Sunday, April 25, 2010

Things to do, things to do....

When I was young, of course I had all sorts of dreams of what I was going to do with my life. I was going to go to BYU Hawaii or the University of Puget Sound, be a marine biologist, or a veterinarian, or a nurse, but definitely be a wife and a mom. So things didn't go exactly the way I planned. I went to UVSC, studied to be a nurse, changed my major at the last minute to Elementary Ed., fell in love with Ben, became his wife and then became a mom. I'm so thankful for the way things turned out. I have achieved the most important things on that list. I consider myself very lucky.

So a few years ago, when I turned 30, I made a short list of the things I wanted to do before I was 35. It wasn't a long list-just three things. But here I am, just 1 month and 1 year away from 35 and I haven't done any of them. Well, maybe one, but the jury is still out on that. They were to be finished having my children, learn to surf, and learn to scuba dive. So, knowing that I'm only about a year out from that big 3-5, I've decided I need to get busy...or maybe cut myself some slack. The main thing on that list was the children part and I've been pretty busy with that. There's a time and a season for everything and that has always been the greatest thing on my to-do list.

Now, I'm not a real chick flick kind of girl, but there's a few I like and one of my favorites is Steel Magnolias. There's a line in that movie, that I absolutely love. I think it's Dolly Parton's character, Truvy, that says it to Annelle when she's feeling blue. The line is: "There's still good times to be had." I really do love that line and remember it often. I think it's true, no matter what your current circumstance is or how old you are. There is always going to be something good you still haven't gotten to yet. That's what it's all about. So, even though I'm getting up there in age (ha ha, I'm kidding!), I know that my adventures are not over yet.

Lately, as I've seen that looming birthday heading my way, I've thought about the things besides those 3 that I've wanted to accomplish in my life. Ben showed me a girl's blog that had her "bucket list" on it. I guess I've always had my own so called life list in my head but it kind of inspired me. I decided it was about time to write it down. Many things on my list are going to cost a lot of money. I don't really want or expect to ever have a lot of money so it will be a conundrum to how I'm going to finance these adventures. I honestly would be happy if I crossed off a quarter of my list, so maybe I can figure out a way to finance those somehow like a bake sale or something. Anyway, I figured while I was making my to do list, I might as well go big. So here goes:

1. Endure to the end with a smile on my face.
~I know that the reason we are here is to learn what we're supposed to know to advance on to the next life. We are also supposed to have joy in the ride. That's the whole point. I hope I can remember this in my life and really honestly be happy the entire journey.
2. Really feel like I understand charity the way the Savior would have me.
~Is this achievable in this life? I'd like to think it is. I've seen others that I feel truly understand it and I want to be like them. I'm trying so hard to be like Jesus.
3. Walk where Jesus walked.
~ That would be simply amazing and such a deep honor!!
4. Learn to forgive.
~ There are a few people out there that have deeply offended me. Forgiving them has been a struggle for me but I really desire to. I have not learned how to forgive yet, but I know that at least striving to learn that will get me there some day.
5. Learn to live in the now.
~ Bear with my nerdiness for a second. A wise Yoda once said to Luke: "
A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things." While I am not trying to be a Jedi, I realize I need to be happy in the now and not always be looking for the next thing or adventure. My dear Ben reminds me of this often. Thank you Ben.
6. Serve a mission with my hubby.
~ I didn't go on a mission. I considered it but married my sweetheart instead. I don't know if I'd be very good at proselitizing, but I'd love to do a service mission someday somewhere.
7. Do a session at all of the temples in Utah and then move on to all of the others.
~ Ben and I were working on this and doing quite well before we had kids. Now they've added a few more for us to go to. Time to get busy!
8. Create a home with an inviting, joyous, comfortable, loving atmosphere where my kids and their friends will want to be. I would love to have the "cool house". You know, that one.
9. See all of my kids follow their dreams, whatever they may be, and be their biggest cheerleader.

~ I can't wait to see all of the amazing things my amazing kids are going to do!
10. Make a positive difference in at least one person's life.
11. Participate in some kind of Habitat for Humanity/Extreme Home Makeover.

