Ventura in the Fall

Ventura, yes, it really looks like this:

Totally unfair to make the rest of the world feel so bad and ugly about itself.  But, we sure enjoyed it while we were there.

We went for almost a week while my mom had a fall break from teaching.  Other than having colds and teething and not sleeping much (Deacon, was on a nap strike) we had a wonderful time.

Deacon loved hanging out on the green grass in the backyard and we all loved being outside.  (My family is known for "patio time.")

We also enjoyed lots of beach walks.  Since Deacon wouldn't really nap, walks either put him to sleep or kept him happy.  We were happy to have grandma take him on lots of neighborhood walks, too.

Evan and I were also able to sneak out for lots of afternoon mini dates.  It was so much fun to feel all young and free!  We got to visit several new (to us) breweries in Ventura which were really great.  We saw tons of people in our age bracket while we were out and I was telling Evan that I don't know where they all were when I lived in Ventura after college.  He pointed out that all the people we were seeing wouldn't have been in my age bracket back then.  I was now old, and so were all the people we were seeing.  Awesome.  But true.

We visited a pumpkin patch for the sole purpose of taking pictures.

 Totally worth it.
My mom found the turkey hat at Target for our little Turkey.  Obviously, it's just about the cutest thing ever.

While there, I turned 32.  We were all going to go out to Wood Ranch (per the usual) to celebrate but my dad caught my cold, and Deacon was a mess, so Evan and I went and brought my parents takeout.  Not the same, but nothing really is anymore!
Anyway, the birthday family pic (in my birthday shirt my sister gave me):

Also while in Ventura, Deacon hit 8 months!

He's so excited about being 8 months that he started clapping a few days ago.


Selfies with Grandma

A few weeks back, we got to have Grandma Debby come visit!  Deacon already misses her gentle hand feeding him banana in the morning.  

Here are a weeks worth of selfies for you.

We went to the Dutchman Family Winery (so much better than I expected): 

Deacon loved the wine.  Okay, he probably just liked the echoey room.

 We also hit up Salt Lick.

You have to take a picture in front of the bbq pit (well, we do at least).

We had a lot of fun, Evan and I got to sneak away for dinner and drinks a few times, and as always, time went too fast.  



Painfully early on the morning after Erin's wedding, we shlepped our stuff to the ferry, and then the train, and then we hit Boston.  

Deacon's favorite part about Boston was all the green grass to play on.  There were lots of big lush parks, and we plopped down on several of them.  He was also totally over being in the Ergo, so rolling free was even more fun.

We were kind of in a daze the whole time, so I don't really remember the details of the 17 stops we made along the Freedom trail, but we saw it all- very quickly. 
Like idiots, we thought it would be fun to climb to the top of the Bunker Hill monument- all 294 steps of it.

This was the pay off at the top (i.e. no pay off):

There was a view- but you had to look out tiny windows to see it.  I just about had a claustrophobic panic attack half way up the dark and suffocating staircase.  Anyway, our fellow sojourners thought I was a badass for climbing to the top with a baby, but I definitely thought I was an idiot.  My calves hurt for an entire week.

The only 2 things that Evan had any interest in seeing were closed.  The USS Constitution was closed, but we still got a picture: 

And Sam Adams was closed randomly, along with the backup brewery we wanted to tour.

We settled for lunch at a local brew pub.  It was really good.  And yes, that's a sleeping baby in my pouch.

We also went on a dramatic "history comes to life" tour of boston tea party ships.  It was actually way better than I thought it'd be.  

Plus, we got to have tea in a tea room after.

More grass!

I was so thankful I stuck that hat in at the last second- it got down right chilly.

I really liked the city- if we had unlimited funds, I would totally want to live there.  We really enjoyed the little Italy section of town, lots of friendly young people, and really good food.

 I had one of the more stressful dinning experiences of my life there.  We really wanted to try this little Italian place that had great reviews- and on our second night of making the attempt, we decided to just go for it.  It was small inside but boasted to be the most "family friendly" joint.  Anyway, we got there later than we expected, had to wait an hour to be seated and by the time we finally sat down, Deacon was done.  Nobody wants to dine with a screaming baby- anywhere- but especially if its a nice quiet Italian place.  I probably left the restaurant 3 times trying to settle him down.  It was awful and embarrassing, and I scarfed my cold chicken marsala when he was finally quiet for 5 minutes.  

