A Quick Trip Up North...

A few weeks ago we ventured up to Concord to visit some fam. MAAAAN. There's just something about the bay area, ya know? The weather is perfection! I know southern California is supposed to be where it's at, but the heat waves down here remind me of a certain place where the catci grow rampant and the summers are terrible *cough Arizona cough* I guess I'm in love with the bay area more.

We explored a little area called Walnut Creek the evening we got there, and went to bed relatively early. I say "early" meaning everyone was in bed with their jammies on by 830pm, but I didn't fall asleep until James did about 11:30pm. WHY DO TODDLERS HATE SLEEP WHEN THEY'RE ON VACATION?? Ok ok, I know it's a new place, they're excited, they're not in their routine-but seriously--he didn't fall asleep until 3 hours after his head hit the pillow. Sigh.

So day 2 was a little rough since he didn't sleep much, but it was a great day! We explored Fisherman's Wharf, took them to Pier 39 to see the sea lions, which Henry LOVED.

We also ventured into the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, which was really well done! I was half expecting it to be lame, you know the kind of museums with white out on the descriptions/labels, but it was clean and the displays were top notch! Here's a blurry snap of James "swimming"...

Then we walked over to Ghirardelli square, but it was under construction so we had to settle for the awesome view below in another Ghirardelli shop. Here are some photos that James took near there...

Finally, we ended our day at The Walt Disney Family Museum located in the Presidio...

For 218 years, the Presidio served as an army post for three nations. World and local events, from military campaigns to World Fairs and earthquakes, left their mark. Come enjoy the history and the natural beauty of the Presidio. Explore centuries of architecture. Reflect in a national cemetery. Walk along an historic airfield, through forests or to beaches, and admire spectacular vistas. -NPS Website

This was our second time at the museum, the first time we rushed through in about an hour because we went near closing time. Now, I have to admit something, I am not a one hour museum type person, and I'm sort of a snob when it comes to the displays (see paragraph above re: SF Maritime museum). And I am a "LET'S READ ALL OF THE THINGS TWICE!" type of a museum person. So we were there for a few hours. I gotta love my husband and children for being so patient with me since it was a beautiful cocktail of one of my favorite persons ever AND a fabulous museum! The nerd-O-meter was at a 10, I was on cloud 9, please use any and all metaphors pertaining to my level of Disney geekdom in this situation. Here are some snaps I took with my iPhone because Henry slept in the ergo and I couldn't use my Canon...

There's a diorama of all the attractions (past and present) that have been at Disneyland! 

Walt's fave foods!

He loved to collect miniatures!

Walt Disney receiving one statuette and seven miniature statuettes from Shirley Temple for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs-

I love this! Reminds me of Mitch and his box on his dresser filled with memories and loved treasures.

Henry and I sitting on one of the original Griffith park benches :)


On our last day, we took a mini trip to Muir Woods, so Mitch could have his chance to nerd out. It was sooo beautiful, and the boys had fun too! Mitch did the ocean view hike while my mom and I walked around with the boys. Also, we SCORED the very first parking spot next to the visitor's center which was a total blessing, because NO PARKING ANYWHERE. I had to include that parking spot thing in this post because it was so wonderful we were all high-fiving each other, so that's how you know it made our day!

Post hike gift from mom :)

James took this! 

Shout out to my momma---we had a great trip and really needed it! Thank you for loving us!!

Recent Family Snaps...

So here are some snaps from this past month!

My beautiful mom

My sister playing her guitar, she shared with me that when she was little, 
hearing me play with such passion encouraged her to do the same! 

Joel Copper, the wonder pup!


Us and the Cabazon Dinos!

Dada, go get Henry!

Henry the brave!

Dino 1

Dino 2

The boys doing what they do best---climbing dino feet

Climbing continued...


Cousins celebrating James' birthday, eating cupcakes at 10am!

Father + Son, The Bobby's


These babes are ready for a wedding!


Don't they look so excited?!


Some of us weren't sure where to look, mostly because we were so excited about giraffes being feet away from our faces!

Henry and some tusks :)

I am in love with this kid's hair, but for real.

