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Monthly Archives: July 2012

So Much To Report, but…

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There’s so much we still haven’t written about! The rest of our Midwest trip (we have SO many photos!), recent picnics, upcoming trips… But for today… This gorgeous day… We’re on our way to Santa Barbara’s Greek festival!
And Mason… Is refusing to wear his hat.



Hope your days are all as sunny and lively as this one!



Morning Play Time

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Elaine was out late last night so Mason and I had a play date this morning on the floor. He was in a great mood, at least for part of the two hours, so I decided to capture a few of our moments for the blog. The photos took place over a couple of minutes but they give you a snapshot of our morning together.

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Moments like these happen almost everyday and this was my opportunity to soak one in. It’s scary that they go so quickly. I was looking at one of our older posts and Mason was a baby-baby. Now he is a crawling, squirmy, toothy, food eating, iPhone jealous kid. Sometimes when it’s just the two of us I get so focused on what is happening next or counting down to when Elaine comes home or when we can go for a walk to get out of the house. Elaine does a great job of being present for Mason and herself and living in those moments. My goal is to be more present, more moment focused, and celebrate these morning play dates. They go quick too. Enjoy, Mark

And The Beat Goes On

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((Above is last night’s sunset))

It’s hard to believe how much we’ve done already in just two and a half days. Harder still, to believe we’ve done all these things and covered all this territory while still feeling like our pace is rather relaxed and spontaneous.
We’ve all been enjoying each others company quite a bit!


We spent the last couple nights in Hannibal, Missouri, surrounded by Mark Twain quotes and Huck Finn references. We packed up in the morning and stayed out till the evening.
We hiked through the Riverside Park


We stopped for a picnic lunch under the trees. Let me tell you the contents of a veggie sandwich in the Midwest (or at least in Hannibal)… Fried green beans, pesto, spinach, wild rice pilaf, and spinach artichoke dip! I felt like I had cleared a Thanksgiving table of all it’s side dishes and placed them between two pieces of bread! But let me tell you… As odd as these contents were… they tasted absolutely delicious!


On the two block street of downtown Hannibal, we squeezed in a couple geocach hunts, one in a pretty little butterfly garden.


We strolled the city, paused for breaks from the heat, and made some new friends.


And we cruised along the water on the Mark Twain Riverboat.


Of course, traveling with a nine month old adds its own special mark onto the traveling experience. But Mason has been a true trooper. While the different time zone has left his naptimes a little wonky, he’s been able to nap on the go, in the Ergo carrier. Which means we aren’t confined to the hotel room a couple times a day.


His inner clock is still on California time it seems. He wakes up in the morning around 8:30 or 9am, and seems to settle for sleep around 8 or 9pm. Everything shifted over a couple hours.
When we laid him down to sleep tonight at his normal 7pm bedtime, he kept popping back up to chat with us. We finally tried barricading his line of vision from his crib to where we sat, winding down from the day… But he managed to pull himself to standing several times and find us through the pillows. Hard to resist this kid’s giggles!


But now he’s fast asleep, and Mark is nearly so next to me… So that means it’s time for me to surrender to the pillows myself. Looking forward to seeing Grandma Gable and everyone else in St Louis tomorrow!


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We’re on the road to Mount Pleasant, Iowa for a little lunch stop and stretch, providing the perfect opportunity for a little show and tell of our trip so far.

Although, yes, the roadside quaintness of our previous SB airport will be missed… The newly redesigned airport, I have to say, was quite gorgeous. Murals on the ceilings and tiled staircases led us into a couple of incredibly successful plane rides with the babe. Mason was a little flirt with the stewardesses and sought out smiles from the other passengers while he was awake, and napped for about an hour on both flights. Simpler than we could ever have hoped for!


We were greeted by Bob and Linda at the Des Moines airport and whisked off to bring a late lunch to with the Watson’s. We enjoyed visiting and Mason got to meet Jack and Jo for the first time.


We said our goodbyes and gave our hugs and got on the road to Pella, a small Dutch-style town (a little flashback to Solvang). A dinner in town and a little walk around was a nice, relaxing way to end the day


This morning, we were greeted by a happy, giggling, rambunctious kiddo.


And when our morning walk helped coax our happy baby into a quite tired baby, we hopped back into the car.


So on we go, driving some Iowan highways and gazing out over some wide open spaces. Enjoying our easy pace and excited to continue seeing family!