Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in California

As much as we wanted to go home this Christmas, we stayed in California to celebrate the holiday. As I have mentioned before, Todd had to scramble to land a pediatric rotation here in Bakersfield, and the catch was that he'd have to do it over Christmas.

We're at the point now in our lives as parents with children of our own trying to figure out traditions- what traditions we want to pass down to our children, and what traditions we want to create.

If we were home, we'd spend Christmas Eve with my family- going to church, going out to dinner, opening presents from each other, sharing a cigar by the fire, and listening as my dad read the Christmas Story. Well, we didn't think the cigar would be very appropriate with our boys, but we did attend a local church and go to dinner at CPK. It was a wonderful time! When we got home, we still opened presents from my family, as we would have if we were home. The boys had so much fun opening presents, listening to the Christmas story, and putting cookies and milk out for Santa!

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Christmas Day, in Washington, would usually be spent going to my parents house early in the morning for "Santa" presents and stockings, and then off to Todd's parents house for the day of presents, dinner, and visiting. One tradition Todd wanted to keep was an orange in the toe of his stocking, as the tradition of his family :)

We decided to keep our Christmas Day very low key. We opened the massive amount of presents from all of our generous relatives and Santa, of course, ate lots of candy, and relaxed. I made a big breakfast of cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs and sausage. I was bursting at the seams, but dinner was still to come! A tradition that we started last year was making a huge pot roast with all the fixins and of course, my grandma's heavenly hash, for dinner. It was delicious!

The best part of the whole day was just relaxing as a family in our pj's and watching the boys enjoy the gifts that Santa brought for them :) We are so blessed in so many ways and the sweet moments together truly was the greatest gift this year.

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Monday, December 20, 2010


Busy is the only word that can really describe our lives lately. Busy, but wonderful. Here's what's been going on in the Crazy Curtis household. Last we left you, we were about to hop a plane and head to Seattle for a week while Todd attended two interviews and we spent Thanksgiving with family. Well, hop a plane we did, and we had a fantastic time. It was such a blessing to get to spend a whole week with family, and the boys were able to enjoy some snow!

A short week after we returned to Bakersfield, we hopped yet another plane and headed to Arizona for 4 days where Todd had 3 interviews in 3 days (crazy guy), and I had some much needed girl time with my best friend who I haven't seen in almost two years! She was gracious enough to let our crazy family of four stay with her family of four and it made for one big happy family :) Thanks again Galloways! It was my first time to Arizona and I really enjoyed myself, and the near 80 degree weather!

At Phoenix Zoo lights

Since we've been back, we've battled ear infections, nightmares, penicillin allergies, and many many sleepless nights. Oh, and did I mention trying to meet the shipping deadline for Christmas presents? Wait, Christmas is on Saturday.... as in THIS Saturday? Wow. Time certainly flies. But the expression on my babies' faces as they open their gifts from Santa will be a moment that I hope lasts a bit longer. At least I know it will in my heart.

Christmas blessings to all of you out there! Hope you all enjoy this "most wonderful time of the year" with your families and cherish each moment. Hopefully we can all take a few moments to slow down a little.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, I am thinking on the things that I am truly thankful for. There are so many things, it's really hard to know where to start.

Of course there are the obvious- food on the table, a roof over our heads, beautiful and healthy children, and that we have such wonderful and supportive family and friends, but there are a few specific things that are on my heart right now.

I am thankful that last month is over :) Todd is on a new schedule now of 8-5 and we are loving having him around more!

I am thankful that the half-marathon is OVER and that I was able to shave 8 minutes off of my last time! Todd and the boys stayed in the park the whole time in cold conditions while I ran the 2 hour race. What support! It was so nice to see them cheering me on and in to the finish. My time was 1:58:44 and I am very proud of it!

Finally, I am SO thankful that on Saturday, we will depart for Washington to be with our families for Thanksgiving. It's been 6 months since we've been home last and I was getting seriously homesick. You never realize how important being with family is for holidays until you move away. Family really makes holidays what they are, and I'm so looking forward to being with mine for this one.

We really are SO blessed in so many ways. I really encourage everyone, if you haven't already, to think on the individual ways you have been blessed. I bet you could come up with a new one each day for the rest of your life.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Marathon of Life (or something slightly less cheesy)

What a month this has been. I have been tested in so many ways I can't even begin to count them all. It all started with the lovely Kern Medical Center saying they didn't have any rotations available to Todd this month so he would have to figure something else out. We panicked. Todd spoke to the medical education office and told them he would take WHATEVER they had available so that we could stay in Bakersfield. He was given two options. A Pulmonary elective that had long hours, but no call, or another elective that had call, but normal hours. Well, it can't get worse than having call, right? So he chose the elective with "long hours." I mean, how long could they be, right?

