Friends

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!

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

Escape to Utah: Part 2 – Lake Powell!!

Paul, Lisa, Carl and I met up with the rest of our party group late that night in Bullfrog.  The houseboat was sitting there on the dirt, waiting to be towed by semi and launched the following morning.  We settled down pretty quick for the night and slept out on the boat deck.  You forget how many stars there are until you leave town behind!  The next morning we woke up with the sun.  No sense trying to sleep in, it was just too hot.  We needed to be ready for the boat to move anyway.  But first, everyone changed into proper attire.  (Carl kept taking random pics of me.  Sneaky, sneaky!)  This gives you a shot of where we slept each night, right there on the floor (on pads of course).  It was actually quite nice.

The houseboat was launched and we set out to find the perfect place to call home for the next week.  I got down to business working on my tan.  It was right about this time that I realized there would be no cell phone reception for Carl and I which meant no emails, no texts, no phone calls, NO DISTRACTIONS!

Carl and Jer took off on wave runners to help the two ski boats scout out a place for the houseboat.

And from there on out it was nothing but good times, tan lines and side aches from laughing so hard.  I even read a book, something I hadn’t been able to find time for in months.  Every night we ate  junk food (or healthier versions of junk food thanks to Zee Zee) and played games like Pirate Poker (seen below), Wakee Six and Guess Who.

{John T., Lisa, Gord, Jane, Lisa “Zee Zee” and Carl}

Gord, our cruise director, had activities planned for every day we were there and he insisted that everyone participate.  I wasn’t too excited about this at first, but each game was so fun I’m glad he pushed me into it or I would have missed out on so much fun!  The first day he set up an obstacle course for timed wave runner competitions.  I tried to bow out saying I’d never driven one before, but again Gord insisted.  After a few practice runs I got the hang of it and realized how fun they are!  I would have done pretty well except I got hung up on the last turn and came in at 39 seconds.  Boo.  But you should have seen the guys on these things.  You’d have thought they were kids on Christmas Day they were so giddy.

Carl came in first place!  Check out his run!

These three were hilarious!  You couldn’t be in the room with either of them and not laugh.  I think at this particular moment they were trying to decide who had the pastiest thighs.

{Paul, Jer and Carl}

It was so hot that we lived in our swimsuits 24/7.  The sun would rise, we’d get up and change into a fresh suit, brush our teeth, hop in the water for a quick morning swim and take off to catch the calm water for wakeboarding.  No makeup, no getting ready, no hassle.  This was our kind of vacation!

Everyone was assigned a day to make meals.  Paul, Lisa, Carl and I were given a day together so we made omelets for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and copycat Cafe Rio for dinner.  All the food was great (Ginger’s BLT’s were to die for).   And someone managed to bring tons of supersized Otter Pops.  I don’t even like Otter Pops but in that heat they were like manna from heaven.

The top deck was perfect for tanning and also made a perfect diving platform.  John gave diving and cannon ball lessons to the guys.  The rest of us were good to summon the courage simply to jump off!

{John, Paul, Jane and Sarah with soon-to-be-baby-girl}

Go Jane!

Carl’s cannon ball!

Paul’s backflip!

Jer’s swan dive!

Zee Zee broke in the waterslide (which is crazy slick when you squirt some Dawn on it)!


Carl was determined to get a tan.

Here I am, deep in conversation with the girls about nail polish colors and our favorites.  These girls had great style!

Gord set up bases with old orange life jackets and broke us up into two teams for a game of wiffle ball.  We had to hit the ball off the top deck of the houseboat then dive in and swim to the base.  Sorry, Nicole!  I gottcha out at first.  Nice play, Jer!

The wind was at it’s worst mid day so rather than trying to ski on it we’d pack up lunches and go explore the canyons on the ski boats.  I can’t believe how beautiful the rocks and coves at Lake Powell are.  The way some of the rocks were formed from wind and rain made them look like angel wings had been pressed into them.

Carl liked to try out all the random accessories left on the boats.  Lookin’ hot baby!

{Paul and Lisa}

Jer was our driver most of the time and happy to do it.  Put him behind the wheel of anything and he wouldn’t stop smiling.  That’s our houseboat in the background.

{Jer and Nicole}

The girls swimming in a randomly beautiful cove.

We snuck out early each morning for some wake boarding before the wind kicked up.

I won’t pretend to say that I’m good, but I got in and out of the wake a few times.  I’ll leave it to Carl to represent.

