Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Decorating for Christmas!

I absolutely love Christmas. It always has been, and will always be, my favorite holiday of the year. Although my favorite season is summer because I adore the warmer weather and outdoor activities, nothing makes me feel happier and more surrounded by love than the feeling and spirit of the Christmas season. I love the bright sparkly lights, the festive decorations, the smell of fresh pine, the holiday music, the yummy cookies, the shiny, pretty packages under the tree, the winter scarves and the frost in the air, the buzz in shopping centers and the smell of homemade goodies, the way everyone seems a little bit friendlier and lighter in spirit, and most of all....I love all of my Christmas memories and the extra special time I get to spend with family and friends.

My parents created many special holiday traditions for my sister and I when we were growing up, and although we've still held on to most of these within my immediate family, David and I now have the opportunity to create new traditions of our own with Zoey. We are so excited about re-living our childhood Christmas dreams through her eyes, and creating new special holiday memories together with her. Although she is a bit young this year to understand the true meaning of Christmas, and Santa, an presents,etc, she is definitely not too young to appreciate the bright, shiny things associated with the holiday season! She has already adopted a strong fondness for Frosty the Snowman, and points him out enthusiastically whenever she seems his image - too cute! And she loves to stare dreamily at our Christmas lights, and bobs her head to beat of holiday tunes. Yay for Christmas!

When I was growing up, my parents usually waited until the second week or so of December to get our Christmas tree and decorate the house - I think they probably needed a bit of time to relax after Thanksgiving before the NEXT holiday. : ) But David and I have started the tradition of decorating our home for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving, in order to maximize the amount of time the house can look pretty and festive for the holiday season. I also have some cute ideas of new traditions I want to create for Zoey.....which I'll share here as the season continues. : )
Our little helper
Holiday decorations are quite exciting to 4 cats and a budding toddler!
Our cute little Christmas tree - our compromise was to get a small fake tree (the $9.99 Walgreen's special!). Since we KNOW our cats would eat the tree, and/or knock off and break all the ornaments, and/or jump straight into it Kamikaze style, we thought putting a small tree high up on a corner shelf in the living room would be better than nothing. And after it was all setup and decorated, we LOVE it! A fake little tree is definitely better than no tree at all.....and I can always burn a pine scented candle to get the full effect. : )

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010!

Just a taste of the good times we had with family and dear friends this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Zooooo! : )

Yes, we officially love the Zoo! All of us in our family, regardless of age. : ) Animal sounds were imitated, lots of smiles and laughs were had, and for sure....we'll definitely be back!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our little lady in-the-making... they grow up so fast....

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Ahhh....cute horsey love. : ) I've always loved animals and greatly appreciate the daily dose I get from Cute Overload, but animals have become an even bigger part of our life now that we have Zoey - kids just love animals! Sooo many baby/kid toys and books relate to's fun. : ) And Zoey is now starting to make the connection that specific animals make specific sounds....she even has her own versions of "meow", "grrrrooww (lion sound), "quack quack", and she's said "moo" once - too cute! Next we'll have to work on "neigh" and "ruff ruff"!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The End of Civility?

I am planning to enter this essay contest for Cal staff, students & faculty. I love to write - so what a great opportunity to showcase my thoughts and talents, and perhaps even win a prize!

What does Civility mean to you? And any thoughts about the "End of Civility"? Very interesting topic indeed!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Zoey cuteness & silliness

Forgive me for not posting much content of deep intellectual value as of late - my life pretty much revolves around my uber-energetic and active Zoey, my relationship with David, our 4 crazy cats, my family, my job @ Cal, and my day-to-day life in Alameda. So while nothing incredibly exciting has happened recently, Zoey is growing up before our eyes and she brings deep belly laughter into our world everyday. We're just enjoying the simple things in life with our baby girl : )

Snuggling w/Molly and Giving her Love!

Playing with Daddy
Hi world!
Vroom vroom - crusin in my box
Warm laundry....ahhh
My cute new shoes

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Baby-Free Weekend

David and I are head-over-heels in love with our daughter, but we're also young adults who like to spend time together as a couple, and we're tired! : ) So my wonderful parents agreed to take Zoey for the weekend so we could have a break and catch up on our sleep and some projects around the house. We had a fantastic time, and I know Zoey did too - not only because Grandma & Grandpa Backes are sooo much fun, but also because Cousin Hayden was there as well! I'm sure my mom and dad are exhausted today, but also basking in the joy of grandparent-ly love and pride. : )

David and I took advantage of our free time to go out to dinner both Friday & Saturday night, caught up on sleep, completed lots of errands and home-improvement projects, went wine tasting at an awesome winery here in Alameda called Rock Wall Wines, and enjoyed a lovely picnic and hike out on Bay Farm Island Saturday afternoon (and what gorgeous weather we had too!). It was a much needed weekend together. : )