I won’t bother apologizing for my lack of updates…by now you’ve realized that I’m not so good at this! Hahaha
The past couple of months have been very busy. Derek went to Vegas for a guys weekend at the beginning of November and then we were off to Kansas for American Thanksgiving. We had a great time with Mema ( Jacksons name for Grandma) and Auntie Shannon. We also saw Auntie Caela, Uncle David and Grandpa Simmons and met up with our friends the Yourdons for a wonderful lunch.
My sister Karen arrived here on December 2nd for a 10 day visit and my mom got here on the 4th. We surprised my mom with a trip to Vegas to see Celine Dion. We were there the weekend of the 8th and had a great time…the show was fantastic! Jackson is really enjoying his Nannie and will be so sad when she leaves in January. I
We continue to got to our Wednesday playgroup and I’ve become good friends with many of the moms….it’s such a blessing to have great friends!
It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is Christmas eve….I just can’t wrap my head around this warm weather in December thing. Yesterday we went to the beach…it was gorgeous but it certainly didn’t put me in a festive mood. hahaha
Our friend Jerry arrives here on the 30th and on New Year’s day we’re taking my mom to the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena. I’ve always loved watching it on TV so I’m pretty pumped about seeing it live. I’ll be sure to take some photos.
Derek’s mom and sister arrive on the 2nd and I’m happy that they’re going to meet my mom. Jackson will get super spoiled having 2 of his grandmas here at once!
Okay, I’ve rambled on long enough. I hope everyone has a happy and safe Christmas with their families. Go out and make a snowman for me!
Sorry I haven’t updated this in so long but October was a very busy month around here. I’ll give you a rundown of what I had going on.
October 5th-8th: Jill came to visit for the weekend and I took her to Hollywood, Malibu and Santa Monica. We did a movie stars home tour in Hollywood which was a lot of fun. Tomorrow is her birthday….Happy Birthday Jill!
October 10th-16th: Jane came for 6 days! So much fun. Took her to Hollywood as well and did another tour. We also went to The Grove which is a really cool outdoor shopping area. Derek, Jane and I went out for a fancy supper one night. We also spent time at the beach in Malibu.
October 18th-21st: Went to Vegas for the weekend with my old neighbours from Minneapolis (Shannon & Ryan). Had a great time but didn’t win big…but didn’t lose much either.
The fires here were crazy. I had a pretty amazing view of some of them when I was flying home from Vegas. And the Santa Ana winds made for the scariest landing of my life. Not fun.
This past weekend was much quieter and we spent most of it just relaxing and going to the park. Jackson went to his first California birthday party for his friend Rhyan from playgroup. They had train rides at the party and that was a big hit.
Jackson and I are going to the YMCA about 4 days a week and he loves playing in the daycare while I workout. I did attempt to take him to some organized classes but that didn’t work out so well. It was a bit too structured for my busy little 2 year old. I’m going to wait a couple of months and try again.
We’re really enjoying our Wednesday morning playgroup. We’ve made some really great friends there and we always look forward to it. Last week we went to a pumpkin patch (it was 99 degrees) and today we had a halloween party.
Jackson dressed up like a monkey (sort of) for Halloween and went trick-or-treating around the neighbourhood. He wouldn’t put the hood up on his costume and wanted to wear his spongebob sun visor so that’s where the “sort of” comes in.
We have a babysitter now! Her name is Jessica and we love her. She watched Jackson when Derek, Jane and I went out to dinner and she’s babysitting again this weekend so Derek and I can go on a date. Yay!
So, that’s my month in a nutshell. November brings a couple more trips…Derek is heading to Vegas for a few days and then we’re all going to Kansas for Thanksgiving. We leave on the 18th and we’ll be there for 10 days. It’s always pretty relaxing there and I love Derek’s mom and sister so it’ll be a nice trip.
My weekend away with Jackie was wonderful. The island is gorgeous and the views are breathtaking. We ate delicious food, pampered ourselves at the spa and spent lots of time relaxing. The weather was perfect and the people were so friendly. Definitely a place I would visit again.
