Biggest trees in the world!

Here in good ol’ California we have the biggest trees in the world. The Calaveras Big Trees State Park boasts the magnificent sequoias. It is about a 2 hour drive from us- so practically in our backyard. Before the kids were really too small to allow for us to visit, but we managed to get to the park this past week. It was a cool 70 degree day- perfect for a small hike/walk with little ones. The park is absolutely beautiful…

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Is it not adorable seeing Husband walking hand in hand with Miss G?! And that shot with the boys in the tree trunk just shows you how massive these trees are.

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It was a great day with the family. (Aside from occasional whining and crying of course. G is deciding whether or not to boycott her naps which makes planning stuff like this difficult.)

Seattle Vacation

Last week, we took a family vacation. It has been almost a year since we took a vacation. (Well, Husband technically had vacation in May when we moved but all of our funds were tied up in house buying and stuff moving.) So for us, it was time to get a vacation again. We eneded up in Seattle. Husband and I both wanted to go there and the budget allowed it so off we went. (Crazy fact for you- it was the same price to fly to Seattle and stay there for 4 days as it would have been to drive down to Anaheim (about 6 hours), stay in the Paradise Pier hotel, and play in Disneyland for 2 days!)

Anyways, we went, we explored, and we had fun just relaxing and reconnecting as a family…

The first day was recovering from the 4am wake up call and then taking a nice walk at the waterfront park that was so wonderfully close to the hotel.

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The next day we walked the city center (isn’t pretty how the cloud/fog covered the needle. It was eerie and pretty at the same time.), took the monorail over to Pike Place Market, and ended the day with a long walk at the same waterfront park. This time walking the half mile down to Olympic Sculpture Park.

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We spent a day with family up at their house in Northern Washington. It was nice to visit and have a relaxing day. Our final day was a trip to the Museum of Flight. This museum is amazing and I wish the kids would have cooperated and let Husband and I read more. IF Husband and I get a couples trip, I might ask to visit this museum again.

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And last up was waiting for our plane at the airport. The kids were getting restless (at their typical bedtime but our plane didn’t leave until 8:30p) so we put on some cartoons on our phones and they crowded around to watch.

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Overall, a very good vacation. But as with most vacations, it was nice to get back and get back to our normal routine.

Vacation…rained out Disney style

We were on vacation last week. As a Christmas gift to my sister and brother-in-law, we flew them out to join us in our visit to Disneyland (it was their first time ever going to Disneyland). Because Husband gets stressed too easily in lines we like the holidaytime at Disneyland, we tend to go midweek in November. This year, it decided to rain. Our first day was pretty good with only an occasional heavy mist-like rain.

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The second day was worse. It started out hopeful with only a predicted 20% chance of rain in the forecast. Well, we are that 20%.

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We made it less than three hours before being so wet we called it quits. We took a break, went out to lunch instead, and relaxed in our trailer. The older kids went back later with Husband to visit Space Mountain and Matterhorn before fireworks above the castle. Despite the rain, all the kids (in-laws and my own) said they had fun. So I call it a good vacation despite being rained out.

Camping hits and misses

Hit: Boys love the trailer. We had a countdown from 8 days to when we would be leaving to go camping.
Miss: Kids are so excited we are camping that bedtime is horrible. G was up to 9 (normal being 6:30/7) and the boys were up to 10:30 (normal being 7:30/8).
Hit: We have wonderful family time. J and E talk and coo to G when she was crying. Husband is getting tons of time with all 3 kids.
Miss:So much family time that results in pushing buttons, throwing more tantrums, and just having very stressful moments.
Hit:We went up to Portland to visit with my in-laws. A day at the zoo allowed for close interaction between kids and grandparents (who they don’t see very often) without too much shyness.
Miss: The extra time to drive up to Portland meant an incredibly long drive back home. Think about 13 hours in the car with all the kids. Husband is driving and I am trying my best to entertain or pacify everyone. My sanity maybe questionable after this trip.
Hit: We were able to gain some wonderful memories and enjoy some great time together.

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whole family on jet boat ride

Camping

Growing up my dad worked extremely hard to provide all he could for us. His career came with long hours and being on call to handle any problems. Because of this, we really didn’t go camping. Too much prep for the possibility of being called into work just didn’t lend itself to many adventures.
So take this fact of my childhood, add in my desire to pee privately, sleep without rocks under my sleeping bag, and to not have greasy-because-I-haven’t-showered hair, I wouldn’t say I like camping. Husband on the other hand does. So our compromise:

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A tent trailer…parked at a place with bathrooms.
The boys love it. J always is asking when we are going next. They both are quite comfortable going in and out. It is also big enough that as the kids grow we will still have plenty of room. We have been twice as a family (and Husband took just the boys one night).
Couple days ago we wanted to escape the heat of the valley, so we took a quick trip over to the beach. It was misty, cool, and a wonderful
break.

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I can’t believe this is coming out of me, but I am actually looking forward to our next camping trip.

Relax- beach style

A few weeks ago we had opportunity to have a short getaway. And this is honestly one of the reasons I love California the most. We are so central to so many climates that we can choose between visiting the snow one week and going to the beach the next. This particular getaway we decided on Monterey.

Monterey holds a special place in my heart because it is one of the first day trips I did with husband back when we were dating. We have gone back a few times since and each time we love it. It is the kind of place we would love to retire at. The beach, the weather, the history of the buildings…oh and the food. The food is so good.

But back to the main point. We were able to do a short getaway. We had a room overlooking the sand dunes with access to beach. Just short of ah-mazing. The boys played in the sand in his own way. E jumped right in walking with Husband, digging away, and picking seaweed up.

  

J on the other hand was cautious but once saw everyone else having fun, jumped in and loved it. He even splashed into the water up to his waist. He didn’t want to leave.

  

Miss G had her first ocean and sand between the toes experience. She dug her toes in and kicked the water.

  

Overall it was an awesome trip. I can’t wait for another getaway like this.

Snow

First I will start out that I don’t really like snow. We live in central California where we can drive to visit snow but I don’t have to deal with it day in and day out. While Husband doesn’t really want to live in the snow, he does make quite a few more trips up to the mountains. He loves going snow boarding. It is good for him too-; it is his way to de-stress so I don’t mind when he goes. Because Husband likes it that much, he is anxious to share his love with the kids. While they are too young yet to go skiing or boarding, we did do a quick trip just to get a first taste.

It was cold but we were able to spend a good hour walking around and playing.  

Poor G's checks and nose got wind burn. That was when we decided that was enough for the day.

Managed family photo with timer- but do you know how hard it is to set a timer and walk on melting snow with baby in arm without falling

J absolutely loved the snow. He was not wanting to get back into the car. (Which made Husband super excited that J might like going skiing with him next year.) E could do without. I think he was a bit too little yet. He could barely move in his snow pants and jacket. The gloves were way,way too big too. He kinda looked like the little kid in “Christmas Story” waddling around in the snow. Overall though it was a nice family day trip.

 

**I will admit that some of these photos were edited in PicMonkey. I wasn’t paid to say so, but I seriously am addicted to it. It is free and it is seriously awesome for those pictures that the lighting was off but is too good of picture to just trash. Try it and you might get addicted too.