Merry Everyone!

Look who found his blog!! It’s me!

Wow, it was been a LONG time since I blogged, and needless to say, much has happened..

Where to begin…hmmm….

Emma’s first Christmas went VERY well. We had a blast with some extended family who were super nice to let us come and hang out with them in San Pedro. It made for a nice day, instead of a day spent pining about the old Indiana Christmases…

Old Indiana Christmases??
You guessed it! We now live in sunny Valencia, CA!! We migrated west around the beginning of December, and I unpacked the last box of crap last night! We’re settling in nicely now, which is a huge plus. Emma had a couple of really early mornings before she got her timezone switch squared away. She’s still sleeping a bit randomly, but she’s growing/teething all the time it seems, so it’s always hit or miss. But she really enjoys taking trips with mom around Valencia, and they have found Cali versions of most of the familiar Noblesville haunts. We’re excited to get to turn her around in the car soon though!

Turn her around?? She has to be 1 year old for that!!

Speaking of that, she’ll be ONE year old in 5 days!!!!! Jaime and I are really looking forward to taking some pictures of Emma wrecking a birthday cake. šŸ™‚ The year has just flown by, but it also seems like Emma’s always been here. We’ll be having a small affair at our townhome in CA, but we’ll be heading back to IN sometime in Feb. most likely. We’ll have a big bash then for all the family there. We also plan to visit our Noblesville friends and our old church.

Old Church??

Believe it or not, commuting to Indiana every Sunday morning is a bit tedious. We had a lot of good input regarding quality churches in the LA area. Most of the recommended churches were >30 minutes away from our new place and, to be honest, I wanted to go to a more “local” church. One of the things we LOVED about White River was its proximity to our home. It made trips there easy, and helped us to get plugged in even quicker.

To that end, I did a google search for Valencia churches and, lo and behold, there was a church not even 2 minutes from our place! I decided we would go there and check it out. It’s a baptist church, and I generally not for denominations of any sort. I decided I would withhold judgment until we at least saw what they were about. Turns out, the Church is highly motivated to save the community/world and they were all very, very nice. Moreover, Emma had a blast her first time in the nursery there. They have a very sophisticated system for their child care that was a huge factor in our choice to worship there. Compound that with the fact that the messages are bold, but not brash, and they have a music ministry that seems to be thriving, not to mention very professional. Needless to say, we’ve continued attending Grace Baptist Church (www.gracebaptist.org) and are very happy. They even did a candlelight “Silent Night” a capella on Christmas eve. šŸ™‚ so cool. Still can’t find a church that encourages bringing dogs though. šŸ˜›

Dogs…oh yeah, how’s Norbert?

Norbert is doing fine. He is four years old now, and seems to be mellowing out a bit in his old age. šŸ˜‰ Seriously though, he’s adjusted very well to CA living, and seems no worse for the wear after the cross-country drive.

Cross Country Drive???

I thought I blogged about that … oh wait. Anyway, Norbert and I drove from Indiana to CA. This idea came from my research into flying pets on airlines. You see, people fly pets all the time without incident. I knew this, and began researching what I need to get Norbert airborne. As I was doing this, I began to find recommendations from pet specialists along these lines, “Never fly your pet in cargo, unless you absolutely have to.”

Now, one could argue that if Jaime/Emma/Myself are flying, then Norbert “absolutely has to”. I dismissed it rather quickly and continued my research. They advised freezing water in a dish so it wouldn’t spill if the crate were to shake or tip.

shake or tip? what?

Well, that’s a possibility. Also, if you’re dog is spastic (which Norbert clearly can be), don’t give them any tranquilizers or calming drugs. The air is thin in the cargo area and if there breathing slows too much, they might suffocate. Oh, also, if your dog is a pug, which have breathing issues inherently, you cannot fly them at all, because they will most likely struggle in cargo. Oh, one more thing, it can get very hot or very cold, depending on the weather, so make sure your pet is well ventilated … or covered … depending. All this if we even let you fly your pet, which can only happen if the flight path doesn’t go through any areas where the temperature drops too low or rises too high …

Hmmm… That’s not ideal. But, what can I do? I can’t drive Norbert. Well, maybe I could. I mean, people drive all the time. Plus, we could get some necessities there long before our household goods arrive (via the movers). So, on the way to buy a crate for Norbert’s flight, I tell Jaime that I can’t seem to get over the fact that Norbert is undergoing all these risks. I had thought about driving it … but that’s crazy … right? Jaime says, “If you feel that you need to drive Norbert, then you should drive Norbert.” That sealed the deal. I bought Jaime’s dad a ticket to fly with her and Emma, and Norbert and I headed west.

We drove the same drive that the old route 66 took, which was very neat. We had been watching Cars recently, and I was taken by the history that exists along that drive. We saw a lot of neat things and I took a bunch of pictures all the way. We drove around 9 hours a day, and stayed at Best Westerns each night. Best Westerns rock, by the way. They have a $15 fee to have your pet stay with you, which made it nice to have Norbert in the room. Not to mention that they are very cheap (price-wise) to begin with.

So, we made it to CA a couple days before Jaime/Emma/Whitey arrived. We had some time to get the townhome squared away, and learn the lay of the land a little bit. I also had the opportunity to have the obligatory “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?! THIS PLACE IS A NIGHTMARE AND I HAAAATE IT!!!!!” freak-out/breakdown. I’m sure Norbert was relieved to see he wasn’t the only one having to adjust. šŸ™‚ So, we chilled a couple of days in the new place. We got to relax, which was nice. I played some World of Warcraft in that quiet downtime, which was a nice throwback to some prior normalcy. šŸ™‚

Oh boy … Warcraft again…

I’m not going to talk about it anymore, I was just saying. It made a nice diversion until all our stuff arrived, and we got our new TV hooked up.

New TV? ooooooooooh

Yeah, we got a Vizio 37″ LCD HDTV (http://www.viziotv.com/products/detail.aspx?pid=16) from Costco. It’s a beautiful TV, and it really works well and the picture is simply amazing. This is our first real HDTV, so we’re loving it. Vizio is a really interesting company that is garnering some attention in the TV space due to their mantra being different than many other TV manufacturers. They make a small product line, with limited distribution, but their prices are unreal. Our TV was $899.99, which is cheap for such a nice television. The interesting thing is that the Vizio TVs are getting really good reviews, and they are getting exceptional reviews when you factor in the price compared to the competition in the LCD TV space.

We plan on getting a bigger TV eventually, but the 37″ is a great fit for us now, and will be good in the bedroom if we upgrade to a larger screen. Right now, it’s just nice being able to watch some movies/TV shows/news. šŸ™‚ Our old 27″ CRT was having some issues. They might be related to the fact that it was a cheap TV when it was purchased 8 years ago. šŸ™‚ But it’s cable ready, so it’s better than nothing for the bedroom TV.

So, in total. We’re now in CA, we had a nice Christmas, and we’re welcoming visitors! Hope everyone’s year was awesome, and let’s pray for a great 2007!

-Chris

One Comment Add yours

  1. Andrew says:

    Miss you bro. Glad the move went smooth.

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