Derek and Jackson had a fun weekend together while mommy was away. They visited a few parks, ate fast food and stayed up late. I think they were both pretty worn out and happy to see me on Sunday night. As much as I enjoyed my weekend, I was very happy to see them too.
We finally had a little shake-up in the normally perfect SoCal weather. It was called a “winter storm” which in this part of the country translates to rain and temperatures in the 60’s. It was a nice change and was much needed…it hadn’t rained here since April. It was so nice to put on a sweater and jeans. But it’s now back into the 90’s and is as beautiful as ever.
We had a fun weekend. On Saturday the neighbors had a birthday and Jackson had so much fun playing on the giant slide and in the bounce house. The kids were all older but were really great with Jackson. The cake and ice cream were pretty good too. And on Sunday we took the little guy bowling for the first time….he loved it!
The Simmons family joined the YMCA last week and we’re loving it. Jackson and I have been going every day and Derek joined us on the weekend. They have great classes for Jackson and a daycare for him when I’m working out. I met some other moms there and joined them for a playgroup this morning. Jackson even found a new girlfriend (Anna Grace)…guess the long-distance thing with Ava couldn’t last forever!
I still haven’t had any big celebrity sightings but have a few fun L.A. facts. The park I was at this morning is the one that was used in the movie “E.T”. Most of the movie was filmed in the area where I live. Also, my trainer Kelly is in a few commercials and has been on a few shows including CSI:New York. And the other day while I was working out she told me that the guy working out beside me was in the first 2 Matrix films. Kinda cool.
On Friday I’m going away with my friend Jackie for a girls’ weekend. We’re going to Catalina Island which is about 25 miles off the coast here. We’ll be spending a lot of time at the spa and the rest of the time relaxing. Can’t wait!
Again, I’m a bit delayed in writing…oops. The time just flies by and before I know it it’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve written any updates. Here’s what’s been happening in our world…
Jackson and I have some new friends! We met Kathleen and Liam at a local park and have been getting together once or twice a week for the past month. It’s so nice to have another mom to hang out with and Jackson and Liam get along great. Liam is going to be two in January and Kathleen is going to have another baby in February (and guess what their boy name is? Yup. Jackson). I also joined a mom’s club and have gone to some organized playgroups and a mom’s night out.
Hotter than hot. The days leading up to and following Labor day we’re crazy. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Okay, I hate it when people find out I’m canadian and act like we live in the cold all year long….I often get asked if it ever gets hot there….”yes, we do indeed have a summer and it DOES get very hot”. But I have to admit that this canadian was melting a couple of weeks ago. It was around 107-110F for about 5 days….I don’t care if it’s a “dry” heat…it’s heat! We lived in the pool. Thankfully, it “cooled off” and is now back in the high 90’s. Hahaha.
Derek went away last weekend to see his beloved Wildcats play in Manhattan, Kansas. For those of you who don’t know, that is where he went to school…at Kansas State University and the Wildcats would be the football team. They won and he had a great weekend with the boys. He also got to spend a little time with Sandi and Shannon (his mom and sister).
Jackson is doing great. He says new words every day and never ceases to amaze us. He’s really at a cute age right now and I’m enjoying him more and more. He’s still a really good sleeper and that’s what keeps me sane!
Okay, I’m a little late in updating this thing but there really hasn’t been too much going on. But that will soon change! The Simmons family has a busy few months coming up. It goes something like this:
In September Derek is heading to Kansas to take in a football game at K-State with his college buddies. He’s also going to San Francisco for another football game with his friend Jay. I’m going to Catalina Island with my friend Jackie for a girls weekend and somewhere in there our friend Jerry is coming to visit.
October is going to be fun too! My friend Jill from Minneapolis is coming to visit the first weekend and Jane is coming the second weekend. And on the third weekend I’m heading to Vegas to hang out with my old neighbours Shannon and Ryan.