A word to the wise:  Don’t play Wackee Six with a math genius like Jessica (blue shorts).  You will lose.every.time!

John, Paul and Spencer were victims of Gord’s tubing run.  When I wasn’t getting sick from all the turning, I was laughing my head off at the faces these three were pulling while trying to stay on.  But you wouldn’t catch me on that thing.  This was the one activity I insisted on sitting out!

We did some hiking on our last day at the lake.

Our first stop was to a rock everyone called “Butt Crack”.  You climb up into the crack…

…and pop out the other side.  But there’s no way down unless you jump from an insane height so we turned around and hiked back down.

{top row: Spencer, John T., Jer and Paul … bottom row: Sarah, John, Zee Zee, Jessica, Lisa, Becka, Mary Jane, Ginger, Carl and me}

And then someone started looking down and before you know it…

JOOOOOHHHHNNNN!

Then Carl said, “I ain’t no sissy!”

And Paul had to try it out too, with John for moral support.

Carl and John went back for the waverunners.  The water was pefect!

And we hiked up to the Anasazi ruins.  Call me a geek but I though they were really, really cool.  The though that people were living here so long ago and left proof of it was fascinating to me.  A ranger hiked up and told us they had done studies on the petroglyphs to find traces of blood in the drawings.  To be immortalized like this was a huge honor.  “These were their superheros.”

Sarah left her shoes at the houseboat and the sand was too hot to go barefoot.  John’s solution?  “Here sweetheart, wear one of mine.”  Aww.

“Anasazi!”

{John T. and Ginger}

{Jane and Gord}

It was over all too soon.  We would have gladly stayed the entire week with the rest of the gang but I needed to get back to kids and Carl had to leave to San Francisco for work.  We said goodbye to our dear friends with promises to find each other on Facebook, Pintrest and Instagram.  Well, I did anyway.  It meant a lot that they made several serious attempts to keep us there just a day longer.  Oh man, we would have loved to.  Sometimes reality bites.  Especially for Paul who ended up being pulled over on the drive home.  Sorry Paul, that’s me laughing in the back seat.  You’ve got to admit getting a ticket in the same place twice, out in the middle of nowhere, is sort of funny.

Lake Powell was so darn fun.  I can’t really describe it other than, *smile and sigh*.  I loved all the down time, the laughing and the kid-free time with Carl. By the way, this was the perfect getaway to celebrate our 12th anniversary!  But it wouldn’t take a special occasion for us to do it again.  This will definitely be in my top 5 favorite vacations!

Next up: More Utah Vacationing!

Categories: Friends, Vacation Bliss | 3 Comments

Stars and stripes forever

Really, is there a better holiday than Independence Day?  I love the 4th!  Summer heat, pool parties, BBQ’s, friends and fireworks.  This year was no exception, thanks to Jim and Dyana who offered up their pool while they were out of town.  The kids swam non-stop for 4 straight hours…

while the guys manned the grill, leaving me free to catch up with friends I hadn’t spent time with in far too long.

By the time we got home the kids were so water-logged and worn out that they fell into bed and were asleep within minutes.  Awesome!  And we soon found that we can see the local fireworks from our bedroom window, so Carl and I turned out the lights and enjoyed them in our quiet house.

Happy Birthday America!  I love ya!

Categories: Family, Friends, Holiday Hurray | Leave a comment

Now guess who’s back with a brand new track

Well, I’m back.  It’s been quite a whirlwind the last month but it’s been so, so amazing.  The boys finished up school and are already anticipating next year’s teachers and friends.  Crew will be in 2nd grade, Jax starts Kindergarten and Milo will enter preschool.  If I cross my fingers and toes and the stars align, we’ll get morning Kinder and I’ll have two blessed hours twice a week with NO KIDS!  I almost don’t want to think about it for fear of disappointment!

Ready or not, girls camp came and went in a blur.  I will say it was honestly the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, physically (I really do think I walked a marathon’s distance that week) and emotionally (oh, those forms!) but it was one of the most rewarding things for me to participate in.  I feel like I grew leaps and bounds, realized I can do so much more than I give myself credit for and know what I still have yet to perfect (the list is long).  I can honestly say I’d do it all over again, especially with all that I learned through the planning and execution of camp.

But oh the girls!  They were so special and so fun!  I can honestly say I would do it all over again, especially knowing what I know now.  The women that I grew to know and love throughout this past year was rewarding in and of itself.

