Since my family was vacationing here in LA, it pretty much felt like we were too. We packed in as much together time as possible, lots of food and drinks, and made it out of the house because of the best aunts ever, and totally enjoyed ourselves.
I'm going to do my best to record the pictures on the day they happened, but I swear my mind has turned into mush lately.
Ok, so starting off with the day after Christmas....
Saturday, 12/26- We talked from my parents condo into Venice for lunch at this cool deli called Gjusta. My sister Nellie and Joel left after us because they were watching the UK basketball game, and our group got epicly lost and ended up walking like 2.5 miles out of the way, on top of a 2 mile walk. By the time we got to lunch we were starving and then needed to go find a restaurant that served beer.
Sunday - We started our day off with a hike and MAJOR celeb sighting.
That woman in the background in the vest and gray sweats is Gwyneth Paltrow! She was walking our favorite trail (Westridge) with her two dogs - and her bigger dog was getting into a LOT of trouble. I didn't see it because I was waiting for Joel, but when she finished her hike, I guess her dog and another dog got into a pretty legit scuffle....she seemed very low key and cool.
That night we had a fantastic dinner at Scopa in Venice (the 5pm early bird special) and headed home.
Monday - Joel went back to the office, so I spent the day with my family after Leo and I took a long walk. Leo has been holding onto his wubanub and using it as a lovie lately and it just about melts my heart.
That night my sisters took babysitting duty so that Joel and I could join my cousins and parents out for dinner.
We left the house at 4:30 and then they took over playtime, bath duty, and his last bottle before putting him to sleep. They did such a good job and had so much fun - and sent me the best updates while we were gone.
And since I knew he was being so well taken care of I stayed very busy eating pasta out of a wheel of cheese and a whole lotta wine.
Tuesday - That morning was beautiful in LA, so after Joel left for work, Leo and I headed back over to my parents condo. Once we got there, my sisters and I decided to head out and run along the marina.
We did two easy miles and it felt good to run off that pasta wheel from the night before.
That night, Joel was nice enough to stay home with the baby after his 4:30 feeding, and my family and my cousins and aunt and uncle went to the Magic Castle here in LA. It's a "members only" castle (unless you have tickets given from a member) where you go to different magic shows through the night and then stay for dinner and a grand finale show.
They don't allow pictures, and I got in trouble taking just these few, but we had to capture some of our time there. Our dinner wasn't until 9:45, which was WAY too late for me, so I didn't stay for the final show, but it was another fun night and we came away with some pretty hilarious stories.
And as much fun as it is to go out, I miss Leo terribly when I'm away from him for even four hours. Joel sent me this bath picture and I almost left right then and there to just go kiss his sweet cheeks.
Wednesday - By Wednesday, we were all absolutely exhausted. My sister Hannah went down to La Jolla where her boyfriends family was vacationing, and my parents stayed back at their condo to just relax. Nellie was nice enough to come to my house and helped my pull down all of our Christmas decorations, grocery shop, and clean.
I normally hate to pull down the Christmas decorations, and always wait until after the New Year, but now with all of the baby stuff, I was just feeling so claustrophobic in our house and couldn't wait one more second. Plus, having Nellie help me was such a time saver so we got everything down and put away in an hour.
Wednesday night one of my best friends Sara and her husband Sean came into LA to go to watch the Hawkeyes in the Rose Bowl. They stayed with us Wednesday night, and got into town just in time to help give Leo and bath, order pizza, and catch up.
Thursday - NEW YEARS EVE - We spent the morning with Sara and Sean which was awesome. Sara and I took the baby on a long walk and then stopped for a quick breakfast while the boys watched football.
That afternoon, we met up with Sara's parents for lunch in Beverly Hills before we said goodbye to them.
That night we went to my cousin Cole's for a wedding shower/NYE party. They catered in Portillos and we played a few games before we left early to get Leo in a bath and to bed on time. Once Leo was asleep, we popped our own bottle and had our own celebration on the couch.
And I'll be honest, I had one glass of champagne and fell asleep on the couch before New York's ball dropped! My how things have changed!
Friday - New Years Day - We got up really early to head to my parents house for a day filled with bowl games. Tennessee played at 9am, so we all donned our Vols gear and watched them dominate the game.
Since Iowa's game didn't start until 2pm we decided to play a few rounds of Trivial pursuit and keep the party going.
By 2pm, Leo had completed an outfit change and we were ready to watch our Iowa Hawkeyes in the Rose Bowl. The season was filled with SUCH success that we were all hoping that the Hawks would come out and give us a true show.
That did not happen, and it was sad, but thankfully our friends and their son came by to distract us from the sadness.
Once they left, we all hung out while my parents made dinner at home to celebrate Hannah and Gar Gar's last night in LA.
We had a glass of wine by the fire after dinner and then headed home.
Saturday, 1/3 - Hannah had one request before she left to go back home to Chicago, and that was to dress Leo up in all of the gifts she had gotten him. First look......a Chicago onesie, baby sunglasses, and baby Jordans...
His final look of the day was a Grateful Dead onesie that Hannah bought him well before he was even born.
It was really sad to say goodbye to Hannah and Gar Gar.....I can't even dwell on it because it just hurts too much.
It's been an amazing week.