I'm not really sure how many of you out in blogger-land have seen UP. My guess is quite a few. THis is based on the premise that many bloggers (I'd say a majority of us 'casual bloggers') are Moms and Dads, which title necessitates at least one offspring. Having progeny causes many grown-ups to do things that most other grown-ups wouldn't normally do. Things like visit the zoo on a weekly basis, eat fruit snacks (i.e. gummies), and see all G rated films.
Since I am a:
I also go see movies for children. That's pretty much all I see. Ever.
But enough about me.
In the movie 'UP', at the very end, Karl and Russell are sitting down outside an ice cream parlor spying the colors of the cars that zoom by: "red", "blue!" This parlor has a name: Fentons.
It's a real place. I would know, I had my wedding reception luncheon there.
The BEST ice cream sundaes in the WORLD. Three words- Black and Tan.
Fentons is an institution. Especially for the 'Just Married' or 'Almost Married' crowd.
I was only able to get a few good shots. But I'm not really sorry about this.
reason #1. Have you TASTED the crab salad sandwich?
reason #2. kids.
reason #3. ice cream.
I was focused on the higher good here people.
So, here are the few good shots I got.
Me, Jacob (brother #1), Sam (brother #3)
James, Joseph (brother #2), Dad in the bottom fore-ground. (Doesn't he have the coolest grey hair?!) James giving us all the "gig'em aggie". Or the "yeah, good job!". This was before the thumb picture. He had a sip of something (I'm not really sure what) and made this fantastic face: This lovely lady is my Granna, Karen Simpson. She's amazing. I should be so lucky to be related to a woman like her. See her cool grey hair? Can you guess what color mine will be when I get to this stage of life?
And my darling Oliver.
The rest of the CA trip went well enough, I just didn't take pictures. The wedding was very nice. My sister now has a husband- who is very cool too. If I get to post some wedding pictures, I will. Or I might just link to her site. And the day after was General Conference.
And then home.
We had such a wonderful time seeing all of our family and friends in Livermore, Concord, Oakland and Emeryville!
My sister, Amy, is the one who got married and the one who justified the giant trip out to the west coast. She also just bought a house with her husband, Ethan. But they were still in the process of moving in when the entirety of the Simpson clan descended upon them. Sorry about the pictures Mame.
Here is my mom:
This is the first time I've been able to post pictures of her:) Her name is Lisa Michelle and goes by Michelle. But she has the coolest "grandma" name of all time: Mona Lisa. Don't you love it?!
She is the picture queen. Takes pictures of everything and anything that will hold still long enough for her to snap the shutter. And then, when things weren't holding still, she got a camera that captures images IN MOTION. NO one is safe.
Good things James is a camera lover. Ham, I believe is the word.
In this photo, James is showing off the "fishing pole" that he used all evening to catch cats. It's really a cat toy with feathers at the end. But that didn't matter to the boy. For all intents and purposes, he was just fishing for cats. For 2 hours.
He actually caught one! Amy's kitten, Lenin, loved playing with the toy. He's laying down in the background- the 4 little white legs. The problem with Lenin playing with James is that Oliver LOVES LOVES LOVES all things animal. So, Lenin would come out to play with James, Oliver would get excited about the kitty being out and chase him. Lenin would run away. James would being Lenin back out with the toy. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Half of the family:
Jacob on the couch intently focused on the game.
Amy on the chair.
Sam in the background smiling.
Joseph's arm behind Amy.
Dad's arm in the very foreground (he was showing me cool dialysis stuff).
I found this on my camera. Hey, Jacob. I think I'm getting you nose-hair trimmers for christmas!:) I love my family.
For those of you not in the know, Nations is an excellent burger joint. In-n-outy, with a touch of Millies of Salt Lake City, and a side of nostalgia, Nations is a nice place for a good burger. Especially if you're starving. And your kids. And your brother.
Introducing to my blog for the very first time, my brother Jacob. Too bad the only pictures of this caveman are of his hairline and concentration lines. Just kidding Jacob. we love you.
Here's one reason why I've got a great brother:
He taught James about straws and all the fun things to do with straw wrappers.
Like, straw-wrapper guns:
Guns take two: and spit balls: This picture is of James exulting because of a well shot spit ball.
I think this is a great example of family bonding. I mean, these were my kids being taught by my brother awesome straw tricks that will definitely aid them in college applications.
College application: describe the best two straw wrapper tricks you learned as a youth.
James: well, hell, that's not a problem. My awesome Uncle Jacob taught me how to shoot people with the wrapper as a blow-gun AND how to successfully target and sharp-shoot spit balls when I was four. I've been applying this knowledge to my life ever since. This determination to propagate my knowledge to my younger siblings and my application of this noble art through my life demonstrates blah blah blah.......
See? This was a non-wasted afternoon. Plus I got to hang out with my really cool younger brother.
I decided to do this post about my CA trip in segments.
Segment 1: The Airports
Flying half way across the country with a 4 year old and a 16 month old is not something I'm interested in doing again.
And I think any other mom in the world would agree with me.
Three words: SO MUCH STUFF.
Seriously. Not only am I outnumbered by sheer bodies, but I've also got a backpack with toys and treats to keep the kids quiet, a DVD player and case, James' backpack with books (because nothing beats our own books apparently), and a car seat for Oliver, AND my double stroller because there is no way in hell I'm going to fight my 4 year old about walking WITH me instead of away from me at every possible instant, through a very crowded airport. Add to all this harmonious-ness the need to completely strip at the security check and then reassemble everyone after we're through the stupid metal detector (which by the way keeps beeping for me, and me alone, until I figure out I still have my earrings on which I now have to remove one handed because O is attached to my hip and I'm desperately holding onto James' hand with the same arm) without loosing my mind. You can understand maybe how fun (not) this was for me.
But the good part?
My kids were fantastic.
I said to Oliver, "Oliver! Look at me! Oliver! Over here! Oliver! Oliver?! Ollie!!" That's what I got.
James was awesome though. He played and got really into this cool little puzzle thing. See? By the time we got to Oakland, after 10 hours of travel, we were happy to be with Grammy and Papa in Livermore. Thank the Lord we all got there at the same time in each of our whole pieces with our brains almost intact.