Beach babe

Girls’ trip 2012

I’m never prepared for how much fun I have when I escape with friends, whether it be for a night out or a full blown weekend getaway.  Plans for this trip, the annual Sewing Night Girls’ Trip began almost a year ago.  IMG_1269We thought it’d be genius to plan it after school was back in session so our kids wouldn’t be home all day with a babysitter.  Turned out it wasn’t the best idea since it created lots of run around for the husbands with school, sports and scout schedules.  A very HUGE thank you to Carl for letting me dump all that on top of his crazy work schedule so I could go and play!!  We chose to try Newport Beach this year, something a little more local and still packed full of everything we want in a vacation: sun, sand, and shopping.  Not to mention that the idea of spending a day at the beach with nothing but a towel, sunscreen and a book sounded magical.  So we packed a Suburban to the brim with all the necessities (nail polish, brownies, beach chairs, clothes, clothes and more clothes) and said goodbye to the husbands and kids for a few days.

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We found this little cove in Newport to hang out for the day. ( I pretended that the house at the far end was mine.)  The weather was a little overcast but still calm and plenty warm to enjoy the down time.

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Then we rode the trolley back to the car.  We were a little slap happy at this point.

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We still had some grocery shopping to do (our hotel suite had a small kitchen) so rather than waste time getting ready and driving back and forth, we chose a chill little hamburger joint in Huntington Beach called T.K. Burger for dinner.  Conveniently located near shopping, of course.

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Jana is our resident foodie and always knows the best places to stuff your face.  This place didn’t disappoint.

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After that we went in search of an old friend.  We were so happy to smother Lauren with hugs!

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After that we shopped until every store in the area closed up shop for the night.

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(I know this next picture is fuzzy, but it makes me laugh every time I see it.  Tami, Jana and I were laughing at a street musician and his…unique voice.  And again, we were slap happy.)

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The next day was rainy and overcast so we filled it with more shopping, lunch at Rodrigos and junk food for dinner back at the hotel.

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{Tami, Jana (and expected little one), Krystal, Autumn, Shannon and me}

I geeked out about being this close to the ocean and living in California in general pretty much all weekend.  Thank you friends for putting up with me!

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I seem to catch a picture like this of Shannon and Krystal every year.  Shopping can be exhausting.

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Every night ended just like this.  Who needs TV and movies when you have iphones, ipads, macbooks and PINTREST?!

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By day 3 we were bound and determined to spend some good time in the sun.  So we went back to Huntington Beach and found more shopping too.  Big surprise, right?

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Like all our trips, we laughed until we cried, we stayed up late and slept in way too long, we had some really deep conversations, and even shed some tender tears.  But this year we also missed some very dear friends.  I’m hoping next year we’ll be able to coordinate everyone’s schedules and get us ALL together.  I’m so very blessed to have such amazing friends here in California!

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Categories: Beach babe, Friends, Sew inspiring, Vacation Bliss | 2 Comments

Beach bum for life

Sorry, this is yet another post on my BFF the beach.  There are still times when I sit back and take it all in, SO HAPPY to live here by the ocean!  It takes a bit of work to get things packed and drive to the beach, but so worth it.  Once the kids are armed with SPF 30, a shovel and a boogie board they run off to play leaving me time to work on my tan and catch up with friends.

I guess I should say Crew and Milo take off to play and have fun.  Jax rarely leaves my side and will ask me no less than 5,000 times “How much longer before it’s time to go?”  I don’t get it.  There are always tons of kids to run wild with, great snacks to eat and lots to do.  But for some reason he has never really cared for the beach.  Sometimes I feel a little guilty when it seems I drag him there against his will.  But you can’t live this close to the coastline and not be a regular.  Right?  I feel I have a moral obligation to spend as much time at the beach as possible, especially while school is out.  So I won’t give up.  I’m determined to show Jax how much fun the beach can be.  We bought a heavy duty sand shovel for prime hole digging.  I encourage him to go out and jump the waves now that he can swim well.

We’ve tossed a new frisbee around and played shadow tag too.

Carl is trying to get him out on a boogie board.  I think the water still intimidates him a little.

Sometimes I wonder if he’s just worn out and the white noise of the ocean makes him sleepy.  And that would mean taking a nap.

With a little encouragement and patience, I hope we can help him grow to love the beach like the rest of us do.

{Crew is pretending he washed up from a shipwreck}

{Tiny wahinis: Lindsey, Moseley and Milo}

It always feels so good to get away from the tv, the errands, the phone calls and the daily grind.  Don’t you agree?

Categories: Beach babe | 2 Comments

Bright, sunshiny day

Carl played hookie from work yesterday and took our family to the beach.  On our way, Carl said to me, “Remember when we first moved here [to California] and we would go to the beach saying, ‘I can’t believe we live here and can just go to the beach whenever we feel like it!’ and now we’re like, ‘Eh, let’s go to the beach’ like it’s no big deal?”  I laughed because in all honesty, I still pinch myself every time I visit the ocean knowing I live so close to it.  I still feel so incredibly lucky to live here after pining away about sun and surf while growing up and living in Utah my entire life.  Back then my friends lovingly called me a California Wannabe thanks to my obsession with Roxy apparel, my puka shell necklace that I wore religiously, and my work cubicle walls that were covered in pictures of surfer girls and palm trees.  This is embarrassing to admit, but when I saw Blue Crush in theaters for the first time (in the dead of Utah winter) I actually ached inside to live near constant sunshine and sea air.  Funny huh!  Don’t get me wrong, I love my Utah roots.  And I actually love the snow too.  But there was just something about living near the ocean that had me longing for it!  So when Carl flat out stated once during a vacation to California, “Ha!  We will never live here” I felt like a dream of mine was being crushed.  But thankfully fate would have it another way.  Because just over a year later I woke up to Day 1 of living in California with a palm tree waving at me through my bedroom window.  And I’ve never been happier!

Carl isn’t able to join us for a beach day very often so having him there made it a perfect day.  And seeing my kids explore and experience the beach so frequently makes my heart so,so happy.

At the risk of sounding over-the-top cheesy, I will say that I am living my dream!  I love living in California and raising my family here.  Thanks Lee and Jana for sharing your day with us.  The beach spot was perfect and we’ll definitely be back this year for more sugary sand and blue waves.  We loved it!  As we packed up to leave and were walking back to the car, I happened to turn around and catch sight of the amazing ocean view.  I must have stood there awhile because soon I heard Carl call out, “Hey, Tel!  Are you ok?”  I turned around with the biggest smile and just said, “Yep.”

Categories: Beach babe, Family, Friends | 5 Comments

Every day randomness… an effort to catch up

Hi!  I was starting to think I’d never make it back here to post again.  Sharing a computer with a masters degree student who also happens to be working all the time is proving to be very difficult!  But I’m not complaining… too loudly, anyway.

So how about some random pics of what we’ve been up to lately, hmmm?  Ok, then.  Here we go!

We took a trip up to Big Bear with some friends of ours with all the kids in tow.  There were lots of laughs, late night games, sledding, snowball fighting and ipod time.  Oh, and a Happy Birthday to me too!  It was just what we all needed for the weekend.

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{Milo’s in the all yellow coat, Crew’s in the red and grey, Jax in the green camo}

Crew’s school held a Variety Show and he sooooo wanted to be a part of it.  But each student wanting to participate had to audition for a part.  I didn’t have the time or energy to think up something for him so I was thrilled when some friends recruited him for their dance to Smooth Criminal.  He was a cop with two other boys.

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He took his part very seriously.  He even pulled off a flawless performance when I got my days of the week mixed up and didn’t get his costume to school for him in time for a performance.  (Let me tell you, I felt like dirt!)  But he had a great time and kept telling me how happy he was to be in the Variety Show.  I owe Jen, the choreographer, A LOT!

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{That’s Crew front and center with the neon shoes}

I’ve been neck deep in planning Stake YW Camp.  I love, love, LOVE this calling and will forever appreciate those who plan such big events like this for the church.  Milo “helped” me sort through the hundreds of registration papers to get a count for the camp.  So far we’re at 297 campers (not including the stake staff)!  Yowza!

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Milo is definitely a third child.  Between drop offs and pick ups, meetings and errands, he’s learned how to grab a nap wherever and whenever he can.  The only challenge is stacking the groceries strategically around him without waking him up!  The only thing worse than a tired Milo is a woken up Milo!

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Every Tuesday Milo has a playdate until noon leaving Jax and I home alone together.  I quickly realized I needed to take better advantage of our time together if we were going to survive the school year.  So we go hiking.  Just the two of us.  We pack a lunch and head out as soon as the others are dropped off for the day.

