We just made our way home after a very quick weekend up north to visit my brother and sister-in-law. The trip was just over 48 hours, and not long enough (as usual), but we had a really nice time.
On our way up, we wound through the hills of thousands of golden poppies!
We made sure to stop for a stretch at our usual spot, Kettleman City.
As soon as we pulled up, Marshall said, "Water wheel!" (How did he remember?)
Finally we made it to my parents' house, where Chris and Ashley were house- and dog-sitting for the weekend (my parents were on vacation). We all met there Friday evening and devoured the meal my mom had left for us (her now-famous chili verde, which is one of our favorite meals). Marshall crashed at 7:30 and we adults weren't too far behind. It was a lovely, chill evening.
Saturday morning Marshall didn't wake up until after 7! He got some play time with Uncle Chris ("big huge tower!") while Ashley headed to work.
Terry, Marshall and I took a long walk to a playground to let M play a while, and I got to squeeze in a little workout.
20 walking lunges
20 jumping lunges
20 bench dips
10 incline push ups
20 calf raises
20 hip abductors (each side)
20 plie squats
(repeat for a total of 3 times)
Not too crazy, but perfect when combined with our 3-mile walk.
Love these boys!
Next on our agenda was a trip out to see Ashley at work so I could get a hair cut. I went shoulder-length and I love it. We also had Marshall take a seat to trim a little hair above his ears and in the back of his head (if you look up at that water wheel photo, you'll see the bird's nest that kept happening every time Marshall got out of his car seat). His first hair cut!
Then we all took a walk around the waterfront near Ashley's salon. It was a gorgeous day in the Bay Area!
Uncle and nephew.
Aunt and nephew.
Back at my parents', we had Marshall eat ahead of us out on the patio, and he was pretty happy about it. This kid and food--a love affair from the start.
Uncle Chris and Aunt Ashley did the honors of putting the little guy to bed,
and then Chris cooked up some steaks (thanks, Dad!) to enjoy with some twice-baked potatoes and salad. We enjoyed a rousing round of Parcheesi (I won!) before calling it a night.
Saturday night Terry and I didn't sleep well (and actually Marshall woke up once crying, which is super rare nowadays), but we were all up quite early to start our Sunday. We headed out for a walk with Tango and Eiger.
A big reason we visited this weekend was to provide a distraction for Chris and Ashley, who have had a heartbreaking start to the year. Two weeks ago, they had to make the very difficult and sad decision to put their beloved German Shepherd, Achilles, to sleep. After learning he had a very advanced form of cancer and consulting with experts at UC Davis, no less, it was the right thing to do for the poor guy. He was too young, and our family is devastated. Chris and Ashley gave Achilles a truly wonderful life, though, and he was a funny, sweet, protective member of the family. We are so sad to say goodbye to him.
So this weekend was a chance to take a break from being sad, to spend time together, to laugh (mostly because of Marshall but also because of my parents' puppy Eiger). And we really made the most of it. It didn't quite feel right without Achilles there, but we like to think he was there in spirit.
We ended our trip with a quick visit from our friends Fay and David, who live near my parents. We chatted for a little over an hour, and it's always so wonderful to catch up with those two.
A few more photos from the weekend:
Eiger pretending to be a lap dog.
The little hummingbird nest with two babies outside my parents' house.
A quick little makeshift lasagna I made when we got home tonight, with sauteed zucchini, roasted eggplant, a jar of marinara, pasta, and mozzarella, all layered up melty and delicious.
And with that, we're off to bed to start the (short!) week before we hit the road again for the Grand Canyon. Have a wonderful week!