In which B and I work hard to get every last bit of just-the-two-of-us time in, while preparing our lives for the entrance of a new little one. Our year started here in gorgeous New Zealand, then a quick jaunt to Hawaii, then...
Chloe desperately missed the snow of Chicago, so I took her up to the play area on Mt. San Antonio
Escape the house hike
B, of course, got a little jealous and is going stir crazy stuck in the house, so I had to take her up too.
California really shines during the "superbloom" so we called up some friends to go experience it.
Beautiful California Golden Poppies everywhere
The Golden state for sure.
Another ultrasound update reveals our little bun growing up healthy and strong. Baby is coming soon!
I headed out for a Technical Canyoneering Course to properly learn skills and techniques (certified ACE level 1).
The "final exam" was navigating this canyon on our own – great success!
In what has become a tradition, I headed to Steamboat, CO for some snowboarding
For my birthday B treated me to the Pacific Symphony's performance of Madame Butterfly.
The venue was amazing!
The beer brewing hobby continues...
Chloe is anxiously awaiting her little sibling!
Chloe and I went on many more epic hikes, the hills around SoCal are stunning at this time of year.
Coastal this time, beautiful yellow mustard flowers
Mt. Baldy Peak
Another summit ticked off, this one Mt. Baldy (10,046 ft / 3,062 m)
We dressed up for the stunning wedding of Tiffany and Trevor
And while there saw my favorite old friends/roomates
Roshni hosted our amazing NorCal baby shower where we got incredible gifts and essential advice from friends and family.
Another Baby Shower
A second baby shower! We have such great people in our lives – such great support for what is about to come.
Well, the nursery is prepared and ready for its new occupant. Chloe has inspected the child proofing and approves, and now sits in here awaiting her new friend.
Shael George Heliker
Born May 3, 2019. Let's be honest, from this point forward it is all baby, all the time. So enjoy the slew of baby photos!
6lbs, 9oz and 19.5in. He's a healthy little angel.
“I could hold you
in my arms
- Ray LaMontagne
Look at his big yawn!
“I made it to 1 week! (My parents made it to 1 week!)”
Doting and loving, they came to visit in his first week of life.
“My eyes are open, I'm starting to see things, I'm starting to recognize my parents' voices, the world is amazing!”
“Music is amazing. I like to listen close to the speakers, but I also like when my parents sing.”
Another Grandma came to dote and love (and aid Mom and Dad)
Look at how big he has already grown
The little man is so sweet.
“I think I like hiking, but mostly I like sleeping.”
4 weeks flew by like no time at all.
Growing bigger, more energetic, and ready to have some adventures...
As Shael hits 2 months, he starts leaving the house and having some adventures.
We take Shael on his first trip, a quick drive up to Big Bear lake.
Mike & Kate & West & Mila
Not too long after we take him for a much grander trip: to St. George to see his new best buddies West and Mila.
Mila & Shael
These are going to seriously have some stories to tell about growing up with their parents...
Moms and Dads get some climbing in while babies nap in strollers. What a great concept!
Zion National Park
Whoever bet on Zion as Shael's first national park wins!
WOW survived 2 months and a road trip and several hikes. This baby is a keeper.
Some lake in Mammoth. Shael liked it so much he had a blowout.
Daddy plays the flying baby game.
Mommy shares a magical sunset with her magical man.
Small but Mighty
Shael meets his grandpa and is an instant hit.
4 generations to create this little cutie.
Shael is going to have a big loving family!
These two are already best buds.
Meet & Greet
Oliver and Shael start to play games.
Shael's first swim: this guy loves the water
Mom & Dad take Shael out on another hike. Shael sleeps.
Mom loved this story as a little girl.
See Shael? This is where our wedding was supposed to happen.
4th of July
Baby's first Fourth of July
Holy moly, already?
In what will probably be a common theme, he didn't want to wear the bow tie.
Just look at that smile.
Only 4 months old and already two weddings and a flight under his belt.
Steph & Rob tie the knot.
SRIPREM lasted for over 20 years and 160,000 miles but it was time for a new one to safely take baby around on his adventures. With luck, he'll get this one when he turns 16 (if gas still exists)
Do you like his hat?
This little guy is starting to develop into a real person
Growing up so fast!
Shael hits 6 months and begins to become a real person! He makes friends, has opinions, tries new things.
He even holds his own sign.
First real food!
Sweet potatoes, green peas, banana, and all sorts of other mashed fruits and vegetables. What he gets into his mouth he seems to like.
The great Pumpkin
What is this big orange thing? What do we do with it?
First Halloween Pumpkins
Which one is Shael? Which one is Chloe?
The Rubble Family
Featuring Bam Bam.
Another hike nap
He continues to "enjoy" being outdoors, he expresses his enjoyment by feeling relaxed enough to sleep.
Hike with Gma and Gpa
This time Shael got to wear his dad hat and show off for the Grandparents.
Ocean Walk with the grandparents
A little easier on everyone...
“Dad ran a race and I cheered!”
Another adventure race with Xterra, Brett took second in his age group.
Hiking with Dad
This might be our first solo hike?
“Dad is crazy, and so is his friend Susanne.”
He is now full of energy.
Mom showed me my first creek.
Something about moving water absolutely fascinates the little guy.
“Dad takes me to the mountains.”
The temperature drops and the baby gets bundled up, but we certainly don't stay inside. Plus, graduation to the big kid backpack means we can go farther and faster and Shael can see much more.
Christmas tree farm
Shael got to pick out his first Christmas tree.
I'm getting ready for Christmas
There's no story to this one, it was just too cute not to include.
Shael and Chloe continue to cement their friendship. Chloe cleans up after Shael, bring him toys, and kisses him every chance she gets. Shael feeds her, pulls her ears and jowels, and makes sure her teeth are clean.
“I'm learning to move around the house. My new favorite game is hide and seek.”
They love each other so much.
Playing in the backyard
He didn't have a big list, but he did enjoy the fuzzy pants.
WOW what a haul this year. Grandma and Grandpa and the Aunties went way overboard with presents and Shael had an amazing time meeting everyone and playing with his cousin Oliver.
Christmas at the Helikers
So here's to everyone still reading: wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best in 2020: it has been and will be another AMAZING year.