Monday, June 27, 2011

Besties, Barbeque, Blues, and Blockbusters

A few weeks ago, the stars aligned and three of my best girlfriends in the known universe and I met up in Irvine for a girl's day!

I'm so thankful that for the time being, we're all within driving distance, and that we had the chance to get together. We all met up and then were off to the Irvine Spectrum for lunch (which I was treated to because of my birthday! Thanks ladies!), shopping, Rocky Mountain chocolate, See's, and of course, a few solid hours of lounging and doing what we do best-- talking.

So much has happened in the last year. There is one more baby now among us since we last got together, and two more are on the way, making grand appearances before the end of the year!

The only downside to days like this is how lightning-fast it all goes by. Since everyone's so busy in the summer it's a miracle when our schedules line up, but we're definitely going to do this again before the summer is over.

Afterwards, I scampered home to help my parents throw a barbeque. My Dad is one of the leaders for the Single's Ward in our Stake, and he and my Mom had been prepping all day for the party. My Dad made his famous pork ribs and his INFAMOUS Chicago-style "Mumbo sauce." He and my brother also offered some delta-style blues entertainment. I've been hearing my Dad play this music since I was little and it's one of my all-time favorite sounds.

After the party, Harry and I grabbed my brother Cam and raced to the movie theater where we made it just in time for

I'm not a Sci-Fi fan, but this movie was incredible. We laughed, I cried (and I mean cried), and our minds were sufficiently blown. I would wish this movie on anyone.

This is probably the last real "summer" we'll ever have. Even though we're both working and it's not really a vacation, this summer is really the last of it's kind. It's a really bittersweet thing. I'm trying to live it up as much as I can, considering this time next year school will officially be a thing of the past, and we're not exactly sure where we'll wind up. Therefore, my goals for this summer:

1) Get a tan-- wait, no. A golden tint.
2) Eat my weight in frozen yogurt and my Dad's Mumbo sauce.
3) Swim in the ocean and/or a swimming pool at least twice a week.
4) Make watermelon lime slushies as often as I can get my hands on watermelon.
5) Spend oodles of time with Eaton and Reynolds family.
6) Hang out with friends I rarely get to see.
7) Get sick of summer so that I won't be all blue when it ends.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eaton Park

I just remembered this and thought I should share. In the name of being an Eaton, and all.

On Memorial Day, I got a hankering to go on a hike. There are so many beautiful hikes around Palo Alto, and I happened upon one on the internet that was about 10 miles away from our apartment called "Eaton Park." Seriously. I took it as a sign.

It was about 3.4 miles round trip, and it took us through a dense, lush, hilly forest on a deserted path. It was the perfect way to spend Memorial Day morning/afternoon (and left us enough time to get home so Harry could work on some finals).

The view.

Smiles all around.

Trying to get a cool action shot of me blowing on the huge dandelion. Failing miserably.

Halfway point (which took us into the suburbs, and then back into the wilderness again).

The path was riddled with banana slugs. And I mean RIDDLED. At least they're a pretty color.

All finished.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A lot.

The other day, my friend K from Palo Alto called me just to say hi. It made my day. She also mentioned that if we're going to be away in La La Land all summer, would I mind getting off my lazy duff and updating this silly little internet blurb so that it was obvious I was still alive and kicking?

I told her I would gladly oblige.

Many many things have happened lately, and when I think about uploading all the pictures it makes me dizzy and faint and call out for some smelling salts. But I shall do my best.

We have moved to Santa Monica for the summer. Leaving Palo Alto and all our buddies (just for two months) was really hard. I can only imagine what that will be like in a year when Hal's graduated and we'll be leaving the bay area for good. I can't even talk about that anymore. I'm welling right up like a nincompoop.

In the name of chronological order, I will start from the beginning. And when I come to the end, I will stop.

I ran the Spring Fling 5K at Stanford. Harry met me at 3 different spots on the course (around campus) to cheer me on. It was so sweet of him! He got a few shots of me, and these are the only ones I will post on the internet ("mid-stride" isn't really my proudest camera pose). Harry and I attended a BBQ after and got to catch up with our Law School pals.