12. Build my dreamhouse-something that looks like it came from the early 1900's but new.
~ Back in my single days I lived in a few old houses (one over 100 years old) and I absolutely love them! I love their distinct architecture, character, and charm. I do not as much like their drafty windows and lack of closet space!
13. Design a backyard that will match my dream house.
~ I love being outside and would love to have a backyard that I could love being in for hours on end.
14. Build a treehouse in my yard.
~One of my biggest goals, as silly as that sounds. I've always, always wanted one.
15. Sleep in said treehouse with my kids.
16. Watch a baby be born (not being the one giving birth).
~ Some may not know this but I wanted to be an OB nurse forever.
I changed my major at the very last moment and became a teacher instead. Working towards this goal, I worked as a CNA forever, sometimes in nursing homes, sometimes at the hospital. I always ached to see a baby born and always missed it by minutes. I'm hoping some day I'll be lucky enough to watch that miracle!
17. Finish all of my kid's baby books.
18. Donate blood.
~I've donated plasma a hundred times but never blood and I've got the good kind! After I'm gone though, I plan to donate whatever is needed to whomever needs it. My cousin is currently on the waiting list for a new heart and we pray every day for him. Blood and organ donors are awesome!
19. Be a foster parent, or maybe even adopt.
~I've decided that if I can't always have a baby that maybe someday I could always foster a baby.
20. Be mortgage and debt-free.
~Wouldn't we all? What freedom that would be!
21. Send my parents on their dream vacation with the entire family.
~ They deserve it! They're the best!
22. Use my degree to teach children.
23. Learn to scuba dive!
24. Learn to surf!
25. Learn to ollie on a skateboard.
~I'm a quad when it comes to skateboarding but it is something I greatly appreciate watching.
26. Live close enough to the ocean that I could go there as often as I'd like.
~ Have I mentioned I'm passionate about the ocean?
27. Swim with dolphins.
~Another of my very greatest dreams.
28. Go whale watching.
29. Camp at the beach.
~ I love camping, I love the beach. Seems like the best camping ever!
30. Share the awesome experience of sleeping in a lighthouse with my kids.
~Ben and I stayed at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse for our 10th anniversary. It was not the nicest of accommodations, but you can't even imagine how peaceful it is to sleep that close to the ocean.
31. Learn to play the ukulele and the guitar.
~Rockband just doesn't count.
32. Learn to play Thank You by Led Zeppelin on the guitar and sing it to my husband. It's our song and all.
~ I can't sing worth anything, so maybe I should cut the singing part out.
33. Learn sign language.
~ I took a class in college, but gave up after a few weeks because I was so dang sleep deprived that I just couldn't get it. I've always regretted that.
34. Learn to kayak.
~ If there is one thing I wish I could do in the Summer Olympics it would be this. So cool!
35. Learn to luge and bobsled.
~ My Winter Olympic goals!
36. Mush with sled dogs.
~ Huskies are my absolute favorite dog. I wish I could own one but I'm not counting on that any time soon.
37. Take a photography class and learn to take better pictures.
~Let's face it, I suck at photography but I love taking pictures. I'm always behind the camera, much to the torture of those around me. Sorry!
38. Learn more about astronomy.
~This is another class I took but I didn't learn a thing because I mostly slept through it. Come on, the class was at 7 am, in a dark room, and I was a newlywed!
39. Learn how to throw a pot.
~ As in pottery. I used to sneak into my friends' pottery class back in high school just to play around. Don't ask me why I never just took the class myself. Dumb.
40. Relearn to play the piano.
~ I played until I was 12 and then quit. I still try every now and then, but I mostly fail.
41. Then learn how to play Ben Fold's The Luckiest. Another one of our songs.
42. See fireflies and catch them.
43. Watch the sunrise on the East coast.
44. Ride a camel or an elephant.
45. Attend some kind of Olympic event.
46. Go horseback riding on the beach.
47. Go jet skiing in the ocean.
48. Go on a helicopter ride.
49. Swim with sharks or go in a shark cage.
~ I know, super crazy, but super fascinating at the same time. My big bro has done both.Wow!
50. Get Lasik on my blasted eyes.
~ I don't think there's a day that goes by that I don't wish for this a thousand times.
51. Get laser treatments on my Scandinavian facial hair. Grrrr....
52. Catch (or even get to see) some fireflies.
53. Take a hot air balloon ride.
54. Drive the PCH from San Diego to Seattle.
~Ben and I drove this from San Diego to San Francisco once. It was absolutely gorgeous!! We forgot to bring food though so we were starving and miserable by the end. Next time, I'm packing a cooler!!
55. Go to Hawaii with my family.
~I went when I was 8 and I don't remember it much. I do remember that it was amazingly beautiful and that the rain was warm. I can't wait to go again.
56. Visit all 50 states.
~ I think I'm at 34.
57. Take my kids to Disneyworld.
