Daras 101st (2 of 34)It’s incredible to know someone that is 101 let alone that it’s my grandfather, Dara.  He’s been living in an assisted living home for almost 1 year now and you could argue that his health has only improved since moving in.  He’s a notorious flirt with an incredibly sharp memory who loves to share stories (some taller than others) of his past with any open ear.  He loves being around his family and on his birthday we did just that by getting the Willoughby clan together to share in some requested Panda Express and cake.

The evening was a blast with everyone in good spirits and the kids slowly warmed up and began to run the show.  Keegan did her part by counting all the way to 101 for everyone and then at the end Jack orchestrated a solo singing show in which he constantly reminded people to sit down, would only allow himself to sing, and then after each song he would yell out triumphantly “another song!” Hits included The Wheels on the Bus, Jesus Loves Me, He’s Got The Whole World in his Arms, Baby Beluga, and more.

We also watched a video where my cousin Blake had her drama students read adages from Dara’s book, which had him in tears by the end, while my Dad sat there wondering where these kids got these sayings from until someone finally explained to him it was Dara’s book. Lastly Dara finished the evening off with a great little toast that included Marxie who passed away one year ago and then he actually gave all the grand kids an extremely generous gift.

Here’s to hopefully doing this all again next year !

30 Months of Jack!

2 ½ – This was supposed to be published at the end of January or beginning of February 2018

Dear Jack,

Either your dad or I get you from your room when you call out to us in the morning. As soon as you get into our bed, you crawl to my side and press your cheek up against mine. Sometimes you look me directly in the eyes and give me a huge grin; sometimes you keep your eyes closed and breath peacefully. I can smell your baby breath and skin. It’s one of my very favorite times of day with you. You love to give me hugs and kisses.

You can drive me crazy during the day, and at the very same time you are my favorite thing about every day. At the most random moments you declare, “you are my best friend Mommy!” You kiss me on the lips through the holes in the tunnel on the playground. You get so excited about “Croix!” AKA the sparkly water drink La Croix. You constantly ask “member when…” and genuinely want to know if I do remember. Just this morning you dropped your bowl purposely on the ground and it made a loud noise. Your dad and I expressed our displeasure and you replied, “It’s music!”

Most of the time you hate when I get you dressed every morning. I’ve decided I need to recruit your dad to help me. You also like to run freely down the sidewalk, and it isn’t easy chasing you while pregnant. Speaking of the upcoming arrival of your little brother, you like to touch my stomach and talk to your brother. You also point to my chest and announce to everyone that the baby is going to eat from there. You talk about teaching your brother to eat the foods you do, roll over, walk, and crawl. His arrival is definitely going to be an adjustment for you, but I’m glad you are excited right now.

I get as excited about trucks as you do now! I know the specific names of excavators, backhoes flatbeds, and bulldozers. I also get excited when I’m with you and I see a garbage truck (still “bugga” to you) going down the street. We are getting work done on our street and you love to watch and observe all of the trucks coming and going.

Mimi helped me think of all of your Jack-ism quotes, which I also have to add:

“I wunna if…”


“I ha a great idea!!!”

“Das a great idea!!!”

“Les play!”

“I lub you”



“Don’t talk (to another person)!”

“(It’s) Not “PET the goats, you FEED the goats!!!”

“Pri-y awesome!”

“No, don do dat! ”

I’m trying to soak up these last months with just you. You will always be my little baby—now toddler—who made me a mom.

I love you!


Christmas is Over and my Camera Broke

Christmas 2017 (7 of 18)

Sadly Christmas has come and gone and with it my camera was broken while we were out at the Enchanted Forest at Descanso Garden.  I certainly miss it as it does make me want to take more photos as opposed to just snapping random moments which I do with the iPhone.  Before it broke we did get to introduce Jack to an Advent Calendar which he loved and which we used frequently to help prevent meltdowns.  He also was very sad when we tried to teach him about the advent candles which he really wanted to just be Happy Birthday candles which he’d get to blow out.  The Enchanted Forest was super cool and Jack had way more fun then we expected, which may have been helped by giving him some of Sarah’s hot chocolate. The rest of the holidays were pretty stellar and included lots of time with family and close friends.  You’ll have to use you imagination for what those photos may have looked like.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get a new camera soon and get photos back up on the site.  Also I thought I overheard Sarah might make a brief blog appearance to appease her fan base soon, but we will have to wait to see.