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It’s been so, so fun, for me especially.  I love sharing the outdoors with Jax.  It’s been an answer to this frustrated Momma’s prayers.  And finally, FINALLY our conversations don’t revolve around video games!

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Carl’s car was in the shop so we went to pick him up from work and ended up with a grand tour or Quiet Cool.  I was so worried about disturbing the other employees but Carl was patient and pretty much just plain awesome with the boys.  Only Carl can turn fans into something magical.

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Spring Break is here and again I find myself with two weeks of “what do I do with the boys?!”  We’re one week into it and it thankfully hasn’t been bad at all.  We’ve had our fair share of ice cream cones.

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Now we’re gearing up for conference weekend and Easter.  I thought I’d take the boys to the mall and brave some shopping.

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We hit up three stores and pickings were slim so we settled for ties this year.  Then we rewarded ourselves with treats from Rocky Mountain Candy Co.  Delish!

Carl and I have been training for Ragnar and doing what we can to get in shape for summer.  My boys like to workout “with me” which really means I get to do the workout twice.  The more training, the better I guess.  It’s so funny to see their interpretations of pushups, burpees, and squats.   And to hear them pretend to be out of breath like me.  Haha!

 

I love that they notice our effort to eat and live healthy.  Carl has lost 20 lbs.  Crew has joined the running club at his school and ran 5 miles one weekend with Carl.  Holy.Cow!  This morning I ran 8 miles, the farthest I’ve ever gone and my boys were there to greet me at home and ask how I did.  Aw, it makes me so happy.

 Welp, that’s about it.  It feels super to have things caught up so I can start posting again.  Have yourself a scrummy weekend!

Categories: Beach babe, Family, Friends, Holiday Hurray, school is cool | 1 Comment

Passed out, part 2

This is happening a lot around here.  Love you summer!

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It’s always fun on Cousins Day!

We don’t have any family nearby so we always celebrate when they come to visit.  When our cousins Josh and his wife Bryn came into town we declared another “COUSINS DAY!”  When I told Crew and Jax about our expected visitors they both jumped up and down yelling, “YAY!  COUSINS DAY!”  It’s definitely a big deal around here.  And it lived up to the hype.  I told my boys that Josh and Bryn would arrive by motorcycle and that just fed the fire.  My boys were totally smitten by their bike and Josh was kind enough to give each of my kids a spin or two around the block.  Remember this picture?

You’d better believe Milo wasn’t going to be left behind twice.  When he heard Josh ask if they wanted to go for a ride on the  bike he was front and center begging for a turn.  Milo’s been doing the thumbs up ever since.

We spent a day at the beach too.  Mother Nature kindly gave us a beautiful sunny day.  And little did we know that it was sand crab hatching day too.  The sand was literally moving under our feet.  My kids had a field day scooping up thousands of sand crabs.  Seriously, I’ve never seen so many!

While Josh is away Bryn is pulling up her stakes and moving to Hawaii to work and pass the time apart from her hubby.  How smart/cool/adventurous is that?!  I knew I liked that girl.

Good luck to both of you, Josh and Bryn, on your adventures and there’s always a Cousins Day waiting for you here!

Categories: Beach babe, Family, Guests | Leave a comment

Catalina for Easter

Let’s back up a bit…

Jim and Dyana invited our family to spend a long Easter weekend with them in Catalina.  Carl and I were totally excited.  So were the boys.  Well, once I assured them that “Easter the Bunny” would still come and leave them something fun while we were away.

We picked up Dyana and her kids and headed towards Long Beach for the ferry.  Jim was going to meet us there after work.

Carl and I grossly underestimated how long it would take us to get to the ferry with traffic and we started to panic as the departure time got closer and closer.  We were still 20 minutes out when Jim called us from the dock wondering where we were.  I was sick to my stomach thinking we’d miss the boat and ruin the trip for everyone since this was the last ferry of the night.  Sure enough despite Carl’s sweet “Fast and the Furious” driving maneuvers, we missed the boat by 7 minutes.  We actually saw it sailing away as we drove up to the dock.  Dyana’s kids were pretty calm about it (I don’t think they’d realized we’d just missed the last boat for the night) but Crew and Jax began to sob.  Huge tears started rolling down their little cheeks as they cried, “We’ll never get to go to Catalina!  Now we just have to go HOME!”.  Carl and I felt horrible for messing up the plans after we’d been so graciously invited on this trip.  But I’ve gotta hand it to Jim and Dyana for their “roll with it” attitudes.  Jim suggested we get a hotel room close to the dock and cram into it for the night, then hop on the first boat in the morning at 6am.  We’d still get there early and not waste any of the day to play.  How could we turn down an idea like that?  So we hit up Chile’s for dinner.  Thankfully the restaurant was pretty quiet for a Thursday night and the hostess gave us the patio dining area all to ourselves.