As soon as camp was over, Carl and I packed up the family and escaped to Utah for two fun filled weeks.  We visited with family, had a mini-getaway to Lake Powell and caught up with old and dear friends.

(More on those two fabulous weeks soon…)

Now we’re back and settling into summer.  We’ve got our summer to do list up and in action and I have a stack of books I’ll be enjoying out on my patio each night.  I love, Love, LOVE summer!

It’s so good to be back home and back to blogging!  I’ve missed you!

Categories: Church Stuff, Family, Friends, Vacation Bliss | 2 Comments

Like a freight train

We joined up with friends tonight for a pre-Memorial Day BBQ. The food was awesome, complete with homemade ice cream cones which were delicious! Afterward the kids hopped the fence down to the bike path behind their house and raced plasma cars til dark.

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Oh my. They were flying! Video coming soon!

Categories: Family, Friends, Holiday Hurray | 1 Comment

Strike!

Autumn, Shannon and I took these hulligans bowling to make the day out of school a little more exciting.  It was a great time, especially because we mostly had the place to ourselves.  Shannon bowled like a ballerina.  My one and only strike was made by turning around backwards and bowling granny style.  And Crew had a serious competitive side that won him the highest score of 99. 

On the way home Milo kept asking through yawns and droopy eyes, “Mom, next time can we go back and roll the balls down the floor and knock over the sticks?  That be sooooo fun.”  It gave me that “Yessssss, I’m a good Mommy!” feeling.  Seriously, Summer.  Get. Here. NOW!

Categories: Family, Friends | 3 Comments

Movie night

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Crew was bummed out that a playdate didn’t fit into the schedule today. But since there is no school tomorrow we invited his friend over and had our very first “late night”. Lots of popcorn and candy and a great flick makes for a very happy crowd and one happy mom. I’m not sure why but this totally makes me crave summer break!

P.S. Tin Tin is a great movie!

Categories: Friends | 1 Comment

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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ImageBut it’s ok, we came prepared!  What can I say, I LOVE the beach.

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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

Wrap it up, ring it in

Well hello there.  It’s been quite a holiday season for us here at home.  Seeing as it’s almost Valentines Day I’d best post how we celebrated the end of 2011!

We piled in the ol’ Navi once again and went to Utah for Christmas to be with family and friends.  The trip was almost canceled when our heater decided to act like a/c full time.  But after tweaking with it we realized that heat was still reaching the back seats just not the driver and front passenger seat.  So Carl and I put on some layers and packed blankets for each of us and made sure the boys were bundled up comfy.  And away we went, far too excited for the trip to let a little thing like -15 degree temperatures slow us down.  And it did drop that low, but only for about 20 minutes in one portion of Utah.  We blasted the heat in the back to compensate for the cold air up front (we had to keep it on in order for the backseat heat to work).  At one point Crew had stripped down to his undies while Carl and I were in beanies and coats.  He kept saying, “I’m sweaty!  Can you turn the air conditioner on?”  Pretty funny!

We arrived at our parents’ homes and spent 10 fun filled days with our kids, family and friends.  Here’s what we have to show for it:

We rode Trax to downtown SLC with Nana, Papa, Britney, Greg, Daxton & Boston.  We stopped in at Deseret Book for a free gingerbread cookie and met up with Jay and Janice, Janica (and soon to be baby), Seth and Warren and Nathan before seeing the lights at Temple Square.  IT.WAS.COLD!!

A quick family photo in front of the temple where it all began on June 6, 2000.

Or at least our best attempt at a picture.  Kids don’t like to hold still and smile when they’re turning into popcycles.

Aw, I just love this guy. (And I love that Carl’s beard grows in red!)

We made one quick walk around the grounds and then hightailed it out of Temple Square and back to the Trax station with minimum frostbite.  How quickly we forget how cold it gets in the wintertime there!  Yeesh!

The kids were the happiest when they realized we were leaving!

Goofing off and thawing out on Trax back home.

{Daxton and Crew}

{Britney and Boston}

{Nana and Jax}

Milo didn’t make it 5 minutes on the tram.  He was out like a light until the next morning.  Yes, I put him in his Pj’s.  Ha!

My parents have been holding a gingerbread house contest on Christmas Eve so we were pumped to be here for it.  There was a lot of trash talk and intimidating texts between me and my siblings leading up to this.  You better believe we came with our A game.  For the record, we made a special call in to Nana before arriving to find out what the rules of the contest were.  Structural support was allowed, we just had to provide our own supplies and bring candy to contribute to the pot.  Here’s what we started out with.

