Chase's First Disneyland Trip

We finally took some much needed family time to celebrate Jaelin's preschool graduation and take Chase to Disneyland for the first time. We were joined by our long time friend, Drew Clayton, with whom I've shot the last few weddings. Drew was awesome enough to help me document the day so that I was on the other side of the lens at least some of the time.
(Note to self: Remember to take other pro photographers on family vacations with you.)

(photo by Drew)
Chase and I upon arrival - a bit too early for photos.

(photo by Drew)

(photo by Drew)
Attacking our little Spiderman (shirt) with tickles.

First on the agenda was for Jaelin to meet her princesses. She wore her Sleeping Beauty dress all day just for the chance to impress another "real" princess.
(Look at Chase's priceless expression.)

Just look at Jaelin trying to hold back a smile as she nervously approaches Belle...

...clutching her dress with anticipation and excitement.

Chase's very first ride (Alice in Wonderland). He stared in awe and confusion. We weren't sure if he liked it until he gave a mad, deep grunt when the car stopped.

Drew and Chase

The whole Lai-Yates clan on Small World.

Getting some exercise in Adventureland.

Jaelin driving her first car at the Autopia.

Our little princess showing off a new hat.

I loved this moment. Lots of backstory here. Chase is "in love" with his pacifier. He's pretty much never without it. I sometimes refer to it as his "cigarette."

Chase likes to kiss...hard...often leaving teethmarks.

Riding the carousel.

Jaelin watching the parade (and dancing along).

We had an amazing time which we will cherish forever. Today was a reminder to slow down and keep focus on the life that is racing past us.

Annual 79th Street Memorial Day Block Party

When we moved into our house (far, far, far) beyond our dreams early May 2009, we were supremely excited to fill the larger living space with our children's laughter and the sounds of their feet running to their little hearts' content. The first day that Jeremy and Chase walked Jaelin to her preschool (only five minutes by foot!), the boys discovered that our street led to the most beautiful bluff views of the ocean, marina and city, as well as cute walking paths to newly constructed neighborhood parks.

The kids are loving their spacious play room, Jeremy is passionately designing the backyard to include an impressive playground for the children, and I admit that I am loving not needing to share any bathroom space - ha!

But it just kept getting better and better...

Shortly after moving in, we were invited to a block party for our street. For the past ten years, the residents of 79th Street have celebrated Memorial Day with LOTS of good grub, exactly our style :) We joined them for our very first block party and were overwhelmed to meet such fantastic and friendly neighbors. It has always been our dream to be part of a living community who cares and looks out for each other. Jaelin even met another little girl who is attending the same kindergarten as her in the Fall. We look forward to play dates and dinners with our neighbors, as well as many more block parties in the future. Hopefully, our neighbors liked us enough because we are definitely here to stay :)

The kids made chocolate chip cookies to share for the block party.
They were so excited and proud of their work :)

Tug of war...

Sack races...

Saying good-bye to one of the families moving out of CA...

Judy and the Little Man...

The whole 79th Street gang...