Zoo Day

Brandon had this Monday off due to MLK day, and we were blessed with some beautiful 60 degree weather, so we trekked to Asheboro, NC to the North Carolina Zoo. We met Kristin and Brian (my sister and brother in law) and our niece Iliana.  IMG_6863

Judah was pretty into seeing the animals. When he spotted one, he would point right at it, and usually make it’s animal sound. He mostly just liked running along the path though. Which was a good thing since we forgot the stroller, ha. IMG_6867

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The Asheboro zoo is beautiful. really spread out with plenty of room for the animals, which means a whole lot of walking for the humans. IMG_6882

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25 weeks pregnant, and the walking felt good, until the next day. yikes.
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The highlight of the kiddo’s day was probably the large floor fans in the aviary. Judah couldn’t get enough of his hair blowing in the wind.IMG_6915

And Illy got in on the fun too. IMG_6920

(Quacking at the ducks)
IMG_6922This peacock running around gave Judah quite a shock, but Illy was ready to catch him. 🙂

It was a really fun day! It’s really special to get to do these things with Judah before his little brother comes along.

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Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that your season was filled with joy and rest and celebration, and if it wasn’t, than I am at least glad for you that it’s over. 🙂 Here is a little recap of what our Christmas celebrations looked like this year.

We started with a Sunday afternoon of opening gifts, just Brandon, Judah and I. Judah is getting the hang of the whole presents thing. He isn’t a pro yet but he gets that it’s for him and that it’s probably going to be fun to play with after dad finally gets it unwrapped, out of the box, assembled, and the batteries installed. He totally gets distracted during the whole thing though, and kept bringing us his bible to read to him instead of moving on to the next gift. So we incorporated some impromptu bible reading (aka animal sound making and saying baby while pointing at any baby he sees) with the present opening, which isn’t such a bad idea anyway. 
Christmas at Home

We didn’t buy anything new for Judah this year because we knew the rest of our family would get him plenty of things, but we did have some extra gifts from his birthday that we had set aside for Christmas. He loved them all and had no idea he had seen them before. The remote control dog was probably the biggest hit. Brandon got pour over coffee accessories, and I got so many good things including books, boots, and pyrex dishes.

On Monday we headed to High Point to spend a few days there with Brandon’s side of the family. Christmas Eve was spent opening gifts with the immediate family, going to the Christmas Eve service at their church, and a buffet of catered food from Christmases around the world.
High Point Christmas Eve
On Christmas day we were blessed with made-to-order omelets for breakfast followed by more family gift opening including a “green santa” exchange where we wrapped up things from our homes, and a really funny game where we tried to open a well wrapped package using oven mitts. High Point Christmas Day

There was also plenty of food and chasing/playing with the babies, and plenty of tim tam slams. Some of us did more slams than others. (read: our friend Shivani, pictured bottom middle)

After dinner on Christmas day, we drove back to Charlotte so that Judah could sleep and we could quickly pack and get up early for our 7am flight to sunny Florida to see my parents and grandparents. The flight was smooth and on time, my parents were delayed a bit coming out of Indiana but they made it down that day as well.
Florida Christmas Jetty

It was really great seeing my family. We hadn’t seen my parents since Judah’s birthday in June, and my grandparents since our last trip to Indiana in February. We spent four days in Florida, mostly relaxing and enjoying the 80 degree sunshine. Judah got a kick out of climbing the rocks by the Jetty and of course the pool was a hit. Florida Christmas

It was a good time for us to catch up, play cards, and watch Judah run around.
Florida Christmas FamilyChristmas was a bit of a whirlwind this year but we had a really good time, and next year there will be 2 little Wong boys to enjoy it with. 🙂

Thanksgiving 2013 Part Two: Eating and the Deec

After finding out the gender of our new baby boy, we spent the rest of the morning watching the parade on tv, drinking cider and eating cinnamon rolls, yum.
We spent the afternoon at the home of my brother in law’s parents. Did you catch that? As in, Brandon’s sister’s husband’s parents. They are close family friends and they share most holidays together. The food was so so good. I never doubted that it would be. I think my favorite thing about big holiday meals is all the yummy side dishes. I never spend enough time on side dishes for regular dinners at home and would be perfectly happy eating only sides at pot lucks and family get togethers.

Friday morning we hopped in the car and began our five hour journey to Washington Dc to visit our friend Heidi and see If/Then the new musical with Idina Menzel. All planned by Brandon. Love him.

