Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Week in Paradise

This post should have been posted 6 months ago. But, I couldn't get any of the pictures to upload to my blog for some reason and it's been driving me nuts. So nuts that I basically stopped blogging here. But I got it to work now so we are back in business!!

Last August when Josh mentioned that he had a conference that he needed to attend in Southern California at the end of February, it took me less than 2 seconds to announce that the whole family would be coming along! The thing about Josh's job is that he can't really take time off during the school year for vacation...but this was FOR his job AND it was during the awful month of February (cold!), so we were thrilled to come along!

We started the trip by heading to Las Vegas on Friday night and then on to San Diego Saturday. We remembered that San Diego was paradise, I just don't think we remembered QUITE how paradise like it is. Plus, it was really, really fun to see friends there. We love that place!

We were only in San Diego for 2 and a half days (and Josh was only there for 1 day before he had to head to his conference), but we packed them SO full of fun it was amazing! On Monday, the day that we did the most fun things, Dal announced that it was the best day of his life! (That changed later in the week...)

Here are some of the fun things we did in San Diego. (Most of these pictures are off my phone so the quality is a little lacking.)

We went out to dinner with some of our very best San Diego friends! Here I am with my really good friends Karen and Tala:

Tala always loved Dallen! He doesn't remember her but he still let her snuggle him!

We went to our very favorite spot in San Diego, La Jolla Cove and explored the tide pools and played on the beach. We could have stayed here forever. Love that place!

We found this really great crab shell. It was as big as my hand:

We went to the Mormon Battalion visitor's center-another of our very favorite places:

We met more friends at a park after school and then went and got ice cream. This is Jack with some of his old best friends Nithilan and Andrew:

And here's Adam enjoying his ice cream:

And we met my cousins and went to Balboa park. Love that place and love my cousins! Here's the boys in front of a fountain:

And we (and by we I mean they) went swimming at the hotel pool:

Here's what I did while they swam:

I should mention that almost all of this was done without Josh because he was off at his conference. We also met another group of friends at a park and ate out a bunch, went to church in our old ward, checked out some of our old favorite parks. In short, in the 72 hours or so we really packed it in in San Diego.

Then we drove up to meet daddy in Ventura, where his conference was. He took a day off so we could go to Disneyland! This is when Dal's best day ever had some competition!

Here they are on the tram-so excited! 

Here are the boys ready for the Toy Story ride: (I guess that was actually on Friday in California Adventure)

Each of the boys got to build their own light saber. This one is fierce:

Adam was very serious about his driving on Autopia: (sorry, these are just cell phone pics-so some got a little blurry)

The merry go round is a huge hit with all of them!

 We also spent a day on the beach in Ventura. Nathan found these rocks and made a rainbow. So cool!

Adam was so tired at this point that he was pretty grumpy. The other boys would have played for hours!

Then, we spent one more day at Disney, this time in California Adventure.

Cars Land had long waits-like reeeeaaaally long-so to entertain ourselves we had a grumpy face contest:

But we did love Cars Land:

And the Merry Go Round:

It was such a fun vacation and such a perfect time to go to California! Just writing about it makes me want to do it again!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fun Times, Family & Friends

Last week we took our annual family summer trip-this year to Jackson Hole, Wyoming area-and this year we took friends with us! It was perfect. Lots of fun-hiking, eating, playing games, relaxing, and other great activities.

We headed up to Victor, ID (which is about 25 minutes outside of Jackson) on Thursday. On our way we stopped in Lava Hot Springs to swim in the big waterpark there and then stopped at Pizza Pie Cafe in Pocatello, so we didn't get into our condo until late that night.

We stayed in Idaho for about 5 days.

Friday we hiked around Jenny Lake. It's really beautiful. And big. Seven miles didn't seem like that much when we started out. It was. We reached a point when we realized that the kids weren't going to make it all the way, so we sent the women and Jonah-our friends 12 year old-ahead to get the cars and come back for everyone. It was a long hike and we were exhausted when it was done, but it was still a great experience.

Here we are at the waterfall that we hiked to early on in the journey:

See if you can guess one of the reasons we fit so well with these friends:

That's a lot of boys. No girls anywhere to be seen. (Well other than us moms of course.)

Most of the pictures from this trip are from that hike.

