Our California Adventures

We’ve been home from our California adventure for a month, and we’re still talking about the fun we had. We drove straight through, both there and back, so we spent a lot of time in the van. The good news is the boys were amazing road trippers, I couldn’t have asked them to behave better. Happily, Lemmon didn’t puke in the car (she has before and we were dreading 24 hours of dog vomit action). The drive was hot and desert-y, but not a huge trial.

When we got to my sister-in-law (Angel) and brother-in-law’s (Randy) home, we got hit with our first hint of how amazing the weather in the San Diego area is as it was chilly and there was no humidity. Basically, weather heaven.

Angel is a fantastic host and we had so much fun staying with our family. The boys thought they were full-on teenagers when they were hanging out with their cousins (we were there to go to the graduation of A’s daughter and A’s son is 17, so there were a ton of teens around). I loved getting to hang out with my old friend, even if I was disturbing her homework time (the woman never stops going to college, it’s kind of a sickness).

Nicholas and Lemmon On the Road

Nicholas and Lemmon On the Road

 

Tobin engrossed in Naruto

Tobin engrossed in Naruto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beach

The boys had their first experience of the Pacific ocean when our niece took us to the beach. Having been to California as a kid, I remembered how cold the water was, so we were interested to see how the boys would respond (it’s significantly colder than our beach’s water). Tobin didn’t love the water, but didn’t run screaming. Nicholas, on the other hand, loved it and didn’t think it was cold at all.

 

Sand Fight on the Pacific Ocean!

Sand Fight on the Pacific Ocean!

 

 

Disneyland

Of course we were so close to Disneyland we were all super excited to go (except maybe William, who was excited for the boys to go, but could have done without it himself). Thankfully, I had great advice from the wonderful Whit and Chris, so we easily navigated the park and had a relaxing, magic, wonderful day. We got to the park an hour before they opened, so we stopped in at Denny’s to have some breakfast. All was well until T leaned over to hug my arm and spilled his full cup of chocolate milk in my lap. All over my lap. I was sticky and wet for a couple of hours in the park, but I survived :) . Although I’m pretty sure my rear end is on a Tumblr blog somewhere because William saw a girl take a picture while I was bending over. Heh.

We were at the park a few days before N’s 8th birthday, so we went to City Hall and got a birthday button for him. One of my favorite memories (and pictures) of the day is N listening to the phone message from Goofy singing “Happy Birthday” to him. Later in the day when we saw Goofy, N told him, “I got your message!” Tobin also loved the characters and was yelling and waving every time we saw Mickey, Tigger or Pooh. Because they are buddies, and T just knew they wanted to know he was there.

One of the memories I have from Disneyland when I was a kid was the Dole Whip, so I was excited to share that memory with the boys. I wasn’t disappointed in their reactions, Tobin did a happy dance with each bite.

While the boys had fun on every ride, my favorite to see them on was the Tea Cups. They laughed their fool heads off the entire spinning time. It was the best!

We have some friends who live near the park, so Jennifer and her daughter Emily joined us at the end of the afternoon, just in time for the parade and a couple of rides. It was so nice to get to meet her in real life as she’s lived in my computer for almost 10 years now! We ended the 12-hour day with the fireworks, which Nicholas loved and Tobin slept through.

 

Magic Phone Call With Goofy

Magic Phone Call With Goofy

Winnie Gives The Best Hugs

Winnie Gives The Best Hugs

Meeting The Mouse!

Meeting The Mouse!

Teacup-induced Laughter

Teacup-induced Laughter

Nothing better than a parade with friends

Nothing better than a parade with friends

Dole Whip is Magic In A Cup

Dole Whip is Magic In A Cup

 

San Diego Zoo

William’s parents and Nana were also on the trip and they took the boys to the San Diego Zoo where they had a blast. Nicholas absorbed the facts about the animals like he was drinking them in. Tobin liked the monkeys.

Boys mammoth

Graduation

Our niece’s graduation was at the end of our trip and it was surreal. I’ve known this girl since Angel called to tell me she was pregnant with her and I can’t believe she’s already going to college. K is fluent in sign language and was chosen to sign the national anthem at the beginning of the graduation ceremony. I may have gotten a little teary during the song and then a little later when they announced her scholarship to play lacrosse at Wingate College in North Carolina.

K signing the national anthem

K signing the national anthem

 

Storytelling and Relaxing

As much fun as all of the parks and beaches were, the best part of the week in California was listening to Nana tell stories and just relaxing. William and I read. Tobin fell asleep on my lap while I read my own book and I let his stay there until my legs fell asleep. Nicholas played video games until he passed out on the couch. We slept, we snuggled, we opened windows and didn’t sweat. We talked and laughed and listened to our kids cracking up while they played. It was the perfect vacation.