~Ben and I have not figured out a deal for this yet. I'm pretty sure there won't be one.
58. Go on a Disney cruise.
~ I would LOVE to do this. What's better than a cruise and Disney combined? I do however, want to wait until my kids are old enough to 1-appreciate it and 2-not jump overboard.
59. Go on a trip via train.
~ There's one that runs from LA to Seattle along the coast. Dreamy!
60. Visit the LDS church sites again.
~ I went when I was 18 months and remember zilch.
61. Go on a lighthouse quest along each coast.
~ I've tried my hardest to see all of the lighthouses in So. Cal but I'd love to see more. I totally dig them.
62. Go on an Alaskan cruise.
63. Visit all of the National Parks.
64. Go to Skywalker Ranch.
~Nerdy, but ah man, it seems so cool there!
65. Drive across the country in a RV.
66. Go to Times Square in NYC at Christmas time and maybe stay for the craziness of New Year's Eve.
67. See Mt. Rushmore.
68. Go to New Orleans.
~I've always wanted to go there. The south has that charm that I just love.
69. Watch a spaces shuttle launch in person.
70. Surprise Ben with an impromptu trip.
71. Like going to a Star Wars convention or something.
~We wouldn't dress up, I promise. Still, we're total nerds, I know.
72. Visit the land of my ancestors-England, Wales, Denmark, Sweden.
73. Go to Ireland and kiss the blarney stone.
74. Visit New Zealand and Australia.
~If I could pick anywhere in the world to visit, it would be there. I'm so jealous of the Tongs for getting to celebrate my last birthday there. Wasn't it rude they didn't take me in their suitcase?
75. Go to Australia Zoo.
~ I absolutely admired Steve Irwin and his efforts to teach about the wonderment of animals!
76. Scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef.
~ So amazing!!
77. Go to Egypt and see the pyramids.
78. Visit the Greek Islands.
~So there's a cruise that goes to the Holy Land, Egypt, and the Greek Isles. I so, so, so want to go!!
79. Go to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and go down the awesome waterslides.
80. Visit South/Central America see the Book of Mormon sites.
81. Go to Argentina with my husband to see his mission sites.
~I wouldn't mind eating some food there too. I love Argentine food!!
82. Visit the Great Wall of China.
83. Visit Auschwitz.
~ I have such a deep respect for those who suffered through the Holocaust.
84. Travel to 6 continents-I have no interest in freezing my hiney off in Antarctica.
85. Hike to the Y.
~I've joked about it enough that I really should do it now.
86. Go skiing or snowboarding.
~ I grew up at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon but I've never been. Go figure.
87. Watch AFI's 100 Best Movies of All Time.
88. Go to the Sundance Film Festival.
89. Grow a successful vegetable garden.
~ I want so badly to have a green thumb but so far, it's more like yellow. Ugh!
90. Live in a big city like San Francisco (my favorite) for awhile.
~ I definitely want to wait until my kids are grown but I'd love to experience the hustle and bustle of city life everyday for awhile. Ben's not as excited about this but he's willing to do it.
91. Own a beach house-or at least a time share at one.
92. Have an enormous fish tank with tropical fish.
~I want to be able to afford to pay someone else to maintain it though.
93. Own a log cabin on a lake.
~I'm a city girl but there's nothing like getting away from it all and relaxing in this beautiful world we are so blessed to have.
94. Stop drinking soda!!
~ By far, my worst habit and the one I've failed repeatedly to quit. Someday I'll make it. I think I can. I think I can.
95. Hear the word pirhana and not shiver.
~ Seriously, I know it's a totally irrational phobia. I'm not near pirhanas ever but the mere thought of them freaks me out and I admit it, even the word freaks me out. My kids love nothing more than to say it over and over just to watch me cringe.
96. Own an endless pool.
~ I love to swim laps but it's just not readily available to me to do every day. I would love to own one of these:
97. Get in really good shape.
~I've spent far too long feeling like the pudgy one. Boo.
98. Learn to throw things out so that I can feel truly organized and then maybe help others get that way too.
~ Sometimes I feel that I'm super organized but then I realize that I really have too much stuff to ever really be that way. Pack rat and super organized just don't go together well. I'm working on it.
99. Go back to school for the sole intent of taking classes to learn about really cool stuff.
~ When I was in both high school and college I took science classes for fun-Zoology, Human Biology, Genetics, etc. Who does that? Since I already have a degree, I'd love to just go have some fun. I guess that'd be some expensive fun though, right?
100. Become just a smidgen like my personal heroes.
~ I don't have a ton of those society heroes. I am lucky enough to actually know my heroes and even to be married to my biggest hero. If you think you might be one of my heroes, you're probably right. Aren't I lucky to have such great people to look up to? Quite possibly the luckiest.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Birthday Fit For A Jedi Master

