Tag Archives: friends

Visiting Family in Central California

9 Dec

So here I am, writing from my broken laptop in California, watching reruns of Chopped and trying to love on all the cats like there’s no tomorrow. It feels just like every day I spent in my second trimester of pregnancy waiting for Jonathan to get out of boot camp. Not kidding. I spent the whole time trying to tune out the TV and gather my thoughts, and failing miserably, and as a result  just churning out rambling blog posts and run on sentences and trying to remember why I’m staring at a text box and… anyway. Allow me to share my visit to California thus far via Instagram! Cuz it’s really not gonna happen any other way. (And forgive me for the rambling. We’re watching Kid Snippets on YouTube now.)


Tessa and I spent the morning yesterday lazing around the apartment with Jonathan, not getting packed till the very last minute. We barely made it to the airport in time, because what kind of adventure starts with timeliness and promptness and all that boringness? Not baby Tessa’s first adventure, that’s for sure!


Tessa was completely enthralled by all of the people in the airport. If I suspected before that she is a freakishly, abnormally awesomely chill baby, I know it for a FACT after yesterdays travels. With 8+ hours of travels, Tessa did not cry ONCE! She flirted with everyone, got a trillion compliments on her pixie hat, and had every passenger on the planes going on and on about how cute and calm and wonderful she was. She was giggling and chattering and watching the world when she was awake (which gave me great company when I’d finished reading through the two books I’d brought) and she was sleeping snugly and soundly in her ring sling when she was conked out. It was the easiest thing on the planet! Tessa kept watching the passing clouds out the window, completely entranced. She gets so focused and calm when she’s encountering something new. She’s already such a smart baby. Have I mentioned how much I just love her!?!?


My flight was about 40 minutes behind schedule. Which meant I left my dear friends (whom I’d never before met in person, haha) waiting at In and Out Burger for awhile. I first “met” Josh and Kristen when I was looking for breast milk donations for baby Tessa awhile back. Kristen provided Tessa’s early colostrum heavy milk and has become one of my favorite people. We like to tease each other about how we’re mutual blog / Facebook / Instagram stalkers. I am so blessed to know this lovely couple and Tessa is blessed not just with amazing nutrition, but with an amazing Auntie and Uncle in Southern California! I was so dang excited to meet these guys!! We spent so much time visiting we didn’t hit the road for Hanford till.. what? 8ish? I think?? (I stole some of these Instagram images off of Kristen’s page.. cuz I’m baaaad like that.)






So when we finally hit the road, my mom was all like, “Waaah wah waaah, I have to pee!” So we started to pull over at the nearest exit (Lyons Ave in Valencia) and then we realized, hey! Dennis from Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at Disneyland usually plays with his bluegrass band The Grateful Dudes on Saturday nights at a pizzeria right off of Lyons, let’s see if they’re still playing! And lo and behold they were! We stuck around for an hour or so to listen to the band and catch up on old times, then when we hit the road for the Central Valley it was well past 10pm. See? Timeliness = BORING.



After much coffee and soda and other unhealthy caffeine laden beverages, we finally made it home past 1am. Lots of visiting and settling in ensued and finally, around 3:30am, we headed to bed. Look at Tessa, all snug as a bug in her borrowed bassinet!


This morning we headed to Marshalls so I could buy the Christmas gifts for family that I didn’t have room to pack in my bags. Jessica had fun trying out the ring sling with Tessa. Check out their matching penguin hats:


My brother Jeremy and his lovely wife Angie visited from the coast to meet baby Tessa for the first time. Tessa LOVED them. It just kind of dawned on me today… she’s going to have an auntie and uncle that are going to spoil her rotten.



We headed over to Grandma Ree and Steve’s house in Lemoore for a kind of impromptu family reunion. Look, here’s my brother, me and my sister as babies!


Grandma Ree and Steve meeting baby Tessa for the first time!


THEN! My Aunt Peggy stopped by and Tessa got to meet her Great Aunt. It’s funny to me that Tessa was an angel on the flight -didn’t fuss or cry ONCE – but once we got to visit with family she decided to go all teething infant on me and drool on everyone. She got a tiny bit of a fever today, and kept trying to bite everything (but mostly her overalls). But still, Tessa was being a super cutie, and loving on everyone with her perpetually alternating “oh!” and “wtf?!” faces.


After the family get together, we all headed back to my old apartment (now my dads super secret lair) and spent some more time loving on Tessa. My mum sniped this shot of all three of us “kids” with the first grandbaby. I can’t wait till Tessa has some cousins to play with!


Anyway, I’m going to head to bed now. SO. VERY. TIRED. It’s only been a day and a half and we’ve already had some fun little adventures. Sorry for the rambling nature of this post. I’m tired, I’m distracted, and I’m… I can’t even remember what I was going to say. Yeah, that’s my cue for bed time. Goodnight, ya’ll!


The Noah’s Ark Burger, or the “Abomination Burger”

21 Jul


I’ve blogged before about the unique, nerdy chic gatherings and Friday night shindigs at my friend’s house in Tulare. Belle and Chris Morrow have a knack for hosting the most interesting ,and at times borderline blasphemous parties. And I can’t get enough of them.

