S: Chambers Family Album: 2015
BC: A Good Beginning Makes a Good Ending
FC: REVIEW | 2015 in
1: is a little world created by love. | In early January, when Dan's cousin, Glenn, was visiting California on business, we met up together at the beautiful Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. We dined at Nelson's and watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. Not a bad way to start 2015!
2: On January 26, 2015, we closed escrow on our new 1,578 sq. ft. (2,361 sq. ft. lot) 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 2-car garage Shea Homes-built house. We rented out our townhome in Aliso Viejo (putting our total rental properties at two!) and moved our little family inland to the Baker Ranch community at 18 Sage, Lake Forest. | Kitchen | Kitchen | Powder Bathroom | Stairs | Laundry Room | Baker Ranch Lake Forest, CA
3: Guest/Kids' Bathroom | Guest/Kids' Bathroom | Guest/Kids' Tub/Shower | Master Bedroom | Office | Master Bathroom Shower | Master Bathroom | Vivian's Bedroom
6: In the summer, we hired landscapers to professionally install irrigation, drains, a [real!] lawn, and patio pavers in our new backyard. Dan planted magnolia, lemon, and lime trees; flowering bushes; and even grape vines! Our backyard overlooks the new Barker Ranch Dog Park, which opened in November 2015. After our landscaping was completed, Snoopy quickly took to digging it up...sigh!
8: Vivian 9 Months
10: Vivian took her first independent steps in our new house right before she turned 10 months old. Grandma and Grandpa were helping us move into our new house and were there to witness it with us.
11: Vivian 10 Months
14: are like quilts: Lives pieced together, stitched with memories, and bound by love.
16: Vivian 11 Months
20: LIVE | L A U G H
21: In March, we went to the Dana Point Festival of Whales. Vivian went on her first boat ride around the harbor and we all enjoyed the [very] warm day in the California spring sunshine.
22: "Daddy's Lucky Charm"
24: The New Children's Museum San Diego, CA
25: We spent an afternoon in March exploring The New Children's Museum in downtown San Diego with the Turner family.
29: We had Spring family photos taken at our new Lake Forest house and at The Arbors Park in Baker Ranch right before Vivian turned 1 year old.
31: you | the best thing about us is
34: EGG | hunt
37: Baker Ranch hosted an egg hunt, pony rides, petting zoo, and pictures with the Easter Bunny at The Arbors Park. On Easter Sunday, we went to mass at Corpus Christi in Aliso Viejo and then ate brunch at Panini Grill, also in Aliso Viejo.
38: Vivian 12 Months 1 Year!
42: making | Robin visited us while on a work trip for the FAA in San Diego. We enjoyed seeing her and showing her our new house. She was six months pregnant with Isaiah at the time!
43: One warm Spring day, we hiked all around Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Trabuco Canyon.
44: We celebrated Vivian's 1st birthday and Dan's 32nd birthday with a joint birthday party at The Arbors Club in Baker Ranch on April 18. Carrie's Mom and sister and Dan's parents, along with many friends, attended the fun party.
45: Both Vivian and Dan wore special birthday outfits at the party.
46: We decorated the party space with a "Like Daddy, Like Daughter" photo banner and balloons. We had plenty of water, lemonade, fajitas, and cupcakes for guests. The birthday girl and boy were both gifted with many presents. The day was pleasant and warm enough for swimming!
47: Partygoers ate, socialized, and showered Vivian with love and gifts. Her friend, Cooper Herman, was especially excited to give Vivian his gift. Vivian's Aunt Anna took her swimming. At the end of the party, Vivian tried to rest and take a nap in her stroller.
50: Vivian (and Dan) loved opening birthday presents after the party!
53: Friends may come and go, but family is a forever [and funny!] bond.
54: While our families were in town for Dan and Vivian's April birthday party, we BBQed and swam together at The Grove Clubhouse in Baker Ranch, played with and read to Vivian, opened more presents, went out on a date night, and celebrated Dan's birthday - again!
56: Vivian 13 Months
59: We spent Carrie's second Mother's Day together, attending mass at Santa Clara de Asis in Yorba Linda, eating lunch at BJ's Grill, touring new model homes at Orchard Hills, and playing at Odyssey Park in Baker Ranch.
60: vacation | FAMILY
61: "It isn't how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it's how you spend the time." - David Brenner
63: Seattle, WA May
64: We flew up to Seattle on Memorial Day weekend and toured the city and water; visited the Starbucks Roastery, Seattle Aquarium, Space Needle, Chihuly Glass and Garden, Ballard Locks and Farmer's Market, Pike Place Market, Great Wheel, breweries, and a winery; ate lunch with Carrie's Great Aunt Nancy and Uncle Art and cousins; and hiked to the Snowqualmie Falls and River. We stayed in nearby Fauntleroy and had a beautiful view of the water from our rental suite.
68: LIVE | L A U G H
69: In late May, we visited Disneyland with our friends and neighbors, Joe and Tiffany Gonzalez.
70: Vivian 14 Months
72: is a little world created by love.
