While Aaron, Grace, and I were in Utah my sister Ashby and her family along with my brother Matt made a California road trip. It was unfortunate timing for both vacations because we totally missed each other but they were able to stay at our apartment during one of their stops.
It was nice to come home and see the notes that my sister had left, and the Ghiradelli chocolates that they gave us weren't too bad either.
We have a calendar in our bathroom that we use to count down to our family beach trip. I noticed that there was a lot of writing on it and when I looked closely I realized that Ashby had written on a few of the days.
I was laughing at all the notes until I saw on June 1st "Squirrel Diasappears?!" I immediately ran outside and my worst fears were confirmed. Mr. Nutter, our little squirrel buddy had been taken.
Later that same day, I found the following message and picture on facebook:
"Dear Kara, I may or may not have taken the squirrel. If you ever want to see it again, you'll have to bring Gracie to our house for Thanksgiving. I may or may not steal her too.
The squirrel goes way back in our family. It started with Stacey, was stolen by Ashby and Ryan, adopted by me and eventually Aaron, and has, yet again, been stolen by Ashby and Ryan.
We told Ashby and Ryan to watch their backs.... Mr. Nutter will once again return to his rightful home.
Every time I think about the fact that Grace is 9 months old my stomach drops. Can she really be nine months old? Three months away from being a year? My little baby is slipping through my fingers.
I went rifling through her drawers looking for something and I stumbled across the lotion, wipes, and comb kit that they give you for your baby in the hospital. They had a certain smell that took me back to those first couple of days with Grace. For whatever reason it made me sad. I felt like I was saying my goodbyes to her tiny baby phase, packing up those memories I had, and storing them away only to stumble upon them when I'm re-reading old blog posts. I'm not too good with change, especially when it sneaks up on me.
I had to drop the stuff that I was looking at and run out of Grace's room so I could catch her before she pulled all of the books off of our bookshelf. There isn't too much time to be dwelling on the past with this wee babe.
This new phase is exciting though. Grace is learning at the speed of lightening. I love every minute of it. She wants to see, touch, and explore everything.
What she's up to right now.
-Crawling and starting to walk along the couch.
-Babbling and whisper babbling
-Eating soft finger food (and I think she is giving up on pureed baby food)
-Clapping, giving kisses, bouncing, mimicking
-Giving hugs (while biting your shoulder)
-Has serious potential for teeth but none quite yet
-Loves: being the center of attention, watching Pride and Prejudice (seriously though), puffs, her blanket, other kids, jewelry and watches.
-Hates: cold water, green beans, being held down (aka at the doctors office when he is trying to look in her ears)
The first two days of the trip were jammed packed with activities mostly due to the fact that Saturday and Sunday were the only days we got to spend with Aaron's sisters Liv:
The rest of the week was spent hanging out with Rachel
And eating at all the places we don't get in our area: Chick-Fil-A, Magleby's, Arby's (yes, Arby's), and most importantly Cafe Rio.
Grace enjoying the fine ambiance of the dining area
Is it just me or is Grace totally eyeing my salad? The girl knows good food when she sees it.
I was able to go to dinner with some of my girlfriends from college. Back in the day we called ourselves the pillow talk girls because we would get together every night and chat. We were short a few members but we made a night of it at CPK. Unfortunately for me, I hefted my oversized camera to dinner and back and totally forgot to take a picture. So here is a picture of the same ladies 3 years ago, dining at CPK.
(Is it just me or do we all look 12 in this picture)
The night before we left my friend Grace made a stop in Provo before heading up to SLC to be with her family. I was so glad she made the trek. I love this lady. She got to meet baby Grace for the first time and we chatted and dined on delicious s'mores.
We had another extremely easy traveling day on Saturday and we arrived home safe and sound.
On Sunday we all piled into the family cars and headed up to Ogden to spend the day with Aaron's Grandmother. Thankfully, with a good stretch of road and a strategically planned nap time, Grace was able to catch a few Z's on the way up there.
Its tradition in Utah to go and visit the graves of deceased family members over memorial weekend. This might be tradition in other places, but we didn't do it where I grew up. It was nice to be a part of it this year. I felt like I was really taking part in some of the Barnard family history.
We first visited the graves of Aaron's grandfather and uncle.
They are buried in a family lot and as Aaron's grandmother pointed out the history we came upon the grave of Grace Starkey Draayer. Grace's name has a lot of history.
Did I mention that it was gorgeous while we were there?
The Barnard family at the gravesite
Grandma Shirley and Grace
Later we were able to go and visit Aaron's Grandpa Wayne
It was a long day, but I'm glad that Grace was able to take part in some of her family history.
After a quick and carefree flight (we are officially lovers of the oakland airport) we landed in Utah. It is just as gorgeous as I remember. Grace was swept away by her Grandee and Papa and immediately loved on by her aunts and uncles. She's a lucky girl.
Once hugs and hellos were exchanged the preparations for our Cinco de Mayo party began. Why a Cinco de Mayo party? We were having a family dinner and decided to make it a themed family dinner. Plus, all the decorations were on sale. It was a win win.
Virgin Strawberry Margaritas? Yes please!
Rachel had graduated from high school a few days earlier and the Cinco de Mayo party was mostly for her. Congrats Rach! So she got a delicious cake and had the honor of cutting it. She cut very large slices, I was extremely grateful.
The Barnard women with their "costumes" for the party. Looking saucy.
The Senoritas: Me, Sarah, Grandee, Rachel, and Liv
It was a wonderful way to kick off our first day of vacation. The best part? Having all the original Barnard family members together for the first time in 4 years. Unfortunately this was the best picture that I got of everyone together.