And the craziness continues into November. Derek is heading to Vegas with some friends for a few days and then we’re hopefully off to Kansas for a week over Thanksgiving.
My sister will be visiting in December for 2 weeks and my mom will be here for over a month. My mom-in-law and sister-in-law (Sandi and Shannon) will be visiting in January.
Sounds like a busy few months but I’m really looking forward to some fun trips and to our many visitors.
I can’t believe we’re well into August…the past 3 months have flown by. The weather continues to be perfect here and we’re loving every minute of it. We spend lots of time in the pool and Jackson knows how to kick and get himself accross the pool (with a lifejacket on of course) and will now put his face in the water for about 4 seconds. He gets out of the pool and jumps in on his own as well…no fear!
And speaking of fear…I experienced my first California earthquake this morning! It woke me just before 1am (Derek & Jackson slept through it) and lasted about 10 seconds. Nothing major but a little
We had a celebrity sighting this week: We went to the market in Burbank and on our way home we saw Jay Leno getting into one his fancy cars. Actually, Derek saw him…I saw the back of his head. But it was definitely him.
I was planning to join a mom’s group when we got back from Minneapolis but we’ve all been fighting a cold since we got back. Hoping to join next week.
I’m sure everyone has heard about the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. The bridge was downtown and very close to where Derek used to work but thankfully none our friends or Derek’s co-workers were involved. It’s such a tragedy and I feel for those who lost loved ones.
I hope all is well with everyone. Have a great week.
The Simmons family made a trip back to Minneapolis last week and we all had a great time. I got to spend time with the girls, Jackson played with all his friends and Derek got to golf several times with his buddy Jerry. Unfortunately we all caught colds while we there and are still trying to cure them. Bummer.
It was so nice to be back there…so familiar. My friend Jane picked us up at the airport on Thursday and I was so happy to see her smiling face. Jane had a BBQ for us that night and Jackson and Jaxon were excited to play together again. Derek started his workshop on Friday and I spent the day and night with my friend Chris, her husband Canon and her 6 week old little boy Sean. I even volunteered for a late night feeding so Chris could get some much needed sleep…I do not miss those days! Saturday and Sunday were spent in my old neighbourhood. Spent time with my neighbours the Knutsens (Shannon, Ryan & Ava) and the Fishers (Ben, Erica, Anna & Ellie). Jackson was so happy to see his girlfriend Ava…he just adores her. I even slept at my house which my friend Jill is renting from us…felt kinda weird to sleep in the spare room, although it would have been weirder if I had tried to sleep in the master bedroom with Jill and Brandon! hahaha I think Jackson was wondering why his buddy Gavin was sleeping in his room…the poor kid is probably so confused. Went out for a nice supper with all the girls on Sunday and on Monday we took the kids to Erica’s family cabin on Turtle Lake. The kids had a great time…it was perfect. Jackson and I spent the rest of the week at Jane’s. The boys played a lot and Jane and I hung out like we did in the old days (chatting and watching reality TV!). I enjoyed every minute of my trip.
But like I said, we all caught bad colds and I was ready to come home. Also, the humidity for the last couple of days there was unbearable. I have a new found appreciation for the nice, dry, heat of Southern California.
We’ve had a pretty uneventful week around here. It was the first weekend in a month that we didn’t have company so it seemed pretty quiet. We played in the pool and stuck close to home.
I took Jackson for a haircut yesterday and left 45 minutes later with the same shaggy-haired looking kid. He’s had many haircuts…first one was when he was 10 months old…but yesterday he decided he wan’t having anything to do with it. I coaxed, bribed and begged but nothing worked. I left thinking “how did a 2 year old win this battle?”.
Derek is going to try for round 2 on Saturday.
We leave tomorrow for a week in Minneapolis. Yipee! Derek is teaching a workshop on newspaper design to high school students and Jackson and I are going to visit all of our friends. I am so excited to see everyone!