At the end of May, we drove up to Marin County to visit the MartinandSuzi chapter of the McOmber fam. We ate delicious barbequed delights, swam in the pool with the kiddies, and topped everything off with ice cream. Plus we got to drive on the Golden Gate bridge and through a long winding highway of vineyards for 2 hours each way. One of my favorite things.

Uncle M had a putting green installed in the backyard. I got a hole in one, and so did Hal! I never knew golf could give my sense of well being/confidence such an outrageous boost.

My beautiful and witty cousin Erin sang in "Don Giovanni," one of Mozart's operas, at the Presidio in SF (used to be a military base, but now all the beautiful old brick buildings have been converted into homes and offices and a concert hall that are right on the peninsula). If I could, I would make sure everyone could hear her amazing (and POWERFUL) soprano voice before dying. Oh, wait, maybe I can.

I love my cousins.

Before leaving Palo Alto, I got together with some girl friends (one of whom I would see for the last time!) and we ate Mexican food and gathered at the Redwood City Center for a giant outdoor broadcast of "Hitch." We all brought blankets and G brought milk duds and red vines. It was so much fun! Leave it to me to blink in a photo where THERE WAS NO FLASH (eye roll).

Also, we went to dinner at Il Fornaio with some friends to celebrate my birthday early, since we would be in LA when it actually happened. G even made me my own lemon birthday cake. True story: this cake is so tasty I couldn't bear to get rid of it when we moved. It's sitting in my freezer in Palo Alto. When I get back, I'm thawing it out and eating it.

My birthday rolled around. We had just made the move to Santa Monica the night before. So we went to the store, stocked up on essentials (milk and cereal), and then later wandered around Santa Monica. We hit the pier, the 3rd street Promenade, and the beach on foot- everything is within a mile of our home. Harry bought me some fun b-day clothes at H&M and we had a blast checking out shops and restaurants. I am one lucky duck.

That night Hal took me to get some sushi and frozen yogurt, and we came home and watched "The Company Men." True to form, I fell asleep for the last 15 minutes. But it was still an excellent movie. And an excellent way to celebrate turning a quarter century. My quarter-life crisis has yet to hit. Pictures of an Irvine family party are yet to come!

A fun part of living in LA is that we have family close by! We got to see Harry's cousins for dinner one night and play the Michael Jackson dancing game on Kinect. Everyone's inner-MJ came out. It was awesome. Harry and Chris delighted us with "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

We also got to hang out with Dan (sadly, the stunning Aja was out of town). We ate amazing food and got to catch up (I didn't get any photos, like a dufus)... right across the street from the Scientology Celebrity Center. Oh, LA. I think I might love you.

I've been working from home this summer (for the company I was working for in the bay area). Four hours a day I am sitting at a desk on my laptop, in my "uniform" (read: pajamas). It's been awesome.

Now for some BITTERsweet news. My sister E and her adorable family are moving to UT. It's going to be awesome for them in so many ways, but for me, it's like "The Wonder Years" aired it's last episode all over again. The melancholy will haunt me for months.

All the Eaton siblings gathered at her house last week to help pack up and move (Mom and Dad couldn't make it this weekend). That was actually a lot of fun. I remember once when I was 12, my parents took off to visit my grandparents, and it was just us kids at home. Elizabeth was 18, Mer was 16, and Cam was 10, and we had a blast hanging out together. I remember thinking, "Wow, we've got a good thing going here." This was kind of like that. Only even more fun.

We even spent some time with photo booth to commemorate the late nights laughing at our own stupid jokes.

Merzy called this one "Families are Forever:"

Weird thing about this one... it wasn't planned....

Babies J and I got to spend some QT together. They are just about the cutest and happiest babies I've ever laid eyes on.

If you've read to the end of this, you must be my mother. If you're not, hey, thanks for reading. You're a peach. I will leave you with a little diddy I can't stop listening to.

Imagine Dragons "It's Time" from The Occidental Saloon on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


So far, so good.