IMG_0875Judah did way better in the car than we anticipated so that was a super plus. Thank goodness for Cheerios.

IMG_0894 IMG_0897We spent most of the weekend just hanging out with Heidi at her place watching Christmas movies and eating Thanksgiving leftovers and hitting a few local eateries as well. We spent some time at the botanical gardens but our Saturday nap skipper slept through the entire thing.

Saturday night Heidi hung out with Judah while Brandon and I went to see Idina Menzel in If/Then.

IMG_0911 IMG_0909The show did not disappoint even a little and neither did Idina.
If you can’t make it to DC to see it, It’s headed to broadway in the spring.

It was a really fun long weekend getaway, but after fighting the holiday traffic on Sunday we were ready to be home for more Thanksgiving leftovers and getting ready for Christmas!

Bald Head Island

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I guess since I am writing this post it must mean we are back from the beach. sigh. We were there from Friday to Friday and after we got home and the baby was asleep and we were settling in on the couch, Brandon said to me, “I have felt so stressed since we got home.” Darn you beach, for making us feel so relaxed that even the comforts of home make us feel stressed. (Don’t worry we had a good weekend and the feeling of stress has subsided.) 

Bald Head was so beautiful. There are no cars, it is pretty much totally covered in trees besides where the homes are, the sandy shore, and the marsh. You should go to their website and check it out, their pictures are way better than mine. It was my first official vacation with the Wong side of the family and it was fabulous. The Boggs family also joined us (my brother in law’s mom, dad, and brother.) 

on the ferry golf carting

 

Like I mentioned before, there are no cars allowed on the island so we parked our car for the week and took a 20 minute ferry ride to the island. There were 2 golf carts at the house where we stayed and they were our transportation for the week. 

fishin and crabbin

 

There were plenty of things to do on the island including, fishing, crabbing, paddle boarding, kayaking, alligator wrestling, etc. etc. 
Most of my time was spent with Judah and my niece Iliana at either the pool or the beach and that was A-OK by me. 
pool Judah and Illy at the beach

Getting to hang out with Judah while he experienced the beach for the first time was one of my most favorite parts of our vacation.

first time at the beach buried by papaw

Judah and Daddy

 

 

That picture up there of Brandon’s first real ponytail is probably worth noting. 

We did plenty of exploring the island, which included trying out all of the ice cream shops and partaking in a drum circle.

pier walking drum circle

 

We had a really great week making family memories and were really sad it had to end. Judah was especially sad to not have any more occasions to wear his beach shirt.

hawaiian shirt

Until next time Bald Head.

beach families

 

The Wongs and The West Coast

Well we’re back and mostly recovered from our week in Los Angeles. We went with only a few things planned and of course our days end up packed with things to do with friends and family which was great!

Judah (and his parents) survived his first plane ride.

flying

He did really well. Slept a little, played a little, ate a little, cried a little. All in all we were relieved. It was nice to have Brandon’s brother with us on all flights as extra help.

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You guys, we ate so much good food. That’s kind of what vacation is for right? My body isn’t so pleased with me now that we are back, but it really was delicious. Pictured above is In-n-out, Hawaiian shaved ice, Korean Tofu, Dim Sum, ice cream, Philipe’s french dip, and ohhemmmgeee, the pie hole. Go there people, just do it. We had a slice of chocolate ganache with a salted crust and a slice of earl grey tea pie. Mark my words, there will be pie in Heaven.

But, there is more in than LA than just food.
cali friendsWe saw so many friends! Our friend Kinsey whom I went to high school with and she went to Taylor with Brandon and I, lives in the Hollywood area and we got to see her twice, our friends the Canadas who live at Westmont, our friend Brian who is currently getting his doctorate (smarty pants) at UC Santa Barabara, Matt who also went to Taylor with us who lives in Santa Monica, and to end the world’s longest run on sentence, our friend Abby who was just passing through on a road trip from Ohio all took time our to see us and meet Judah. It was really really special seeing each of them and getting to see a little of their west coast lives.