**Disclaimer: This is a super long post with a ton of pictures!**

A year ago today, we were at Disneyland to celebrate Nick's 5th birthday(remember the birthday deal?). It was such an awesome day and Nick had an amazing time, especially since he totally got to get trained as a Jedi at the Jedi Training Academy. He even fought Darth Vader. What a great birthday that was for him.So this was his year for a birthday party and he has been planning it since the second he stepped off of the Jedi Training stage a year ago. Since he's an all-knowing and fully-trained Jedi padawan now, he had to share his knowledge with all of his friends, right? So, for the last year, he's been talking about this big party he had in mind where all of his friends would be trained just like he was. Big party, indeed. He invited so many friends that it was a little crazy! That kid has a lot of friends!! Of course, Ben, had to design the invites. I think they turned out great!!
As many might know, Ben and I are giant Star Wars nerds. Okay, so not super duper go-to-conventions-dressed-up kind, but we do have a lot of SW stuff and well, knowledge. Planning this party was so much fun and really easy!! Since we knew what kind of party Nick wanted a year ago, we've also had plenty of time to get ready. Of course, making sure our plan of this party and Nick's plan coincided took some time. Somehow that crazy kid got it in his mind that we were going to get an X-wing somewhere. Okay, kid, we're not that good!
When the day of the party came, Nick was so excited! He totally got into Jedi mode and every picture I took of him he was posed! What a funny kid!We decided to have the party at the church since a ton of kids would be coming. Good thing because there were many!!One thing we did get right was to fulfill Nick's total excitement for an obstacle course. My kids love obstacle courses! They make them all of the time and Nick was insistent that we have one as part of the Jedi training. So, we threw one together and after all the kids got to the party, this was the first thing we did. Thank goodness for our new freezer because we were able to use the box for the cave in Empire. The kids all loved it! They just kept going through the obstacle course over and over and over.
Then we moved onto lightsaber training. We had made lightsabers out of pool noodles and duct tape and every kid got one. This was madness! Jedi Master Ben did such a good job trying to keep those kids from whopping each other, but of course they still smashed each other like crazy. At least they were soft so no real damage was done. Ben taught them a few moves and then we threw balloons out and they had to use their skills to keep them up in the air.

After that, the kids had to search for Princess Leia in the balloons by popping them. Most of them had stormtroopers in them, but they were a few Leias. I think the kids loved this because it's always fun to get to pop balloons. It did get pretty loud though!!

Then, as I got the cake and ice cream ready, the kids did some Carbonite freeze dancing. I didn't get to see much but I heard it was pretty darn funny.
Okay, so now's where I have to be a little proud of myself. I made the coolest cake I have ever made. I am not a very good cake designer but I just can't bring myself to pay a bunch of money for a cake so I do my best attempt to make my kids a homemade cake. I usually fail miserably but they always think it's really cool so that's all that counts. Well, this time, I thought it was pretty cool. After a failed attempt at creating a Death star cake out of two pyrex bowls that caved in, I had the brilliant idea to turn it into a Sarlacc pit! Nick was so excited about this! We just happen to have the toys that worked and minus Boba Fett, we had a pretty good Sarlacc pit scene. I think it turned out pretty awesome and Nick was thrilled!!Of course, I always just have the party goers eat cupcakes because it is soooo much easier. I made some lightsabers out of the cupcakes and the kids were excited to get those, along with some Yoda Soda to drink.

After the cake we did a pinata, a Death Star one at that. I thought this would be super hard with so many kids but it worked well. We had the kids use their noodle lightsabers and then at the end, Ben whacked it while they used their force pushes to make it break. They were all so serious about forcing it. I wish I would've taken a picture of the intensity on their faces. It was great!!