More of the boys (guess the moms should get in the shot sometime):

Here's some pictures of our picnic lunch pre-hike:

During the hike. Someone's a weirdo... and someone's grumpy I guess:

After hiking Friday we went to dinner at a fun sports bar in Jackson. After we finished eating we were surprised when the TVs on the wall got really loud all of a sudden and the food network came on and it was featuring that very restaurant! (It was called Sidewinders Grill.) There was a big party, the owner was there and everyone was cheering as we all watched Food Network feature this restaurant. It was a lot of fun to be caught in the middle of that. One of the highlights of the trip really.

On Saturday we rode the alpine slide but I didn't get any pictures and we went to a local candy store.

Sunday we just drove through Teton National Park and Yellowstone a little. Such a pretty area. And we saw moose and bison.

Monday we went swimming at the Grand Targhee resort in Driggs. That was fun. The pool is just steps away from a ski lift. It was an unusual setting for a swimming pool-which made it even more fun.

That night we went to the Bar J Wranglers show-a Western show with a chuck wagon dinner before it and the lots of cowboy singing. The kids loved it...until they fell asleep. Here's just a few pictures from before the show:

Here's our friends the Thurmans: (dang-someone took a nice picture of them!)

We didn't get a good picture of us at that point because we had grumpy kids who were being disciplined.

Tuesday we drove home. In the middle of all of this fun we had movie nights and game nights and lots of treats and laughing and fun-both from the kids and the adults. So much fun!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kindergarten Grad

I think it's a little funny how kids "graduate" all the time now, not just at the end of high school or college. So here's hoping that these two little best friends still feel the same about each other at high school graduation as they did at the end of kindergarten graduation:

(Dal and his best friend Logan.)

Dallen's teacher did a very cute little graduation ceremony at the end of the school year for his class:

I helped in his class a lot this year so I love to see all those cute little people. Dal's other best friend, Carson, is sitting to the left of him in this picture.

Here's the big guy getting his diploma:

And throwing his cap at the end of the ceremony:

This kid's a ham! He had the best experience in Kindergarten. His teacher, Mrs. Brown, was fantastic and he had a great group of friends in his class. He learned to read really well and so far has spent a lot of the summer buried in a book. Love it!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Day I Thought I Would Die

There are a number of things that, had you asked me in early November if I would ever do in my life, I would have said no. Wear skinny jeans? Nope. Earrings? Nada-the holes have closed. Put on a pair of trendy boots? Who are you kidding? Run a half marathon? You've got to be kidding me!

I don't know what happened?! By mid January I had done ALL OF THOSE THINGS. It's like something possessed me. Weird.

The weirdest though was definitely running the half. Before November I'd never run more than 4 miles at one time in my whole life. And I had only done that once (and it was a year before). Typically I ran 2-3 miles several times a week and felt good about life. (I should say though that just a short year and a half ago I swore I would never be a runner, so even the running thing is a little weird.)

Then one Saturday morning I went out for a run with a few of my friends. When they announced that they were running 4 I said-that's great! I'll run my 3 and see you at the finish line. But when I hit the 3 mile mark I felt fine so I decided to go a little farther until I had run 4 and a quarter. And you know what? It felt GOOD!

Same thing happened at 5 miles. I started to think maybe I liked running a little farther. Then they wanted me to do 7 miles. I did. That was the day after I had a stomach bug, so it didn't go well and I wanted to die. But somehow they convinced me to keep going.

Anyway, I ended up training up to 9.5 miles and then bowed out of any further training because of a foot injury that I didn't want to exacerbate.

Over Martin Luther King weekend we headed down to St. George and I did it. I ran a half marathon. My first and last. Seriously. That was HARD! I was cruising along feeling GREAT up until about mile 9 or 10 and then I hit a WALL. This course was very hilly and we had trained on a track (ie. flat). It was just hard.

But I did it and I feel great about it.

I ran the whole thing with this lady. We got each other through and truthfully, she's the reason I did it. (Why am I friends with her?!) There's a sweet deal in it for me though. She's now not allowed to ever move away from the town we live in. Which means I will have a good rest of my life. Which was worth 2 and a half hours of pain. (I look a little like a goon but hey-I just ran 13.1 miles!)

 Here are the other half marathon runners that I went down with:

And the whole group that went down. (Three smart ones didn't run.)

And can I just say that I LOVE these ladies and I am so glad to be friends with them. They are neat people and we had a ton of fun. It was 65 that day so after the race we hot tubbed, ate, laid in the sunshine, talked, played games and just had a blast. I am so happy to have found such great friends so soon after moving here.