Pink Lemonade, Vanilla Bean & Whopper cupcakes

Pink Lemonade, Vanilla Bean & Whopper cupcakes

T thought he was one of the big boys

T thought he was one of the big boys

Their big cousins love the boys!

Their big cousins love the boys!

Making Two Look Good!

Tobin is two. I just have to write it out, or I won’t believe it. Because how did that happen? Yesterday he was kicking me in the ribs. Oh, wait, he was kicking me in the ribs yesterday. But I meant from *inside* my belly. Anyway, it’s gone really fast. This year was a big one for our little dude: daycare, talking, glasses, a level of orneriness never before seen in our household. I think my favorite thing about him right this second is the stories my friend, Katy, tells me. When Katy drops her son off at daycare and he’s not happy, Tobin will try to comfort him. I love that, even at just two years old, he’s compassionate and empathetic. I also love his face-splitting smile, his joy in playing rough with Daddy and Nicholas, and his amazing laugh. We’re so lucky he’s our boy. I think it’s pretty fitting that he shares a birthday with Texas and Dr. Seuss, with his independent streak and love of the silly. Happy Birthday, Tobin! I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

 

Our Hand-Crafted Wedding

I love weddings where you can see the couple in every touch. Where there isn’t anything that doesn’t have their stamp on it. I also love handmade things and I love Etsy. Having access to talented people all over the world with just a few keystrokes has changed the way I buy artsy fartsy items. I am also lucky to have crafty friends and family!

I knew when we started planning our wedding that I wanted it to be very personal, and I thought that using as many hand-crafted items as possible would be a great way to do it. So, even thought it’s been two years since we got married, I thought I’d share all the ways we made our wedding “ours”. You might as well leave now if you don’t want to see a million (amazing) pictures. If you do want to see all the pictures, thank Travis and Christina with Rebel With A Camera photography for their amazing talent on our wedding day!

The wedding was the Saturday before Easter on my husband’s grandmother’s ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Part of the reason we picked the date was because it’s peak wildflower time. We, however, got married in the middle of a drought and were very happy that we had grass and not just dirt. The reception was in a great community building on the lake and was perfect for our family-centered reception.

Accessories & Flair

Ceremony

Reception

Resource Guide
In case you want to connect with any of the wonderful people who helped make our wedding so great, here is a list:

I hope you all enjoyed the recap of our wedding…well, of all the stuff that made the wedding “ours”. There are so many other things I could tell you about like the music (The Beatles and Queen), my Wedding Fairy (Lauren) who helped keep me sane, the slide show of engagement photos we had running during the reception, the photo of my new brother-in-law’s naked butt in the photo booth; but, this post was just about stuff. I’ll tell you about all the other special things another time. What was your favorite thing about your wedding or your favorite thing about weddings in general?



Out for Blood: Mosquitoes vs. Mommy

It’s mosquito season in south Texas, and the little buggers want my kids. They seem to want Tobin more than Nicholas this year, but Nicholas has had more than his fair share of attacks. In addition to the general itchiness and irritation of the bites, my kids seem to react pretty badly to them (huge bumps, a deep redness that sticks around for weeks, etc.)

Here’s some photographic evidence (with a very fast toddler as the one with the bites, the pictures aren’t very clear). You will see my expert Photoshop skills will make it easier for you to identify the bites (which are a couple weeks old by this point). These are just the few on his face. He’s also covered pretty extensively on his arms and legs.

Exhibit A:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit B:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would love to hear what you do to fight the little bloodsuckers. Keeping my kids inside 24 hours a day doesn’t seem to be very practical. So, how do you combat mosquitoes?

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, Texas and Tobin!

March 1st is the birthday of Dr. Seuss (a.k.a. Theodor Seuss Geisel), Texas (independence from Mexico, creating the Republic of Texas) and my baby, Tobin.

Obviously great things happened on March 1st. Dr. Seuss? Great. Texas? Great. Tobin? The Greatest. Tobin is this amazing little boy who is happy, mischievous, clever, and so smart he scares me sometimes. When we chose his birthday (thank you, repeat c-section), we loved that his birthday would be a countdown, 3-2-10, but we really had no idea just how fitting that would be for our little rocket. The only time Tobin has really been still was in the womb. He’s been on the go for a year now, and we’re all completely in love with him.

Happy birthday to my Honey Bunch! And Dr. Seuss and Texas too.