Wrong choice.

For the past month, Todd has been leaving for work at 630am and not returning home until after the boys are already in bed, usually around 9pm to 10pm. So, I have been doing everything for the kids by myself. The good old days of counting down the hours until 5pm when my partner in crime would return home to help me corral the kids were over, and I was left dealing by myself with the kids from Monday through Friday, from the moment they woke up to the moment they were in bed, with no family around to help. Add a couple of out of town trips for Todd for interviews, the stomach flu for Jackson and myself (while Todd was out of town, no less), and training for a half marathon, and you have the most challenging month of my life.

What did I learn from all of this? That God will truly not give you anything you can't handle. Without Him, and our constant conversation throughout the day, I never would have made it through this month. While the kids were eating dinner in the living room and I was losing mine in the bathroom, not thinking I could go on one minute further, He gave me that extra ounce of energy I needed to continue. He is truly and amazing and faithful God!

And a big shout out to my mom, who was on the other end of the phone at least twice a day coaching me through. I really do not know what I'd do without her. She is the wisest person I know.

Saturday marks the end of this crazy rotation, and the day of my big half marathon race. In both "marathons" I have pushed myself beyond my limit and have seen that I am capable. And I never would have known what I was capable of accomplishing unless I had been pushed beyond my own self limitations. I hope I never forget this lesson, and if I do, I'm sure God would be happy to teach me again :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big Fat October Post

It's crazy to me that it's November already. It's 87 degrees out today! California weather is so unlike anything I've ever experienced. I suppose I can't complain too much :)
October came and went in a flash. I can't believe how fast it went by. It was filled with wonderful events, a trip and visitors!

The first weekend of October, we headed down to LA to meet up with Todd's family and watch the Husky Game vs. USC. It was the first game for the boys and we were little apprehensive about bringing them and having to hold them the whole time, but they did amazingly well. We had a great time visiting with everyone and were even lucky enough to see the Huskies dominate USC for the win!

Noah so tired from the fun of the game :)

An excited Jackson before the game

We also had the pleasure of a visit from my parents. They were only in town a short while, but Jackson and Noah had a blast with them. And so did we :)

Enjoying the pumpkin patch with Grandpa

Making cookies with Grandma

Sweet Noah at the park :)

Halloween was a wonderful time as well. Jackson was very excited to show off his Superman costume as a trick or treater, and Noah was very happy to be along for the ride as the Incredible Hulk. Jackson had a blast trick or treating, making sure to say "Trick or Treat" and "Happy Halloween" at each house. He was so proud of all of the candy he got!

My adorable little Hulk :)

The boys all ready to go! Jackson loved being superman. He would throw one hand up in the air and say "To the rescue!"

My boys out the door and ready to go!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Alright blog. You don't like me, and I don't like you.

I am just not good at this. If I want to be better, I am going to have to make this a discipline. Just like anything that doesn't come naturally, I will have to work at this one a little. But I feel that blogging is important and this is why- it's a wonderful way to communicate with friends and family, beyond the cryptic status updates of facebook. If you want the LONG caption behind the photo, come to the blog. There, you will get the real story. The other beautiful thing about the blog, is that it is, in a sense, a digital scrapbook. I just took a few minutes to go read my posts from Grenada. Ah, a simpler time when I was so invested in and committed to this blog. Now I struggle to find things to write while the current posts sit collecting dust. That's just not right. This blog should be nurtured and loved, and that is what I intend on doing. One post a week. I can do that! I will thank myself for it someday.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sisters. Best Friends.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting my sisters for a week as they visited from Washington. It was so wonderful to be with them and just chat and be silly together.... things I have missed so much.

These two are cookey, wacky, and all together wonderful. The three of us are so different, and yet so much alike at the same time. I don't know what I'd do without them. They truly are my very best friends.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life's a beach

For the past 4 years, we have been fortunate enough to live within a short driving distance to a beach. In England, we were a quick 15 minute subway ride from the North Sea, in Grenada, a 5 minute walk, and in New York, the beach of the Atlantic Ocean was our back yard! Now, we only live about a 2.5 hour drive to the beach, but it seems SO far compared to what we've been used to the past several years. I was getting an itch to see the ocean again so last weekend we took off and drove to the Central California Coast for the weekend. The Pacific Ocean was more beautiful than I remembered.