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 header (1 of 1)Had a wonderful 80 degree thanksgiving this year.  We spent it up at my Aunt’s house which had a picture perfect setting.  I brought the camera up but didn’t take nearly enough photos in the beautiful foliage around her yard.  That morning Sarah laid out all the ingredients and we let jack mix together everything to make this year’s pecan pies, which turned out delicious and the little guy loved getting to make them.  Jack had a blast playing with all of “Robbie’s” toys and playing with his two cousins, Keegan and Quinn.  In a year from now these three are going to be a hilarious scene and Keegan will be the mastermind for sure.  I randomly enough took some Christmas photos for some friends at a park where I had a photo used for the LAist some 7+ years ago and I decided to snap an updated photo of it as it was just as idyllic, so that’s the random shot in here.

Mt Hermon 2017

Mt Hermon 2017 (1 of 32)

Had another great year of family camp at Mt Hermon with the Taylor/Moe clan.  We didn’t take as many pictures as last year but we definitely had an equally as great a time.  I managed to get out for killer runs amongst the redwood trees pretty much every day. Sarah and I also did the zip line tour which turned out to be exhilarating and much more scary than I would have guessed.  Also not featured is the boat ride that Uncle Ned, Sarah, Jack and I went on which Jack surprisingly really enjoyed. We did the usual staple activities including train day into Santa Cruz and the pancake breakfast which seemingly only become more fun as Jack ages.  The trip ended with an extended tour up to Mountain View to see Uncle Ben and Aunt Megan’s new pad as well as a train trip into the city to see Ben’s office at Dropbox which was straight out of Silicon Valley the show.  Looking forward to next years shenanigans back up at camp.

Belated Birthday Shots

Jack 2nd Birthday (8 of 16)

I know I already posted some shots from Jack’s birthday party, but there was also his actual birthday which was plenty of fun and I didn’t want to leave these photos out. Mommy started the day off with some chocolate chip pancakes which got him roaring into the day.  He also got a very special package with a train spelling his name from Aunt Judy and Uncle David in Virginia that made him very happy. That night Jack had JoJo, Papa, Aunt Brycie, Uncle Nick, and Uncle Scott all over for tacos and birthday cake.  Jack got spoiled by the fam with some more presents and a very special red balance bike.  We all enjoyed Mommy’s chocolate cake that she made and Jack especially loved shoveling it in his mouth with his new bulldozer toy.

Halloween 2017

Halloween 2017 (17 of 18)

Jack’s 3rd Halloween and each one keeps getting better.  We were really nervous about getting Jack in his costume as he’s been quite finicky about some of his clothes but luckily once fully decked out he didn’t worry about it anymore.  As a family we went with a super hero theme with Dad getting away with the least effort. We started off at a street a block from our new place that shuts down for the neighborhood.  It was a great way to start Jack off with going trick or treating.  He preferred being held between houses but warmed up to walking up to people’s doorsteps and whispering Trick or Treat and Thank you when he got candy.  After about the 3rd house we decided to let him sit down and eat a little chocolate and that definitely got him revved up for more trick or treating.  After running into some friends from the neighborhood we decided to had back by our old condo where one street goes really big with their decorating. Jack surprisingly never got scared by all the decorations, noises, or costumes.  He even laughed really hard at some Minion costumes as well as a guy dressed in all red spandex. We managed to get home at a reasonable hour and he wasn’t too hopped up on the sugar to make for a terrible evening.  Possibly the best treat of all was getting to see the Dodgers push the World Series to game 7, let’s hope for more of the same tomorrow.