73: Ohio June
74: Vivian and Carrie flew to Ohio to spend a night at Matthew's house and then spend a few days in Columbus with Carrie's mom attending the annual Society for Technical Communication Summit, visiting friends, and touring the state house and downtown Columbus. Then they spent a week in Helena hosting Anna's Ohio bridal shower at a local winery, visiting family, going to the Toledo Zoo, and touring the Rutherford B. Hayes house.
81: We flew up to the Bay Area in July to celebrate Independence Day with Dan's family in Livermore, CA.
84: Vivian 15 Months
87: We went to a summer concert at the Aliso Viejo Grand Park and brunched with friends in Costa Mesa, CA, at the end of July.
88: A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
89: Summertime in Laguna Beach
90: vacation | FAMILY
93: Big Island, HI August
94: We flew to Hilo to spend the first part of our vacation on the Big Island exploring waterfalls and hiking in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. We even took our first helicopter ride! Then we drove to Kona and went kayaking and boating, toured a coffee farm, and visited historic sights. We ended our very active trip with bamboo massages!
100: making | The day after we returned from Hawaii, we visited The Children's Museum at La Habra. Vivian loved it!
101: It's the little moments that make life big.
104: Vivian 16 Months
106: LIVE | L A U G H
107: We visited the Cabrillo National Monument and Old Point Loma Lighthouse before attending a "Sip n' See" party to meet Chris and Katie Turner's newest son, Charlie.
111: Colorado August
112: Vivian and Carrie flew to Colorado to attend Anna's bridal shower at a winery. While there, we visited the Denver Zoo and walked around the Triple S Ranch, Anna and Tim's homestead.
117: Over Labor Day weekend in September - and on our 4 year wedding anniversary - we toured the Rancho Las Lomas zoo and gardens.
120: Vivian 17 Months
123: Dana Point Tall Ships Festival in September with the Steins
124: Dan's parents visited us at the end of September and beginning of October. They spent a lot of time with Vivian and even watched her one night so that we could get dressed up and go out on a date!
126: Vivian 18 Months
128: wedding | Anna & Tim's October 17th Colorado
138: costume | party | Too cute to spook, but not TOO sweet to trick or treat.
140: We celebrated Halloween throughout October with visits to the Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch and Pumpkin City, fun at the Baker Ranch Halloween Party, and trick-or-treating around our neighborhood.
144: In late October, we had family photos taken at the Oak Canyon Nature Center in Anaheim to announce Carrie's second pregnancy and Vivian's promotion to big sister!
148: Vivian 19 Months
150: While Dan went to Lake Nacimiento on a guys' November weekend trip, Carrie and Vivian spent the weekend together at home and visiting the Bower's Kidseum.
153: We celebrated Thanksgiving in Ohio with Carrie's family. Getting there, though, was not easy! We were stranded in Chicago for one night due to snow. After we arrived, Dan drove up to the cabin in New York to go deer hunting for the first time (he didn't kill a deer) with Carrie's dad and brother. We spent our time in Ohio visiting friends and family; going to th Toledo Zoo, library storytime, and to Vivian's first movie (The Good Dinosaur); and feeding Carrie's dad's chickens!
158: Vivian 20 Months
160: Disneyland December
162: merry | Being together is the best gift of all.
164: To celebrate her 2nd Christmas, Vivian visited Santa in Baker Ranch and flew up to Livermore to spend time with Dan's family. While in NorCal, we toured San Francisco for a day, walked through Deacon Dave's, and visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was a very merry Christmas!
170: Baker Ranch Snow Day
174: let's count down to the | new year
178: Dan started a new job as a Project Manager/Director of Design at RBA Builders, Inc., a general contractor, in Huntington Beach, CA, in August. He really likes his new job and can even bring Snoopy to work with him! Carrie continued to work on the Marketing team at Eyefinity in Irvine. She moved offices in the summer, participated in zip-lining and bow shooting activities during the office's summer event, and attended a team meeting at the Sacramento Zoo in December.
180: To celebrate Father's Day in Baker Ranch, Dan got to test drive a Tesla, one of his dream cars. Vivian and Carrie rode in the back seat. Vivian was not as impressed as her Daddy.
181: Dan took Carrie out on a special date night in October to the Oddball Comedy Festival, featuring Aziz Ansari. And, in crazy-Snoopy-news, he jumped out of our second story office window once and attempted to (pictured below) a second time. His jump only left him with a few scratches, proving once again that he is more cat than dog!