The timer was set for 2 hours.  Ready… Set… Go!  Carl, being experienced in construction (not really) began building the framework for our creation.  Milo sampled the candy to make sure it was up to code.

Brit, Greg and Daxton built a neat little bird feeder.

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Kolby and Dustin recreated a scene from 300.

It was pretty awesome… and I haven’t even seen the movie!

Court and Joe built their dream home, complete with stained glass windows.  Peyton just wanted to know when she could eat the gum bricks.

Ryan and Ashley made a replica of my mom’s mantle clock.  And there’s no cardboard holding that stuff up.  Now that’s skill!

Milo carefully applied the candy, even Crew was impressed at how well he helped out.

And here’s our finished house.  Do you recognize it?  It’s the house from the Disney movie Up.  I love that the husband and wife in the movie are named Carl and Elle.  We modified it a bit.

Everyone voted on who should get the awards my dad had come up with.  We won most colorful.  Crew and Jax were pretty happy about that.  And I must say, I was a little nervous at how Crew would deal with this.  He tends to be overly competitive.  But he laughed, allowed Daxton to help us (even though he was technically the opposition), and cheered everyone else on when awards were handed out.  I love this tradition!

Then we had dinner.  Mmmm ham.

Peyton and the boys opened their pj’s.

And posed for a few pictures.

{Milo, Crew, Peyton, Jax}

And don’t forget the mandatory ninja pose.  It took Peyt a few tries to get this down but she was all set once she put Nana’s slippers on.

Then we read a few Christmas stories and said goodnight to the kids.

This is what they found the next morning!

Santa brought Peyton a new Tricycle and the boys Plasma Cars!

Jax and his new block set.  He LOVES to build.

Milo and his new race car track.  Did you ever have a marble track like this?  It’s awesome!

Crew and his new Spiderwick Chronicles series to read.

Dad and his new game to play with friends “Cidadels”.  Good thing, all our board games are long since trashed from the kids.

And here’s me getting all teary with my new Harry Potter series!!!  I’ve wanted this for so long!

Peyt and her hilarious bounce horse.

All ready for church.  I can’t remember the last time Christmas hit on a Sunday but it was nice to sing the carols (again, I cried.  Sheesh.) and be reminded of why we really celebrate Christmas.

Then we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for Christmas dinner with Car’s family.  It was a really fun filled Merry Christmas!

Over the next several days we did lots of fun things.  Carl’s mom and I took our usual trip to D.I. for thrift shopping.  I didn’t find anything fun this time but I did see this and couldn’t help but laugh.  I guess the craze if finally ending in Happy Valley.

We ate at Rumbi Grill, or “Rumbly Grill” according to Crew.  He still asks when we can go back!  I’ll admit, it was pretty tasty.

{Jax & Crew}

And we decided that Milo can and will sleep anywhere!

We went to Cabellas.

And had a few good laughs!

Another day we visited a dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point.  I’ve never been to a museum like this.  We were all very impressed.

Jax kept telling us he had to use the bathroom but then we’d all get distracted by the next cool exhibit.  Next thing I know, Jax is crying and both his legs are wet from his waist down to his shoes.  Yep, peed his pants.  So we had to leave before seeing everything.  Both Jax and Crew were devastated.  Carl and I felt terrible because we hadn’t paid closer attention to Jax.  But the ticket clerk was understanding and after talking with her manager gave us free passes to come back another day and see all that we missed.  The day was saved!

Carl’s buddy Charles invited us to go up to their property in the mountains and go sledding.  There wasn’t much snow to speak of (which was the case the entire trip) but we still had fun with our new friends.

The kids cooked hot dogs around this fire made from some tubing and an old tire.  Very cool!

Crew and Jax tried their hand at BB guns… and lived to tell about it.  Barely.

Jax made the perfect snow angel.

And Charles took us for a few sledding runs with the snowmobile.  I forget how fun sledding really is!

Paul and Lisa let us use their truck to haul the 4wheeler up the mountain.  Judging from this picture I’d say it was a successful day!  (Thanks Pauly!)

We all cleaned up and made a mad dash back up north to Matt and Deanne’s for a party with all our Utah buddies.  My boys absolutely adore their girls Macy and Peyton.  I must admit, they’re pretty rad.

