Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Summer Vacation

It's hard to believe, but it had been three years since our last family vacation.


Can you believe that? (I think it had something to do with all of the travel we experienced for Survivor the previous 3-4 years. We were just kind of "spent." Translation = Dawn/mom came home SPENT and just couldn't drum up the enthusiasm to get on another plane, train, or automobile.)

At any rate, my point!

We did it! We broke our "No Summer Vacation" streak and went to California last week.

And I'm so glad we did: it was a BLAST!

We were able to visit family, spend time at the beach, swim, shop, eat way too much, and see a lot of LA attractions (including World-Famous Traffic!).

This vacation reminded me why I love traveling: you get to experience new places AND gain a greater appreciation for your own life/home.

PS: Thanks to our family for hosting us and helping us have a great summer vacation.

Dave-man at Huntington Beach.

Lu boogie-boarding for the first time in her life! She was great, too.

Jr, Zu, Papaya, and our cousin D boogie-boarding at Huntington Beach (on a gorgeous day).

More boogie-boarding.

Zu and Jr heading out for their 5th hour of boogie-boarding. They LOVED it.

More Lu.

Bam let us know Jr fell fast asleep once we left the beach and headed home. (So funny. He was exhausted.)

Bam collected hundreds of shells during low-tide.

It was an awesome day for collecting shells.

Roadtripping through Los Angeles (in a TON of traffic, PS).

Shopping in Venice--after swimming at the beach. (With cousins.)

Playing card games with the cousins (and their dog, Jack).

Lunch in Venice.

Shopping at Olvera Street in LA--across the street from Union Train Station. (We took the yellow line there. Way cool.)

Shopping for jackets on Olvera Street.

Jr gets a luchador mask.

My brother and his son shopping. (Best purchase: A Dodgers shirt in Spanish, "Los Doyers.")

Jr and cousin K shop.

Olvera Street with Jr, K, my dad (L front), my brother (R front), and Dave-man!

Lunch at Olvera Street.

Union Train Station.

Zu at my mom's hair shop.

Papaya getting her hair done by her Aunt (with cousin K) there.

Lu getting her hair done, too!

K and Lu after hair appointments.

K and Papaya after hair.

Funnel cakes at the Street Fair.

Hot Dog Dinner at Gpa's house.

Visiting Dave's brother and his family--we love and miss them a TON!

Dave and his brother lived in the same home as college guys. And they had a ping pong table IN their home back then, so ping-pong is their go-to game whenever they meet up.

Dave challenged our nephew J--he's a quadruplet. For reals!

Playing volleyball (passback) in 100+ degree weather and humidity.

More volleyball.

Bam v. cousin J.

Dave, his brother, and all of the kids. With the dog, Nut-Nut (Nutmeg). Dave thought it looked like a team pic, so Pat (brother) added the trophy. So funny.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Ruh-Roh -- First Fender-Bender

Our car.

Poor Bam!

Yesterday she took her younger sisters shopping and decided to get a Subway sandwich on the way home. 

Only, the parking space was a little too tight for our car (translation -- Bam now knows the turning radius of our Honda Pilot). 

Thankfully, no one was hurt. AND the person who owned the car she hit (parked car) was SO kind when she learned about the fender bender.

SO kind. 

She told Bam not to worry and "that this is probably the first of many."

I don't remember being that understanding when I've been involved in an accident. 

We all learned a lot yesterday. 

The other car.

25, 46, Hut Hut!

Walk down memory lane: Dinner at Outback (thanks to Melissa for the giftcard).
I don't think we had been here in 10 years! Thanks, Melissa!

I feel like I finally understand what the phrase "Time Flies" really means--because I feel like Dave and I got married, we blinked, and six kids later, here we are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.

That is just wild!

And given that we have now been married 25 years, it only follows that I am now 46 years old! 

Holy guacamole.

Papaya made my 46th bday cake. (Ocean theme for Shark Week).

A sweet friend brought me flowers for my bday.

Zu and Lu made snow-cones for my bday dessert. So cool.

Harriet and Zu on our way to buy the special snow-cone ice.

Janae, my BFF, had a lemonade stand at her house and had this CRAZY-BIG cotton candy made for me (pina colada).

This is a family inside joke: Bam got this balloon a month ago. We named it Smiley. We loved it--for a day--until we realized it would drift into certain kiddos' rooms each night. Or slowly trail us down the hall. It was CREEPY.

So imagine my surprise when I went to change the filter in our HVAC system and FOUND SMILEY STUCK TO THE FILTER.

It seriously scared the crap outta me. How in the heck did SMILEY find his way here?
Bam is way into specialty make-up. Her dream-job: make-up artist on a movie set.

Jr. at the 4th of July BBQ our friends had. He is SO good with kids. LOL.

Fireworks across the street from our home.

4th of July night.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

We ❤️ Summer

LuLu's a teenager! (It's official: we now have 5 teenagers at home.)

Summer is usually in FULL-FORCE come June in Utah. 

And we LOVE that.

Summer in Utah means hotter weather (usually 90-100 degrees); swim time; longer days (sundown is usually 9pm); lake time; and lots of fun celebrations . . .

--Father's Day
--Dave and I both have brothers with bdays
--LuLu celebrates a bday
--Dave and I celebrate our wedding anniversary (25 years THIS YEAR!)
--and I celebrate a bday, too

It's a good time.

Thank goodness for the changing seasons--they sure do make you appreciate CHANGE.

Happy Birthday LuLu. We are so glad you are FINALLY a teenager (and we love you so very much).

Lu and her friend J--at her bday celebration.

Lu planned and prepped for her party ALL on her own: water games, sand volleyball, pizza, cake . . . it was great.

Like "Duck, Duck, Goose," only "Drip, Drip, Splash."

Water balloon games.

Teenagers have ZERO mercy when it comes to water balloons.

Lu loves Costco cake.
(Translation: she's had it for breakfast this week.)

ZuZu and Papaya made Lu's family bday cake: It says "Happy Birtday"--oops.

Even though Lu likes cake for breakfast, we did have healthy donuts on her actual bday. (Talk about sugar. Holy cow.)

This is how Dave and I celebrate 25 years of marriage: by making a fort in our backyard and finding some time together to JUST BE. (It was actually awesome, even if it looks hilarious with my tablecloth tethered to our fence.)

Bam and M play in the lake by our home.
(Bam and Papaya are blessed to tend this amazing toddler each week.)

More with McK.

As I look at these photos, I'm reminded of just how TIRING toddlers are! ("More, more, more! Again, again, again!)

Handsome Dave: 25 years and still looking like a baby-face.
(PS: Not our baby, but Dave at a wedding holding his step-sister's bambino.)
(PPS: The big inside joke at our home: Dave loves babies. Like LOVES them.)

My anniversary card from Dave. I love it.