Monday, September 26, 2011

Terrific Tuesday: Vacation Edition

Our second to last day in San Jose was packed with fun. It started off with breakfast with friends. After breakfast we headed to one our favorite parks. This park was within walking distances of where we lived. We often walked to the park after dinner so the kids could play. We had Eliana's 1st birthday party there. We have many happy memories there- and the kids were exited to go back.

After the park, we went to Los Gatos to meet with up with some friends at the fountain. We had lunch and the kids splashed in the water. Simple things like this are things that I miss the most.

The kids aren't the only ones who like to play in thefountain- I do too!
I love chasing them around- I just try to stay somewhat dry!

Reagan, Maddy, and Eliana

Next, we hit the road for Watsonville. We were thrilled to find out that Gizdich was still picking strawberries. I convinced Luke that I had to take some home with us. We arrived and the fields were practically empty. But the strawberry bushes were full of huge, red, juicy berries. They were so good! In a half an hour, we picked 10lbs of strawberries. Luke looked at me like I was nuts and I know was silently wondering how we would get all of them home...

Yep! The strawberries were delicious!

The strawberry fields of Watsonville... 

Now how are we getting to get these home!?!?

Next stop was Capitola! Capitola is a little town south of Santa Cruz, right on the beach. It has a cute little downtown with shops and restaurants. It will always hold a special place in my heart because it was where Luke and I had our first date... Anyways, we grabbed pizza at Pizza My Heart, and walked down to the beach to eat. A cool breeze was coming off the ocean and it was a beautiful start to our evening...

Our final thing for the day was the Santa Cruz Boardwalk: Take Two. We met our Boardwalk friends (Brian, Marny, Maddy, and Reagan). It was basically a repeat of the last week. Lots of rides. Time for the adults to talk. Fair food (cotton candy, corn dogs, soda, ice cream). You know, healthy stuff. I thought that Silas might enjoy going on the sky ride from one end of the park to the other. When I suggested it, he was excited. And so were all of the other kids- and me! But Luke, Brian, and Marny weren't particualarly thrilled. Luke took one for the team and went. Luke rode with Reagan and Silas. I rode with Maddy and Eliana. Maddy was screaming at the top of her lungs at Luke- just calling him name- for no particular reason. Half way through the ride she looked at me and said, "I'm so funny!" It was so innocent and cute; it cracked me up.

Maddy and Reagan on the airplanes!

Silas driving the Pepsi truck

One of the rides that is the kid's favorite is the race car ride. The cars ride around an oval shaped track, and the cars whip around the end of the track and the kids go sliding in their seats. Their expressions always make us laugh!

Eating ice cream at 10PM before heading home! 

When we go to the Boardwalk, we always intend to leave at a reasonable time. And that never happens. We are lucky to leave by 10PM- and then we will have an hour drive home. This night was no different. We quit the rides at 10PM and then went to ice cream. Who sugars up their kids before bed? We do! Because that is what vacation is about!

Goodbye Boardwalk! Can't wait to come back again!

Our time "Back Home" in San Jose

When we left Redding, we drove back to San Jose, which is where we spent the rest of our time. I failed in the picture taking area, and don't have photos of much of what we did. But let me say, we had a fun time! Here is a list of some of the fun things we did, but I have no pictures to prove it!

I attended a bridal shower for a friend, Cassie, and was able to see Heather and Maeve, two other girls from my days of working in the youth group at LGCC.

I had lunch with my former co-worker and dear friend, Anne. She is like another grandma to the kids- and we all had fun seeing her.

I had breakfast with some friends from church, Hillary and Kaitlyn, and Kaitlyn's new baby, Logan. Levi and Logan are just a few weeks apart. It was a fun breakfast, but a little crazy with so many kids! (I'll be honest, the babies were perfect. It was more Eliana and Silas- why would they want to sit and eat breakfast when they can run around in a restaurant?!?).

We had lots of fun with our friends, Brandon and Sarah, who we stayed with. We were up many nights talking until the wee hours of the morning. I think once it was 4AM. Yep, we were all tired the next day.

Luke had a day to go down the coast and take pictures with Brandon.

We had dinner with my former boss and great friend, Diane, and her husband, Brian. It was a double date at Santana Row- and a perfect evening of food, ice cream, coffee, catching up, and laughing. 