Poor Jax.  He threw up when we came down from the sledding.  We diagnosed it as car sickness (he get’s motion sick all the time) and had him sleep on the drive to the party.  He ended up sleeping all night and woke up just minutes before the party was over.  Just in time to throw up again.  But even after all that, he was still all smiles.  That’s how much we love these girlies.

Jax was sick the rest of the night so we decided to skip a potential day of snowboarding (there wasn’t any snow to be heard of anyway) and opted to lay low all day.  We watched lots of movies and didn’t leave the house except to buy diapers.  This is what happens when you have several fun filled days without a nap.

Saturday was our last day in Utah so Carl and I split up to maximize our last few hours of fun.  He took the boys back to the dinosaur museum to make up for the pee incident.  This time they were able to dig for fossils and see all the other cool exhibits we’d missed.

I joined Joe, Court and Peyton for a shopping trip to an antiques warehouse I’d heard about called Euro Treasures Antique.  Apparently the story is this:  A man in London was a sort of antiques hoarder and collected all this stuff.  He became ill and sold all of it to the warehouse owners.  There was so much stuff that it took them 3 years to have it all shipped to Utah!  We walked in and oh.my.word.  I’d never seen anything like it.  The upstairs was dedicated to just chairs with a few tables and desks.  Look at it!  An ocean of chairs!  Some had their dates of origin.  I found one that was from 1200 A.D. and it was NOT cheap.

Downstairs there were pianos, old doors, stuffed lions (!!), everything you could think of.  And rows of old stained glass windows that were taken from old cottages.  Some glass cleaner and these would be beautiful.

One wall of the warehouse had been converted into a floor-to-ceiling shelving system for armoires and dressers and the like.  It was nuts.

Peyt was just as curious about things as we were.

There were so many great things to buy but the trouble was getting them back to Utah.  But I couldn’t help myself when I found this little chair for $20.  The antiques dealer said it was 200 years old.  This much was apparent when I brought it home to clean it up and realized it leans to the left.  Alot.  But I don’t mind, I think it just adds to it’s character.  And it reminds me of the fun I had finding it.

Joe took us to a great sandwich shop called Moochies for lunch.  Then we made one last stop to a shop called Home Again.

It’s a consignment and antiques shop with a totally different shopping experience from the last place.  Everything was staged so adorably that you couldn’t help but want everything in the shop.  Court and Joe bought a little table for Peyt’s room.  I chose something small this time, a little vintage water heater for $10.  Perfect for a making a cup of tea (or hot chocolate in my case).

A cord plugs into this socket and the coil inside heats up the water.  Cute, right?

It also happened to be my Grandma B’s birthday so we left our shopping and met the rest of my family at the cemetery to place flowers on her grave.  Jax still randomly says, “I sure do miss Grandma B.”

The next morning Carl packed up the car to the gills (he was a good sport about my chair) and we gave our hugs, kisses and goodbyes to everyone.  California here we come!  But the vacation wasn’t over just yet.  We planned to stop in Pasedina for a Rose Parade camp out with several of our buddies back home.  We found camp around 1am.  The boys had been asleep for several hours so they were awake and excited when we found “camp” on the street.  They snuggled in with their friends under blankets and air mattresses and drifted off to sleep.  But Carl and I had come unprepared.  Rather than trying to sleep on the ground we tried to get comfy in some beach chairs until sunrise.  Let’s just say it was a long night.  If I’d been smart I would have grabbed my phone from my purse before packing it away with everyone things for the night’s safe keeping.  All night I kept thinking I could be watching movies, playing games or web surfing to pass the time.  Oh well.  It felt like a lifetime, but morning did eventually come.  And so did the crowds.

We took down the beds and set up the chairs and mooched off everyone’s snacks.  We sorta forgot that we’d need to feed our kids breakfast and didn’t bring any food.  Ironically, our car was overflowing with travel snacks.  Again, oh well.  We had great friends that came to our rescue until Carl could get us some breakfast burritos.

And once the parade started, all inconveniences and discomforts were forgotten.  We were just a curb away from the floats.  You can imagine how much fun that was!

I’ll admit, as soon as we got back in the car to drive the rest of the way home I was totally exhausted.  And so was Carl.  He gets huge points for doing all the driving while the rest of us did this.

This past year has been crazy, fun, exciting, frustrating, sad, scary and magical.  I love closing out the year with so much family fun.  I’m really looking forward to what this year has in store for our little family.  Look out 2012 ’cause here we come!

Categories: Family, Friends, Holiday Hurray, Vacation Bliss | 4 Comments

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