But here we are waiting to be seated, and it looks like we had a grand ol' time.

We received a few complements on the trip of what easygoing first time parents we are, which I appreciate so much.  I'm really trying to go with the flow, relax, and just enjoy my time with him.  But a lot of the time (like at the Italian restaurant for example) I think... if people could only read my mind.  I am a bucket of neurotic frustrated nerves.  And I wish he was on a schedule, but he's not.  So maybe easygoing and unorganized are synonymous?

Anyway Boston, we liked you.


My Best Friend's Wedding

Last month Evan, Deacon and I went on a journey to see our friends, Erin and Michael, tie the knot on Block Island, RI.  

We went by planes, trains, automobiles and ferries.

Deacon loved looking at the birds off the Ferry, and slapping the windows.

These pictures crack me up because it looks like we had the most serene, happy, smooth journey.  We did have a lot of fun, don't get me wrong.  But we were tired.  So tired.  I mean, down to the bone tired.  Deacon got a terrible cold the day before we left home, and then proceeded to cut his first two teeth on our trip.  I maybe averaged 5 hours of sleep a night.  Maybe.

But it was a joyous occasion (obviously) and we got to explore a gorgeous and quaint New England island with the most glorious crisp fall weather (I miss that weather so much, it was such a tease!).

This is how Deacon and I spent most of the trip.  

What you may not be able to tell is that out of desperation, I turned into a total hippie and he pretty much nursed around the clock.  We took walks while nursing, he (only) napped while nursing, took tours while nursing, and met a lot of new people all while nursing.  Thank goodness I brought a few scarves and left my dignity at home.  

Block Island had the cutest little animal preserve/ zoo.  Deacon loved the ducks!  I loved the alpaca(?) Evan was on a mission to see the real turtle that the signs all boasted, but he was never successful.  (Deacon is hugging a turtle statue below).

My friend here turned his head just before the camera clicked.  He was totally posing, I was so sad to miss the perfect shot! 

We took a nice long walk across the island (while nursing) to have lunch with the Bride and her Fam.

It was such a gorgeous view (with the best Oktoberfest!)

 Deacon loved his auntie Erin!

We got to have a lot of fun celebrations pre wedding!

And, Evan and I got to eat our first real Red Lobster.

It really was delicious.  A lot of work, but so worth it.  

Deacon got to have a real Block Island native stay with him while we were at the rehearsal dinner and wedding.  I'm going to try to refrain from telling you what we spent on babysitters for two nights.  I kind of can't get over it, and am thinking of going into the babysitting business myself. 
In any case, we were so thankful to find a babysitter at all: we would have completely missed out on all the fun without them.  I had only mild panic attacks about leaving my baby with total strangers I found on the internet, but- we were on an island, so that helped.

 Erin was absolutely glowing in her dress on her wedding day.  She looked so happy and relaxed, and just breathtaking.

 This is the only picture I got with Deacon, not in his wedding clothes, and I was so busy we never got a family shot in our fancy duds.

Evan and Deacon watched the ceremony from afar.  I don't know what happened to me, but I totally got the ugly cry going when Erin walked down the aisle.  It was embarrassing, but thankfully no one was looking at me.

Evan was a total babe in his new suit.  Such a looker.  I'm bummed we didn't get any "real" pictures together (this is the best we got):

And, the moment I've been dreading for years, giving a toast as the Maid of Honor.  

I wish I didn't spend so much time worrying about it/ wish I didn't have such a phobia about public speaking- it went just fine.  Plus I wasn't nearly as nervous as I thought I'd be.  And I know this sounds silly, but after birthing a child, everything else seems like small potatoes.  Somehow being responsible for a human puts everything else in perspective.  In any case, I had fun reliving all the adventures Erin and I had in college and beyond, and had fun reflecting on so many more memories that were too inappropriate to share with the class.

 I'm so glad we got to witness the start of Erin and Michael's marriage, and to attend one of the most beautiful weddings I've seen in real life.  

"Now raise a glass to the Bride and Groom!"  
(I may have that toast memorized for the rest of my life).


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