Sunday, July 10, 2011

First Official Family Vacation!

On Friday, July 2, we embarked on our first official family vacation. Friday night through Tuesday were spent with the extended Smith Family in Northern California, and then we split off on our own little family vacation down the California coast until returning home on Sunday, July 10. It was a great time!

We took approximately 247 pictures on this trip. We will spare you the burden of seeing every one but will include some of them here to offer a taste of the fun we had.

Smith Family Reunion in Woodland

We had Reed and Kristy's family in town from Missouri, which was great!

With Ryan's family at the 4th of July breakfast in Woodland.

 Hanging out at the pool at Grammy and Grandpa Smith's house.

 At Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco. We went with a lot of the Smith relatives for a day trip.

Still find it hard to believe how big Scott is now!
 Brad, Scott, and Josh. Joined at the hip at every family get-together since they were born, but it had been a while since Josh lives in Missouri now.

San Francisco:

After Muir Woods with a big group of Smith relatives, Ashley and Ryan went to the Giants game with Eva, Scott, Reed, Josh, and Brad. On Wednesday we officially split off for our family vacation and toured AT&T Park (the Giants' stadium) and enjoyed some ice cream at Ghirardelli Square. Uncle Bruce and Aunt Shauna were kind enough to let us stay at their house for a few nights.

We decided to splurge a little for the best seats Ryan has ever had, as we don't often get to see a Giants game in San Francisco (Ashley's first time ever to see the Giants play in San Francisco, in fact). Luckily we found a pretty good deal on StubHub by waiting until the day before the game.
 Ryan making the call to the bullpen. We were pretty excited that our tour included a visit to the field and visitor's dugout.

We're not sure Bennett fully appreciated the treat this was.
 The view from the top deck at AT&T Park.

The view of the Bay Bridge from the stadium.

 After the tour of the stadium we paid a visit to Ghirardelli Square for lunch and some delicious ice cream sundaes.

Santa Cruz

Bennett did a lot of hand-clapping on this trip. You can see his hands in motion thanks to Ryan's iPhone's slow shutter speed. This was taken just before our tour of the Mystery Spot near Santa Cruz.

Big redwood, little baby. This is at Henry Cowell State Park, which is just outside Santa Cruz. Lately Bennett has enjoyed looking at the tops of trees. Good luck with this one, buddy.

Bennett has also been learning to fold his arms.

Bennett didn't really seem to get the idea here.


Two other favorites for Bennett recently have been putting things on his head and exerting every effort to get his hands on a remote control. The kid is in heaven here! This was taken at our hotel in Marina, CA, on Thursday night.

At Monterey Bay Aquarium on Friday. Bennett enjoyed the touch-pool exhibits, not surprisingly.

We did the 17-Mile Drive in the Monterey / Pebble Beach area. Here we are with the famous "Lone Cypress."


Solvang is a little town that is known as the "Danish Capital of America." Much of the town has Danish-style architecture and there are a bunch of Danish restaurants, gift shops, museums, etc. We enjoyed eating Danish meatballs, pastries, chocolates, and aebleskivers. We had the privilege of being shown around town by two of the nicest people in the world, Dean and Jan Klitgaard. Dean has been a best friend of Ryan's Grandpa Smith since the two of them were teenagers in the Salt Lake City area. He had several good stories illustrating what a "stud" Granpda Smith was in high school. He was especially complimentary of Grandpa Smith's pink convertible, which was Grandpa's pride and joy and was purchased with his own money.

 A view of one of the streets in Solvang.

Bennett with Hans Christian Andersen, the famed Danish storyteller.

With the Klitgaards after attending Sacrament Meeting with them at the Solvang Ward.

Santa Barbara

On our way back home we stopped in Santa Barbara to see the old Spanish mission there.

 Making our way home along the coast on Highway 1.

Home at last!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bennett's Biggest Day So Far

It really happened...Bennett's age is no longer a fraction! Of course this milestone comes with some mixed feelings for his Mommy. Bennett is beginning to look and act like a toddler, but his Mommy wants him to be a baby for a little longer. Thankfully, he is still the size of a 5 month old, so that helps. :)

Bennett has a special cuddly that we call his doggy. He also really likes Sandra Boynton's book about doggies. So, I thought it would be fitting to have a doggy-themed birthday for Bennett. To celebrate, we went to a pet store (which actually should be called a dog store since they only sell dogs). Bennett laughed and pointed at the puppies. I think he had a good time. That night we celebrated by letting Bennett have his own cake--which looked like his favorite doggy.

Here is a video (sorry it is so long!):

And here are some favorite pictures from the last 3 months.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bennett is 9 Months Old!

I know we have a lot of catching up to here are some of my favorite pictures and videos from the last couple of months:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bennett is Eating Grown-Up Food

I know--his chin is only a couple of inches above the food tray, but the doctor said he was ready!

Here are some videos of Bennett's first bites of solid foods:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween and More

Bennett has been looking fatter and older lately--maybe those two things go together somehow. He's getting more and more interactive all the time and continuing to show his personality. In certain moods, he particularly enjoys making noise for the sake of making noise, which proves to be a little bit inconvenient when those certain moods occur during church. But overall it's a lot of fun to watch him learn new things every day. Recent discoveries include the flavor of his feet (he's pretty flexible) and the fact that he has a tongue (lately there have been several unsolicited tongue sightings every day).

Here are the long-awaited Halloween chicken costume pictures:

This next one is one of our favorite Bennett facial expressions.

And here is Bennett working his magic with the ladies. This is his friend Lucy, who is the daughter of our friends Brian and Emily. They live in our building, and I work with Brian as well.

Notice the right arm creeping around her....
She reciprocates by moving towards him....
....and that's how it's done. Bennett does look a little nervous about it, though.

Finally, we were surprised to discover that Bennett the Chicken found it hilarious when Dad cleared his throat. In fact, he thought it was so funny for so long that we caught a bunch of it on camera:

And here are a couple random pictures: