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Justin & Becca

Currently enjoying our new baby, Angelo

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Tue
29
Nov '11

Christmas update 2011

 

2008, our first Christmas letter
2009, our first Christmas video/ blog
2010, the first year we missed sending something out
2011, the first Christmas letter in Arial font and this is the first draft, which did not make it to print.

 That’s a lot of firsts!  2011 is our first FULL year back since turning life upside down-under in Australia, and as expected, life is nothing like it was the last time we sent this letter in 2008.  This year was a blast, Justin and Ryan opened their first warehouse, Becca quit her job, we moved to Woodland, CA, Justin is going to the Master Brewers Program, we invested in a cure for cancer…but there is one FIRST that shadows all of that.  The birth of our first child.

 Angelo Peter Andrews was born May 14, 2011.  He is pure joy, smiling ear to ear at every glimpse.  And we can’t stop watching him.  One of our favorite stories can’t rightfully be told without     certified surround sound but I’ll try:

Angelo’s first thumb sucking

Picture a two month old infant facing backwards, squirming in his car seat.  Now, cue the opening score to 2001: A Space Odyssey (in your head, or click here and let the music play while you read the  rest of this)…Angelo, raising his arm fully extended, fist closed, thumb protruding out…but wobbling back and forth as he tries to focus.  ‘How can I get that thumb into my mouth’ he most likely asked himself.  He may have added ‘it…just…won’t…stay still!”  Despite his frustration and overwhelming hostility he must have towards the uncooperative arm, he pushes the envelope using only the tools on his onesie covered body.  Just then, a second arm comes up slowly but more stable than the other, edging its way closer and closer to the other waving arm.  His eyes dilate and his brow drops slightly while his gums begin to slather; he knows what he has to do.   Just then, one hand grabs the other waving hand and they are bonded together!  The music climaxes, cymbals crashing, drums pounding, brass horns blazing DUN DUN DUN bum bum bum bum!!! And with both hands he steadily brings the evasive, succulent thumb into his mouth and promptly proceeds to suck…sooth.

Obviously, there aren’t many of Angelo’s accomplishments we can brag about yet, but we do our best…only embellishing ever so slightly when completely appropriate of course... He had his pictures taken with Santa and didn’t cry, so there’s that. 

Justin begins the Master Brewers Program at UC Davis in January, but we moved up to Woodland a bit early to set up his business and get it going before classes begin.  We love the small town pace, the Nor Cal niceness of people we meet, the turn of century architecture in the quite little downtown.  The surrounds are convenient too, a few days ago we took an afternoon drive to Napa, and yesterday we ran some errands in downtown Sac.  All-in-all, we are happy and excited to see what the future holds. 

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

With Love,

 Justin, Becca, Baby Angelo, Booger and The Girl Dog

 

 

Mon
28
Nov '11

Chistmas Letter from 2008

Cool, we predicted traveling in this letter.  We didn’t know we’d be traveling until a few months after this was written.

 

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

We did it !!!!  (not in the political sense of course, since our wedding was before the election.)  We got married!  So, what now?  I know what you are thinking….and YES!  We are proud to announce that we are expecting…to join the coveted list of Christmas letter authors!  And as we conceive the beginnings of this letter, I realize that our letter writing skills are not fully dilated; but with the Christmas due date coming soon its time to take a few deep breathes and see what we can knock up.

 

People have been asking us if we are thinking about starting a family…actually, the thought hasn’t really crossed our minds.  This year was so busy as we prepared for the wedding; building a web site, creating invitations, designing and making center pieces, planning this and coordinating that….I don’t think we took a breathe until we a few days into our honeymoon in Costa Rica.  Actually, navigating the labyrinth of unmarked highways and dirt roads to the beach house in playa Bejuco just added to the chaos.  Once we found our footing though, it was pure bliss….in our own adventurous style of course.  To some, riding a zip-line 900 feet over the rain forest, rafting down class IV rapids, or forging a small river in a tiny SUV might not be the picture of rest and relaxation; but there is no way we could just lie down and tan for 8 days.

