Glenn's birthday was a couple of weeks ago! His parents came to visit for the weekend; they've actually come to visit for every one of his birthdays since we moved here! It is a nice tradition that has developed. We had a great time, and Violet was especially happy to have her grandparents around.
They got here Friday night, and we spent the whole day on Saturday doing fun things. We went to Griffith Park in the morning. Violet rode the ponies again. This time she kept her dad close and her eye on theman with the blue jacket, and reluctantly allowed him to put her in the saddle. After that she had a great time!
Violet also got to ride the carousel, and afterwards, we had a picnic and played croquet in the lawn near the carousel. This carousel is super old, and the fastest one I've ever seen! Violet was a little shaken after getting off!
Saturday evening, Glenn and I went on a date! We went to eat at La Barca, a Mexican restaurant very close by that we'd heard good things about. It was delicious! The best part was taking as long as we wanted. We usually rush through dinner if we go to a restaurant with Violet. Even if she is being really good, it's like we are scared she is eventually going to get bored, so we hurry through everything. Since it was just us, we waited a little extra long to get a booth instead of a table, and then the waiter had to come back twice before we ordered because we were really taking our time deciding.
On Sunday, Glenn's birthday, we all had breakfast together. Glenn didn't have any meetings before church, which was a nice birthday present! Violet helped Glenn open his presents, of course. I think she was as excited about some of the presents as he was!
Here's where I made my big mistake: I didn't make the cake until Glenn's parents had gone. They left to drive home right after church, and I made the birthday cake in the afternoon. Well, Glenn ate one piece, and I was too full, so we were left with a giant cake in the fridge and no one to eat it! We took it to our institute class a couple of days later and it was gone in about 5 seconds, so it all worked out.
My parents had a bed they were willing to give us for Violet when she was ready to move out of her crib, so when Glenn's parents came into town last weekend (for his birthday! A post on that coming soon...) they picked up the bed from my parents and drove it up!
Violet was SO excited about it. She loves to play with it: jump on it, read on it, hide under it, etc. However, if you ask her if she wants to sleep in it, she answers, "Um...maybe when I'm bigger." Which, incidentally, is also her answer if you ask her if she wants to use the toilet. We aren't pushing too hard for her to make the switch because it might actually be nice to have a free bed for my mom to sleep in when she comes when the new baby is born.
And now I will overrepresent this small step in Violet's life with too many pictures because I love them all so much:
Glenn started practicing with the field hockey team at USC last week. He was surprised when after just two practices, they asked him to come play in their game on Saturday! They asked on Thursday, and the game was in Santa Barbara, so we made the last minute decision to head up there this weekend.
I'm glad we went, because it was a good thing for Glenn to get involved with the team, but I would rate the three main components of the trip as such: the drive: terrible, the hockey: slightly disappointing, lunch: amazing.
The drive up there was actually lovely. We made it in less than an hour and a half, and it is a really pretty drive. The problem was the drive home. Ugh, we were in traffic for so long. It was one of those drives that just makes you very single-minded to how much you hate LA. (and I actually love LA, but the traffic is really something.) I think it took us over two and half hours to get home.
It was fun to meet Glenn's team, and they were happy to have Glenn there. But...turned out they didn't have an extra jersey for Glenn in the right color, so he had to be the goalie the whole time.
It was pretty warm, and I was glad I had my umbrella for shade. Violet made her own shade.
Then for the best part of the trip: Lunch! We tried the place- El Super Rica Taqueria- the first time we went to Santa Barbara a couple of years ago, and loved it. We hadn't been back since, and knew that is where we should eat this time. We remembered that the best thing we had there was the chile relleno, so that is what we got. I took a picture:
Violet chowed down on freshly made corn tortillas that had so much natural sweetness from the corn that they made your hands sticky. Mmmmmm.
There was also sword fighting:
It was a good enough lunch to make the trip to Santa Barbara worth it!
I just wanted to make sure I documented Halloween before I miss the chance. I don't have much to say, besides that Violet was the cutest Rapunzel-from-Tangled-post-haircut that you've ever seen. I actually took the pictures on Tuesday, when Violet got to wear her costume to the library for story time:
On Halloween night, I let Violet trick or treat at one house - the sorority house of one of my friends from our ward. I think her whole haul was three pieces of candy. Then we went to our ward Halloween party! Glenn and I had a great time, and Violet was very good and sweet even though she was the only kid there and seemed a little bored the whole time. (I just realized that some of you might not be as familiar with the movie Tangled as we are [do you think Violet will EVER want to watch a different movie?], so here is a picture of Rapunzel - post haircut - for reference.)
We carved our pumpkin yesterday! It was Violet's first time, and she thought the whole process was pretty cool. Although in the days leading up to it, every time I told her we were going to carve our pumpkin, she would say, "We are going to cut it up and EAT IT?". So she was probably kind of disappointed that that didn't happen.
I asked Violet what kind of face she wanted our pumpkin to have, and she was actually pretty decisive. She definitely wanted a "big smile, not a scary mouth" and "triangle eyes". Also, halfway through she decided we should include sharp teeth, and fortunately it wasn't too late to oblige.
(She would absolutely not touch the pumpkin guts with her hands)
There is a farm about an hour away from us called Underwood Farms that is a pretty big deal. They have u-pick every season, like strawberries in the summer, etc. Their biggest thing of the year, though, is the Halloween Festival, and we went this year! It was a pretty big deal for us to go, because it is a long drive there and back, and we wanted to stay for most of the day since it takes so long to get there, so Violet didn't get a nap. She had a great time though, and was so happy the whole time!
I took about a million pictures, so I'll just tell you a little about them as we go to give you an idea of how fun the day was.
We went with a group of moms and kids from our stake, and our group had scheduled a hay ride together. Violet loved it. She was completely enthralled the whole time.
These are our friends, Jenica and Ryan, who we drove up to the farm with. Unfortunately, this is the best picture I could get of them on the hayride together. I got some better ones later though.
The hayride dropped us off at the pumpkin patch, where we each got to pick a pumpkin! Our admission price was $6 each, but it paid for everything, including the pumpkin.
A good one of Ryan and Violet together:
I told Violet to make a scary face when she was looking through the vampire. This is what we got. I'm definitely scared... more scared that she is going to mug me than that she is actually a vampire...
Violet loved climbing on this wagon, and got all the way to the top by herself! I heard a 5 year old boy tell his dad he needed help getting up there, and then Violet displayed her impressive upper body strength and pulled herself up!
We all brought our lunches and ate them at the picnic tables, and afterwards the little girls had an impromptu dance party.
There were lots of cool animals, including this emu.
There were also goats, cows, pigs, chickens, bunnies, turkeys, and peacocks. It was as good at being at the zoo for Violet! This morning I wanted Violet to tell Glenn about the animals she saw, and she said, "I saw a BEAUTIFUL peacock!".
A hay bale pyramid:
Ryan and Violet really enjoyed each other's company the whole time. They play so well together, and I'm glad we've become friends with them recently.
I wish I could remember everything! It was just such an amazingly fun day. There were corn mazes we never even got to, a farmers' market where Violet and I picked out some really delicious tomatoes, and a squash stand that had every kind of edible squash I've ever heard of. Also, there were pigmy goats that walked all over the beams above the play areas, which was hilarious. Like this: