Razor scooters at the park
- Wearing pants and long sleeves
- Letting Stellan play in autumn leaves (instead of storm-strewn palm fronds)
- Having Levi grab me by the hand and make me lead him to Stellan, as well as seeing his mom and dad
- Introducing Stellan to the Christmas train (you know, the iconic one that runs around the tree)
- Watching the two boys I babysat for many years entertain my child (payback is sweet!)
- Accompanying 11-year-old Josh (who lives next door to the Grandmas) as he played the trumpet for the trolley that trolls the neighborhood during the holiday season
- Recounting the Christmas story to Stellan on Christmas tree using finger puppets
- Watching Stellan freak out when he encountered a huge (and plastic) gator waiting for him in the tub (it was supposed to be amusing, and it was - but not to him)
- Enjoying a big huge Christmas Eve celebration with almost all of my brothers and sisters + spouses and kids (12 out of 16 ain't bad!)
- Wearing the shiny silver "bling teeth" KK put in everyone's stockings for a family photo
- Holding a family white elephant using gifts provided entirely by my kid brother Matt (who is on his mission in Indiana); he sent lots of funky glassware from a glass factory that was closing
- Watching my sister chop 14 inches off her hair (donated to Locks of Love)
- Eating way too many Dutch Babies on Christmas morning
- Watching my kid open present after present; he is loving all his new stuff!
- Going to the biggest Christmas dinner I've ever been to (26 people all crammed into my aunt and uncle's gorgeous home; executed with precision and grace)
- Talking to my aforementioned missionary brother (he can only call on Mother's Day and Christmas, and he only gets to call his parents)
- The Bounce House. The Grandmas actually bought a small bounce house at Kaybee Toys, which was going out of business. The amount of fun experienced by all parties present cannot be overstated.
- Enjoying a lazy morning-after-Christmas at the local elementary school with Stellan and Grandma and Grandpa (lazy for us, not Stellan)
- Having my dad pull me and Stellan home from the school in the wagon (I bet he thought he was through with that long ago)
- The Farming Game, which I love but never get a chance to play
- Decorating sugar cookies with some of the sibs
- Kevin and I actually going out to eat and even to (gasp!) see a movie
- The night when Maggie asked, "Which would you like for dessert? I have hot chocolate cakes, peppermint ice cream, homemade chocolate sauce, fresh whipped cream and cream puffs." and Kevin answered, "Yes." I'm still enjoying the lingering aftertaste of the dessertiest dessert of my life.
- Chile verde burritos to go from La Carreta as breakfast at Goleta Beach
- Organizing a small mob to head to the zoo
- Visiting Stellan's great grandparents on the way to LAX

Following this post, I'll put up some photos (just the very best of the 700+ we took) in a slideshow on a different post. I'll also post a video of some of our good times (again shortened from 40 minutes of footage to 9). Please enjoy! Also, if you'd like to see many more of the photos, I have uploaded the following albums. If you'd like any of these photos in better resolution, please contact me and I will send them to you.

Uploaded to Picasa:
Stellan and Chase
Shoreline Park
Willowglen Park
Stellan and Levi
Sunday Dinner With the Spattersons
Stelly Z. and Riley P.
Christmas Day at Dad and Maggie's
Christmas at Beeb and Bob's
Flodquist Bouncer Madness
Hope School With Grandma and Grandpa
Cookie Decorating
SB Zoo

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