We ate at In-N-Out 3 times! Yes, it was wonderful. Our second time was in Fairfield, on the way to Redding, and Silas had his first hamburger ever! Memorable. :)

We had more CCC's at the Great Bear then I can count. We shopped at Trader Joe's a couple of times. We ate at Willow Street, one of our favorite restaurants (and a place I worked for many years). We shopped. Luke had Phil's Coffee. We had Sprinkles cupcakes again. We went to our favorite parks. We had a picnic at Vasona with friends and road the train and carousel. We spent time hanging out in Los Gatos. We went to the fountain to play. We visited friends and former co-workers at our old church. We were able to attend the service and worship at our old church- and see many friends and familiar faces. We had Manley's Donuts- more then once! We went and drove through our old apartment complex and tried to explain to Silas why we couldn't go in our old apartment. We spent evenings with friends. We played at the Children's Museum. We picked strawberries at our favorite farm in Watsonville. We went to our favorite grocery store with "the little carts" and got sugar cookies. The kids played with Mr. Mark and Mrs. Patty- friends of ours and surrogate grandparents for the kids. We ate at Pizza My Heart- and got t-shirts. We went to La Villa in Willow Glen and picked up dozens of raviolis to freeze and bring home to Colorado. We went to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk- again!

We did so much on our trip and came home needing a vacation to recover from our vacation. But it was SO. MUCH. FUN. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. Because even though we were in California for 13 days, we still didn't get to do all we wanted do and see all the people we wanted to see.

The next few posts will be filled with the pictures we did take of our adventures!


Luke snapped some pictures of the kids the day we left. The sun was high in the sky and it was stinking hot out! Trying to get 5 kids to look at the camera and smile is nearly impossible. Our kids sure love their cousins- we wish we could see them more often!

NorCal: Redding

Disclaimer: I am so behind on blogging right now! And now that I am blogging about our vacation over a month later, I am forgetting details. The rest of these vacation posts will be heavy on the pictures. My vacation blogging will be done in the next day or so. Sorry they aren't super exciting to read, but I am blogging about it capture the memories for us. :)

After we spent one day in San Jose, we hit the road and drove to Redding to visit family. Most of Luke's family lives in that area. His sister, Janelle, and her family came to Redding too- so we were able to see almost everyone. 

We had a great time visiting. We stayed my in-laws house, up in the mountains. Much fun was had- four wheeling, hanging out with cousins, a campfire with s'mores, and of course, lots of eating! We spent time in Redding visiting grandparents and swimming.

Grandpa reading with Silas and Eliana.

Riding the 4 wheeler! 

Our niece, Maggie, who is 4 years old
getting ready to ride the 4 wheeler.
She is hardcore. :)

Eliana swimming.
Cousin Zech swimming.

One day while we were there, we went to Brandy Creek Lake to go swimming. This is a placed that Luke's grandma used to them swimming when they were kids, so it was fun to go back to a place with memories for him.- We had a great time! I love swimming in lakes- and we thought the kids might enjoy it since the waves were a little overwhelming when we were at the ocean.

Eliana- 2 years old

Maggie- 4 years old

Silas- 4.5 years old

Jadon- almost 6 years old

All of the kids with grandma and grandpa!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Santa Cruz Boardwalk: Take One

One of our favorite things to do in the summer during our last year in California was go to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Every Monday and Tuesday night during the summer, all rides are $1. Sodas, hot dogs, and cotton candy are $1 too. Warning: the hot dog tastes like $1- not good. On the other hand, cotton candy?!? Delicious. I always get a bag (or two).

Our Santa Cruz Boardwalk pals are some of our best friends, Brian and Marny, and their two girls, Madison and Reagan (also known as Lala). (Side story: Silas and Reagan are the same age- and best friends. When Reagan was little, she couldn't say "Silas"- so she called him "Lala." Silas evidentally thought, that was what they called each other- so they both call each other "Lala"- and I think it's adorable.) Brian and Marny were high school friends of Luke's- and friends of mine since Luke and I started dating. They are like family- and their girls are like nieces to us.

We had one day in San Jose before we went to Redding to see Luke's family. So we went to Santa Cruz! We met Marny and the girls downtown, and when they kids saw each other, they ran to each other. They hadn't seen each other in over 8 months- and yet it was like no time had passed. They reconnected immediately. We met Brian and grabbed dinner before heading to the Boardwalk.

Our evening at the Boardwalk was great. The kids had a blast going on ride after ride. And the adults had a great time talking and catching up.

