Monday, April 23, 2012

Mama time...

A couple weeks ago, I got to disappear to the beach with some of my favorite mama friends.  For the third year we rented a little house, made ourselves cozy, and got to the business of nurturing.  Nurturing our friendships, our identities as mamas, our selves. In the way that only midnight talks, gossip mags and plenty of chocolate can do, we healed that part of us that often gets lost in the dishes and laundry and schedules. 

It was simply wonderful. We hiked up a mountain.  We visited the candy store - twice. We walked on the beach. We cuddled the adorable infant that got to come with his mama.  There were bad movies and good advice and fun new shoes.

And another one of those yearly goals has been met!  Thanks, ladies.  So glad to be on this crazy journey with you.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


inspired by amanda.....

This weekend was one of much needed sunshine and rest. 
Shopping trips for the mama alone, soccer in the backyard, and snow tire removal. 
Eggs were dyed, hidden, found, and eaten. 
Ties were sewn - more or less successfully.
Face paint crayons were a big hit.
Boys learned to melt their mama's heart with dandelions by the handful.
Moods were up, down, and all around, but ended up centered on happy.
Carrot cake will do that...

Walking together with the sun on our backs.  
I could get used to this.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mouse Ears for all...

Ahhhhh....the world has stopped spinning for a moment. It's been an unusual couple of weeks around these parts.  Almost two weeks ago, our house was overtaken by the flu.  It started with the oldest child - a "not feeling well" that quickly progressed into needing to come home from school and running a 103 degree fever for over 5 days. It then captured the youngest child, and I followed a few days later.  (We also spread the plague to my mom and dad.) Miserable, achy, high fever, nasty cough, sore throat, whole bunch of yuck. Just in time for Spring Break.

A year and a half ago, we (my parents, sister, brother-in-law, their two kiddos, and our family) began to plan a family trip to Disneyland.  I honestly believe that from the moment my mom first found out she was going to be a grandparent she had been planning this trip.  It was such a special thing to get to share together, and we were excited. So when you have so many people involved and have planned for so long, the flu isn't going to get in the way.

We spent four days in Disneyland and California Adventures, and one day in Legoland. It was a wonderful, exhausting adventure.  We tried to get to the parks as soon as they opened, ride as many rides as the kiddos were up for until lunch or early afternoon, then head back to the hotel for naps.  The evenings were spent either back at the park or hanging out in the hotel rooms, where we could watch the fireworks every night.

In the interest of total honesty, this was a little bit of a strange vacation for our family to take.  We've chosen to not do "licensed characters" in our home, and our boys don't really watch movies (most still feel too scary for our oldest).  So, to go somewhere where it's all about character and movie recognition was a little strange.  While they enjoyed the Peter Pan ride, they know nothing of the story it is based upon.  They really don't recognize most of the princesses. The things that they knew (the main Disney characters that they have seen on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the characters from Toy Story) they really enjoyed, but everything else had no context.

This didn't stop them (or us) from enjoying everything. They were braver than I expected and tried all sorts of rides.  They didn't mind the lines or the crowds like I thought they might. They did a fabulous job not begging for treats or toys at every turn, and "thank yous" were constant.  Really, I was so proud of how well they handled it all. And yes, we did break our characters rule for the souvenirs they were allowed to choose at the end of the week.  Each boy ended up with a Mickey Mouse Christmas ornament, a stuffed animal (Pluto and Perry), and a watch.

The best part of all was being with family.  While the time to just hang out was way too short, watching the cousins play together was worth it all.  They each have a fun connection to each other that was only heightened by riding Dumbo together or playing in the hotel pool. And I got to see my sister.  That was pretty darn great, too.

SO, here's the photo overload!  It's just a few highlights of a great time.