Both sides of Brandon’s extended family lives in LA (the primary reason for visiting,) so we spent most of our time with them hanging out and catching up. My sister and brother in law and niece also came out for the week so that everyone could meet both babies at once.
califun

It was a really great time! Even though getting away from home for a week with a baby in tow can be stressful at times, it was totally worth it to have an adventure and see a lot of friends and family. I hope you all had a great week too, and a great Fourth of July!j and illy 2

A weekend in the ATL

We went to Atlanta this weekend. Unless you count the many times I have quite literally sprinted through the airport, I have only been there once, back when Wong and I were very newly married. Brandon had some vacation days he needed to use and we have some friends down there that are very busy and we don’t see often so we jumped on the opportunity for yet another weekend away.

cracker Barrel

Judah had his first Cracker Barrel experience and loved it. He flirted with all the waitresses and ate all of my food.

Jonathan and Emily

Ms. Toldt

He also got to meet our good friend Jonathan and his girlfriend Emily along with our friend Sarah. We know them both from Taylor. Excuse Judah’s crazy expression in the first picture, it was past bedtime. 🙂

coke 5

Most of our few days in Atlanta were spent hanging out and just talking to Jonathan and Sarah, either on the couch in Sarah’s living room, or out at a restaurant or strolling around a cute little area I can’t remember the name of. But, we did spent a few hours one day touring the Coke Museum.

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coke 2

It was definitely fun. Not overwhelming, so great for taking the baby with us. He was totally entertained by all of the sites and sounds including the 4D movie.

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There was even a little room where they showed Coke commercials from the past and from all around the world, and a tasting room where we tried an insane amount of flavors from around the world. We only found one to be completely disgusting, called the “Beverly.” sick. Brandon and I both felt a little queasy when we left from all of our tasting.

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And what better to cure queasiness than lunch at The Varsity, right? Ha. We really wanted to eat at a Chicken and Waffles place, but Judah was sleeping off the excitement from the Coke museum, and the line was out the door and outside in the cold. (It snowed in Atlanta while we were there this weekend, which they say never happens.) So, while Judah snoozed, we ate burgers and chili dogs and drank some delicious frozen orange drink. Yum. (but not so helpful to the upset stomachs.)

thevarsity

The weekend was quick, (aren’t they all?) But it was really fun and we were so glad to get to spend some more quality time with friends we don’t often see.

Our trip to Indiana (Part five) (last one I promise)

Sunday was our last official day in Indiana, so in true fashion we tried to smoosh as many people into one day as possible.
In the morning we swung by the Homans one last time for a little more play time with Eli and Emalyn.

Homans

Then, we had lunch with the Rigbys. I didn’t take too many photos mostly because we were eating the whole time and who wants to see that really? but I did snag a pic of this cutie patootie snoozin away, and her sister getting herself a gumball the size of her face.

rigbys

After lunch we headed back to hang out with my family for one last quality time and had a little impromptu photo shoot.

family 1 family 2

In case you are wondering, Judah’s shirt says “future webmaster.”
I seriously loved that Judah got to hang out with my grandpa. I think he was pretty excited about it too.

Ralph and Judah

Brandon even snuck in a photo of me with the little guy. Trying to get as many pictures with him as possible even if I don’t love being on that side of the camera. I am sure I will be happy I did it someday right?

Judah and Mom

To top off the weekend we headed over to Bluffton to hang out with a group of our friends that I went to high school with. We do our  best to see each other every time I am in town, and these sweet ladies even made a trip down to Charlotte after Brandon left for Kenya a few years ago to comfort me in my time of need go to the beach. They are pretty much the best.

rockwells

lu and I

The picture above is my friend Lauren. She is holding Judah and I am holding her baby, Drew. Lauren has kept me out of a lot of trouble in my years, and I am thankful for it. Plus, she totally let me wear her wedding dress to my wedding. That’s a great friend y’all. Drew and Judah are just about a month apart and I loved getting to hang out with him.

Drew 1 Drew 2 Drew 3

Believe this or not, I didn’t get one picture of my friend Rachel or her husband, orrr her seriously cute son, Connor. Connor and Anne’s little guy, Jackson, were too busy running and playing to stand still for a picture, so you will just have to trust me on how handsome those little men are. Their parents are in for some trouble when the dating years come around.

This is, Anne, and her youngest, Davis.  There are 5 boys and 0 girls between the 3 of us. We are going to have some fun testosterone filled reunions in the years to come. It will make up for all of the bridal showers/ bachelorretes/ and baby showers we have been joining up for in the past few years.

Anne and Davis

Davis

Hanging out with these sweet friends was the cherry on top of a really great weekend back in The Hoosier State!