Then, as the party was wrapping up, we unwrapped presents. Lots of kids equal lots of presents. I almost asked people not to give presents because the reason we have parties is just for the memory and not the presents. Nick got so spoiled!! He was so excited to get so many cool things. The best part was that he got like 5 of the same Lego sets. If Nick has two passions, it's Star Wars and Legos, so his friends hit it spot-on. Thanks friends!!!It was such a fun party and Nick loved every minute of having all of his tons of friends there to celebrate with him! Thanks to Grandma Cammi, Kendall, the Hoens, and the Tongs for crowd-control & help cleaning up. We couldn't have done it without you!!
For his real birthday (today) we started out with Nick's favorite breakfast, blueberry Pancake puffs. Nick was totally bummed about the idea of having to go to school on his birthday. Who can blame in? Birthdays should be a "day off" (Nick's word for Saturdays) for everyone! But, I still made him go. The bummer was that Skylar was not feeling so hot (so we missed our breakfast club with Nick's birthday buddy) and she got to stay home, which the birthday boy thought was totally unfair. I made it up for him by taking his favorite treat, ice cream sandwiches, to share with his class at the end.
We usually go out to a "resturnaut" on our kiddo's birthday but Nick decided that he would like to go see How to Train Your Dragon in 3-D so we did that instead. I'm pretty sure it would have been cheaper to go out to eat! Holy moley it's expensive to take a family of 6 to the movies, especially a 3-D one! But the movie was really good and we had a fun time. We told Nick he could pick where we could eat, but it couldn't be a sit-down restaurant. So, of course, he chose McDonald's because usually we would never, ever go there. What is the power that McDonald's has on kids? Oh well, it was his choice so we went and gagged down our food...and the boy was happy.
We headed home to eat ice cream and dig into the Sarlacc pit cake, which had been frozen since the party. Nick was stoked he actually got to eat the pit. We then opened presents from the family, as if he needed any more. He was super excited to get a microscope so he can begin doing some "research", some action figures, and of course, more Legos.

I'm so glad my little Nicky had such a great birthday. It's been kind of a difficult year for him working through all of his little kinks and trying so hard to be brave through it all. That kid deserves so much happiness for all the happiness he shares. He's such a sweet kid and always has his cute little smile that melts my heart. A hug from that kid can really make your day. I can't believe he's already a big kid. Can't they just stay little? I love you my sweet Nicky Duncan!!

Little Aaron

At the risk of looking like a complete idiot, I'll admit it. We just happened to have a fake baby at Disneyland, but there's an explanation. So, we're all moms, right? We all know the value of a stroller. It is so useful!!! It doesn't hold just a baby, but a whole slew of things! We all kind of panicked when we realized that no kids also meant no stroller. So...even though our husbands thought we were crazy (and maybe we are), we took an umbrella stroller on our trip. It came in very handy as we were carrying in our lunches, water, jackets, etc., etc. We got a few strange looks and some questions, but upon explanation, people, especially moms, told us we were pretty darn smart for saving our backs from lugging our junk around. So, maybe we just looked a little crazy with said stroller full of backpacks and minus baby. And maybe...since someone else referred to it as our fake baby, I took it a little too far and named it after the fake baby on Lost, Aaron (Claire: "It was all I had!"). But, come on, when we told Pluto about little Aaron, he was the one that insisted on giving it a bottle. Now who's the crazy one!?

