Very long post to casually cover the last two years, part two (2013-2014)

July 16, 2014

2013: The Move to Alameda


We (well, Nicole) gave notice to our landlords, since I was too “maybe we shouldn’t move all our stuff to a new location”. But after much stress and worry, we were able to say goodbye to the always noisy, except when it was desolate and quiet, street where we lived in our spacious apartment for the last five, six (?), SEVEN??!! years….next to a postal hub that was always busy (at least from 4am to 5:30pm).

We had a stressful (depressing) month of apartment hunting but found a smaller but peaceful space in Alameda. My god. Why do we have so much stuff? Never move. Moving is actually really great, but for the love of Christ we need to throw everything out.

This is how looking for apartments felt:

Finally, we found a place that wasn’t in a terrible neighborhood or outrageously expensive or had some annoyingly stuffy neighbor.

Commemorative last breakfast before the move.

Feb 2013

Moving greatly improved the quality of our everyday lives.

These photos show more light and the luxury of casually walking somewhere.

The kitchen had a view of a tree that made me feel like I was back in New England.

We are within walking distance to a bike store which is great because I got the ol’ Trek tuned up and ready for the six mile bike ride to work which was going to get me into great shape (spoiler: I gained weight).

The house gets a lot of great morning light.

Perfect light for an artist.

We are also a quick walk from the park that we used to drive to from our old place.

Alameda: a great town to ride bikes around.

“Papa, give me a haircut.”

March 2013

Being denied a cupcake at 10:30am.

Zoe’s mellow 3rd birthday.

Fun fact: Zoe likes noodles.

She will also paint the hell out of any box/treasure chest item.

Nicole’s birthday!

April 2013

I turned 40 and got the best birthday card.

That hair.

May 2013

Mother’s Day

Getting our Memorial Day on.

June 2013

We phased out the afternoon nap.

Some nights in Alameda seem so unbelievably magical.

I don’t know why she is so messy. (Just kidding. It’s 100% from me.)

There is a great shave ice place near the beach. Zoe and I have a little ritual: she eats three spoonfuls of it and then we dump it out so she can play in the sand with the cup and spoon.

Yeah, no.


Man, we love us some of that painting place.

Even the sidewalks are magical!

We drove up to Pixieland so we never have to go again (calling it an “amusement park” is a little of an oversell).

Scott reveals there is going to be a new baby on the block (spoiler: it was Baby Theo).

The “Big Q-mer” is still a hit.

We watched the parade outside the fire station, so starting everyday after, while driving or walking by the fire station, Zoe would remind us of where we watched the parade and where the fire station is located.

We were also able to get into a fantastic pre-school closer to where we now live, and were able to say goodbye to Zoe’s daycare which was a little sad, dark, and weird. Which led to a celebratory ice cream.

First day of pre-school.

We sat in the window seat at Timeless on nacho night. The nachos were great. The heat was not. Later that evening, I gave into a ridiculous case of retail associate pressure and bought an overpriced bottle of face wash that Zoe would later break in the bath (a glass bottle: what was I thinking?). The night was also significant because it was the first time I heard Nicole’s admiration of Variance Objects.

August 2013

Nicole set up a make your own pizza station and it was the greatest night of my life.

We went mini golfing on the hottest day of the year.

Nicole’s hair: looking fantastic, as usual.

September 2013

The backyard swimming pool.

A mid-September’s trip to the beach.

We traveled to Baltimore because Zoe was asked to be in a wedding and Nicole had to work in NYC, so we rolled some free airfare/hotel into a mini-vacation.

Stopped by The Land of Kush for some vegan soul food.

And Sticky Fingers where I ordered the worst thing on the menu.

(Pins + her hands)

SHE IS JUST THE SWEETEST. So well behaved, so charming, so beautiful. She danced with everybody at the wedding all night.

I got to drive in NYC for ten minutes, which wasn’t cool at all, and then see my friend Dina, which was very cool.

Zoe sleeping on a plane photos are my new favorite thing.

October 2013

The season of pumpkins, which is the gateway to the start of the best time of year.

The Family Costume

And then Nicole made history. She completely assembled a Tell-Tale Heart for Zoe, HAND STITCHED a raven’s costume for herself, and told me what to buy to complete my Edgar Allan Poe costume.

(photo credit: Carl DeTorres and his fancy camera)

The long, hot walk back because it is always 90 degrees in October.

Handing out candy after hitting the town.

November 2013

“I’m holding hands with mama.”

I switched to a safety razor.

Thanksgiving menu planning.

Me showing Zoe what I was thankful for.

We made veggie pot pies, which are, bite for bite, the best.

December 2013

I spend a lot of my time worrying about Zoe growing old and being embarrassed of me or wanting nothing to do with me, and I’ll inevitably say something when she asks for the keys to our decrepit Mazda like “when you were three, your favorite thing to do on a Friday night was sit with papa on the floor and play ‘Papa is so funny.'” Anyhow, with her hair all flat ironed, she looks fifteen.

Pretty much what I do all day.

Our first Christmas in the new house.

Zoe and Nicole painted a me ornament!

Fuck gingerbread houses, man. For real.

Teresa turned my lame grandpa joke into a memorable and touching gift.

With the (not as good) Santa.


Cartel: was once my happy place. Now I’m not so sure.

Green: my happy place.

Christmas Eve.

Grandma’s regular flour was rancid (“Use by 1997”), so I hope Santa enjoyed the sour sour cookies we made him.



Potential new favorite place in Arizona.

Feb 2014

Drove through terrifying rain to see some pretty outstanding dinosaurs. Zoe was interested for about 3 minutes.

Picking wet leaves outside the dinosaur exhibit.

March 2014

Oh! I nearly forgot: I grew a beard.

Baby Theo: A little over a month old.

Zoe’s 4th Birthday

Nicole’s birthday

We spent a little time up where we got engaged.

April 2014

Easter morning.

I turned 41. Zoe made me another adorable card.

I decided to cut down on the carbs (again) by immediately making a lot of bagels from scratch. What’s that old adage? “Nothing tastes as good as knowing you have 40 bagels waiting for you when you get out of the shower.”

I guess that’s all the update I had patience for. Tune back in for May-present two years from now!

Much love,

Your pal Ross

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