Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall break in California!

Well, it was that time of year again.
Alex's breaks from school always result in us going to California.
It's close enough, free lodging, free food, and lots of family time.  That equals a big win for us! :)
This time it was extra family time because the whole fam bam came!
Us and Jack came from Utah and Brittany's gang came up from Arizona.
It made for a very full house and a lot of fun!

We started out our week with a day at the beach!
It.  Was.  Heavenly!
I started out on the nice, warm sand.  It was so soft against my feet and felt great between my toes.
I watched my nephews and niece playing in the water.
It looked so fun, but I knew it was so cold!
I couldn't help it any longer!  I had to get in that water!
So I took the plunge and I am so glad I did!
Me, Britt, Alex, Jack, Isabelle, Jonah, and Hank spent the next hour or so boogie boarding.
I caught the most amazing wave on my last run!
It was the perfect way to end my water time.
I really could not handle the cold anymore so then I grabbed my towel, stuck my feet in the sand, and just listened to the sound of the waves and the children laughing.
The beach really is where I feel the most at ease with life.

Eventually we got hungry so we headed back to the house and then to get ready for family pictures.
So then it was back to the beach for us!
There are a lot of good ones, but here's a few samples:

Chris (BIL), Zak (nephew), Caleb (nephew), Jack (BIL), Violet (niece), Ann (MIL), Dylan (quasi niece), Hank (FIL), Alex, me, Clara (niece), Isabelle (niece), Eli (nephew), Brittany (SIL), Jonah (nephew), Abram (nephew).  That's the whole clan minus Alex's other brother, Wes.  We sure missed him while we were there.
The night was a gorgeous one!

The next day we just hung around Santa Barbara.
Britt, Ann, and I worked out in the morning and got our butts kicked by Ann's trainer.
(Kicked in a good way! :)
Then the whole family cruised downtown and we spent the majority of the day strolling the streets and the pier.
That evening consisted of pool time and getting ready for the big days ahead of us!

That next morning we got up bright and early to head down to Anaheim, CA to start our Disney adventures!!
I have only been to Disney World so I was SOOO excited for Disneyland!
I seriously wish I could have just taped the whole experience.
It really is the happiest place on earth.
And going with nieces and nephews make it even better because then you have an extra excuse to do the things/rides that you would not do/go on if it was just me and some friends. :)
Here are a few highlights:

The Mickey Wheel!
This is also the location of "World of Color" which is a water show at night.
Pretty much puts the Bellagio to shame!
They project images on the water and everything.
I may or may not have teared up a few times...don't judge.
Disney was my life as a child.
Cars Land is amazing!  It seriously feels like you're on Route 66 cruisin' through the cartoon!  And the Cars main ride is to die for!  So much fun!
Tower of Terror is always a must!  I haven't been on it in such a long time so I could not remember when it drops, plus I'm pretty sure it's slightly different than the Disney World one so I was really tripping out...obvs.
Disneyland at Halloween time is so much fun!  There is decor everywhere.
Just been my dream forever to get a picture with this giant pumpkin Mickey!
Ahhhhmazing. :)
Please look at Zac, Alex, and Jack.
They kill me.
No one wanted to watch the parade besides me, Britt, Ann, and little Clara.
Everyone else missed out!
The parade was so stinkin' magical.
I may have gotten teary again...don't judge...again.
Rapunzel is Clara's favorite, but secretly I was just as excited, if not more, when she came around.
One major bummer...NO Jasmine in the parade.  Aladdin was there. :(
We ended off our second day with this crazy dog. :)

Brittany's family stayed at Disney for a 3rd day, but we headed back to Santa Barbara.
We had a nice, relaxing day AND I got to see one of my girls that has already transitioned from New Haven.  She is going to school there so we met up!  It was awesome seeing her!

Brittany's family came back so we could all go to 6 Flags: Magic Mountain the next morning!
There were a lot of great coasters there!
Especially this one coaster we did towards the end of the night called X2!
It literally blew all of our minds.  It was the best coaster I have ever been on...and I'm pretty sure everyone would agree.
I can't even explain just have to go and test it for yourself.

We were all so dang tired at the end of the night!
We slept in a little bit the next morning and then just chilled by the pool until Alex, Jack, and I had to catch our flight back to Utah. :(
I do not like saying all.
I so do love the family I married in to.
I seriously thank my Heavenly Father every day for that side of my family (as well as my own blood family).
I hear stories from friends of their crazy in laws and I am so grateful that is not me.
I miss them all so much when we're not together.

It was such an incredible trip!
Thankfully I have some things to look forward to now:
-Thanksgiving/Alex's in laws are coming up!
-Christmas!!  We're going to South Carolina!!!  I cannot wait!  This is the longest stretch I have ever gone not being home!

Did I mention that Disneyland was magical?!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Rach and Bryce's Wedding!

This past weekend Alex and I hit up Oakland, CA for a wedding!
Our friend, Rachel, had decided to tie the knot at the LDS temple there (which was breathtaking by the way) and of course our EFY group just had to be there to support her!
Kate flew in to UT from GA and she, myself, Alex, Nina, and Nina's bf, Ricky, hit the road!
Ashley met us there and when we pulled in, the group was complete!
Even though we got in at 2 am, we couldn't go to sleep because we were having too much fun being together!
I swear, there is nothing better than being at such a happy event, as a wedding, with people that uplift you, make you laugh, and help you be your best self.
Being bridesmaids with these ladies was the best thing!
 Nina, Ash, Rach, me, Kate.

If there could be anything wrong with this weekend, it was that it went by WAY too fast!
Before I knew it, Ash & Kate were on planes, and the rest of us were on our way back to the Wasatch Front.
 I feel like this picture is so perfect for the 5 of us.
And of course this handsome fella was lookin' mighty fine all weekend. :)

In all seriousness, I am so happy for Rachel.
It is so amazing watching someone you care about enter in to such a covenant as eternal marriage.
Even though I've only been married for a short time, I can already feel the power that comes from the covenant I made with Heavenly Father and Alex.
It takes work.  Oh, it takes work.
But when it's someone you love with all your heart, the work is not a burden.
I only wish the best for Rachel and Bryce.
They are so perfect for each other!
I want nothing more for her than to have the most fulfilling, happy life.

Nina is soon to follow. :)
3 out of 5 are taken care of...
C'mon Ash and Katers, pick 'em good. :)