Saturday, July 27, 2013

Belgium Reunion

Last week we had two visitors staying with us - both dear friends from our time in Belgium. He's currently living in Vancouver. She's in London. We all met here in sunny California for a little reunion. We recounted old stories, made new memories, told jokes, played with Ina, hung out at the beach, feasted on sushi and fish tacos, drank Belgian beer and Californian wines. We spent a day at the Getty, another up in Malibu. We had an amazing lunch at Gjelina in Venice, and some great take-out here in our dining room with my brother who was also in town for work. We saw dolphins and ate bread freshly baked one morning by our dear Robbie. It was so normal and natural having them here, like we all belong together... just like back in Leuven. Since they left, the apartment feels a little quieter and emptier (and sober-er), and we miss them so much already.

Here's a peek at our week together:

We love you Auntie Kirsten and Uncle Bobbie! Come back and see us again soon!

(You too, Gug)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Family Night Reunion

When I lived in New York, every Sunday night was Family Night. A group of intelligent, beautiful, supportive, creative, amazing people welcomed me into their Sunday night tradition of a home cooked meal to unwind, refresh, laugh, talk, share, and play before another Monday rolled around. Always hosted in the same warm home, but with food prepared by a different member of the family, it was the part of the week I always looked forward to most. We all became Tias ("aunts" in Spanish) to two baby boys, who are now seriously awesome big kids. And we all helped each other through job changes, heart breaks, new loves, grad schools, some rough times and the best ones... In the past several years, the fam has all moved away - only two of the original eight Tias still live in New York, and several of us have landed in California. A couple husbands (and husbands to be) have joined the crew, as well as little baby Ina. We've all changed and done so many different things with our lives... but I love and respect every single one of these people beyond compare.

The last time we were all together was at my wedding, almost two years ago. On Saturday, the stars aligned, and we had an almost complete Family Night Reunion. We ate, we drank, we talked, we laughed... It was like no time had passed at all, and it was just another Family Night dinner.

It was so good to be together again (we missed you Tia Janet!!) and I hope our lives can intersect again soon for more than just a few hours. Mostly because Ina needs her Tias in her life, but also because I need my Tias in my life.

Love you guys.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

9 Months

Dear Didzette,

Oh goodness - you are nine months old. I find myself wondering how in the world that could happen? You were just born... weren't you? Yet, when we look back at newborn baby photos of you in Belgium, that teeny tiny person looks so foreign. That is certainly not the same little rascal that crawls wildly, giggling, around the house looking for the next obstacle to climb over or the next book/remote control/iPhone/bowl/toy/spoon/spatula/bottle to put into your mouth. You don't sit still for a moment.

You're full of all kinds of tricks these days, bug. You clap! Clapping is your new favorite thing - especially to Michael Jackson, but also to the little songs you sing to yourself when you're content. Which is pretty much all the time. You're such a happy little bug. You only show your scary, cranky side when you're tired - but thankfully you're such a good sleeper, you sleep off the crabbiness and you wake up singing your little songs to yourself while sitting up in your crib while waiting for one of us to come get you.

My favorite moments of the day are the ones when the sun is just coming up and the softest light beams in through our bedroom windows. You wake us up and we bring you into bed with us. You nurse, looking up from time to time to smile at your daddy who desperately tries to get a few more minutes of sleep... and then we spend half an hour lounging in bed together. Some days we put some music on, other days we just snuggle. During these early morning moments you're so calm, just smiling your sweet smiles at us. It's my favorite way to start the day.

You've become so social and friendly. When we're out for a walk you smile at all the strangers we pass, you flirt with the people sitting next to us at restaurants as well as the waiters and the busboys. Oh heavens, you love flirting with busboys! Any time our friends stop by to say hello, you warm right up to them in a matter of moments and you love being showered with attention. Everyone adores you, bug. You're our little ray of sunshine.

We love you so much.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekend Bits

Last week was busy and a bit stressful at times, so this weekend was all about relaxing, hanging out with friends, and soaking in the sunshine. We hosted a little brunch on Saturday - which meant to go for just a few hours and pleasantly lasted until Ina's bedtime. Sunday, we took a walk down to the beach and gave the bug her first ride on the swings down by the Santa Monica pier... a couple margaritas, and some fish tacos later, we walked home, happy and sunkissed. 

...and that's all we needed to feel refreshed and ready to take on the week ahead. Have a good one! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend Bits

The amazing thing about friends is that you can move away to three different cities in two different countries, get married, have a baby, move back six years later and pick up as though no time has passed at all... Of course in that time there have been visits and phone calls and emails and letters, but getting to sit down face to face and chat and catch up and smile and laugh over lunch or a drink or just sitting around on the floor of our apartment with Ina crawling all over us is the best. The past few days, when we weren't unpacking and painting and hauling boxes, we were spending time with friends.

We do, however, need to work on finding Didz some buddies, since his only guy friend is 4 years old:

Maybe this week we'll find you some friends, Didz. Thanks for putting up with all the girly chit-chat.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fourth of July!

We took the day off from unpacking and organizing to celebrate the Fourth of July with a parade down Main Street in the morning and a little cupcake making/beer drinking party in the evening. It was a fantastic and full day, and even though we didn't watch the fireworks (though we heard them boom all evening) we had a pretty great celebration.

Here's a bunch of photos from our day...

I hope that you had a wonderful day, and that the fun continues all weekend!

(Thanks for the cupcakes, Sigi! They were amaaaaazing!)