Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 2015 Part 2 - California

We got to California Sunday afternoon and the Tates flew in about an hour later.  We rented a minivan for the drive out so that Craig and Chelsea could go with us.  Monday was spent grilling and swimming, although Tyler missed most of the fun because of his 3 hour nap.  The Haskins came over and we played lots of games, including the mandatory game of Risk (world domination).  Alexa and Chelsea got to share a room and Chelsea said she woke up Monday morning to Alexa singing to herself in bed.  What a diva.

I'm so glad we were able to go out at the same time as the Tates.  It's been too long since I've seen them and it was so fun to meet adorable baby Ellie.
We hit up the outlets on Tuesday and had more pool time.  Wednesday was the big fun day.  We tried to hit Disneyland when it opened, so we were on the road bright and early.  The kids did really well and we left the park to head home around 6:30pm.  We made great use of the rider switch passes to go back and forth between kid watching and riding, and it was really nice to have Emily and Jered to run around with.  The kids loved seeing all of the characters in the parade.  Alexa says her favorite part was seeing the princesses and riding the Rocket Ship ride.  Tyler says his favorite was Dumbo.  My only regret was that we didn't get to take them on Splash Mountain--it was closed for maintenance and then the wait was painfully long.  Oh, and that we didn't walk through the inside of the castle with Alexa.  Next time.
On Thursday we toured San Diego.  We stopped in Vista on the way down to see Craig and Kyle's old stomping grounds.  Then we met up with Emily at Balboa Park to play tag.  Tyler only face-planted into the cobblestone path once.  I love, love, love the architecture at Balboa Park and would be happy to visit every time we come out to California.  It's where Kyle and I took our engagement photos back in the day.
After Balboa Park we hit up Seaport Village and then met up for dinner at the one and only Slater's 50/50.  Their hamburgers are made with half ground beef, half bacon.  A place where dreams come true.
Friday was our beach day.  We were deceived by the clouds and didn't reapply sunscreen much to our later regret.  It was really overcast and windy--I had a hoodie on most of the time--but sadly, most of us were sunburned by the time we left.  Rookie mistake.
That night we went to the San Diego Temple to do family sealings.  We were in the same sealing room that Kyle and I were married in, so it was really neat to relive that experience just a few weeks after our anniversary.  It was also wonderful to go into the beautiful San Diego Celestial Room afterwards as a family.  It reminded me of when I received my endowments in the Nauvoo Temple the night before Ben and Jenny were married.  I still remember walking into the Celestial Room to be greeted by so much family all in white, smiling and hugging each other.  It was like a little piece of heaven.
We hit the road to head home on Saturday, but not before stopping at Rosa's Tortilla Factory on the way out of town.  It was the restaurant that Kyle worked at in high school, so it was fun to see it in person.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 2015 - Time to party

Tyler is our little Einstein.  He has already started writing the beginning of his name on his own a couple of months ago.  I was so surprised when he sat down at the kitchen table and wrote a ‘T’ and ‘Y’ on a piece of paper and pointed excitedly, “Mom!  ‘T’ for Tyler!”  I thought Kyle had been practicing with him, but it turns out he is a great observer of his big sister writing her own name and decided to just do it on his own, much like most of his other accomplishments like walking and climbing the stairs.  He also draws circles and faces (he drew a picture of Kyle in church today!) and is a pro at coloring in the lines.  He's just so cute!  I’m counting on him to pay for our retirement.  
Seriously, look at this kid.  He's adorable.
Also, he is in love with his Grandpa.  It's so nice to have Mom and Dad living out here.  I love that we get to see them so often.
Ok, I'm done.  Thank you for indulging in my Mom brag moment.

May is our fun celebratory month.  We have our anniversary, Kyle’s birthday, Alexa’s birthday, plus the birthdays of many other close friends and family members.  Todd also graduated from the U this month!
For our anniversary, Kyle surprised me with a romantic horseback ride in the mountains of Heber (just outside Park City).  It was the most beautiful ride I’ve ever been on and I loved it.  We rode for about an hour and a half and then came back to a BBQ dinner waiting for us at the stables.  I love that man. 
Alexa’s outdoor swim party was swapped out for an indoor playground and carousel due to the weather dropping 30 degrees and an 80% chance of rain.  She requested ‘A’ pancakes  with sprinkles for everyone for breakfast and had a wonderful day as Queen Elsa the birthday girl.  We played with the chickens and jumped in muddy puddles together.  Sara made some incredible cakes to also celebrate Kyle and Melissa’s birthdays while we were together as a family.
Alexa had her last day of preschool on Friday and she's excited to start Spanish preschool in the Fall. They have a fun talent show and program next week, but we'll be in California so we'll miss it.
Alexa and her teacher, Miss Pamela:

Some other random photos--
Slurpie day at 7-Eleven
I got one of Ben's photos printed on canvas to hang in our living room and I love it.  I was standing next to him when he took this photo.  It's a wonderful daily reminder of him and the beauty he saw in the world.
I had a wonderful opportunity to take a group from work to the Food & Care Coalition in Provo.  Our Chef made some of the food and we were able to serve dinner to many needy families.  It was nice to work alongside employees I don't get to see very often, and it was really great to be able to participate in this service and give back a little that we've been so blessed with.  I love the quote on the wall above the area where the meals are handed out--"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."