Maddy and Levi at dinner

Brian and Marny 

Silas on the Whale ride...

Maddy and Eliana on the Dragons... Maddy
was Eliana's ride buddy for the night.

Reagan and Silas on the Helicopters

SoCal- Part 3

We left Carlsbad late Sunday morning. We decided to stop in Beverly Hills for lunch and cupcakes. And it's always my hope when we go to Beverly Hills that I will see someone famous. (Stupid, I know).

We parked our car and as we were walking down the stairs to the street, we passed a couple. I knew immediately she was someone I had seen. We passed them and I turned around and mouthed to Luke, "She's famous!!" I knew I had seen her in something and I was thinking her name was Amy. Thanks to the data package on Luke's phone, I was able to do a quick search on the internet. And it turned out to be Amy Smart- who I recognized from "Scrubs" and "Rat Race." She was with a man who had a hat on and sunglasses- so we didn't recognize him... As it turns out though, it was her fiancee, Carter Oosterhouse. Enough for celebrity talk...

So most restaurants in Beverly Hills are a little over our price range- and not appropriate for 3 small children. So we grabbed a few slices of pizza at a little pizza place and headed to the real reason we stopped in Beverly Hills. Sprinkles.

Our Beverly Hills destination: Sprinkles!

So many choices!

Top Row: Marshmallow Chocolate and Milk Chocolate
Bottom Row: Two Dark Chocolates

Silas devouring his cupcake...

Enjoying my dark chocolate cupcake...
Poor Levi, someday he will eat yummy food!

Miss Messy Face

And, she's done! 

After our cupcakes, we got back on the road (after a quick trip to Starbuck's for Luke). Our trip from Carlsbad to San Jose should have taken about 8 hours (without any stops). It took us 12.5 hours. We hit some traffic. Besides stopping for lunch and dinner, we stopped two times at Starbuck's, once to feed Levi, once for gas, and once for a bathroom break. That's a total of 7 stops. Yep, it was one long day!

SoCal- Part 2

We celebrated my niece Madison's birthday while we were visited. She turned 2 years old on July 22nd. I really wish we lived closer to my brothers, sister and their families. I wish my kids had the opportunity to grow up with their cousins... So it was special to celebrate Madison's birthday while we were there. There was cake and party bags for the kids- it was nearly a perfect day!

The birthday girl- all smiles!

Michael and Madison

Eliana sporting some of the loot from
the party bag. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

So much to blog about...

I am so behind on blogging! I like to do things in chronological order, so I need to finish up the recap of our trip to California. Since we returned from California (almost a month ago now!), much has happened. Here is a little update about the last month:

~A great friend from California, Allyson, came to visit us. We had a great time with her! We went up into the mountains, to Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, plus some of our favorite places to eat. (Chick-fil-a two times!)

~I got a job! I am working 10 hours a week at Silas' preschool doing administrative assistant stuff, much of which can be done from home.

~My grandmother died and we took a trip to Kentucky for her funeral. I will blog more about that later. My sister wrote a beautiful blog about my grandmother, who we called Nannie. You can read it here.

~Silas started preschool. Well, sort of. The first day was an open house with parents. His first official day is tomorrow. I completely failed as a parent and remembered a few things that needed to be done for tomorrow which involved Silas helping. Let's just say he was up way too late tonight.

~I worked out for the first time in 6 weeks today. I went in naively optimistic. I figured I would do an hour on the elliptical like I always do. Well after about 1 minute of doing the elliptical, I realized that maybe 30 minutes was a better goal for today. About 1.5 minutes later (NO JOKE!) I had the worst side ache of my life- and I had only been on the machine for a total of 2.5 minutes! I decided that maybe 15 minutes was a more realistic goal. I quit after 8 minutes. True Story. 6 weeks ago I was doing the elliptical for 60-70 minutes a few times a week. Lesson learned: Don't take long breaks from working out.

My kids make me a laugh every single day. They say the funniest things! One of the funny things that has come out of Silas' mouth lately is about hangers. Only he calls hangers, "hookers." Which is totally logical, right? :) I was recently shopping with Silas, and he saw some hangers and said, "Mom, those are some nice hookers. I think we need some new hookers!" I cracked up! I told Luke about it later that night, and Luke said that Silas had said the same thing recently when they were at Home Depot. And if you are wondering, we have not corrected him yet. :)

I will hopefully be catching up on the blog soon- and finishing the recap of summer- because it's almost over!