 

Back on the ranch we have been adjusting to married life pretty well, spending time with friends and family as wells as our little’s from the Big Brother’s Big Sister’s program. We have both been mentoring for just under a year now and we love it.  Hannah is a 6-year-old bucket of fun and Eddie is the 9-year-old equivalent to Rico Suave.  We spend a few hours a week with them, sometimes as a group, doing all sorts of exciting stuff like off-roading and watching the dawn patrol at the balloon races and the not so exciting stuff like helping with homework and going to the museum.

 

So what’s up for 2009?  We are ready for some traveling; hopefully our next letter to you will have international post.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

 

Love Always,

Justin, Rebecca, Booger and The Girl Dog

 

 

 

Sat
14
May '11

Welcome Baby Angelo!!!

HE’S HERE!!!!

Baby Angelo Peter Andrews was born May 14th, 2011 at 12:59pm

Weight is 8 pounds 8 ounces (which is about as much as a gallon of Milk) and 21.5 inches long.

Becca’s water broke on Thursday, May 12th at 9pm, but there were no contractions thus no need for cinematic emergency pregnancy car ride involving excessive speeds and the running of stoplights, thus destroying a life long dream of Justin’s, oh well, maybe next time.

After about 20 hours, the doc said we should go to the hospital, which we did…sort of.  When we got there, we found a cool hiking trail that went around the hills behind the hospital, so we went for a little hike hoping to jump kick the contractions. It didn’t work and after about 20 minutes the doctor was wondering where we were anyway, so we decided to hike back down and check in.

The room was great!  Much larger than we expected, we had our own bathroom, closet, nursery area, and even a jet jacuzzi!  Of course the family came by to say hi and see how things were progressing, but by midnight the fun was over, and the REAL contractions began…

Never, have I ever, seen anything like that.  I can honestly say that there is nothing anyone can say…than can prepare you for this.   Becca was a real trooper, taking pitocin amplified contractions for 6 hours  until she just HAD to take the epidural.  I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would want a 100% all natural birth, but Becca is glad she did 6 hours of labor without drugs because that significantly decreased the chance that an epidural would stop her labor and result in a Csection.

It took another 6 hours of MUCH MUCH MUCH easier labor before it would be time to begin pushing.  We had these great intentions to “labor down”, a relatively new method of delivery that doesn’t involve those intense pushes and screams you see in the movies.  So with the lights dimmed and Enya playing in the background the nurse told becca to start with a few practice pushes while we waited for the doctor to arrive.  Unfortunately, the first practice push caused Angelo’s heartbeat to drop significantly, and it wasn’t going back up!  With more than a sense of concern in the nurse’s voice, she politely asked me to grab Dr. Kahatsu, someone neither of us have ever heard of…but we needed a doctor and our doctor was still in route.

It was as if some type of nurse ESP radiated across the 5th floor, because within seconds our room has about a dozen nurses and dotors but I never heard any announcement.  All of a sudden the doctor said ” we’re getting this baby out right now!” and everyone was yelling “PUSH!” and Becca was screaming through an oxygen mask while a nurse was pushing on her stomach and another nurse was operating a special vacuum and there were 10 other people just yelling and moving around…at least that was all I could tell.   I heard something about the cord being wrapped around the neck and I could tell this was quickly about to become the scariest moment of my life.  Becca, with a miraculous burst of super power, pushed out little Angelo in about 3 of the most intense minutes of my life.  It took all of my strength not to burst into tears while I watched the love of my life fight the toughest battle of her life and all I could do was rub her neck.  Becca and I have seen some pretty difficult challenges in our relationship, but nothing like this even comes close.  We can only assume this is what it feels like for our veterans, who go into hell, guns blazing and come back exhausted with an overload of emotions that bond you to the people that were there by your side.   Just recalling this memory has my heart thumping and my head sweating.  I’m pretty sure Becca is doing everything she can to block that part of the memory out completely.