It was covered and heated so we let the six boys eat and go hot wild and play ipad while Carl, Jim, Dyana and I sat back and talked.

I love their boys.  Skyler is 12, Jayden is 8, and Ryder is 6.  So Skyler was the perfect “big brother” for Milo, Jayden was buddies with Jax (it must be a middle child thing) and Ryder and Crew were best of pals.  Milo actually loved all of it being able to run wild with all the big boys.  We waited until it was late and then checked into our hotel room.  We filtered in a few at a time to keep from arousing suspicion, then did our best to settle all the kids down for the night. (From L to R: Jayden, Skyler, Ryder, Crew, Milo and bashful Jax)

All things considered, the kids did REALLY well.  It took me three rounds of “Twinkle Twinkle” and “I am Like a Star”, but even Milo drifted off to sleep on the floor too.  I couldn’t tell if Dyana and Jim were snickering at my singing or from Milo’s rambling before he fell asleep.  Either way, we were all asleep before too long.

The next morning we were up before the sun to get to the pier for the 6am ferry.  We didn’t want to waste any daylight!  We boarded the ferry, no problem.  But I tend to get motion sick and I wondered how the boys would do without eating much for breakfast.  I tried to get my kids to eat some bread I’d packed but they weren’t too interested (big surprise).  Crew and Jax played ipods, Milo drove his cars back and forth on the window seal and I focused on the horizon.  I was well rewarded with several sightings of dolphins.  So cool.

I thought we were doing ok even though the water was a little rough until Skyler came down from the upper deck of the boat to tell me Jax had puked.  Ick.  Thankfully there weren’t that many people on board so we did our best to clean it up with some baby wipes and then just moved to another side of the boat.  I was all too happy to see the island as we slowed down to dock.  I don’t know how much longer I could have kept my stomach in check.  The house we were staying in was just a few blocks up from the ferry so we walked.  My kids were starting to wear out from such an early start and little to eat.  They began to whine about the walk taking forever…until they saw this.

Yep, most people in Catalina don’t own cars.  They own carts.  Check out our sweet ride!  Our kids thought it was the coolest thing ever.

We unpacked our stuff and situated everyone in the house and then took a stroll down to the beach.  I thought the weather would be cold and overcast but it was quickly turning into a beautiful day.  Dyana and I went for a walk through the shops and came back to find all the guys enjoying the first of countless ice cream cones we would consume.  Who needs breakfast when you have ice cream?!

This picture of Milo cracks me up.  It reminds me of those pictures foreign tourists take – why is it they don’t ever smile?

A look at the pier.  I actually bought a little watercolor print of this scene to remember our trip.  Have I told you how much I love the color turquoise?

Me: in all my brassy, bombshelled glory.  Hint: big sunglasses are perfect for hiding day old makeup and sleepy eyes!

Milo LOVED the golf carts.  Everytime I thought he was following me I’d turn around to find him trying to boost the neighbor’s ride.  Caught you redhanded, buddy!

The first day there we spent the day at the beach.  The tide was out so the kids all played in the freezing cold water while Dyana and I soaked up the sun and poured over magazines she’d brought along.  I tell ya, Dyana knows how to vacation!

Even Jax splashed and floated around in the water.  It was like a cold (and very salty) swimming pool to him.

Milo was typical of himself.  He played and smiled, played and jabbered, and played some more until he passed out during his second ice cream cone.  Both he and Jax took a good long 2 hour nap right there on the sand.  I don’t know why but those two have always loved to nap on the beach.

Later we walked back to the house and put a movie on for the kids.  Dyana and Jim assigned Skyler to babysitting duty while they took us on a golf cart tour of the island.  Carl spotted these prickly pear, nutty looking things on the side of the road.  How on earth does he notice this stuff?  We never did figure out what they were but they were on climbing vines all over the island.

Checking out the scenery.  That’s the Casino to the right in the background.  By this point the weather was wonderful!

And apparently no Easter weekend is complete on Catalina without a reenactment of Christ’s crucifixion… in español!