Our Trip to Indiana (Part Four)

On Saturday, we headed a few hours North with my mom to visit with her side of the family. I hadn’t seen any of them since that Indiana baby shower we had 2 days before Judah was born, so it was fun to see them all, and for them to get to meet our little man. Judah of course spent the time chatting it up for the first time with his cousins and eating some good food.

cousins

On the trip home I found myself thankful for a mom who was willing to drive the few hours back so that Brandon, Judah, and I could all take a much needed nap. It was like reuniting with another old friend. (oh naps, how I miss thee.)

We spent the rest of the evening hanging out at my Grandpa’s house. Judah was definitely feeling more at home in Indiana.

chillin

After bedtime, my parents, grandparents, Brandon, and I played hand and foot. Anyone else out there know this game? We played ladies verses gentleman. Ladies won. boom.

card sharks

Our trip to Indiana (Part Three)

After we left Taylor on Friday, we headed toward my hometown of Portland, Indiana. My family was there waiting for us and Judah got to meet his Great Grandpa Ralph for the first time.

meetingRalph

I cannot get enough of this photo. Judah loved Ralph. He smiled every time he looked at him. It was so precious. There aren’t a lot of people who don’t love Grandpa Ralph.  It was wonderful introducing Judah to someone who means so much to me, and introducing my grandpa to his great grandson. There will be more pics of them in posts to come. Don’t you worry.

That evening we hung out with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world. (Are you sensing a theme here? Yes, everyone we saw on this trip is near and dear to us so excuse me if I gloat a little. 🙂 My heart is feeling very full.) The Homans!

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That’s Erin holding Judah. Erin and I have been friends since Kindergarten. (That’s longer than I care to add up.) Her husband Adam and her are pretty much Ahhhhmazing, and we love visiting them anytime we make it back to Indiana. They have 2 precious kiddos. That’s Emalyn in the picture, and you will meet Eli in a second. I love those babes like they are my own and I wish I could see them everyday.

Homans 2 Homans 1

Erin and I have pretty much been a part of every season of each other’s lives, but this one with kiddos is the best. Her babies are seriously the sweetest, and we loved hanging out with them. Judah, Emalyn, and Eli are sure to be friends for life.

Homans 3

Our trip to Indiana (part two)

After our night in Indianapolis in which the entire city became a frozen tundra. ( I had somehow let it slip my mind what real true cold feels like.) We left in the morning and headed to our, and hopefully Judah’s future (scholarship willing) alma mater, Taylor University. Completely by random happening, our good friend Josh, who currently lives in Santa Barbara,  was going to be there for a conference so we planned to meet him.

taylor gear

Judah seized the opportunity to wear all of his Taylor gear. ( He looks very happy here, but was not sure what to think about all the snow and freezing cold wind.)

ivanhoes

Where else would we meet for a lunch date in Upland, right? I, of course ordered without looking at the menu, the fried chicken salad (I got all nerdy when I saw it on the sign when we pulled in and exclaimed “That’s what I am going to order!”) and a red cream soda, which you can’t get easily in the south. I even got a mini cappuccino surprise milkshake at the end, despite the snow outside. But we weren’t there for the food, we were there for this guy…

Josh and Judah

This picture makes me insanely happy. Frameworthy. I absolutely love getting reconnected with our friends from Taylor. We hold dear our friends from that stage in our lives and pray for them and think of them often. I often consider what it would be like if we all lived on a cul da sac somewhere, but alas, we are spread out all over the country right now, so random meetings, mass emails, skype, and facebook will have to do for this season.

Josh is a real gem and it was great to see him. He lived on Brandon’s floor at Taylor (second west) and he was a groomsmen in our wedding.  As you can see, Judah was a fan. We missed his wife Alyssa who didn’t make the trip, but hopefully we will get to see her soon as well!

taylor

Josh is kind of a big deal so he had to go give a little lecture on how to be awesome so we spent a little time pushing the stroller around Taylor. We even ran into some more friends. There are Luke Owsley and Derek Kamwesa in the above photo, and we ran into Sara Hightower and Steve Morley. Steve was the hall director in the hall Brandon lived in at Taylor and we wondered later in the car what he thinks of when he remembers Brandon as a student.

Taylor has a new science building that wasn’t there when we were, so we explored a little. It’s beautiful, but sadly when we tried to go visit “the dungeon” where Brandon spent all his time at Taylor, it was covered with caution tape and truly is a dungeon now.

Our trip to Taylor was a good one. Being there always brings back fond memories of good friends and good times. But, we couldn’t stay long because it was toooo darrrn colllld, and it was time to head back to my hometown.