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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Merry!

We've had another busy week full of holiday celebrations and plenty of pressies. We arrived at Nana and Papa's in Scottsdale on Sunday after celebrating family Christmas at home in LA on Saturday night. Hayzey has been having a great time hanging with Hank and Gus and has assumed his role as "big cousin" effortlessly. 

Here are some snaps from the past week. We're off to Tucson tomorrow for a mini family getaway of sorts, then back to Scottsdale for NYE to spend some time with Auntie Whitney and a gaggle of friends and family who are coming in for the festivities.

Family Christmas at home...
Loving his new Jordans, although his favorite gifts were a watering can, broom and spray bottle (shocker!)...
Gingerbread house for brekkie? If you say so!
 Then onto Nana and Papa's...

Cousin love on the baby mat...
The newest addition to the clan, Gussy Goose...
Fascinated with "Guh"...
Matching Christmas jammies... (getting 3 kids under 3 to pose at the same time is a challenge, to say the least!)
Christmas kisses!
Stoked about his new Dyson...
But remember, it's MINE!
Gus is ready to move on from a strictly milk diet...
Nana's helpers...
Christmas 2012

At the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park with a big fan of trains!
 Hope you're having a lovely holiday full of fun and family time! The countdown is on for NYE - 5 days left of 2012!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday whirlwind...

The last week has been an absolute whirlwind, what with holiday parties, mini-getaways and the hustle and bustle of last minute prep for Christmas, which is fast approaching. I made a mental note at the beginning of the month to slow down and take it all in and while I feel like we've been able to do everything everything "holiday" with Hayes that we've wanted to (ice skating, gingerbread house making, holiday party circuit, visiting Santa Claus, etc...), I still can't believe Christmas is only a short week away. Figured I'd appease you, dear readers, by providing a holiday round up of snaps for your viewing pleasure.

We got our very first haircut at an actual barbershop! Sadly, I think Nanna Susu is fired from her stylist duties...

We celebrated Hanukkah with the Cohens...

Hayzey's favorite pressie - a rolly suitcase, of course!
The spread - well done, Nini!
Brisket and latkes agree with Hayes...

We decorated our very first gingerbread house. Hayes luckily didn't realize that he was decorating with edible treats until the very end - now he can't walk by the damn thing without lunging at it for a taste!

You really want me to lick my fingers?
Wait, I can EAT this?!
Well, in that case...!
Chiat Holiday Party with the huz...
We went to the Grove to see Santa with our friends Ollie and Liz...

Best buds.
Hayes looks like he was just told he was on the naughty list. Bah, hambug!
We had a lovely, but rainy weekend in Santa Barbara celebrating our anniversary. The Canary was a true class act, sending us a surprise bottle of champers and a nice cheese plate in honor of our special milestone. Looking forward to returning for many years to come ;-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The above quote seems quite fitting for the way I feel about how my relationship started with my husband.

Grant and I met our Senior year of high school when he reluctantly became a boarder at TASIS, a little preparatory school in Thorpe, England. Being a school full of ex-pats, we were used to a handful of new kids coming every year to replace those who's families had moved onto their next assignment but it was rare that these new kids fell into the coveted "cool" category, especially the older we got and less likely families were to uproot their kids for their final years of school. 

Much to the delight of the girls in the class of 1999, Grant Cohen, the kid who talked weird (our virgin ears had never heard the word 'hella', nor did we know what 'slanging wolf tickets' meant) seemed like a pretty cool kid, not to mention cute as the dickens. Being in a long-term relationship (a year was akin to 20 at that stage in life) already, I harbored a secret crush on the new guy, but didn't show my cards until a few months into the school year when it was quite apparent that I was over my ex-boyfriend and very interested in pursuing a relationship with Grant.

Our first kiss was in the coat check line at a Cypress Hill concert at Brixton Academy in London. After a hazy show (in more than one sense of the word!), we made our way upstairs to grab our coats and while hugging me from behind, the boy from Alamo went in for a smooch. I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach today when I think about that moment - the excitement after so much anticipation, feeling like we were doing something we shouldn't have been doing since my recent break-up was still so fresh. Our chemistry was undeniable and we were both excited for what we expected to be a six month fling to follow as we ended our Senior year and went off to our respective colleges. 

So back to my original point: When we first met, I had no idea you would be so important to me.

When it came time to say goodbye in June, what was supposed to be a fun fling became a long distance relationship. Neither one of us were quite ready to say goodbye to each other so we figured we wouldn't officially put an end to things quite yet. Fall quickly arrived and a perfect storm (pun very much intended) of multiple hurricanes enabled Grant take advantage of his parents' forced evacuations to travel up North pretty much every month to see me. Before we knew it, I had transferred to University of Miami (I claimed I hated the curriculum at Boston University but it was fairly obvious why I was really so miserable) and our "fling" had become a serious relationship. 