My mom-in-law Sandra just left today after a 2 week visit. We usually only get to spend 2 or 3 days together so this was really nice. We had some great talks and spent lots of time relaxing in the pool…and of course she played with Jackson a lot. She’s extremely helpful around the house so it was kinda like a mini-vacation for me…I don’t think I did laundry, the dishes or gave Jackson a bath the whole time she was here. Thanks Sandra!
Derek and I were able to get away for a day while Gramma babysat. We went for a fabulous brunch at Urth Cafe in Beverly Hills and did some shopping on the Promenade in Santa Monica. It was so nice. Derek saw Harry Connick Jr. at the cafe but of course I missed him.
Derek’s sister came for a week as well and we had a ton of fun together. Derek, Shannon and I went to see a movie at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd….and saw lots of “unique” people on the streets. We also went to dinner with a couple of Shannon’s friends on Saturday night. We went to a place called La Boheme and it was soooo good. Best steak I’ve ever had. Gramma stayed home and babysat. Again, thanks Sandra.
Okay, so still no celebrity sighting for me but I was REALLY close…
Shannon’s friends that we went to dinner with are Dawn and Shane (sibblings) and they live in West Hollywood. We went to their house before dinner and they gave us a tour and we ended up in the backyard where there was a guest house and they mention that Michael Urie lives there…he’s Marc (gay assistant to Vanessa Williams character) on Ugly Betty! I love that show so I was impressed. Anyway, they are friends with him and offered to introduce me but that’s just too weird for me. Also, Shane is good friends with Neil Patrick Harris (Barney from How I met your mother…also known as Dougie Howser MD) and I love that show too. So, I didn’t “see” a celebrity but I hung out with someone that knows a couple. Close.
I managed to surprise Derek…not an easy task! For father’s day last week I gave him a golf shirt and told him he would be spending all day golfing the following Saturday. I told him I couldn’t tell him where he was going because I was getting advice from his golf buddy Jerry. But what was really going on was that Jerry was flying in from Minnesota to golf with him. Heehee.
Jerry arrived on Thursday and he had Derek’s going away gift that wasn’t finished when we left in April (a very cool book that the boys had made from their 2002 trip to Ireland). So, when Derek got home from work Jerry hid in the bedroom and came out when I said “hey Derek, your going away gift arrived today”. He was completely shocked and got super excited like a kid on Christmas morning. I knew for sure in that moment that he REALLY didn’t know. He’s so hard to surprise but I finally did it.
We had a really nice weekend and they had a great time on Saturday…they played 41 holes! Jerry cooked us a wonderful supper on Thursday night…delicious. And there was plenty of quality time spent in the pool and hot tub.
Jerry, thanks for plotting the surprise with me. Come back soon!
My friend Kelly called me on Tuesday to say that she had found a really good seat sale and would be coming to visit on Saturday… needless to say I was extremely excited. Kelly and I worked and lived together in Banff back in 1998 & 1999 and again in Moncton in 2001 and I hadn’t seen her in 6 years!
She’s still here but leaves tomorrow morning and we’ve had such a great time. We spent saturday lounging by the pool, catching up and being as silly as ever. Sunday was spent in Santa Monica & Hollywood doing all the fun touristy stuff that you just have to do. Derek stayed home with Jackson when he really should have been on the golf course since it was father’s day. Thanks babes. Today was another day of relaxing by the pool and chatting the day away (Jackson took a 3.5 hour nap which was really nice of him).
Kelly and I have always been very close and it was so nice to spend time with her. We’ve been in California for over 7 weeks and I’ve been missing my friends and adult company in general. This was exactly what I needed.
No great trips to the beach over the weekend…it was all about getting unpacked and somewhat organized. I emptied the last box today and it feels good to be able to find everything. It’ll take awhile before we’re completely settled….probably just in time to move again! hahaha
Derek is doing okay with work but is still in the adjustment phase …the L.A Times is a huge place and it’ll take time for it him to find his comfort zone.
I’m doing pretty good. Missing my Minnesota life like crazy but Jackson and the move have been keeping me pretty darn busy these days. I’m going to join a mom’s club…we’ll both benefit from meeting new people.
