Thursday, July 28, 2011

Big Sur

I can't resist posting two more favorites from our Big Sur trip, this time with one of my new photoshop actions applied. :)
This boy discovered a piece of rope and kept himself entertained (with supervision, of course), for a solid ten minutes. (A very long time in toddler terms!)

Ah, these two melt my heart. Best buds.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Return of the Big Red Tent

We recently enjoyed a fantastic camping trip about three hours south, in Big Sur. Our friends the Adairs reserved a beautiful group site and invited half the ward—and cooked for all of us! They were a flawless team, making cooking for seven little families look like just another day at the campground. AMAZING!

Trenton enjoyed lots of time with his BFF, Colton. They spent an entire evening either running from (imaginary) tigers or climbing this huge rock.

T actually asked me to go get the camera after submitting it first thing in the morning.

Roasted marshmallows for breakfast—why not??

After packing up Saturday morning, we drove just a few miles to Pfieffer Beach. These two cuties spent plenty of time screaming "RUN!" and sprinting from the waves.

I wish this beach was a little closer than three hours because it was gorgeous AND kid friendly. :) The still but clear water behind the boys in the above picture was perfect for them to play in. Not too deep, warmer than the ocean, and no crashing waves. As you can tell, Chase is really into smiling for the camera these days. Ha.

And sometimes T surprises me. :)

Even without preparing dinner or breakfast (thanks again, Nate and Annie!), camping is still unavoidably a lot of work. Ryan and I decided we're okay with a once-a-year camping trip for our family... At least for now. Although if all my friends are going (like they did this time), I could definitely be persuaded to up that number!

Last year's camping trip can be seen here and here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Great Big Hugs

I recently read a blog in which the writer said she wanted her home to feel like a great big hug to her husband and her children when they enter. Tonight, halfway into my 10pm cleaning, I remembered that image and felt warm with the knowledge that tonight my home will feel like a great big hug to my husband when he comes home (well after I'm asleep).

Yesterday, as I was hurriedly throwing food at hungry (admittedly demanding) children—assembling quesadillas too quickly to clean up after myself—I sighed at the mess surrounding me and the yelps of my children in my ears. And then I stubbed my toe. Hard. A little defeated, I sank to the floor, and Trenton, always sensitive to my moods, put down his quesadilla and said, "Mom, maybe you need a snuggle."

The wife/mother job is hard; there's no denying that. But another part of me thrives on it.

Monday, July 18, 2011


The design bug strikes again! Bear with me as I share another small home-improvement project...

This burlap bulletin board from Ballard Designs caught my eye, but rather than pay $79 dollars for it, I decided to make an even bigger one for less money. Yay! I covered a very basic bulletin board with linen (technically, a cheaper linen look-alike) using a staple gun and pinned brass nailheads along the perimeter. Could that have been any easier? I'm looking pinning up family photos, inspirational quotes, our family motto, etc.

A lovely addition to my mini-office area, if I do say so myself. I've got at least one more project in the works... :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On the Runway

We spent another lovely evening at the San Carlos airstrip. I love that place. It's peaceful to watch the small planes come and go. And the fact that our boys are riveted for 30 minutes makes it that much more peaceful. :)

We park and enter through the West Valley Flying club, for any of you locals who might like to try it. They are always very welcoming, and today we saw more than 30 planes take off or land.

As we walked in and saw the parked planes, I waited for Chase's first little high-pitched "Ah!" accompanied by a pointing finger. I didn't have to wait more than five seconds. And the little ah-s continued the entire time, with the sighting of each new plane. I cherish that sound.

Did you know my dad owned and flew a small plane when my family lived in Colorado? He sold it right before I was born and used the money to buy the house I grew up in. At least, that's what I've thought since I was a kid. (Am I right, Mom?)

Anyway, this was one Sunday afternoon well spent.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Love Homemaking

Our home just got a bit more personal! I took advantage of a 60% off sale and ordered two fantastic photos on canvas.

Credit goes to my dear friend Angelica for taking this photo. I love how it looks on the canvas! And now when residents of our complex come to my door, they'll see this beauty in my dining area and hopefully sense how important family is to us.

And this. Oh I love this photo. A huge thanks to my fabulous sister-in-law for capturing this image of T at the Clark County Fair in Ryan's hometown! This print is vibrant and joyful, perfectly suited to decorate my boys' room.

By the way, a constant desire to improve one's home is a serious hazard of staying home full time. I plot, I scheme, I mark my favorite items on etsy—and then I try to be reasonable and reign it in. :) Nonetheless, I think these canvases were well worth the 60 bucks I spent on them!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


We spent Friday night at a hotel in San Rafael (about a half an hour north of San Francisco) just for fun. Ryan is traveling more this year... At least hotel points kind of, sort of make up for it! :) We spent three hours in and around the pool Friday evening. Considering we have two busy toddlers who can't yet swim, it was still surprisingly relaxing. We even ordered a pina colada poolside. I love nights like those!

You can imagine how much they loved that fountain. (And no hotel personnel shooed them away!)

Chase clearly was not into the picture taking thing, and I feel kind of dumb posting this one, but it gives the best picture of where we spent our fun night.

This guy was so excited about his floaties! (Not that they made him fearless, by any means, but still excited)

Our Neighbor Gladys

This is our former neighbor, Gladys, who moved to an assisted living facility several months ago. We miss seeing her walk the halls with her walker, and we miss stopping by her condo to visit anytime we wanted to! Now we visit her about once a month in Palo Alto. I wish our boys were old enough to see what it means to her when we visit. You can see it in her eyes when we leave, even if she isn't the most expressive woman in the world. :) We love you, Gladys!