California, Book Cover Flip, and Some Seriously Awesome Sunglasses

We just got back from California last week, and it was a blast!  Baby's first road trip.  Madeline was reasonably good in the car on the way down, and was a total rock star on the way back.  Good work, Maddie.  (She was about two minutes from falling asleep in this picture, but she really was pretty good on the drive most of the time.)

We stopped in AZ so I could feed Madeline and decided to document her first visit to the state.  Apparently she liked it.

We also discovered this trip that Maddie apparently loves casinos.  We spent the night in Vegas on our way to CA and Madeline loved all the lights and sounds as we walked through the hotel to our room.  She did not so much like our LOUD hotel neighbors who woke her up at 3:00 AM.  Neither did I.

Once we arrived we had a great time at the beach.

First time in the water

Don't let the pink sparkly heart sunglasses fool you.  Madeline is very serious about the beach. 

Madeline and my sister Lindsey totally hit it off.  They were two peas in a pod the entire trip. 

Maddie supervising Aunt Binz while she works on a project for her biology class... 

It was while we were in CA that Maddie discovered her toes.  Her life has completely revolutionized with this discovery.

My good friend from high school got married.  We were able to go to the ceremony.  It was great to see them, and fun for me to introduce Mike to some great old friends.

Meanwhile, my mom, Binz, and Maddie hung out on the coast... 

The rest of the trip was filled with lots of smiles. 

And lots of Albertacos.

These cute cousins hung out a lot. 

One of my goals while we were on this trip was to make Maddie and my brother Nathan BFFs.  Nathan was driving back to UT with me, so it was imperative that Maddie warm up to him.  Happily, they did become friends and she was great with him on the drive.  Thanks for driving with me, Nath!! 

Some uncle/niece bonding over the Angels game.  Apparently Maddie likes baseball.  Or just the bright colors from the TV. 

Helping grandma in the kitchen.

Not sleeping during nap time... 

It was a great trip and we loved being there.  Miss you already!

Since we've been back we've been spending time at the pool, trying to convince Madeline that water is fun.

She's discovered my hair.  This discovery could have waited, if you ask me.

She's turning into a curious little girl, wanting to grab everything around her and stuff it in her mouth, and succeeding more often than not these days.  She is pretty ticklish and she giggles all the time, especially for her dad.  She's still pretty hesitant to let other people hold her, but at least she seems to be improving since we spent ten days in CA in constant company of other people besides her parents.  Her smiles completely melt my heart and I'm just so glad that she's mine.

Lastly, in case you haven't seen this, you should totally check out YA author Maureen Johnson's article and awesome challenge on gendered book covers.  It is out of this world good.  Basically, she challenged her twitter followers to come up with alternate book covers to well known YA books, just to show how book covers are designed differently based on the gender of the author rather than on the story itself.  Such a fascinating and thought provoking idea, and such incredible differences in the covers!  I thought I'd post a link to the article since we've already talked about how book covers can be hugely problematic and misleading.  Check it out.
Here's one example:

And that's all.  I will leave you with this picture of this cuteness: