I'm going to grow sentimental here for a moment. Pardon my sappy-bastardness.
Saturday morning we woke up and I made pancakes from scratch. It turns out all you need for pancakes from scratch is flour, baking powder (not soda), salt, maybe sugar, and some milk for mixin'. After pancakes I was given permission by my girls, one of whom took a nap and the other of whom did lawyer stuff (you figure out which; and boy are those big corporations sorry they messed with Erin last week) to watch the Red Wings duct tape the Predators to their lockers.
Once the hockey game was over we piled into the car and drove for an hour down to the beach at Santa Cruz. It was gorgeous and 92 degrees, and we rode on the Cavetrain ride and let Erin play in the sand.
Well. "Play in" may not be correct. "Eat" might be more honest.
I also saw #3 on my list of "Things I didn't want to see in Santa Cruz today": A mostly naked fat dude in a tiny cowboy hat with a plastic sword playing "Dance Dance Revolution".
The purpose of the trip wasn't merely to enjoy the sun and the beach (and mostly naked fat dudes in tiny cowboy hats with plastic swords playing "Dance Dance Revolution"). Every six weeks or so, ever since Mother's Day, we've taken the trip down to Santa Cruz in order to climb into one of those photo-booths and snap some black-and-white shots of our little family as we age. Erin's first birthday is coming up, so this Saturday marked the completion of our year-long photo project. There are lots of photo-booths around, much closer than Santa Cruz, but we're nothing if not creatures of sentimental habit, so we've made the same trip for a year.
Here is a picture of all of those pictures, including one of just Emily and I before Erin was even a hint:
Here's a link if you want a closer look.
After our photo-ing was completed we had dinner at a Greek restaurant we've been going to the last few times we've made the trip. They have a deceptively garlicky tzatziki, and we always forget until we're in the car later and in desperate need of gum. Well, Emily will tell you that I am the one who forgets and is in desperate need of gum. And she wouldn't be lying.
We drove home on the 1, up the coast, having been stymied in our attempt to go back through the mountains earlier. It was dark and quiet, and we passed beach after beach, and a lighthouse on the peninsula jutting out into the ocean.
Home finally, and exhausted, Emily lay down with Erin on her chest. And Erin, her wiggly energy dissipated through hours sand-eating and posing for the camera, passed out, snoring gently under Emily's chin. It's been a long time since she has done that.
Since the fourth picture from the right, I think.