Fast forward 14 years and here we are, married with a vivacious two year old and still happy as can be. We've both changed a lot over the years - 14 years is a long time, especially the 14 years we've been together. We met as children, went through college, then post college trying-to-find-our-place-in-the-real-world, then marriage and baby. That's a whole lotta change to go through. But never once have we broken up and although there have been a couple of rough moments, my love for my bigou has never wavered and has only gotten stronger as the years have passed. 


I had no clue that when I first laid eyes on Grant waiting to get our school pictures taken outside Mrs. Reinekinan's classroom that I would one day marry him and have a baby with him. I had no clue that when we drunkenly told each other "No, but I REALLY love you!" on the party bus to an Ibiza club, we'd still be saying it 14 years later. And had you told me that our December 12th anniversary would still have meaning on the last repetitive date we'll encounter in our lifetime - 12.12.12, I would have appreciated your nostalgic notion but would have secretly thought you were insane.

Regardless, I'm a lucky girl to have been where I was when I was and couldn't pick a better person to fill the role of my everything. I love you 'gous and can't wait for many more dating anniversaries to come ;-)

Ibiza, June 1999

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Hanukkah!

Is it Hanukkah or Chanukkah? I've never understood why it's spelled two different ways and to be honest, I have a hard enough time spelling the word in the first place, so my version usually omits the seemingly unnecessary 'c'... However it's spelled, we're celebrating it this weekend so Happy Happy to everyone!

Grant's fam, including Hayzey's great grandma Shif and Auntie V's boyfriend, Tommy are all coming up to the Kibbutz tomorrow afternoon to prepare our annual Hanukkah feast - homemade brisket, latkes, grilled vegetables and to top off the overflowing tanks, warm pepsi-cola cake. I can feel myself getting fatter just writing that, but it sure does sound delicious!

As happy hosts, our only responsibilities are the drinks (no problem, didn't you know I live with an almost-certified bartender?) and a nice light salad to accompany the heavier dishes. I've also got a batch of Nini's delightful white chocolate chip and craisin cookies baking away in the oven as we speak (Hayes will rise from his nap to the aroma of freshly baked goodness - lucky boy!), so hopefully our guests will pick away at those as they lounge around the house tomorrow afternoon. All I know for sure is that if there's chocolate involved, this little guy is game:

Looking forward to our first official holiday celebration of the year. The next couple of weeks are going to be a whirlwind, what with our Friendukkah on Tuesday night, back to back holiday parties next Thurs and Fri, a trip to Santa Barbara to celebrate our 14 year dating anniversary (insane!) and then Christmas right around the corner. I'm loving all of the action and excitement!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's the Holiday Season...

The holiday season has officially kicked off around here and I could not be happier about it. They definitely crept up on us this year (I think b/c Thanksgiving was so early - apparently b/c there were 5 Thursdays in November this year, which rarely happens), but now that they're here, I am trying to soak in every minute and wishing time would slow down a little so I can really enjoy it.

I'm also having fun teaching Hayes all about what the holidays have to offer. I'm not sure how much he gets right now, but I think he can definitely sense that there's something different going on. We got our tree this weekend and ever since then, every time he wakes up from sleeping, he runs into the front room and stands in front of it, exclaiming "Chee?!" (or something along those lines - it's hard to phonetically explain Hayes-talk!). We had to make the top of our tree very breakable-bulb-heavy and put those ornaments we don't care so much about within Hayes' reach at the bottom. So far, he's been pretty good about keeping the ornaments on the tree, although when I found him in there this morning, he had taken every ornament that somewhat resembled a ball off of the tree and had placed them on the floor in front of him. I think this'll be a recurring trend over the next month...

Hayes has also embraced the fireplace - seems he likes to be cozy too. He knows where we keep the fire-starter in our coffee table and if the fire isn't on, he'll go into the table and urge us to turn it on. Luckily the fire-starter has no real flame and the fireplace is protected by a child-safe gate (I can see grandparents' heads shaking in shame) so there's no real danger, but still something I suppose we should keep an eye on.
Where Hayes chooses to sit to watch TV these days...
And finally, Hayes had a taste of the good life this weekend when he had his very first advent calendar. Needless to say, I don't know how I'm going to explain why this delicious treat ends in 22 days... I'm bracing for some resistance.

Besides the Christmas shenanigans I mentioned above, we also took the boy ice skating this weekend at a holiday pop-up rink nearby. I hadn't been on skates in almost 20 years and I don't think Grant had ever been on them, so it was definitely interesting trying to balance ourselves, as well as a squirmy toddler but it was a fun time all around and as you can see by the pics, Hayzey enjoyed embracing his Canadian roots ;-)

Hope you're all enjoying the holidays so far and that you're stopping to take it all in. Like everything else, I'm sure they'll be gone in a flash!

Oh and for those of you who may have received a strange email from me with a link in the body, please disregard. It seems my email was hacked and I was busy sending out spam to all of my contacts while I slept last night. I'm officially switching over to my gmail account (chanel.cohen@gmail.com) so please update your records.