Not much else going on right now. I’ll post again soon.
Last Saturday we went to the beach in Santa Monica and had a great day. Jackson is getting pretty brave and is loving the waves…we literally have to drag him away when it’s time to go. We spent Sunday going for walks and doing some shopping in Pasadena. It was a nice relaxing weekend….the calm before the storm.
It’s been a long week. We moved into our new place on Monday and have been busy unpacking and getting settled since then. It’s a great house and I think we’re really going to enjoy our time here. Jackson is really loving the pool! I’ll post some pictures when I get a little more organized….could take awhile with a 2 year old. LOL.
I just got a call from my friend Chris who had a baby today…welcome to the world Sean Christianson! I’m looking forward to meeting him when we head back to Minnesota in July.
Jackson is just waking up from a long nap and I think we’ll go for a swim.
It’s crazy how that one extra day makes such a difference. We have fun every weekend but long weekends are even better…and this one was great. We decided to take a drive to Santa Barbara on Saturday and it was well worth it. We went to the zoo and then spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach. Jackson had a great time playing in the water and then took a nap on Derek.
Sunday I spent the day at a spa (my mom’s day gift from the boys) and it was amazing. Massage, hot tub, facial, sauna, manicure and steam shower…every mother deserves a day like that (monthly).
Today we deciced to go for a drive through Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air and down to Malibu. We stopped at the market in West Hollywood and at a really cool shopping area called The Grove. Derek thought he saw Minnie Driver and Debra Messing drive by (not together) but of course I was looking the other way. Bummer.
We move into our new place next Monday and I’m soooo excited. It’ll be nice to have our own stuff again. And the big backyard with a pool and hot tub will be nice too.
It rained here today! Okay, I know that’s not something most people would get excited about but I was loving it. Every single day since we arrived has been sunny and beautiful. I’m not complaining, I’ve been enjoying it but it was starting to freak me out that it never changes…until today. And to say it rained isn’t exactly accurate…it was more of a drizzle but it was something different. Jackson and I walked to Target in the “rain” and it was fun.
Derek is settling into his new job and Jackson and I keep busy with many walks and trips to every park in the area. I’m really looking forward to getting in our house so Jackson will have a backyard to play in.
Jackson had his first train ride this week and he thought it was the greatest. Derek came home early on Thursday evening and we took the rail to the market. We got wonderful fresh produce and had peruvian food for supper…it reminded me of chinese food but not as greasy. There’s something so fun about going to the market.
No trips to the beach over the weekend…we had to go appliance shopping. It wasn’t fun. Jackson hadn’t had a nap and it was supper time…you can imagine the rest. But we got it done and spent the rest of the weekend “relaxing” and playing with Jackson.
Overall things are good but I miss my friends terribly. The days are VERY long when you only have a 2 year old to converse with. Once we get settled in our new place I will be joining a playgroup which will be good for both of us.
Well, we’re into our third week here and things are much better. We found a place to live which was obviously our top priority. We found it on craigslist and are really excited…it has a pool and a hot tub! Yipee! It’s in area called “the valley” and is about 20 miles from downtown L.A. Derek will still be able to take the rail and avoid the horrendous traffic although it won’t be as convenient as it’s been here as the rail runs under the building we’re living in. We move on June 4th and as much as I’m looking forward to getting out of this apartment, (the downstairs neighbours are probably counting down the days) I’m really going to miss Pasadena. It’s a really great city…but I guess we can always come back and visit.
Since we got the house thing out of the way we were able to have a nice, relaxing weekend. Saturday we went for a long walk and ended up at the park. We spent the afternoon lounging while Jackson took a nap and ended the day with some great chinese takeout. Sunday I woke up with Derek and Jackson beside me and a little bag that held the best gift ever….I get to spend an entire day at the spa! I’ve booked it for May 26th and it can’t come soon enough. It’s one of those fantastic spas that have steam showers, hot tubs and saunas so I’m going to take full advantage. My boys did good. We spent the rest of the day going for a drive along the PCH with a stop at the beach in Malibu. It was SO beautiful and Jackson had a blast playing in the water. Derek thinks we may have had our first celebrity sighting but we’re not sure. He THINKS he saw someone who MAY be on CSI. I think we can do better.
