1) Working on story. 2) Racing through the tunnels downtown. 3) Picking up Erica at LAX - Maeby going crazy. 4) Cheetos make better candles than they do food. 5) Picking out our xmas tree at the lot. 6) Power move! 7) Enjoying another sunset from the roof at work.
photo by erica_hampton via instagram
Only 10 more days until Xmas snuggles, kisses, nerf gun wars, Lego building, camping, ginger bread house making, Disneyland ride riding, bratty picture taking, movie watching, board game playing, story making,hugs and kisses and more hugs and kisses!
1) Pestering Erica as she does her best to draw Maeby on our new to-do board. 2) Off to see a movie at the Arclight. 3) Lan and Vu just getting back from traveling / working in Europe. 4) Erica looking at her large-format portrait of Xander for the first time - and being quite excited about it. 5) Taking down the xmas tree at the office with Whit and Zadi. 6) Maeby is a strange, strange dog. 7) So much hair *
1) Awkwardly wrapping up the bicycle we got for Xander. 2) Dropping Vu off at the busstop on xmas morning - following this footage, I decided to wander through the woods above the highway… and almost got stabbed near a tent city. 3) opening up presents! 4) Erica showing off her dancing skills and Xander being unimpressed :P 5) Racing each other at the Long Beach arcade. 6) Taking 4x5 portraits near ABC studios. 7) This seal spent *forever* playing with these kids - every time they tossed up their little plastic ring it followed along with its nose against the glass.
1) Breaker curled up with me in the morning. 2) Erica showing off her Solid Gold Dancer pants! 3) Playing classic arcades at work. 4) Vu taking our blood pressure with his fancy iPhone app. 5) Driving back home down the 101. 6) Wrapping up Erica’s xmas present infront of her… but it’s okay, she helped me pick it out. 7) Fancy raincoat is fancy.
1) Editing FToM. 2) Unboxing a new GoPro at work. 3) Hanging out on the couch with Erica. 4) Pulling out the xmas ornaments from the garage - also finding that the garage roof had been leaking. 5) Erica likes to torture me by carrying Maeby around in her bag… 6) Jurassic Park! 7) Setting up the tree.
video + post by erica hampton:
We only made it to the beach twice while Xander was here for christmas break. He is always so happy when we go. It made me realize that going to the beach with Xander is my favorite thing to do, my favorite place to be. It’s kind of a big deal, actually.
Before Mike moved to Ypsi we took turns visiting each other. When I came to LA we would always visit the beach. I would day dream about the day I got to bring Xander. I wondered if he would love it as much as I do. I would sit with Mike and wonder if I would ever even be able to bring Xander to the beach. I guess the beach became, in some way, the symbol for where I wanted to be, where I wanted Xander to be, where I wanted our lives to go.
Our decision to move to LA was not made lightly. Our move was not without struggle and heart ache. The first time we brought Xander to LA was exciting and stressful for me. There are so many things that I love about where we live and there was a small part of me that feared Xander would hate them…for whatever his reasons.
Xander’s first time at the beach was christmas eve night December 2010. There was a musician playing on the boardwalk, and Xander loved it but was too shy to dance. Once he put his feet in the sand there was no turning back. He loved it. We walked a little way onto the beach but Xander just wanted to run! I remember hanging back, while Mike and Xander ran to the water, and crying. Crying tears of happiness, for once…
The water was cold on our feet but he didn’t care. He was happy, he was joyful and for the first time in a long time I felt like everything was going to be ok. A few days after that we went back during the day so he could play in the sand. Oh boy did he play in the sand! Rolling head over heals, climbing on the rocks, running in the waves.
Xander was 6 when he first came to LA and of course I had seen him happy and excited, but never like this…he was just full of pure joy :)
Now, when I talk about going to the beach he plays off his excitement in typical Xander fashion. But I know it’s his favorite place too. I can tell when we’re driving and he catches the first glimpse of the water. I imagine we have the same expression on our faces.
So, that is why going to the beach with Xander is my favorite thing in the whole world.
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Wow! I walked into work over xmas to find one of these cameras wrapped and waiting for me on my desk! I’m excited - I can’t wait to make my first 7x7 with it. I’m nervous about all the developing and cropping and stitching together workflow, but I think it will be well worth the effort.
photo by Mike Ambs - 1st of the many lego sets complete! this train took xander and I two days to put together! its actually meant for 14 year olds an up, so it was quite an undertaking for him :) next up, the queen anne’s revenge ship - 1097 pieces! I think we’re going to #griffithpark for that one.
photo by Mike Ambs - post-xmas wrapping paper explosion - all of this has since been picked up and packed away in the garage, but this moment, just after present opening, when everything is tossed all around the tree was always my favorite part of xmas growing up. I always want to stretch out and take a nap in all the wrapping paper. cc @erica xander