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The boys had so much fun playing in the sand and water and we had a blast watching them :)

We also enjoyed visiting Solvang, a little Danish town about a half hour inland. One vendor made these delicious little Danish treats called Aebelskivers. YUM.

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We went to a little park in Solvang called Hans Christian Anderson Park, where Jackson completed his first hike, all on his own!

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After Solvang, we had the opportunity of visiting an old Spanish Mission. They restored it to how it looked in the 1800's and we learned so much from being there. You could really feel the history as you walked the grounds.

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All in all, it was a wonderful trip. I really look forward to those times we can relax and have fun as a family without the little stressors of life nagging.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Something tells me I won't win blogger of the year.

Ok, I know I'm not super great about keeping this blog up, but I am going to try and be better!

Things are going very well here. We are continuing to love our lives in California as we explore and make new friends. Todd is busy with the residency application process. I can' believe that this crazy medical school journey is coming to an end soon. It seems like just yesterday we were moving in to our teeny furnished apartment in Tower House, Newcastle.

Anyway, I could write about 40 pages of things that have happened over the summer, so I'll share a few pictures and let them do most of the talking.

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My baby sister graduated from high school!

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The kids continued to be adorable

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Noah and I got to travel to Portland for a weekend to see my cousin Melissa get married! It was so fun seeing everyone and being able to hang out with my family.

The heat has allowed for a lot of playtime inside, which makes for a couple of crazy kids (and mom). But not all of the craziness is bad. Here is one of my favorite videos of the kids goofing around :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

California Lovin!

We're here!! The move was stressful, to say the very least, but we are here and getting settled in to Bakersfield. We love it so far! Everyone is so friendly and the neighborhood is so comfortable. Jackson loves the park that's a short walk from our house, and his very own backyard to explore and run in. I think this is going to be a great year!

Totally unrelated, my oldest is a little music lover. Top 40 to be more specific. It gets on my nerves to no end, but it's so darn cute when he sings along to his favorite songs. Here I caught him rocking out to Usher's OMG. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's OVER!

Phew! I did it! Two days later and my legs are still useless. I don't really get it because I had been running 12 miles without being sore the next day, but I guess 13 at a faster pace will put your body over the edge.

Early on Sunday morning, I woke up, gulped my coffee and headed out the door for the big race. I made myself some oatmeal but was so nervous I took one bite and could take no more. I was out the door and realized that it was pouring down rain. Great... this was definitely not ideal, especially since I didn't have a rain poncho and was wearing a long sleeved cotton shirt. What was I thinking? I made it to the subway and was able to force a power bar down as I waited for my stop. I looked around the train and there were several other women going to the race. Why did they look so relaxed? Didn't they realize what we were about to do?

I got off at 57th street and had to walk a few blocks to the park, then over to the start. It was still raining, and by raining, I mean pouring. I saw countless women with umbrellas and ponchos talking and laughing and enjoying themselves. I, on the other hand, was already soaked to the bone! A few women even asked if I was OK. haha. I made my way to my seeded corral and prepared to begin the race!

The start siren finally went off and everyone crowded around and went for it! It took me a few minutes to get to the start and off I went! I couldn't believe how different it was from running alone. Women were elbowing each other and cutting each other off. It was crazy. One woman cut me off and fell right in front of me. I had to pull an Apollo and basically jump over her!

Up to mile 8, I felt SO good. I don't know if it was the competition or the rain keeping me cool or what, but I actually thought, you know I think I could do a FULL marathon. This is a cinch! That was until mile 11 when I hit a wall... my legs wanted to give up but I dug deep and told myself TWO more miles... I could do it! I kept my pace up and was even able to go a little faster to the finish. My time ended up being 2:06, which I think is pretty darn good for my first ever half marathon. As miserable as I was after (being completely soaked, freezing, hypoglycemic, etc), I knew immediately that I would want to do another one of these things! I think I am hooked.

I don't usually say this, but I am proud of myself. Being a stay at home mom is the most wonderful thing ever, but I miss the aspect of working where you set goals for yourself, and when you achieve them, everyone congratulates you and thanks you for your efforts. Now, as we all know, being a mom is a thankless job, which is fine, but after I had Noah I was determined to set a goal for myself and reach it. I am so happy that 3 months post baby, I was not only able to reach it, but exceed it. Yes, I am proud of myself. Now off to change a poopy diaper. I love my life :)

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's almost here!

