Monday, August 30, 2010


Two thoughts:
1. Has it seriously been a year since our lives completely changed, leaving our gorgeous Logan summer and everything familiar, and arrived in the desert, not knowing a single thing to expect, but taking it all on, just holding each other's hand? Feels like that was just last week.
2. (In the words of my sister) "You've only been there a year?! Man, it feels like you've been there FOREVER.
How it is it possible to feel both of these completely opposite feelings at the same time, you may wonder? My only answer: I don't know how, I just know that I do.

A year ago, I was creating a list about this new place I was supposed to call home. A year later, feeling a little more grounded here, here is my new list of what I've learned, which surprisingly hasn't changed that much:
-Nate still LOVES his job. He loves it more every day. For the last month, he loves it so much in fact, he has gone to work in the early hours of the am and spent every day of the week except Sunday there. Willingly. And though it has obviously made him tired, he still enjoys it.
Much like Utah has two seasons: winter and construction, Ridgecrest has two seasons: hot and windy.
-I enjoy having the mailman and clerks at the store (and even the cable guys! unfortunately, they have been to our house that often) comment on how cute my baby is, how much he is growing, etc. You don't get that in Utah.
-I'm completely spoiled by having all of my grocery stores within about 4 minutes of my house. It puts me out when I have to go "clear to the other side of town" to hit the grocery store that's furthest from me. It takes appox. 7 minutes to get there.
-It's still a boring place to be. Thank goodness, I now have Evan to entertain my days. But even still, we both tend to get a little stir crazy sometimes. You can only visit the grocery stores so many times a week. Isn't that how it always goes, though? I'm so greatful for our routine, but it seems like once you get comfortable in it, you also get bored with it.
-The first time we drove into this valley, all I could see was deserted buildings, empty lots, a run down town and heat beyond imagination. It's funny now, I've nearly forgotten about those exterior things, except for the heat of course. Now when I look at this valley, I see what makes up the borders of it. Good neighbors, thoughtful friends, strong values, a patriotic community, and heat beyond imagination :)

When we go visit family, I get the overwhelming, heart warming "home" feeling. The mountains, the fresh air, the grid system of the streets, the familiarity of everything, and above all, our families. When we return to Ridgecrest, I don't get that "home" feeling, but I do have the feeling that this is where I live, where my family is. It's not just a place I'm staying for awhile. In my book, that's a big step. It's now familiar to me. I now have roots here, though not too deep that it would be hard to break me away. :)

A few things I love about my life right now, here, one year later, that I could have never imagined:   

Baby blues :)
Bath time! I had no idea it could be so much fun!!
Little buddies
Thoughtful friends, who spend hours creating a most delicious surprise for me, to then have it melt because of our awful heat, in the 2 1/2 minutes of driving it takes to get from her house to mine.
Fishing close enough to make my husband happy.
Views from on top of the world and such good friends that take on adventures.
And most of all, that he would think to call me, on top of the world, during said adventure. (Awww... )

A year ago, my cousin gave me the best advice: "Embrace it, cause what other option do you have?" So Ridgecrest, since I have a feeling we are going to be getting to know each other a little better than I had originally hoped for, I am embracing you. Please continue to reveal your hidden treasures to me. So that I don't have to count down the days until Christmas for our next trip "home" ;) 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beating the Heat

It is still ridiculously hot here in Ridgecrest, so last weekend a few of us decided to go up, up and away from it all by visiting Kernville for the day. It's a lovely drive through mountains that almost makes you forget you are in the desert. Only about 45 minutes away from us is lovely Lake Isabella, which on the last Saturday before school started, was much too crowded for our taste. So we curved around the scenic lake to the Kern river. The river was also pretty crowded, but we found a great place right on the bank of the river to set up our chairs and let our feet rest in the cool water.