Jim and Dyana always take their boys out for pizza the first night on the island.  So we had a pizza party before everyone crashed for the night.  I don’t know about anyone else but I slept like a baby.  And thanks to all the friends around, my kids were occupied the next morning allowing me some sleep in time.  That NEVER happens!

Our whole trip was totally chill.  Beach, ice cream, movies, it was all about the R&R.  This picture is one of the few I was able to catch of Crew.  He was constantly on the move unless the tv was on, which wasn’t too often.  There was just too much to see and do.  (My little brother Kolby used to sit this exact same way on the couch while we watched cartoons.)

There were two old mopeds stashed behind the house.  Carl and Jim were determined to get them working.

In the meantime, we checked out the pier…

…and later went for a hike.  I told Jax to strike a pose.  This is karate stance.  (We’d just seen the new Karate Kid movie a few days prior.)

Jax insisted on taking my picture too.  “Strike a pose, MOM!”  Sorry, this was all I could come up with on such short notice.  But isn’t the ocean beautiful in the background?  I couldn’t believe it was raining and freezing cold back at home.

Milo twisted his ankle the night before and had a hard time walking the next few days, but that didn’t stop him from trying to keep up with Skyler.  He was so into him the entire trip, and Skyler was good to play big brother.

Pit stop.

After the hike Jim offered to take us to Pebbley Beach on the other side of the island.  The boys had already gone once so I was excited to see what all the hype was about.  And pebbley it was!  If ever there was a place to throw rocks, this was it.

And there were tons of these little guys crawling under the rocks.  I’d never actually held a hermit crab before.  They’ve got quite a pinch!

We went to the Casino that night to see Rio.  This was the coolest movie theater I’ve ever been to.  Lots of whimsical murals painted on the walls, velvet seats, cheap popcorn…

…and an organist playing Phantom of the Opera and a great intro leading up the the movie.  And the movie was so, so cute.  We love Angry Birds that much more now.

We spent our last morning on the island fishing so the older boys could earn their merit badges for Scouts.  Dyana showed us all how it was done, baiting the line and all.  Crew caught one right away.  His very first fish!

And mine too!

Dyana helped Jax, who was a little unsure of it all.  She grew up doing this here with her own family.  I could tell she really, really loves Catalina and wanted us to love it just as much.  She was so fun.

And whaddaya know.  Jax caught one!  Look at that smile!

Look at those fish lips.  Ew.

Back at the house Carl finally got one of the mopeds to work.  He buzzed around town on it, putting air in the tires and filling it with gas.  You better believe Milo wanted a ride as soon as Carl motored back home.

I’m not sure what’s better in this picture:  Milo trying his best to reach the handlebars for the ride or Jax using the tennis racket as a machine gun on the golf cart.

Next it was Jax’s turn for a ride.  He thought the horn sounded like a fart.  He kept honking it while laughing hysterically and saying, “Excuse me!”  Typical Jax.

Carl came back from his ride to tell me there were some old picture frames outside the church with “Free” signs.  You better believe I snagged one up for myself!  I have big plans for this baby.

It was almost time to go, but not before having one more amazing hamburger (I’d been craving them like mad since Ragnar) and of course an ice cream cone.  So many flavors to choose from.

We had to get a family picture by the pier before heading off to the ferry.  I wish I would have thought to take my sunglasses off.  Grrr.  Oh well.  I really felt like I’d been on vacation instead of just a “relocation”.  Sometimes traveling with our kids is so exhausting but not this trip.  I really felt like I had a chance to unwind, be lazy, and enjoy good times with family and friends.  The only down side to the trip was the barf fest before and after the island.  On the way back Milo was like and erupting volcano.  It was almost comical as others get sick as a result of watching me catch Milo’s puke in our half empty bread bag.  Hey, that’s life with kids people!  Note to self:  put all video games away during the ferry ride.  Maybe then we’ll have less open water drama.

A hundred thanks to Jim and Dyana for inviting us along for this trip.  We had lots of late night laughs, took tons of pictures, ate lots of ice cream, watched the boys run wild and free and everyone left with a smile.  Even the drive back home was spent laughing and playing our new favorite car game “I’m going to Grandma’s House”.  And Easter the Bunny had a basket of treats waiting for us on the kitchen counter when we walked in the door.  Icing on the cake.  *wink*  It’s trips like this that make me want to stop and pinch myself.  I’m so lucky to have such an awesome little family and I’ll always remember this fun little weekend.  I leave you with a picture of us, angry birds style.