Little Angelo came out and immediately gave a small cry and opened his eyes, but the doctors were still concerned about his color and heart rate.  They rushed him over to the nursery table and sucked the fluid from his airway and began the APGAR tests.  Initially, he scored a 4, but within a few minutes he was an 8! and the sign of relief poured over the room as he flexed those beautiful lungs.  Outside the room, the family was completely oblivious to the traumatic close-call that we had in the room, but that didn’t keep Grandma Renee from dropping to her knees at the little angelic cry heard through the crack in the door.  It was another 3 hours before anyone could meet Angelo, as he and mom bonded for the first time.

We brought baby Angelo home on Monday, he is the most perfectest baby ever born.

 

 

Sat
2
Apr '11

2nd Baby Shower today

As if one wasn’t we enough, baby Angelo is about to have a second baby shower today.  We drove up to Reno for a baby shower so our Nevada friends and family wouldn’t have to drive all the way down to So Cal and now we have another at Justin’s mother’s house today.

Becca has been following the baby registry and it appears you all went agro on the list, we love all the support you all are giving for this baby…the only things remaining on the registry are all the “baby genius” stuff, so either you believe our baby will already be gifted with brilliance like his parents or you all secretly want our child to be  stupid.  I choose to be flattered that you all think so highly of us, may the best genes prevail!

Also, today marks the sneak peak to the much awaited release of “After Birth Ale,” so name because it will be Becca’s first beer after she gives birth.  She’s been craving beer throughout the pregnancy.   After Birth Ale is a Belgian inspired triple tinted bright-red with loads of Hibiscus flowers.  I wasn’t able to dry hop the secondary as planned, so it has a nose of stale flowers, but it tastes…well, you be the judge.

Bottles of After Birth will be handed out on the day of Angelo’s birthday…in lieu of baby-blue encased cigars.

Mon
24
Jan '11

How time flies…

Well, look at this…  as soon as you stop moving, life starts catching up.   Becca is pregnant with our son, Angelo. It happened six months ago, about the time of our last post.  We didn’t end up going to Mexico for our anniversary, too many things went wrong while trying to leave and we just divided it was a sign not to go there.   And I believe it was a good thing, because we conceived Angelo that weekend in the USA!  Idywild to be exact!  well, that’s as exact as I care to share anyway.

He’s due on May 9th, 2011!  wow.   I gotta revamp this web site, looks like another chapter is a page away.

Wed
11
Aug '10

Where are they now?

Well, the year of traveling was a god-send; life handed us Lemons and we made Lemonchello.  But now we’re back from outer-space….  Justin is working on lab equipment and debt settlement while Becca is slingin’ mattresses at Mattress Discounters.  We really love these jobs so far…Justin gets to work from home and never has to wear corporate clothes or deal with mundane meetings and corporate brown nosing and Becca gets to talk to people, help them, move around and best of all, never have to deal with her ex-boss again.

Our second anniversary is coming up this weekend, but we aren’t prepared to spend it in the states.  We’re living down in Southern California now, so it makes sense to get out the country for our anniversary…see if we can’t make a tradition of traveling  to a foreign country for our anniversary every year.

Wed
23
Jun '10

Completing our circumnavigation of the USA

We’re back in Reno, 3 months ago we left Reno to celebrate Easter at Grandma’s house in San Diego, and took the VERY scenic way home.  But Reno isn’t home anymore, our new home is going to be in Southern  California for the next year or so.  With our traveling adventures coming to an end (for now) we look forward to spending more time with family and starting one of our own.   This isn’t the last travel blog, we are still going to see more family in San Luis Obisbo area.

oh, and Justin got a hair cut at Jonah’s house:

Wed
16
Jun '10

Meanwhile, back on the ranch…

Uncle Rich and Aunt Pam run a small farm on the outskirts of Medford with Sheep, chickens, barn cats, dogs, a horse and a HUGE garden.  We spent a little time doing the daily chores, including mucking out the stalls, knocking down the cob webs, and watching Booger heard chickens and lambs.  We had perfect weather and excellent beer while talking DeWitt genealogy on the back porch and laughing at funny stories.