Okay, I promise I didn't pose him. He said,"Mama, come here! FUNNY! Ahhhh!" PURE GOLD.



He takes his ice cream very seriously. 


Okay okay, there's sort of a grin here. So maybe not that seriously?

Happy birthday my sweet baby James! I am so happy to be your mama!

Fall Fun...

A few weeks ago we hopped in the van and took a tiny trip to Oak Glen/Riley's Farm! This was our 2nd time and the boys really loved it! James especially liked running up and down the pumpkin patch with dad trying to find a good pumpkin, and Henry loved making "moo" sounds back to the cows! My mother in law was able to come with us which was really nice, and the boys really enjoyed hanging out with "MeMaw"!

We went a little late in the season for apples, but we got a few good ones, and we didn't find any GREAT pumpkins, but the boys picked a few small ones which we actually have sitting on our kitchen counter right now. The pumpkins are hangin' in there, but they look a little sad and squishy because James kept throwing them like they were balls, ha!

After Riley's we drove up a little further and MeMaw treated us to lunch at Apple Annie's, which I have to admit---dessert was the BEST, you guys (no photo, it was that delicious). Here are some photos I took from that fun day...


Last week we strapped the boys into their chop shop wagon that Mitch customized and hit up Downtown Brea. We mainly went for cake pops and a cool photo opportunity to pose by a giant pumpkin...

Yes...that is Henry's bottle he threw out.


On Monday we went to the Irvine Regional Park, where we all took a ride on the choo-choo! There was a pumpkin patch, hay maze, jumpers, face painting, all the fun fall festive stuff!


Hope you have some fun fall festivities planned this weekend! 
And I cannot believe Halloween is next Friday! Seriously? Wasn't it just 4th of July? Am I really that old person saying, "Wasn't it just 1955? What do you mean corduroy isn't cool anymore? Since when does TAB soda not exist?", but whatever- I'm embracing my age and pretty much admitting that time goes way too fast these days.

PS-I'm excited to share our family themed costumes with y'all! Stay tuned... 

7 years...

Dear Mitch,

Today is our 7th wedding anniversary! Right now seven years ago we were cutting into our wedding cake and having one of the best days of our lives! Can you believe it???

Wait. I can't believe it myself...7 years went way too fast. S E V E N years!!!

Either way, I would not want to do life with anyone but you. You make me laugh, you encourage me, you push me to be a better everything (in a good way), and you also make lattes for me every once and a while. WIN WIN WIN! 

Although we have had a few rough years thrown in the pile, I still choose you as my darling husband. We know each other the best, which means we know which buttons to push and which ones to definitely NOT push, but there's something beautiful about this because it leaves room for us to have grace for one another. So hard, but SO NECESSARY. I love you because you chose me, I love you because you have a gentle spirit underneath that giant beard, and I love you because you love Jesus more than anyone on this planet.

Thank you for the husband, father, leader, and man that you are.

And I shall end this public letter with this little snippet that only YOU will understand...

"What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary."

 "I'll take it. Then what?"

"Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... am I talking too much?"

Love ya Mitchell. Love ya to the moon and back! 


Seeing God in the Snapshots...

On Monday we took the boys to the park for a few hours in the morning so they could experience Halloweentime! I love that they are seeing Disneyland in new ways each time we visit, but it's such a bittersweet realization that they will never be this age again. Honestly, I look at James and I see a completely different boy today than I did 6 months ago. It's beautiful, yet sad at the same time. I would stare at the baby fat under his chin, but somehow I blinked and the baby fat has almost entirely disappeared. And Henry, wow. A year ago he couldn't even lift his head, and now he is a walking-talking-eating machine! Henry has such a comforting smile, one look and the world fades away and all you see is his toothy grin and warm eyes! I love this life, these boys, the gift that Mitch is, both as a loving husband and patient father to our children. All this to say, I see so much overflowing goodness in these photos I snapped on Monday. Sure, some of them were taken quickly, but as I look at them, really LOOK at them, I see the gentle hand of God on my life and the beauty that is family. I hope you see the same in your life and in those that surround you...