So things get better each day as we figure out this crazy city. I’m LOVING the weather…it’s sunny and warm every day but there’s no humidity! I think that’s my fave thing so far. I think I’ll appreciate it even more in January.
Well, we made it here safely and are somewhat settled in. The trip went well and Jackson was a good little boy….he slept well in the hotels and on the plane and thanks to the movie “cars” was entertained when not sleeping. The only glitch was when he got sick as soon as we got on the freeway in L.A…guess that’s how he felt about leaving his friends behind! hahaha
Our corporate housing digs are pretty darn nice and we’re really close to everything. We spent some time driving around last weekend and Pasadena is a very nice city. Amazing homes, mountains and lots of beautiful trees…very scenic. We would definitely consider living here but are also checking out some other areas as well.
Derek started work on Monday and has been working some long days. Jackson and I have kept busy by checking out the local parks and going on some nice, long walks. Haven’t had any celebrity sightings yet…I’m not the most observant person so it may take awhile.
We’re looking forward exploring more this weekend. We’re planning on hitting the beach and looking at a few houses. I’ll keep you posted….
Well, we’re hours away from getting on a plane headed for California. While I’m excited to start this new adventure I’m extremely sad to be leaving some really great friends behind. I’ve been blessed throughout my life to be surrounded by wonderful people and my experience in Minnesota was no exception.
My friend Jane and I went out yesterday to celebrate her 30th birthday and after we said our goodbyes (not a pretty scene) I thought about the fact that we’ve only know each other for 2 years. We met through a parenting class when our sons were 4 weeks old and a bond was formed when we realized they were born on the same day, at the same hospital AND they share the same name (different spellings)! Since that meeting we have become the best of friends and our boys are buddies too. We speak on the phone everyday and get together as much as possible. Although the phone conversations will certainly continue, I’m going to miss her so much.
I met Jill in the same parenting class and we also become super close. Jill, Jane and I have gone away together for several much-needed weekend getaways. Her son Gavin goes to the same daycare that Jackson went to and they are buds too. Jill and I had a standing weekly date to watch Gilmore Girls. We started with Season 1 in October 2005 and just finished Season 6 this week. It’s crazy how much I looked forward to our evening of GG and Papa Murphy’s pizza. She’s planning a trip to L.A when season 7 comes out on DVD. Can’t wait!
Chris and I met while training to run a marathon. We clicked right away and have been friends ever since. She’s the kind of person who is always there for you and she’s helped me out so many times. Like the time she came to take care of Jackson when I had the flu and Derek was working. Or when she came and babysat Jackson overnight when we had a last minute babysitter emergency. That’s Chris…always there. And now she’s about to have her first child in a matter of weeks and I won’t be here to return the favors. Sorry.
Shannon is one my closest friends and she was also my neighbor. She was the neighbor I always hoped I would have. Her daughter Ava and Jackson were the best of friends. I think we spent almost every day together last summer and we had so much fun. Shannon and I would talk on the phone at least 4 times a day and usually see each other a couple times too. We knew we could always count on each other in case of an emergency….and there were a couple. Although we are no longer neighbors, I know we will continue to be great friends.
Julie was my very first friend in Minnesota. We met while working out at our apartment complex way back in 2002. I was so excited to have a new friend and I remember running home and calling Derek to tell him about her. Neither one of us was working so we spent a lot of time together and called ourselves “the women of leisure”. We now refer to that period of our life as “the good old days”. Julie moved to Iowa about 2 years ago but we’re still great friends. In fact, she just came to spend the weekend with me and we had as much fun as we used to.
Minnesota has been good to me. There are many more people that have made it so memorable but I couldn’t possibly name them all. I’m just hoping my experience in California will be as good as the one I just had.