Friday, October 16, 2015

California 2015 Part 6 - Visiting Baby Easton in the OC


Day three found us in Orange County, California. 
Some pretty special people live in California. First we saw relatives on my side, now it was time to visit relatives on Justin's side of the family. 

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And so we showed up on Cousin Easton's doorstep, because we'd heard rumors that our newest relative, born in July, was really adorable. We had to find out for ourselves. 

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Yeah, I'd say the rumors were spot on! 

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Paxton was probably the most excited about meeting Easton.
Because for a short time, the attention of his Big Smothers was diverted elsewhere.

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Easton is such a sweet baby!

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And very easy-going too, I'd say, because he put up with the Smothers quite well. 

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And also the worst of the Smothers, myself. 

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This sort of thing is hard on me. Makes me want another baby so bad. 
{But that'd also mean a fourth c-section, so don't worry folks. See? I can be reasoned with.} 

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Easton, meet your favorite uncle. 

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Uncle Todd & Aunt Rachel welcomed us into their home for pre-dinner drinks. 
So I have to ask, have you been looking past the people in the photos?
Yeah, you know you have. 

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I took as many cell phone photos of their home as I did the baby. 

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As you can see, they have a knack for furnishing and decorating a midmod SoCal home!

Todd started out his career as an art teacher, and his creative side shows the second you walk in their home. Like this painting he did, hung against the backside of the fireplace that he added some cubist depth to DIY-style. Impressive, isn't it?

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My photos don't do it justice. While I have a cottage-cluttered--chic-too-much-Pyrex-and-thrifted-crap sort of style, I really adore the modern thing too. Especially the minimalist side of it. It's against my nature to be minimalist, but that's why I admire and appreciate it in other people's homes.

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And Uncle Todd has a very thoughtful side to him, filling his home with things that really mean something.
That acrylic box on the lower right? That's a piece of the Berlin Wall he sought out. 
I mean, for me it's good enough to go to Goodwill and buy someone's used junk because it looks cute, but apparently others they seek out pieces of history to bring home. 
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And I didn't go out into their backyard because hot, but I did take a photo.
Look at what the drought has done to the grass! Just kidding, that's overexposed sunlight. 
#hot #somelikeithot #idonot
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It a fit of jealous rage, Justin and I are conspiring to send Easton a lot of toys at Christmases and birthdays. 
It's not fair for parents to have such a gorgeous, uncluttered home. Needs more Legos to be stepped on! We're going to be Easton's favorite aunt and uncle too, he deserves spoiling.
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Just kidding. Easton already has a playroom.
And anyway, he's too little to smear their walls with yogurt or peanut butter.
That stage comes later.
Maybe I do want another baby. 

Easton also has a sweet nursery. Todd made this USA decor, quite fitting as he's a July 4th firecracker baby and his mommy is a history buff and teacher.
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His little room is adorable!

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Okay, I could go on and on here, but we had to get on with it. 
So we followed Uncle Todd & Aunt Rachel out through the neighborhoods of Orange County, their pretty and easy drive to work...

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Which is Orange Lutheran High School!
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True Story: Justin and I visited OLHS when we were on choir tour from Denver Lutheran High school in 2000! Just before we started dating. The campus looked completely different back then! It was shocking, but they've had two remodel/building projects since then. {Because parochial schools in OC can afford those sorts of things.}

Todd & Rachel met in college at Irvine and both started out their careers here at OLHS. They both started as teachers, and have quickly worked their way up into admin positions. 

So we got a little private tour of the campus...

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Sander and I did theater in high school together, but it looked nothing like this. 
Their performing arts center--remember this is a high school--made me jealous. 

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I realize our own local Lutheran high school doesn't have the same ability {funding} to create such an impressive arts space, and to be fair we're not a few miles from Hollywood either, but man...OLHS clearly holds their arts departments as valuable as the sports departments. And that's a rare thing in the high school industry. Or at least it seems. Well done of them.

Now this is an open-air cafeteria. You would never see one of these in Colorado. 

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What is happening? Where are the pro sports teams? This can't be a high school.
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Okay, enough high school photos.
I'll give myself nightmares.
Who am I kidding? I already have nightmares about high school.
I wake up on a regular basis reminding myself, No, Heather, you did graduate.

The real reason for our outing was to get dinner together. So we followed Easton and his parents to the old town (?) Orange area. Typical cute old town America, what with the boutique gift shops, antiques, old churches, and a fountain. 

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We had dinner at one of the two new concept pizza restaurants within 1 block, which does personal pizzas Chipotle-served style. Seeing as this is a new trend on the west coast, we can expect this sort of thing soon too. {It was really good! I don't remember the name of it.}

Nor do I remember the name of the ice cream place we visited after pizza, because Todd insisted on treating us. But the name isn't important...
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What is important is that this place wins both Most Unique Flavors as well as Most Crazy Ice Cream Making awards. Because not only did they have beet & goat cheese ice cream, but they make it one the spot with liquid nitrogen. 

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And? It was the best ice cream I've ever had to date. I'm not just saying that.
You want the name of it now, don't you? Too bad. I can't remember it.

Thank you for the ice cream, Uncle Todd & Aunt Rachel!

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The next time we see our baby cousin Easton will probably be next summer. He'll be huge!

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I miss those people.

So now onto Part 7.

Beaches? Check.
Cousins? Check.
In-N-Out? Check.
Disneyland? We were seriously bracing ourselves.

Cheers,
Heather

See more of our California 2015 trip:
Part 1 - Santa Monica Pier
Part 2 - The Getty Center
Part 3 - Erickson Family
Part 4 - Crystal Cove State Park Beach
Part 5 - Downtown Disney & The Super 8 Disneyland
To Be Continued...


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