Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our Christmas Gift

Z was born on December 18th, 2009 at 3:23 am, 7 lbs. 3.5 oz. 19 in.
Pronounced zo-ee, it means "life" in Greek, and we picked a Greek name because of A's heritage.
The proud parents with their 1-day-old daughter. Although she arrived 12 days after her due date, Z's timing was perfect, one week before Christmas.
(When L was born at Christmas time 27 years ago, she also came home from the hospital in a Christmas stocking.)

The delivery was a water birth at Best Start Birth Center in San Diego.

Pretty in pink.

A Marine Princess with her daddy.

Grandma Meadows and Yia Yia Freida.

Four generations of Meadows'

L and her sister, M, with their babies on the San Clemente pier. Cousins P and Z are only 4 months apart.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Final Stretch

So what else do you do while you're waiting for your baby to arrive? Participate in a 5K Turkey Trot, of course! Right before Thanksgiving (and few weeks before her due date), L power-walked in the annual 5K Run and Walk on the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. While actually running wouldn't be such a good idea, activities like this, as well as dance classes, have kept L pretty active throughout her pregnancy.
As for A, Christmas came early this year. Here's the other baby that he waited 9 months for:
This is a California-Compliant AR15, basically the legal version of the Marine Corps' M16 service rifle. After ordering this back in March, this amazing weapon finally arrived from Utah right after Thanksgiving.

And finally, A's performance with Marine Band San Diego at the Annual MCRD Christmas Concert.

And note: the baby has not arrived yet! Although she is technically over a week past her Dec. 5th due date, she seems quite cozy where she is. Looking forward to meeting her any day now!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baby Business and Birthday Ball

Six weeks before her December due date, L was given a baby shower by her mom and mother-in-law, and was truly showered with many wonderful gifts for the soon-to-arrive Baby Z. Taking place in L's childhood home in San Clemente, the party was decorated in pink and zebra print, also the theme for Z's own bedroom back in San Diego.
It was quite a full and joyful party, plus always entertaining with the Greek relatives!

And what an amazing treat: the family and friends were so generous!

Here's the backside of the adorable quilt that L's mom made for the baby.

The proud parents-to-be (A made an appearance at the end of the shower).
And just a few hours later, we dressed up and headed to the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball to celebrate 234 years of the USMC! (Yes, this dress made it to a few functions this year :).

Happy Birthday, Marines, and remember to remain Semper Fidelis!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fun Fall Flings

In October, A and the Brass Quintet of Marine Band San Diego got the opportunity to perform for the Commandant of the Marine Corps in Reno, Nevada. Instead of taking a commercial flight, the guys were personally flown out of MCAS Miramar in a C-130, a large, military transport aircraft. Because Marine pilots are not too concerned about the comfort of their passengers, this was a wild and bouncy ride!
During some free-time, A and his buddy Ryan decided to hike up Mt. Rose, about 10,000 feet up overlooking Lake Tahoe. Blazing their own trails through pine trees and even snow, it was quite an experience.
Satisfied after a good work-out to the top.
And a few weeks later, A and L attended San Diego State University's Homecoming football game at Qualcomm Stadium. L even dusted off her old bass trombone and played with other band alumni in the stands and on the field with the Marching Aztecs (not bad for being 8-months pregnant!).

Also this month, we attended the beautiful, formal wedding of L's close harp friend from college, Tasha. Congrats to the happy couple!

And of course, we had to get a photo on the lovely staircase of the Westgate Hotel, the wedding location.

The months seem to pass quickly as A and  keep quite busy. In addition to keeping active in a jazz dance class, L continues to give harp lessons to young students and play at unique gigs. Here's a teacher's phone photo of L playing an educational program for teenagers at a juvenile probation center.

And as always, A continues working hard with the Marine Band, here at a Change of Command ceremony near the airstrip at Miramar (yes, they play often at other local bases).

And the fall isn't even over yet! Still more to come!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Little East Coast/Midwest Trip

While A was gone on another recruiting tour with the Marine Brass Quintet, L decided to visit her close friends Jenny and Carlton in Newport, Rhode Island for a few days. They were super hospitable showing L around parts of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and even a day-trip to New York City! (By the way, both Jenny and L are pregnant with little girls; Jenny in the 8th month and L at 7 1/2 months in these photos).
(Above, L on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Art Museum with Central Park and Manhattan in the background.)

Here are some other photos from the trip:

Jenny and Carlton in Central Park with those cute, little, remote-controlled sailboats in the water behind them.

The Brier Rabbit in a cool sculpture.

The famous Radio City Music Hall near Times Square.

And of course, Times Square itself.

And the lovely backdrop of Connecticut. Thanks, guys, for a wonderful time!

On L's return-trip home, she stopped off in Chicago, Illinois for a few days to visit her sister and brother-in-law. Not only did Leah get to see their new, lovely house in Glen Ellyn, but most importantly, she got to meet her brand-new nephew! This little cutie is about one month old, though he's not so sure about his aunt.

Thanks, guys, for opening up your home!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Life Landmarks

Remember these guys? On August 6th 2004, A and L became Mr. and Mrs. Panos.

Now 2009, we are happily celebrating 5 amazing years of marriage! A lot has changed over the years (especially A's hair, courtesy of the USMC), but we couldn't be happier! Here we are about to head out to downtown San Diego for a steak dinner.

And because only a handful of family/friends read this blog, we know most of you have already heard the news that we are expecting our first baby, who should arrive before mid-December. (Can you tell 's hiding an over 5 1/2 month baby bump under that dress?)
Last month, we got to see the baby through an ultrasound and found out it's a girl!
Here she is kicking her leg up high, already demonstrating martial arts techniques like her parents.

No more ultrasounds are expected, so we are looking forward to meeting her in December!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Highlights... So Far

In random order, here are a bunch of photos from this summer's busy fun.
First off, L had the privilege of being a Matron of Honor in Jenny's wedding, her closest friend from college. Jenny married Carlton, a fellow trombonist from the Navy band in Newport, Rhode Island where they are stationed. Congrats, guys!

Leah's sister, visited from Illinois and was the honored guest at a baby shower held for her. M and her husband B are expecting a baby boy in September! Below, the Meadows sisters are spending time with their MawMaw.

As usual, A has been kept busy by the Marines, not only playing in dozens of weekly performances, but carrying out many other responsibilities within the unit. In addition to his job as a Martial Arts Instructor, Alex also serves as a Fire Team Leader, Section Leader, Police Sergeant, and the Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge (NCOIC) of the Music Library. Here he is playing with the brass quintet at a Change Of Command ceremony at MCRD.

Along with the Marine Band, L got to participate in the annual Independence Day Parade in Coronado with the cast of "The Fantasticks." Most of the cast and musicians from a couple of Lamb's Players Theater productions joined in the patriotic parade, either riding in cars, on bikes, Segways, or walking. Here are some ensemble members riding in a pickup truck to the parade route (L is holding a "baby harp" prop to represent that she was the harpist for the show, of course).

And of course, summer wouldn't be complete without a BBQ at the beach (San Onofre with the Meadows).

And some amusement park fun (thanks to military discounts)! Photos from our overdue trip to Disneyland.

A really likes Mr. Toad.

And Universal Studios in Hollywood (A hadn't been here since 1986 when the "Knight Rider" car and "A-Team" van were the big feature)!
...But we really don't like this freeway.

Still can't beat summertime in Southern California!