Categories: Beach babe, Family, Friends, Holiday Hurray | 1 Comment

A cookout, beach style

We had some friends in town a few weeks ago and thought it’d be fun to meet up at the beach for some fun in the sun and a cookout.  Our friends got hung up with family and weren’t able to meet us but we went ahead with the plans anyway.  I’m so glad we did because we had such a good time, just Carl, me and the boys.  We didn’t get to the sand until about 5pm so we claimed the last fire pit and enjoyed the last minutes of the sunshine down by the water.

Jax started out a little grumpy… ok, really grumpy, but even he couldn’t resist the fun waiting for him at the beach and he eventually stopped crying and had a great time too.  Thank heavens!

The sunset was amazing.  I haven’t been on the beach to enjoy one of these in a long time.  Watching Crew down by the water with the calming beauty of the sunset got me a little choked up.

The fire pit we claimed (the only pit left open on the beach) had a ratty old easy up, an empty birthday box and a plywood sign spray painted with “Party of George” sitting inside it.  We couldn’t tell if someone was trying to reserve the pit or if they’d just left their junk there.  A lady using the pit next to us said nobody had been around for hours and you can’t reserve a pit anyway.  The kids were starting to whine that they were hungry so we decided we’d use it and if we needed to move we would.  I pulled the “junk” out and set it next to the garbage cans and Carl lit the fire.  We were half way through our hot dog roast when a guy nursing a Coke sauntered up to the garbage cans and looked at the sign, then looked over at us.  He cleared his throat and said, “Uh, are you guys gunna be here all night?”  Realizing this was probably “George” wanting to know why we’d moved his reservation to the trash, Carl threw on the charm and told him we’d be there just long enough to cook up some hot dogs for the boys.  And then he offered him a hot dog too.  Taht seemed to work because George seemed to relax and explained that he’d reserved this fire pit because he was part of an AA meeting that gathered at this pit every Saturday night at 7:30pm.

“You guys can stay as long as you like, I just wanted you to know that come 7:30pm there are gunna be a lot of recovering alcoholics coming over here. Hahahahaah.”

George turned out to be really nice, chatted it up with Carl and answered the hundreds of questions my kids throw at anyone who will listen.  So we agreed to be outta there by 7:30pm which happened to be in just a half hour.  I was a little bugged that we had to cut our night short but then I figured “oh well”.  It was for a good cause, right?  While Carl helped the kids finish roasting their Peep marshmallows for S’mores (which doesn’t really work, by the way), I  began packing up the rest of our stuff.  We were just on our way out to the car as the first of the AA members started to arrive.   It all turned out to be great timing in the end.  We arrived home at 8pm and had just enough time for the kids to shower before bedtime.  They crawl into their beds without any sort of a struggle (very rare!) and didn’t make a peep the rest of the night.  If we’d been any later getting home it would have been a nightmare getting tired and cranky boys washed up and ready for bed.  The best part was that by 8:30pm Carl and I were left to enjoy the rest of the night together minus all the crying and crashing around that usually follows bedtime with our kids.

Carl still talks about how much fun he had that night.  I’m so glad because I definitely want to go back for more this summer with friends and family.  We considered this our “test run” night.  Now we know what to expect, what we’ll need to pack, and which trash to take seriously!  Who’s ready to join us?!

 

Categories: Beach babe, Family | 5 Comments

Bassackwards

The weather has been really off this year.  We weren’t able to get more than one or two good beach days in all summer thanks to the June gloom that lasted long after school started again.  But we had a day off school and decided to brave it.  The weather said it’d be 75 and sunny, which I’ll admit isn’t the warmest day at the beach but sometimes you’ve gotta take what you can get.  It was actually a really nice day.  The breeze was a little cool, but nobody was about to complain about the clear sunny skies.  Here are some pictures I grabbed.

Mosley likes to eat sandwiches, Milo likes to eat sand.

Our whole group – minus a few kids who were out in the water.  They were brave!

Jax had a great time collecting rocks with the dump trucks.

Crew figured out the best way to warm up after playing in the water.  Soak up those rays!

Milo and Lindsey were born on the same day and they play really cute together.  I secretly get excited and imagine what it’d be like to have Tami as an in-law.

Oh my gosh.  How fun would that be?!