The theme for this party, The Noah’s Ark Burger, was dreamed up by my lovely friend Spring. The gimmick? Everyone brought a unique animal meat, which was then ground up in a meat grinder, mixed together, and dished out into individual burger patties. While the imagery of consuming every animal in creation certainly appeals to me, gluttonous carnivore that I am, I prefer calling the them “Abomination Burgers”. While there is nothing abominable and everything awesome with a mixture of a dozen different animals in one bite, the title just rolls off the tongue and intrigues the palate, in my opinion. And it’s just really fun to say.

The grand tally of the ten different animals that went into these burgers? Cow, Chicken, Pig, Turkey, Lamb, Buffalo, Antelope, Kangaroo, Ostrich and Alligator.




And now for the foodie review. Chris did an amazing job pairing a seasoning to the meat that suited the conglomeration of textures and flavors. And the burgers smelled phenomenal while cooking. Even more surprising? They tasted about as good as they smelled. The patties were dense and fairly dry, but they certainly did not lack in unique flavor. Of course there were occasional textural inconsistencies in the patties, but the overall flavor was appetizing and far tastier than any of us anticipated. Chris got a lovely char on these burgers, and everyone proclaimed them a success.  The pile of patties were practically inhaled the second they popped off the grill. The worst part about the burger? The slim likelihood (make that near impossibility) of re-creating this recipe again.

I was going to end this blog with a couple of carnivore, meat eating jokes, but in my quick Google search I found that Vegan jokes are so much more hilarious by virtue of their trying to be funny and just… not being very funny. So I leave you with the making of the Abomination Burger photos and some Vegan “jokes”.



Q: How many carnivores does it take to change a light bulb? A: None. They prefer to stay in the dark about things!

Q: Why do people kill animals? A: Fur convenience steak.

Q: Why did the carnivore cross the road? A: Because a meat store was on the other side, and he had been conditioned by the system of carnism to believe that eating animals is normal, natural and necessary.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road? A: To get away from the hungry carnivore.

Q: What will meat eaters have to say about us vegans in the next century? A: Nothing, because there will be none of them left.

(For the record, I eat meat and I feel bad for the animals, but I mean… run faster I guess and stop tasting good?)

Jonathan’s Going Away (To Navy Boot Camp) Party

2 Jun


Friday night, our good friends Belle and Chris Morrow hosted Jonathan’s 1940’s style farewell party to see him off to Navy Boot Camp at their home in Tulare. It was a fun night of good drinks, good food, good music and good friends. Everyone was dressed in style and with the exception of a couple of random yet highly necessary pants-less moments, it was a classy and nerd-tastic shindig. We went all out and crafted fresh berry artisan cocktails, I had sparkling alcohol-free champagne, Jonathan made himself a huge jug of Planters Punch, and Belle made a large batch of her famous potato salad – which I have dubbed her “Crack Salad” and intend to steal the recipe to.






We are so very blessed to have the great friends that we have. During this scary time of uncertainty and so many huge unknowns, to have a family of friends surrounding us with overwhelming love and support is more than we ever could have asked for. I hate to admit that one of my worst fears for the next 2 1/2 months is the thought of sitting all alone in my apartment, pining away for my husband in a lonely stupor, sobbing into a carton of Starbucks Double Chocolate Chip Decaf Frap ice cream.

But those fears have been thoroughly dispelled. These guys have got my back. I feel like I now have the strength to just pretend that I’m Princess Buttercup and Jonathan is Westley, and he’s simply going off to learn to be the Dread Pirate Roberts and study fencing and build up an immunity to iocane powder for the next few months.

I enjoy all of the Friday night parties that the Morrow family throws, but this one (for obvious reasons) will stick out in my memory. We have been so frazzled with last minute things to do and remember and accomplish before Jonathan leaves, so we had intended to dispense with going away parties all together. But the Morrows said no. And, as I’ve come to learn, what the Morrows say, usually goes. They are my refined geeks, and I love them so hard! Thank you for making us family, you classy bitches.




Lockpicking Barbecues

24 May


My dad has some pretty random hobbies. Like blood spatter analysis, day long chess matches, hunting for broken power tools at swap meets and perhaps weirdest of all, public speaking. For fun. (I know, right?!)

One of his hobbies is lock picking. When we first moved into the apartment on the back of my parents property, we started having what have come to be known as, “Lockpicking Barbecues”. We barbecue, and we pick locks.



Or rather, the boys pick locks and I fiddle with them, get frustrated, and then start throwing flammable things into the firepit. It’s not that I don’t LIKE lockpicking. I’m just not any GOOD at it. I can pick the easiest knock-offs from China, but anything beyond that and I feel like a handicapped McGuyver.

That, and lockpicking requires a lot of focus and patience. Neither of which I have an overabundance of.

Anyway, we wanted to have one more Lockpicking BBQ before Jon leaves for the Navy (I know, I know, that’s been the theme for the past few weeks) so I made sure to grab some photos of the boys having fun with their toys. We invited the Buckleys over since Buck likes to indulge in random hobbies with my father too. I sniped this picture of them deeply focused on their toys. When us girls all commented on how serious miserable they look, they brightened up for us…



Anyhow, we’re leaving for a quick camping excursion to the Grand Canyon in Arizona today, so after keeping this blog up on a daily basis since I started it at the beginning of the month, I’m going to be AWOL for the weekend. Keep us in your travel prayers!