182: Chambers Family Holiday Card & Newsletter 2015
183: Feliz Navidad, family and friends! Welcome to Season V of the Chambers Family Christmas Letter: Generation “Y” Edition. 2014 was a full year, so we decided to kick back and relax in 2015. Oh wait - we have a child now - never mind! The year started out beautifully as we closed escrow on our newly built home in Lake Forest, CA, on January 26, 2015. We rented out our current townhome and moved into our new house the day after we closed escrow. Dan’s parents flew down from Northern California to assist us with the move, and after about 48 trips in our Toyota Tundra (which now has over 190,000 miles on it) we were settled in. At first, Dan had concerns that he would not be able to partake in all the home projects that he enjoys, but he was soon brought back to reality as we needed to spend the year adding storage in the garage, landscaping the backyard, and installing new lights and ceiling fans. We love our new community, Baker Ranch, and there are many families near us with kids near Vivian’s age with whom she can play. Speaking of growing families, Carrie is pregnant again! We will be welcoming our second daughter into our family on or around May 17, 2016. Carrie is pretty relieved that there is minimal shopping required since we already have “all the girl stuff” that we need. Vivian already shows a fascination with babies, so we know that she will be a great big sister. Vivian has grown leaps and bounds in the past year. She started walking at 10 months old, and already has an extensive vocabulary. She picks things up almost instantly, and is frighteningly independent. She puts on her own shoes, feeds herself, and can go up and down the stairs alone. We don’t exactly know what her first word was – there was a period of Daddy and some Mama, but these may have just been repeated without true knowledge of the word. Vivian’s first word spoken with any regularity was “Dutch.” Dutch is the name of the dog at her daycare, but Vivian expanded it to every dog and then to every four-legged furry creature. Our dog, Snoopy, was “Dutch” for a period of time, along with any dog seen on the street, in addition to horses, sheep, wolves, camels, llamas, elephants, and armadillos. Since then, Vivian’s vocabulary has grown exponentially, and she is now speaking in small sentences and even a little bit of Spanish! We took a family trip to Hawaii this August, and while waiting to check into our hotel, Carrie held out a water bottle and asked Vivian, “Do you want some water?” Vivian smiled and gleefully yelled, “agua,” and came running. Although she only speaks a few Spanish words right now, she understands everything spoken to her in Spanish, as her daycare providers generally only speak Spanish to all the kids. Although we knew that we would want to continue traveling after having Vivian, we’ve surprised even ourselves with how much we still travel. By the end of this year, Vivian will have flown to/from Oakland three times, Ohio four times, Colorado three times, Seattle one time, and Hawaii one time. In addition to our family trips to Ohio, the Bay Area, and Colorado, we took two special vacations this year – to Seattle and the Big Island of Hawaii, both places that we’d never been before. Although both trips were very active, our most adventurous trip was definitely to Hawaii in August. We spent four days near Hilo and three days near Kona. In Hilo we rented a beautiful house right in front of the ocean. It rained most days, but to us this was a joyful departure from our norm of California drought. We spent two full days hiking and exploring Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. This is the first national park that we visited that literally changes on a day-to-day basis. It was so cool to see where lava had flowed previously, and where it is flowing now. On one day, we all (including Vivian!) got to experience a helicopter ride to view the waterfalls and lava flows in the area. In addition to taking Vivian on her first helicopter ride (well, it was our first rides too!), we also took her kayaking in the ocean for the first time and gave her her first bites of sushi. We ended our vacation with alternating bamboo massages for Mom and Dad (and a very exhausting red-eye flight home!).
184: The year was not all travel and houses, as we completed some key professional goals this year, too. In the summer, Dan passed his real estate salesperson exam and is now a licensed real estate salesperson in California. In the Fall, Carrie passed her paraoptometric exam, which is a valuable certification in the eyecare field. And, Dan passed the California State Supplemental exam and is now, FINALLY, a licensed architect! After over 15 years of education, “internship” hours, and tests, his hard work has paid off. Carrie continues to work at Eyefinity, where she has been happily leading the documentation team for over 11 years, and teach at California State University, Long Beach, where she has been enriching the minds of today’s college students (yeah right!) for over ten years. Dan, though, switched jobs again mid-year. He left his design manager job at Next Step Design and started working as the director of design and a project manager at RBA Builders, a general contractor in Huntington Beach. He’s very excited to spend a little more time closer to construction in the field while also developing the design services of the company. And then there’s Snoopy. Having a new house with a yard has in no way interfered with any of Snoopy’s shenanigans. We have come home multiple times when Snoopy was left in the house to find Snoopy outside of the house, but with the windows and doors closed. He has learned to open (and apparently close) doors and windows, has jumped out of the kitchen window multiple times, and one time has even escaped via a daring leap from our second story office window. Don’t worry - after $300 of vet visits, x-rays, and tests, we determined that he survived the jump in perfect health except for a small scrape on his chin. All of Snoopy’s shenanigans would turn this newsletter into a book, so we’ve decided to go where the river takes us and we will be writing, “Snoopy’s Shenanigans” in 2016. All proceeds will be used to reimburse the Chambers family for the costs incurred in owning such a crazy dog. Well, that pretty much sums it up for 2015! We have loved the growth and experiences of the past year and love being able to share them with you. Thank you all for the wonderful contributions you have made to our lives, and we hope that in the coming year we are able to spend more time together in person. Despite all of the horrible things happening across the globe this year, we live in a wonderful world and it is our duty to share love and good cheer to all, as this is the only viable weapon against evil and hate. Love to you and your family and we shall see you in 2016. Cheers! Dan, Carrie, Vivian, Snoopy, and Baby Girl Chambers #2 P.S. If you want to read more about our adventures or see pictures, check out our family blog at http://thefamilychambers.wordpress.com!