We took a trip!

DC (6 of 23)

After almost a year of trying to figure out the best time to visit the surprising amount of friends and family we have in Virginia (taking into account various schedules and Jack’s ability to sit on an airplane for 5 hours), we set the date for early June. We didn’t plan too much sightseeing ahead of time, and tried to keep our expectations in check, realizing that having toddler with us was definitely going to change the travel dynamic. I am happy to report that the worst part of the actual travel to and from VA had to do with unexpectedly waiting for a car seat to be delivered to our rental car, in a hot garage, after our long flight. While I won’t say that the flight was easy, new toys, Bob the Builder, and surprisingly an orange juice helped the flight to feel manageable both ways. The seat we bought for Jack on the plane is also something we did not regret!


Our first stop was Alexandria, where we stayed with my Aunt Judi and Uncle David. Jack’s internal west coast clock helped all of us wake up at 7:30 ET (4:30 PT) to start our first full day. We walked to the metro station from my aunt and uncle’s house and took it into D.C. The weather was hot but not unbearable that day, and we were able to see the National Monument, White House, Supreme Court, and National Archives. We also took a tour of the Capitol Building. Brandon was also able to see his work’s D.C. office and meet a coworker for lunch. Luckily Jack napped in the stroller for part of this time. I do want to give Brandon a shout-out for carrying Jack for MUCH of our trip in the humid weather. It was a real workout!


That night we headed to Cooper, Meghann, Lucy, and Judd Green’s house for dinner. We had delicious Korean tacos for dinner and were able to sip our drinks and talk late-ish into the night as our kids played—in this case, thank you Pacific Time zone for making a night out late more manageable with Jack. We took Uber home that night. Note: I usually do not like to give my business to Uber because of the recent developments revealed about the company but Uber has cars with car seats in D.C. and that was a lifesaver when traveling with a toddler.


The next day we met the Greens at a giant kids’ wadding pool right by the Nationals Park. We drank Philz Mint Mojito Iced Coffees and watched the kids play. Then we headed to the Nationals game, where Brandon fulfilled his goal of visiting another baseball stadium. Jack managed to score a free popcorn, and there were hot dogs and beer (adults only, of course) to go around. We were so glad we got to see the Greens before they head to Kazakhstan in July.


That night my aunt and uncle graciously took us out to dinner to get southern food. At Hen Quarter, we split a giant family-sized meal that included fried green tomatoes (just the appetizer), fried chicken crackling, collared greens, baked chicken, fried chicken, salad, biscuits, and a roasted Twinkies and a s’more special for dessert. Jack went a little crazy that night and because our table was completely covered with our food dishes, he didn’t have much room to move his arms or legs. But all and all, it was a great night and we loved getting to visit more with my aunt and uncle whom we continued to socialize with late into the night after Jack was asleep at home.

The next day, our last morning in D.C., we drove in and saw the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, WWII Memorial, and drove past Arlington Cemetery. Brandon really got a workout carrying Jack this day—there’s just something about a stroller that is unappealing when mom and dad want you in it most–and it was much hotter than our first day exploring the city, but it was so worth it to see those extra sites. We packed up and got on the road to Charlottesville that afternoon. Stay tuned!



Fike’s Farewell

Butterfly (8 of 24)

Santa Barbara. It really speaks for itself. Every time we drive up I always exclaim, “Even the air is different up here!” Brandon has heard me say this countless times and kind of rolls his eyes at me now, but it is so true! We definitely appreciate our visits there.

And this past March, we were able to host friends at my parents’ house while my parents were in Seattle for the weekend. The Fike family stayed with us for one night. It was great to spend time with them before they moved to Austin.

We spent the afternoon at the beach, where Jack learned to play makeshift T-ball with an empty Blenders cup and stick. Uncle Ned joined the fun, too. And Drew provided games and entertainment; he never lets anyone go too long without being active. And the girls—Addie included—got to hang out and talk.

After a full afternoon, we headed back to my parents’ house for showers, baths, and dinner. I definitely charred our burgers, but they turned out edible. Yay! After dinner, with two baby monitors set up in the dining room, we noted how nice it was to be able to hang out with friends for an extended time after dinner with no where to go.

The next morning we headed out early (don’t you love other parents with young kids?) for breakfast at Daily Grind and a walk to the park. It wasn’t quite our final goodbye, but it felt like a fitting way to say goodbye to great friends. We miss you, Fikes!


It’s Mother’s Day (well was)

Mothers Day 2017 (2 of 16)We celebrated Father’s day yesterday and all I could think was that I never got up photos from Mother’s day.  My sister hosted yet another amazing breakfast for both Sarah, my Mom, and my sister’s Mother in-law.  Sadly Sarah’s mom could not join the mom-fest with us.  It was a great day hanging out in the backyard and introducing Jack to a little pool.  Nick taught him how to water with the hose and he was obsessed.

Jack Likes Egg Hunts

Easter 2017 (2 of 20)

We celebrated Easter a week early at my parents house with an Easter egg hunt for Jack.  I was nervous that despite all the wonderful effort my mom put into it, that Jack would ultimately not care or lose interest early.  Instead he totally embraced it, other than one brief spell where he wanted to toss all the eggs out of his basket.  My mom went over the top with an amazing rice krispy treat rabbit that didn’t just look good, but tasted good too.  We’ve been reaping the benefits of Jack’s haul plus some other amazing chocolates thanks to some baskets that we were given as well.

Rhett Turns 1

Rhetts 1st (14 of 17)

Jack has some great little buddies, but we anticipate one of these is going to be a lifelong bestie, and that’s Rhett.  Little Rhett has had an inspiring first year of his life and he invited lots of his friends to help celebrate at the park.  Along with those two there’s also not-so-little Remmington who we think will be part of the three amigos as they grow up, since they’re each a respective 8 months apart.  It’s also helpful that Rhett, Jack, and Remmington’s Mommys all really like gossip, wine, talking boys, and blogs. Jack shockingly was hesitant with his cupcake but after poking it a round a little he remembered just how much he loves those things.

He’s 100!

Dara 100 (6 of 26)

It still feels crazy to say, but my grandfather Dara (Jack Willoughby), just turned 100. To put that in another way, he hit 1,200 months where as our little Jack is only 20 months.  We celebrated by having all of the family (daughters, grand-kids, and great-grand-kids) over to his house and enjoyed a nice lunch, cake, and champagne to celebrate.  Baby Jack had a blast but refused to cooperate when we tried to get him to sit with Dara and take a picture together.  However, he did enjoy going around and giving “cheers” to everyone. My grandma, Marxie, just missed joining us as she just passed a couple weeks before at age 96. Unbelievable to think that they had been married for 75 years.  Dara enjoyed his gifts which included heartfelt cards, crab legs, and a dollar for every year he’s been alive.  The rate he’s going I’ll have more birthday posts for him in the future. I should also note, although I don’t have photos, but the day after the party he was treated to a belly-dancer for his birthday courtesy of my cousin Blake.