Now, we’re at Grandma’s house in Jacksonville, which is just down the road.  She’s got us laughing all day with old stories about Justin’s dad.  One of the best stories was this:

The young Peter Andrews was notorious for making all sorts of noises, from animals to sound effects.  Rehearsals occurred mostly at home  to the unwilling and annoyed audience of his brothers and sisters, but the REAL performance was always held during class, which eventually took its toll on his kindergarten teacher.  One day, with less than the best sense and more than a hint of spite, the kindergarten teacher invited little Peter to the front of the class to make noises, claiming it would be more appropriate than quietly sharing his talent for sound effects from the back of the class while secretly hoping for Peter’s embarrassing demise.

Had she consulted Grandma before making this massive error in judgment she could have saved her class from 30 continuous minutes of unadulterated chaos lead by none of than the amazing noise making talents of the young Peter Andrews.  To add insult to injury, she retired that same year.

This is just one of dozens of stories and Grandma has a way of telling them that will keep you laughing after your head hits the pillow.  Uncle James toured us around the area, bringing Justin back to some old spots where he used to play with his cousins as Justin and James went down memory lane.

Thu
10
Jun '10

Northwest Coast

Traveling down the Washington and Oregon coast is wet, cloudy, green, and beautiful.  The rain forest on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula gets about 9 feet of rain per year which translates to abundant waterfalls, plants with HUGE leaves, and muddy shoes.  We stopped at the Sol Duc Hot Springs so we could warm up, the hot springs smell more sulfuric than the ones in Nevada, maybe because the area has so many volcanoes or maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Olympic Mountains are the youngest on the continent.

A little further down the road was the town of Forks, made famous by the recent Twilight books and movies.  The town has embraced their unique tourists…maybe the only ones in the world who are upset if its not raining or at least gloomy during their visit; we enjoyed one of the only sunny days we’d seen in a week on the beach of La Push.

Next stop was the Goondocks in Astoria.  We accidentally got there on the tail end of the Goonies 25th anniversary, the town was still buzzing from Corey Feldmen recent visit (did you know he’s in a band? and they’re on tour? a free show in Santa Cruz on June 30th, who’s in?  http://www.coreyfeldman.net ).  Really, we loved the town and Justin spent a good amount of time moping because he’d missed most of the Goony celebrations.  They have a world class maritime museum and a decent brewery, as well as lots of cool shopping and places to have really fresh seafood; but if you decide to go, watch the Goonies just before you get there.

While driving down the Oregon coast, which is, without exaggeration, among the most beautiful in the world, we stopped at the Tillimook Cheese factory.  Its kinda corny, its free, its fun, you’ll learn something new…like, I didn’t know that cheddar cheese is only yellow because of food coloring…which begs me to ask the question…why? seriously, if you know, please tell me.

Sat
5
Jun '10

A little family time

Its all about family in the Northwest.  While driving though Coeur d’Alene we were happy to stop in Sand Point to see Becca’s father, Russel and his wife Christy.  We were only able to visit for one day because of our schedule, so we promised to come back soon so we could spend more time and enjoy the lake house.  The we pulled into Oak Harbor for a couple days on the SS Ai Chuan (Love Boat), Uncle Rick’s ship; I say “ship” because it’s too big to qualify as a boat, its a 3 bedroom, 2 bath behemoth traveling the renovation road a little while longer before its time to explore the world!  he invited us to sail a stint with them anywhere we choose….you know we’re taking him up on that when he gets near Tasmania and New Zealand.

Not far from Uncle Rick is the DeMer  family stronghold in Brementon, Washington across the Sound from Seattle.  Nancey,Bud, Brian, Allen and Great Great Uncle Gene all live within a short walk of each other.  Great Great Uncle Gene, the youngest brother of my Great Grandfather, Frenchy, told us stories of Justin’s forefathers and gave us a little funny dirt on Grandma Aldea.  Bud and Nancy have been very nice to us, showing us around the area and including us in a huge family dinner where we were able to Meet Brian’s new wife Sarah.  Little Sebastian might forget us over the years, but i doubt he’ll forget Booger as they had a great time together.

We’re off to see Thrice play in Seattle and leaving down the coast on Sunday, soon to see Uncle Rich and then Grandma Andrews.

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