*summer trip part 3

The last part of our trip we spent down in Orange County.  In case you're wondering, we flew into OC, drove to Tahoe the next day in Ben's parents' minivan [flight went well, drive was AWful], from there drove to Rock Creek and from there back down to OC.  Another great time of hanging out with family and friends, Vera's birthday, lots of beach time, good food [ie. Mexican], etc.  I didn't get a ton of pictures because I kept having to delete to take more!

Matty bought a big kiddie pool for the backyard, it was so much fun!! 

Granny is doing well at 101.5!

We left the girls with Mike and Rosie and had a fun night out to dinner and playing cards at Melissa's place in Long Beach:

We met up with a bunch of friends at San Onofre State Park. Vera borrowed Nate's wetsuit and had so much fun riding the waves in with her daddy!

These two get along so well!

Melissa gave Vera pink and teal hair chalk.. I probably don't have to tell you that it is in her top gifts of all time!  This was when she was just getting started...

I have a wonderful new friend out in MA who I met through my good friend Megan from Point Loma - she's from San Clemente and was home so we all met up one day! It was so much fun and the little ones got along really well.  The picture of us moms turned out terribly :(

Vera and Eden really clicked this time, it was awesome!  Eden is an amazing little girl - Vera was inspired by her to really start swimming and also to get up on a paddle board.

We met up with them again at this amazing little beach in Dana Point - I want to go here every time we are in California!!


Girls went out for corndogs and chowda when we were up in Long Beach...

Met up with Heather in Santa Monica - goodness, I love my friends and am so glad we've remained close for so many years!

Tia came out for a quick visit from Utah.  Oh Tia, we love her so so much.  Seriously, talking to her on the phone or even talking about her I get tears in my eyes. Such a special time that was living next to her in SLC. She's selling her house there and while I'm glad for her, it breaks my heart to think we can't go back and see her there in her house, her yard.

One more post coming!  Who's still watching?


*rock creek 2013

Phase 2 of our trip was up to Rock Creek in the Sierras.  We hadn't been there since I was about 30 weeks pregnant with Edie!  It was a wonderful week filled with solid family time, good food, easy walks along the creek, the girls exploring and experiencing nature and lots of fishing.  I was bummed to not get to hike much like I did last time, but traded that for some good reading : )

Being in the Sierras was so incredibly refreshing to our souls. I had a new overwhelming appreciation for the mountains and their cool dry air.  The drive along 395 is one of the most beautiful places on the the planet - the lines and the horizon, green valleys and jagged peaks - to me it speaks of a skilled and awesome Creator.  So thankful for this time we had with Ben's family.

The boys and Melissa went on an off-roading locals-only fishing adventure.  I was slightly disappointed not to be able to go, tho on the other hand off-roading makes me so nervous!! Always afraid I'll fall off a cliff.

Meanwhile Rosie, Jessie, the girls and I had lunch at Schaat's and browsed antiques in Bishop.

Mosquito Flats:

Melissa, I wish you were in this picture!!

I read The Kitchen House [a good story... not amazing] and started The Shipping News.

before dinner at Convict Lake.  There was a huge fire near Mammoth and it was pretty smoky, but still beautiful.  My parents ate at that restaurant on their way to their honeymoon in '65!

fishing from the shore:

Fishing in the Owen's River Valley. The picture of the daisies in my title bar thing there are from this valley 5 years ago!

 Fishing on the creek. Vera was really into fishing - here she baited, cast and caught a fish on her own!!

We stayed in a little cabin, but Matty and Melissa camped close by. One of my favorite nights was sitting around the campfire here eating BBQ'd trout [again, Melissa, I'm sad you had left :( ]


Drawing with charcoal from the fire.

Edie is in love with Ben and Jessie's dog, Tula. She repeatedly asked us to take a picture of them together. Look how serious her pose is!


*el pelo

I noticed a short chunk of hair on top of Edie's head today.. I said, Eeeedie, did you cut your hair?  "Yeah, I was me looking me pretty." I tried my hardest not to but smiled quickly and then sternly tried to tell her she may not do that.  I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. I bet myself when she was barely walking that she would do this someday. I knew without a doubt early on that Vera never would, but Edie is a different little bird. She doesn't care "how things are done" or what the rules are. She wants to try it out for herself, just how she wants to. Sigh :)


*tahoe 2013

We got back Thursday from a whole month in Nevada/California.  It was, of course, amazing and we left with our hearts full.  On the whole, Vera was a little champ and behaved so well - I had been worried because June was rather... emotional and dramatic around here.  Edie on the other hand was in a downward spiral that started the first night with the time change and the beginnings of sleep deficit. By the end she was throwing daily hysterical/delirious/incoherent tantrums and wouldn't go to bed for us [she would for an aunt, Lola etc..] without one. In between though she was *mostly* a lot of fun and had such a great time with everyone.  Anyway, I just have to throw all that out there so you know what was going on between the idyllic pictures : )  We are trying to get back into a strict bedtime routine - tonight was the first time she went to sleep on her own with no fits: HOORAY PRAISE JESUS.

So anyway, we spent the first week at Tahoe with my family and of course had so much fun.  Here's some pictures:

My mom made lots of pancakes. It takes a lot to feed 21 people!

Vera was especially into crawdad fishing this year!

She even picked them up!! I am embarrassed to admit that even though I've caught many with string and bait, I have never actually touched one....

10 mile hike to Marlett - a little longer than I remembered and probably a little much for me. Thankfully  the girls stayed at the cabin with Ben.

Vera also learned how to play some cards and was so excited to be hanging out with the older kids.

Visit from Dana and her Ellie and Edie:

Edie had tons of fun with the cousins. She has taken the place of the "cute youngest cousin" and thoroughly enjoyed the role.  

Visit from our friend Greta who we met living in Carson:

throwing the stick for Boone. Edie loves animals and talks about Boone a lot.  She can't wait for him to join us here!

out to dinner with George, Gegi and Liz on the last night: