Tuesday, August 23, 2011

saying goodbye to pacific ave

A letter to our old house...

Dear Pacific Ave,
We had some good times there within your walls, three floors up above the crazy world. We spent many hours there playing cars, cooking crepes, and lounging on the bed. We celebrated birthdays, saw Gavin off to his first year at preschool, and recooperated from a couple of surgeries. You were good to us during these times. You were the nicest house we'd ever lived in.....oh how we'll miss your ten foot ceilings and pretty wallpaper; your gorgeous curtains and sleek new kitchen.
But alas, we could not look past your gritty streets and noisy traffic. Sirens at midnight, and 1 am, and 3 am, and 5 am (or sometimes more). Bums fighting in the alley below. We also could not ignore the neighbors downstairs who thought we 'sounded like a herd of elephants.' Trying quiet four year old feet is not easy. Yes, we will miss your hip vibe and modern fixtures, but we just couldn't stand the chaos any longer. Or risk our car getting broken into again. Please don't take it personally.....it's not just you, but the whole city. Fun and exciting, but crowded and chaotic. We were craving something more.....relaxed. Suburban even.
So, we are heading to greener pastures and more wide open spaces where all we will hear are the sounds of birds chirping and my son playing safely outside. We are sad to go (kinda), but we'll see you around. We'll drive by every now and then and wave hello, but we will gladly wave goodbye!
Yours Truly,
The Parkers xoxo

And just for fun I thought I'd share a few pics of the place.

The living room and dining room.

Oh how I loved all the built-ins and the grasscloth wallpaper.

And this kitchen was to die for. Modern and NEW!

Complete with dirty dishes :-0

Unfortunately this is the only pic I have of our Master bedroom (before we changed our bedding around and brought in our rug and dresser). But oh how I loved that wallpaper and floor to ceiling curtains. Someday...

The office, right off our bedroom.

Even the hallway was nice.

Our master bath....I already miss the shower there.

The view below.
Gavin could watch all the cars and firetrucks he wanted here.

From the outside.
Modern, sleek, cool, but the ONLY nice place on the block.

So long Pacific Ave. It's been nice knowing ya!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Well, the time has come that I no longer have a preschooler, but a big, grown up, grade school kid. Gavin graduated preschool this last June and is now just weeks away from KINDERGARTEN!!!

How did this happen?

When did he get so big. And so old. Old enough to be going to KINDERGARTEN!!!

But back to preschool.

Gavin had attended Pine St. Preschool this last year and we fell in love with it immediately. Not only was it affordable (truly a rare find in Santa Monica), but his teachers were superb, the playground was adorable, and all the parents there were so great. We made many friends, both mother and son alike, and we were so sad to see the school year come to an end.

Attending this little graduation ceremony was the sweetest event I think I've ever been to. What could be cuter than all these little munchkins singing and dancing and proudly showing their parents what they had learned?!

Gavin proudly receiving his 'diploma.'

Looks like it's official!
Gavin is now a preschool graduate!

Here are all of Gavin's wonderful teachers. Teacher Nehal, Teacher Leo, and Teacher Sofia.
We will always be so grateful to them for providing such a wonderful school experience for Gavin. They really did form an amazing foundation for learning for years to come.

Teach Sofia was Gavin's main teacher and just the loveliest woman you will ever meet. Sweet, kind, PATIENT, and very hard working.

We will miss you Teacher Sofia!

The graduation was bitter-sweet for me.

Bitter, for it marked the end of my 'baby' years with Gavin....those sweet care-free days with loose schedules and time together at home. It signified that he was in deed growing up and now entering those grade school years where only big kids are allowed. He was no longer a toddler watching Blues Clues on the couch with pretzels and a sippy cup, but a big boy ready for a back pack, skinny jeans, and recess. He was graduating from little boy to big boy.

This event also marked the end of our time there in Santa Monica, since we were moving (actually, we had already moved) to a new home an hour away. With the distance, we knew we would probably not see most of our friends again and used the graduation to say our final goodbyes to everyone and the neighborhood. We were not just leaving the preschool, but the regular play dates, familiar parks, and outings to the beach with friends. We were leaving a vibrant and fun city with familiar faces and a modern condo that had been called home.


This day was also sweet, for it represented the beginning of a new chapter for our little family. A new school, a new home, a new neighborhood and friends and church. A new suburban life on a tree lined street that was quiet and safe. Where our family could actually go for walks and play in the grass without driving to a park. A better life was waiting for us in Orange County and we couldn't wait for it to begin.

So anyways, congratulations to the class of 2011.

So proud of you, Gavin!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Do your kid's rooms ever look like this?

Please say yes.

I am not a happy camper when the room gets this out of control, so with an hour's work the two of us had it whipped into shape once again.

I would love to say that it stayed perfectly clean for weeks or even days, but that would be a lie. Messes are just a way of life with kids.....although I think I have finally found a system that works for our family in keeping the toy mess at bay. Luckily, these kind of messes don't happen too often anymore AND Gavin is doing almost all the cleaning by himself! Yay!



Then sadly, it was soon time for us to pack it all up in moving boxes and the mess became a whole new monster.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Did you know that LAX has an air museum?

And it's FREE!

We spent the afternoon looking at awesome vintage flight attendant uniforms (tons of them!) and even got to go inside this old airplane (Curtis could tell you what it's called, but I can't remember now). And as luck would have it, there was a Virgin America 737 jet parked out front waiting for a later flight and they let us go out and walk around underneath it! Who ever gets to do that?! It was very cool and super impressive....you don't realize how big those things really are just sitting inside of them.

So just another awesome day in L.A. I guess.


We've lived in L.A. for eleven years!

And we still haven't even stratched the surface at seeing all the sights.

So we decided to start exploring more and set out over a couple of weekends to see what we could see...starting in Hollywood. Since that is where all the action is at.

The LACMA grounds are a must see and we went back here many times. The light installation is obviously iconic, but it is such a sight to see in person.

Especially at night.

Also on the LACMA grounds....this red and gray wall had me camera happy.

Kickin' it at LACMA still.

Had to make another stop at The Grove/Farmer's Market....love that place.

Then we drove around till we got a little lost looking for this gem.
The Greystone Mansion in the Hollywood Hills is so amazing. You can walk all around the grounds and even up next to the 'house' and it's all FREE!
Amazing views from here too.

The La Brea Tar Pits....one of Gavin's favorite places now.
He keeps talking about this Wholly Mammoth.

Ahhh, this was just too funny not to share.
You gotta love a Giant Sloth impersonation.

So I had it in my brain that I had to see the Hollywood sign up close, but we weren't exactly sure where to go for a good view of it (even after some googling).

So we drove around, and around, and around....till we found this pretty view, but still no luck.
Even though the sun had set I was optomistic that we'd find it.

And lo and behold, we stumbled upon the road that lead to the trail that you can easily take this picture....in the dark.

But, we found it!

And now that we know where it is we are sure to go back in the daylight for a proper picture.

You gotta love L.A.