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Ladies' Disneyland Trip

So I love Disneyland. Love it!! I've worked a deal with Ben that we get to go there every time our kids turn 5 to celebrate their birthday. This makes him happy because we don't have to go too often. This makes me happy because I always know it's not way too long until we can go again. This deal has worked great so far. Don't get me wrong, Ben doesn't hate Disneyland. He just doesn't love it like me and going with kids is not completely relaxing, as fun as it is. But, back to me loving Disneyland. I would honestly go as often as possible. My sister has a season pass and lives in Ogden. I don't think she's at all crazy and I'm even kind of jealous. But a deal's a deal and so every other yearish, we get to go to Disneyland. We're still a year out until Kade's birthday so a D-land trip seemed so far away. Except an exception came up....
My girls, Adrianne and Sara, and I got to talking a few years ago about how much we love Disneyland and how our supportive husbands just like Disneyland and how much fun it would be to go, just us girls, to that happy place. We talked about it for a year or so and I really honestly did not think it would pan out into actually happening. Awhile back we came to the realization that there might be a window where none of us was pregnant or nursing and that we'd be free to go. We all ran it by our super awesome husbands (who all had been on their own "man trips") and the dream became reality. We finally had an all girls trip to Disneyland!!!So we took off on a Wednesday around noon and headed straight down. We stopped twice-really just twice-once for a potty and once for gas and dinner! We were down there in like 9 hours. It was amazing! When we go with kids I think we stop about 5 times, at least, and every stop takes forever. It was so breezy. We were able to get down there quickly, pick up our tickets, and check into our motel, and get snoozing before too late.
The next morning was our first day at D-land. We went on our early pass which meant getting to D-land at 6:30 am. It was kind of crazy because we hadn't slept that much so we were all a little sleep happy all day long. We breezed through the parks (D-land & Cali Adventure). Not having to juggle kids, naps, potty breaks, etc., etc. was so easy!! We went on so many rides in just one day alone. It was awesome! My parents happened to be there at the same time so I got to see them for a bit at the Aladdin show which was fun. We had such a great day even though we were so pooped at the end of it. I'm sure we laughed a gagillion times-and it was those huge full body laughs-to the point that you're crying-laughs that are so good for you. It was great!!
The next day we slept in a bit and then headed to Cali Adventure when it opened. It was a good thing we had gotten in so much the first day because it was crowded!! There was a Cheerleading competition going on and there were cheerleaders everywhere! We were able to wrap most of the rides and start on seconds for everything. Two things that we got to see that haven't been at Disneyland forever were Captain E-O and the Main St. Electrical parade. It was super fun to see both. I mean, Captain E-O is just so cheesy that it's awesome! Also, I had forgotten how much I loved the parade, even if the music gets annoying after a half an hour. I'm glad we were able to see it because it is on it's way to Disneyworld in a few weeks and my kids are stoked that I filmed it for them to see too. That night, we headed back early to the hotel so we could sit in the hot tub. Again, we had a ton of laughing. In fact so much, that someone actually asked "What was that?" to my laugh. Kind of embarrassing....
**And well, here's were the pictures end. I was smart enough to get the first two days off my camera and put them on my laptop. The last day at Disneyland and some pics from our morning at the beach are now lost somewhere in Cali. Yup, I lost my camera. Bummer! I seriously don't know how because I know I had it when I got in the car after the beach and then we just drove home. But, needless to say, it's gone. The good thing is that we were all using our cameras to get shots of everything and we were planning on swapping them so I'll still get them from Adrianne and Sara (maybe I'll post more later) but since I'm impatient at posting this, just use your imagination for the rest!!**

The last day at Disneyland was super crowded! Joining the cheerleaders were a bunch of choir groups and it was a madhouse. We spent some time getting souvenirs for our kids so they would forgive us for heading to D-land without them. We were able to go on rides for the third or more times and left feeling like we had seen everything that we wanted to see and do. We had such a great time and it was sad to have to leave!!
The next day we packed up and headed to the beach for awhile. I think it was Huntington but we were being guided by Adrianne's OC surfer hubby, Spencer, via cell phone so I wasn't paying too much attention to where we were. We walked around for awhile and just soaked in the sun. It was like 81 degrees that day and just absolutely beautiful!! Have I mentioned that I just love, love, love the beach-even way more than Disneyland!?! Every time I'm there I dream of the day that I will live close enough to go there on a regular basis. It doesn't even need to be in So. Cal. I just want to live near the ocean. I don't know how to even describe my love for the beach, but it just feels like home to me. Some day, some day.
So it was hard to leave Cali and I always feel a little depressed about the whole thing but I had to head back. I couldn't convince Ben to pack up the kids and move down there and since I missed them all like crazy, I drove us home. It was bittersweet. We had such a great time!! I feel so lucky to have such good friends that I can feel totally comfortable and laugh so hard with. I totally lost my voice from laughing so much that weekend. We had the most fantastic time and we are definitely going to make this a tradition!!

P.S. I have to totally publicly thank and gush over my super awesome amazing husband who totally sacrificed for me to go on this. The weekend I went was a less than mellow one for him and yet he was happy to let me go enjoy some time with my girls. He had three birthday parties and a baby shower to take our kiddos to, along with just the craziness of our every day lives. Then on top of that, he had finals and grades to get done for his classes that he teaches. I am seriously the luckiest to have that man!! Thank you Ben!!!! You're the best!! Are you prepared for next year? You best be! Ha ha ha.