We spent the day away and finally it was time to go home.  I loaded everything and everyone in the car and within 10 minutes of the drive, all three of my boys were sound asleep.  This usually happens after a day at the beach.  And I love it because I already feel recharged having spent a great day with my kids, so this is icing on the cake.  It gives me almost an hour of quiet time to think about the day’s conversation, friends, kids, mommyhood, and life in general.  Funny, I usually start counting my blessings too.  This time as I watched the coastline in my rear view mirror, I kept thinking, “Oh man, how I love living near the beach.”  I love everything about it.  I love watching my kids enjoy the outdoors as they explore the sand and water.  I love chatting the day away with friends in my beach chair while I watch my kids play.  I LOVE how my skin feels at the beach – kinda dewy, a little sandy, and a little sunkissed.  The smell of the ocean, sunscreen, and my cooler packed full of food (weird, I know).  The sounds of the towns as you drive with your windows down along the PCH. I’m so grateful for days like this when the weather turns friendly and gives you a gem of a day like this.  Thanks friends for sharing it with us!

Categories: Beach babe, Family, Friends | 4 Comments

The magic of ordinary days

5 years ago, while still living in Utah, I joined my first ever book group.  I never really liked reading much, in fact I don’t think I finished one assigned book in high school.  But I realized after having Crew for a year that my brain was quickly turning to mommy mush.  I needed something to stimulate my mind and hopefully help me connect to the neighborhood and ward around me.  The first book I read with the group was “The Magic of Ordinary Days” by Ann Howard Creel.  It told the story of a 24 year old girl during WWII who makes get caught up in the moment with a handsome young officer and then finds herself pregnant.  She’s forced into an arranged marriage by her father, a minister, to try and save the family from shame.  As Livvy learns to adapt to a strange man, strange new home and a strange new life growing inside of her, she starts to realize there is happiness, magic even, in every day life.  Reading this book was a blessing in disguise.  I was struggling with the transition from a busy, working, on-the-go, all about me kind of life to a much slower (although still busy) pace of caring for a baby 24/7.  After reading it I gained a better appreciation for those small magical moments that happen to me each day.  I think a lot about this book, especially at times when I feel like I’m drowning in the every day battle of mommyhood.  Last night I was feeling a little overwhelmed with everything on my plate and a bit sad that this blog has fallen a few months behind.  I though about just skipping ahead to blog what’s current.  When I went to upload my latest pictures I was shocked to find there were over 100 pictures (and some videos too) waiting for me!   Over 100 magic little moments that I felt important enough to capture and blog about so I’d hopfully remember forever.  So, here we go…

1.  Matt and Deanne, our good friends from the Utah days,  came to San Diego this summer for a vacation so we met up with them and their girls for a (cold) day at the beach. Funny that it doesn’t matter how windy or cold the temperature is, kids will always strip down to their skivvies and play in the water.  My boys love Peyton and Macy.  They are two very special little girls, both born completely deaf.  It’s so amazing to watch Crew and Jax play with them without a hitch despite the challenge of communicating.  Kids are so cool that way.  They had a blast together and I swear I took lots of pictures of the them but they were so busy running wild that all I ended up with were blurry faces and the backs of heads.  Too bad I don’t have Face Back on my iphoto! (That was for you, Carl.)  However, it’s not very often that Carl can go to the beach with us and even less often that the two of us get a picture together so this picture means a lot to me… and it always makes me smile.

2.  On another night, I took the boys to the elementary school for a BMX bike show.  Crew and Jax had waited for weeks to go and were so pumped to see the tricks.

But about 10 minutes into the show they were more interested in running around with the other kids in the field.  Not that I really minded.  It’s hard to be bugged when watch your kids having the best time just squealing and running around barefoot on the grassy field.  It made me wish to be a kids again.  And there was this AMAZING sunset.

3.  Crew and Jax were bored one Sunday afternoon so I stole an idea from a friend of mine and gave the boys a bunch of plastic cups to build with.   It was an instant hit.

4.  I added dishes to the list of  jobs that Crew and Jax are responsible to get done each day.  Believe me, it’s as painful for me as it is for them.  But when the tears clear up and the job is FINALLY finished, it’s nice to know they’re learning how to help out around the house.  And there’s always a surprise waiting when you open up the cupboards!

Yes, that’s a fork inside the cup!

Magic, I tell ya.  Pure magic.  And there are more great moments to share.  Stay tuned!

Categories: Beach babe, Family, Good Things | 3 Comments

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