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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Anniversary Get Away

Last week Tim and celebrated our eight year wedding anniversary, you read right, that is 8 YEARS of wedded bliss.  Well, it may not have been complete bliss for the full eight years, but as Tim says, we made it past the sever year slump and it should be smooth sailing from here to eternity.  As we have talked about our lives together, we realized that in the time we have been married, we have experienced a lot.  We have shared some amazing experiences, but have also dealt with a lot of tough things along the way...but mostly I'm grateful that we have done it all together.  This year to celebrate we were able to arrange a few days in Southern California where we planned to hang out on the beach and enjoy the sunshine.  The weather didn't exactly cooperate with our plans, but we still had a great time.

Our Thursday morning alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. and we were at the airport before 5:00 a.m.  It all felt a little insane at the time but we were in California before 8:00 a.m. which gave us plenty of time to play.  We picked up our rental car and headed straight to Manhattan Beach to go for a run.  It was cloudy and cool, but perfect for a run.  We love watching all the surfers, people playing volleyball, and just taking advantage of the sights and sounds and of course, the lower elevation.

The seagull was huge and looking for a handout.
Some of our favorite sights...

We hung out for awhile on the pier where I learned that the Manhattan Beach pier is the oldest standing concrete pier on the West Coast, built in 1920.  After our history lesson, we changed and decided to drive up the coast to Newport and Balboa beaches.  We started off tacos from Sanchos and then hunted for a parking place at Newport Beach so that we could rent bikes.  I had been wanting to spend time in this area and we had the best afternoon exploring on our cruisers.  

I'm not sure why Balboa Island has been so high on my list of places to visit, but everything about it was fantastic...the ferry, the food, and of course, Ruby Avenue. 

This little Catholic church is sandwiched in between ice cream shops and souvenir stands and is still in regular use.  I was disappointed that it was closed so we did our best to peek inside the gate.

I didn't know  about Balboa Bars, but I was definitely glad that I tried one.
Tim tried the frozen banana and was equally a fan.


The bikes were soooo much fun!


Luke wanted me to use this filter, he said it was so cool.

Back in Newport we saw a lot of people taking pictures in front of this statute so I had to try to find out the story behind it.  After we snapped Tim's picture, we looked up the story and were sad to read about Ben Carslon,  a year veteran lifeguard who drowned while trying to save a swimmer in 2014. The statute is an amazing tribute to such a selfless act.

Somehow the afternoon turned into a tour of all of the best places to eat.  My friend Megan sent me with a list of her favorites and we didn't want to miss out on anything. 

Friday morning especially cloudy and cool so we decided to go to a movie and hope the weather would improve.  After the movie and some shopping, we picked up lunch at Trader Joes and went back to Manhattan Beach with high hopes for a sunny afternoon.  We ate, read and napped before the wind picked up and finally drove us off the beach because it was so cold.  Apparently, we were not meant to get any sun on this trip, but just being near the ocean was therapeutic enough.

Fish seemed appropriate for dinner and we were not disappointed by Blue Salt Fish Company.  Our dinners were great and I'm still dreaming about the ceviche. 

Saturday morning we had time for one last run before packing up and heading to the airport. Honestly, I was a little sad to head home...Tim and I had the best time together and I wasn't sure that I was ready to go back to responsibilities and realities.  But, we did miss Luke and Ruby so that made it much easier to pack up and leave not so sunny California. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day Fun

We started celebrating Father's day on Saturday with Tim's family and continued the fun through Sunday.  I know some people complain that Father's Day and Mother's Day are too commercial and just a reason to spend money, but I love having time set apart to make a big deal over individuals who are so important.  The kids are convinced that the next celebration should be Kid's Day...I'm sure they are already planning their gifts and the party.

Tim's parents invited the family to Cherry Hill to spend time together and celebrate Father's Day.  His dad always makes such a big deal over everyone when they arrive and makes everyone feel so welcome.  You get a hug going and coming and he will do anything possible to accommodate and make sure everyone has a good time.  It was a great start to the weekend and I think the adults and kids all had a great time.  It was fun to visit with everyone and of course, the water was the highlight for the kids.  Luke and Ruby loved the dragon slide best - they even convinced me to go down by promising it would be "awesome".

Sunday morning we had big plans to celebrate our Daddy with a big breakfast....but first I had to get everyone to wake up.  After a long day swimming on Saturday, the kids were so so tired.  Luke was up first and was so excited to run and find his DaDa to tell him Happy Father's Day.  Ruby and Brycen were not too far behind.  Breakfast was Tim's request - scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, and roll up pancakes with fruit and cream.  For Mother's Day Tim made our breakfast extra special by using my china and stemware.  Sunday morning we went the opposite direction and ate on paper plates.  Tim thought it was all pretty perfect since he got to spend the morning with his people. 

Brycen's brought a bag of Tim's favorites, including Peanut M&Ms and the babies chose fishing poles.  Somehow they ended up with their own poles and have been planning their first fishing trip ever since.  Luke has promised to share the fish he catches with me since I didn't get a pole. It is fairly typical of the type of dad Tim is that he would receive, and be excited about a present that benefits his kids more than him.  He is definitely the fun parent and never misses a chance to tell each of his kids, big and small, how amazing each is and how much he loves them.  

Sunday afternoon we 
Sunday afternoon we made our way down to Santaquin to finish the fun.  Granted, we have dinner together most Sundays, but this one was special because of the Father's Day label.  

For the past few years I have convinced all of the grandkids to take a picture with grandpa.  It actually doesn't take a lot of talking because they all adore him.  I really have been blessed with an amazing father.  He is smart and resourceful and can fix practically anything.  My dad is reserved and doesn't need to be the life of the party, but he is extremely interesting so people just like to be around him.  Growing up we often thought he was the meanest dad ever as he tried to instill his work ethic, but now I realize that it is one of the best gifts he ever gave us.  So it turns out that me and the kids have got some pretty great dads in our lives who definitely deserve the celebrations.