The boys took Kendall's raft down the rapids, and had a blast!
We had the perfect view from our banks of the best rapid! (Ok, so it's no Snake River rapids, but for little Kernville, it was great!)
Floating away! They were like little kids, having so much fun.
Kendall was able to find a perfect recliner, somehow, in the middle of the river! So relaxing.
Evan, as always, LOVED playing in the water. The water felt so refreshing.
The boys had a blast just splashing away!
Evan now gets a kick out of splashing water on his face. All of this time in water lately has made bath time pretty interesting. I love that he isn't afraid, though!
He pretty much dunked himself, he was that excited to just be playing in it.
What a wonderful break it was to not be melting! Nate has been working A WHOLE LOT lately, so not only was it great to play in the river, Evan and I were so happy just to be able to play with daddy! We are glad we got to have such a fun day with such fun friends.
Back at home, where it's not so cool and refreshing, this is how we spend a lot of our awake time.
He may or may not be teething. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beach Birthday Extravaganza

Since my birthday weekend consisted of driving all day to attend the funeral, then turning right back around and driving all the way back, my dear husband went above and beyond for me the next weekend. We had MY perfect day. Beach, shopping, eating out, and cake. :)

What a stud. Evan is too cool for his own good. This was his first experience with sand, and I'm quite sure it's his new favorite thing.

He LOVED raking his hands through it, over and over.
And got a kick out of burying his feet and finding them again.
Here he is strolling the beach; out favorite thing to do. I love this picture, even though he looks liek such a big boy.
When big waves were coming, the sound made Evan a little nervous. He couldn't seem to figure it out.
It was a little chilly in the water at first, and Evan would just go totally stiff. Is it mean that I thought it was so funny?
After a few waves, he seemed to get the hang of it. And I like to think he really enjoyed it!
We strolled, searched for seashells, and explored the pier...
And played in the water more, of course.
Evan might look angry here, but it really was just too bright for him, I think. He actually started splashing at the waves when they would come to him.
Don't worry, I would hold on to him when the waves would come, so he wouldn't get taken out to sea. Though Nate was down in the water taking the picture, so I'm sure he could've caught him. :)
Best Birthday gift ever. Ah....
I sure do love me some beach. I kept telling Evan if he was going to be a true California boy, he'd better get used to this.
Cuddling up, drying off, and getting warm.
I can't think of many things better than laying on the sand with my two guys , soaking up some rays, smelling the salt, and listening to the waves crash at our feet. Let's make every weekend a birthday weekend, okay honey?
My favorite picture of the whole trip. TOO cute.
We had barely pulled out of our parking space, when I turned around to look at Evan. Don't worry, he fell asleep, while taking a drink. Goodness, I love him.
My birthday was completed with none other than a Cherry Dr Pepper cake!
WOW, to an absolutely wonderful birthday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Voyage to the Homeland

I will keep this brief, in words, that is. The husband, the little one, and I headed eastbound at the beginning of July. We vacationed together in beautiful Idaho and Utah for a week before Nate had to head back to Cali for Scout Camp. Evan and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to extend our trip!! We all stayed very busy spending time with family, catching up with friends and introducing babies, and taking care of lots of appointments and checkups. Here are a select few ;) photos of our adventures. (You better take a seat)

The three (so far) Fuller grand-boys: Sam, Evan, and Ben
I got to go shopping in Logan with all of sisters-in law. I absolutely LOVED it!!! Evan, on the other hand, has never shopped so much in his life. The poor guy fell asleep on my face.

Evan's first (of many) fireworks experience. He wasn't scared at all, which really surprised me. He was more fascinated.
We went to our favorite camp spot, Willow Flats, with the Fuller's. Beautiful scenery, great camping food, and very special memories.
Evan was so excited for his first hike!
Completely amazed by the water. "Dad, why don't we have this stuff at our house?!"
We could not soak in our surroundings enough. Breathtaking.
You follow this river up to Willow Springs, where the water originates straight from the mountain, and of course, you have to take a drink. There is no greater tasting water anywhere, I'm sure of it. Here is where the river begins to flow from the earth.
At these springs, so happens to be where Nate and I kissed for the first time. (Aww...)
And where he proposed about a year and half later! (Double aww...) I know, my husband can be romantic when he wants to be. :) This is the rock that Nate knelt on as he asked me to marry him. The rock that I stood on is currently sitting in our kitchen, because he gave it to me last year for our anniversary. (Go ahead, keep awwing...)
The delicious water of the mountain. Mmmm...what I wouldn't give for some ice cold fresh mountain water right now.
Maren was a terrific model.
Heading back down our beloved mountain.
Those Fuller boys sure do love their great outdoors.
One happy little Fuller boy.
Grandpa Dan was often caught giving Evan crawling lessons.
We enjoyed the backyard pool at Grandma Susan's house, and the ridiculously perfect weather!
Evan now LOVES to splash, thanks to this pool. In the tub, in the air, wherever.

We also took him to his first public pool. It was a bit much for him, I think. He basically just lounged, trying to take it all in. Maybe he was just really relaxed!
Aunt Stacey trekked up from Holladay as often as she could to play with us.
Evan and Grandma Susan always seemed to match. They are just meant to be spending time together. :)
Evan discovered how to give kisses, and was constantly giving kisses to the babies in Grandma's night night book.
He was introduced to a ball! I can't believe this hadn't happened yet. But as you can see, he LOVES it! Go figure. We now play lots and lots of roll the ball.
Evan met many new friends, but this pic is my favorite. This is my dear friend Karlee's little girl, Aliya. She is about 4 months younger than Evan. She is such a sweet, tiny little thing! Evan looks like a 4 year old next to her! I have already betrothed them.
Here is what Evan does when you try to make him have tummy time these days. It's like he just immediately gives up. It cracks me up.
This is his, "Won't someone just play with me?" face.
My mom gave him his first balloon and he was totally fascinated by it. I love watching him explore new things!
My sister likes to play photoshoot. You can see what Evan thought of that.
He got better. :)
He is thrilled to be outside and in the grass.
He is too funny.
I requested as my going away/birthday meal that my dad grill hamburgers. Now, these are not just any old hamburger. These particular ones for me were his own concoction of Cajun style hamburger smothered in Bleu Cheese. Oh. My.
I was also able to talk my mom into getting me the Red Velvet Cream Cheese cake from Costco. (There are benefits to living away from home. And havign a way cute grandbaby) Yum yum!
We spent one last lazy afternoon in the pool, of course. The kid is going to be a fish now, I'm certain of it.
He could not get enough of the grass. If we were outside he had to touching it. Sorry, kid. We don't have that in the desert, either. :)
This is his new snort face. It is the funniest thing I have ever seen, and he does it ALL of the time now. I just love him!
Evan met a dog for the first time at my grandparents; they were dog-sitting. It was really funny to watch him react and try to explore the pup.
I just kind of let Evan at him, and luckily, Tico didn't seem to mind him.
Evan and I were home for a little over 24 hours when Nate got the call that his Grandmother in Ephraim, UT had passed away. I barely had enough time to unpack, do laundry, and clean the house after Nate had been living by himself for 2 weeks, before we got right back in the car and headed to Utah again.

Evan was SUCH a trooper traveling. He spent over 32 hours in the car in less than a week. He did better than I did! Lucky for him (and us) there was a whole lot of this:
The funeral was scheduled for Saturday, so we took off early Friday morning (on my birthday) to get to Nate's brother's house in Pleasant Grove as soon as we could. Needless to say, 10 1/2 hours in the car doesn't really allow for much celebrating, but we did get to have lunch at FIVE GUYS in St George. Best. present. ever. :) This was our favorite place to eat when we lived back east, and it came to Utah just as we moved to California, where there are none.
Saturday's funeral was a joyous celebration of life. We are so greatful we were able to attend, and share memories of Grandma Green. We don't have any pictures of that day, but it was filled with family and it was beautiful.

Before we knew it, the very next day in fact, we were in the car again headed back to Cali. It such a fast and long trip, all at the same time. The best part of our drive home was stopping in Barstow for dinner. We stopped at the first food joint we found, and turns out, it was awesome! We are pretty sure it used to be a bank. The food came down this magical contraption!!!!! We could not stop laughing, and I even have video of it if any of you need proof.
What a fabulous month July was. Among all of the good times and memories we made, our baby seems to have grown into such a little boy! He has SO much personality and we are having so much fun with him. Note: he now sleeps on his side, which makes me think he looks like an adult. (tear)