After I had Noah, I went through a hard time. My baby is the sweetest, most wonderful baby that exists, but in conjunction with it being winter, not having family nearby, and those pesky hormones, it was a challenging time for me. I decided that I needed a goal, something to work toward and be proud of myself when I accomplished it. I was on my facebook one day and a friend from high school posted that she had just signed up for a half marathon in NYC on April 24. I didn't even think, I just got the info from her and signed up! Of course right after, I had doubts... would I even be ready for a half marathon 3 months post partum? It sounded like a challenge, but also exactly what I needed. The training started out slow, but gradually I regained my strength and endurance and got my "running mojo" back :)

Part of my training was to run two 12 mile runs back to back weeks. I couldn't believe it when I finished the first time... I did it! Only one mile more for the half marathon distance...

When I signed up for this race, it seemed so far off in the distance, and now it's just a week from today! To be honest, I thought I might back out and find some excuse (kids, etc) not to do it, but now I can't wait! The race takes place in Central Park and I feel really happy that this will be one of my last Manhattan experiences while we're here. I can't wait to do this! Wish me luck! :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Still alive...

Well it's been a very long time since I've posted so I thought I'd put a post up to prove that we are still alive :) We have been so busy the past few months enjoying so many events from St Patty's day, to a visit from my sisters, a visit from Todd's parents, and Easter. Jackson and Noah have had so much fun getting to know their extended family better and mom certainly enjoyed the extra buddies for Jackson!

We also recently found out that Todd will be completing his 4th year of rotations at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, CA so we are packing up (once again... didn't we JUST do this?) and moving to California on May 13th! I can't believe how fast a year has gone by in NY and I really am going to miss a lot about it, but I am so excited to be moving back to the West Coast and to be closer to family. Hopefully this will be our last big move across the country. I think my two little blonde boys will fit in just fine as California boys :)

Here's a pic of my sisters and I on my balcony. We had such nice weather while they were here!
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Here's a pic of J coloring Easter eggs. What a cutie!
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My sweet Noah on Easter
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The boys together :)
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Jackson's 2nd bday!! (a little late I know...)

We've been pretty busy around here so I haven't had time to put up the pictures from Jackson's second bday yet! This boy has grown up so much the past year, it's truly remarkable. He's especially grown up since we've brought his little brother home. I am so proud of him! He speaks in full sentences now, can count to 20, knows all of his ABC's, and knows most top 40 songs better than I do! One of his favorite things to do is go in his room and turn on his radio. haha.

Here are some pics from his big bday party! It was pretty low key since we had just brought Noah home, but we had a blast with friends and we were fortunate enough to have my parents here as well!

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Noah Abram

On January 20th at 1225pm, little Noah Abram Curtis made his way in to the world. At 8 lbs 1oz and 21 and 1/4 inches, he was a little bigger than his older brother!

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He is such a sweet little guy! He sleeps most of the time, and is a champ at eating :) He is very mild mannered and only wakes up once or twice each night to eat and poop, which mom and dad are very thankful for!

His older brother is getting used to him. If he wakes up before Noah in the morning, he will ask where he is, and if he is sleeping or crying. haha. Jackson does a pretty good impression already :) I think, in time, they will wind up being best buddies!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010


We had a white Christmas this year! NY got a lot of snow the week before and luckily it stuck around for us to enjoy. Here is a picture of the snow going all the way to the water on the beach! It was so amazing to see.

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On Christmas Eve, Todd, J and I went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, one of our favorite places, then on to a candlelight service at church. Here is a picture of J in his cute little Christmas Eve outfit :)

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We spent Christmas Day at home as a family as well just letting J enjoy his toys and relaxing. It was our first Christmas not in Washington, and although it was sad for us not to be with our families, it was also nice to spend it at home in our PJ's all day just having a leisurely day. Christmas in NY was definitely different than in WA, but it was special because this was J's first Christmas to really enjoy his presents so it was so much fun to watch him playing.

Here is a picture of the "loot" before J woke up. He was so spoiled this year!

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Playing on his new slide

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Sitting at his table

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Helping mom clean the beater after making whipped cream

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The Monday following Christmas, we got the opportunity to spend the day in the City. J had so much fun seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and visiting FAO Schwartz!

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And finally, here is the latest picture of me on Christmas Eve at 36.5 weeks. Today, I am 38 weeks and can't believe Baby Day is almost here :) I'm so excited to meet my little Noah and J is so excited to be a big brother!

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