"Bottling up both the sweet and tart of life's most precious moments. "

Monday, July 28, 2008

achin for a vacation......

As I read friend's blog posts and see the highlights of their wonderful summer vacations and get aways I have to admit that the little green monster comes and sits right on my shoulder. For some reason right now I envy (more than ever) those taking a break and heading out of town. I guess you could say I'm achin for a vacation. :)

So while I wait for some time away I have been reminiscing about some wonderful trips we have taken as a family. Last summer we took a memorable 20-day road trip.It was incredible from beginning to end.

For the moment I am not hitting the road anytime soon, which means for the present, taking a trip down memory lane is all the vacation I think I can afford.  

Here are a few pictures and links (as it was a pre-blog event). What fun memories.



First stop beautiful Yosemite. One of the most magnificent places I have seen in my life.


One of our favorite stops was.... Dunsmuir's Railroad Park Resort.

Rebekah still talks about this hotel.









While staying in Black Butte, Oregon with the Nelson side of the family we kept very busy.

One major highlight was the children's museum in Bend, Oregon.





more fun in Oregon....


DSC_1479 DSC_1666

The girls with their cousins


What can compare to the world famous Space Needle.  INCREDIBLE!


We enjoyed several different activities in Seattle Center  especially the Seattle Children's Museum.


What visit to Seattle would be complete without a stroll through Pike Place Market?


We met my cousin and her family at Ivar's for some great seafood!



We were able to spend some time with Josh's uncle and aunt.


On our way home we went coastal and our first stop was Ocean Shores Washington where Rebekah was able to drive the car on the beach!






Flying kites in Seaside Oregon was breathtaking. Probably one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.




It would take me hours to post pictures of every stop we made. Considering that our trip was 20 days and I took pictures numbering in the thousands..... it is difficult, to say the least, to make this a reader's digest version.


We  made some other fun stops at places like.....

Crazy Norwegian's Fish and Chips

Sea Lion Caves

 Tillamook Cheese Factory


Trees of Mystery


Jelly Belly Factory

What fun we had.....  Isn't it incredible how much my girls have changed in the last year? Thanks for joining me on my little vacation-revisited. :)

Can't wait for another fun adventure with my family.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Southern California Gold....

There is a PBS show called California's Gold. The host of this show highlights great spots of California. While I am NO Huell Howser, I wanted to let you in on one of our favorite Southern California day trip destinations. It would be none other than San Diego's Wild Animal Park.

Whether you are headed there with toddlers or you are on a date, it is a great place to go and feel like you are miles away from home. We are repeat "Members" of the zoo which gets us a year's pass to both the Wild Animal Park and the San Diego Zoo. It gives us an excuse to make several great day trips to one of our FAVORITE cities and our family never tires of all the park has to offer. There are trails for hikes, shows, different tours, tram rides, and even water play areas and playgrounds for hours of fun!

We went Sunday and had a FANTASTIC time!


our little navigator....


They have a little discovery center with crafts. games, puzzles, and other activities all focusing on, what else, wild life.


She looks like a girl on a mission, doesn't she?


The fam in front of one of the greatest views in San Diego County.


I don't know if you have noticed, but I like dressing my girls in matching outfits. ;) Hey, they don't seem to mind and it makes keeping track of them a lot easier.




A sitting Giraffe. Did you know they sit? I didn't.:)


A pride of lion cubs. INCREDIBLE!


The tram ride is amazing! It feels like an African Safari!


So if you haven't been to the Wild Animal Park or if it has been a while since your last visit, I highly recommend a trip. It is a great way to spend a day with the family, with the one that you love or maybe just by yourself reflecting on the magnitude of all that God has created!

Party Girls!

After the beach on Saturday, the girls and I went to a birthday party for Rebekah's friend Robert. It was a huge birthday bash and both of the girls had a great time! Here are some photos of the fun.





Summer Attire....

It would seem that over the past several weeks, my girls have been living in their bathing suits. I purchased two for each of them at the beginning of the summer in addition to the one or two they already had. Between beach days, swimming lessons, backyard pool time and pool parties, I think they are in their "summer attire" at least 6 out of 7 days a week.

On Saturday we loaded up a picnic lunch and once again threw on those bathing suits (that are starting to fade, by the way), and headed to the beach. It was overcast and misty but we like to think it kept the crowds down.


Back in his high school and college days, Josh was quite the frequenter of the beach. It would seem that distance, children and the daily responsibilities of a career and family don't allow for him to get there as often as he would like. On Saturday he had the chance to get in the water for  a little bit. While I think he definitely enjoyed himself,  the muscle aches the next day may have indicated how long it has been since his beach glory days. He looked great out in the water and just by looking at him you would never know, he's a little "rusty".



The girls both like the beach, but one definitely likes it more than the other. If your guess is..... Miss Rebekah...... you are right. She was literally rolling in the wet sand and went home with skin more the texture of sandpaper than like that of the Coppertone baby.




We weren't at the beach five minutes and Bekah was already covered head to toe in sand.

Anna has a "cleaner" approach to the beach. Pictured below is a shot of her 5 minutes in the sand. If she wasn't sitting in daddy's lap or being carried she was sitting on the blanket right next to mommy (another girl who isn't so fond of sticky wet sand).  When trying to make her stand on the sand she would curl up her feet and strike a "Matrix" pose, refusing to be flat footed on the ground. It was ok though, Mommy and Anna had fun watching sister and daddy go in the water and make sand angels. :)


And here is Anna watching Daddy catch waves. Notice, wherever Anna goes her blankie is not far behind.

 IMG_1196 It was a fun day at the beach. Having quick access to the Pacific Ocean is not only a great reminder of why we love living in Southern California but also every time we see it we are reminded of the GREATNESS of our creator.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Backyard Relaxation

When we first moved into our house 4 years ago I remember looking out into our backyard and wondering if it would EVER be a place that we would actually enjoy hanging out in. Landscaping is the part of home ownership that just seems so daunting to me. However, four years later I can say that our yard has indeed evolved. While it isn't the English garden I would dream of and in no way is ready to be in" Better Homes and Gardens", it is indeed a great extension of the house. When the walls of our home begin to close in on us it is so nice to be able to head outdoors to the swing set, bikes, covered patio and garden-in-progress.

Here are some pictures of the girls enjoying the summer sun and relaxing pool-side, all in the comfort of our own back yard.












































Swimming Lessons:

The girls have been taking swimming lessons at the new aquatic center near our house. Bekah was in a preschool swim class and Anna and I enjoyed our first "Mommy (Parent) and Me Class" together. I did" mommy and me" with Bekah for two years, so it is DSC_7455fun to continue with Anna.

This past Thursday, actually, marked the last day of swim lessons for the summer but we are contemplating doing swimming during the fall, as our local aquatic center now offers lessons year round.

Being in the pool with Anna has prevented me from my normal habit of taking pictures of the girls every move, so on the last day of lessons Daddy came in as a fill- in for me and I got to snap some shots.   DSC_7448Although he may have felt somewhat like a "fish out of water", I think he did a great job!

Rebekah, especially, LOVES the water and while I think her courage still outweighs her actual skill, I do think she did a great job in her lessons.

Anna loves the water too..... but like everything in Anna's existence...... she loves the water on HER terms. If she doesn't want to do it, she is NOT going to do it! (FYI: she doesn't like floating on her back. )



Rebekah shows NO fear when launching into the water! :)










Anna still likes to jump into Daddy or Mommy's arms; but just like big sis, she shows no hesitation when getting in the water.







Fun summer memories.......