Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Quick Summary of our Summer of Fun (Part One)!

 Summertime is here and the livin' is definitely easy!

As soon as the school year was over we hightailed it out of the heat and drove to San Diego to see Dad and relax on the coast.  We spent most of our first week at the beach.

Thanks to warm water this summer, Presley enjoyed playing and boarding in the ocean.

Aunt Hayley and Jensen came to San Diego for a few days and we couldn't have been happier to see them both.


We had a fantastic time getting the whole family together on multiple occasions.  It's crazy to see how quickly everyone is growing up.

Especially this dude...

He is such a boy; dirt, mud, trucks, guns and any kind of ball that can be kicked or thrown top the list of his favorite things.

Pa and Nixon both love having a buddy to play ball with in the backyard.

When we weren't at the beach we spent most of our time in the backyard swimming!!!

It was fun watching both Nixon and Presley as their comfort and swimming skills progressed over the course of a month in the pool.  Presley went from relying on a floatie to swimming like a mermaid, and Nixon went from complete and total fear of water to using a floatie and swimming through the pool with complete confidence

Presley was thrilled when she discovered how much fun a diving board can be:

On the days we needed a break from the water we would go to Sea World!

Presley and Nixon LOVED spending time in Elmo's World,

but the Sky Ride is still their absolute favorite!

Now that Macie and I are adrenaline junkies all we want to do is ride the roller coasters.

Sometimes we enjoy the ride but not the aftermath...

On multiple afternoons  Dad would join us at Sea World for some evening fun.  Mom would take Presley and Nixon home to bed and Dad, Macie, and I would "Light Up the Night." Decked out in Glow paint and polish we enjoyed rides, show, attractions, and dancing!

It was fantastic having the family together on a regular basis and having the ability to do fun things when we found time.  From last minute movie outings,

to Trolley rides to Sea Port Village, we had fun experiences together.

One month into our summer vacation and it's been pretty amazing.  Mom promises that the next one will be filled with even more fun experiences.  Check back soon to see...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Countdown to Summer

The last few weeks of the school year were dragging on and it seemed like summer would never arrive.  After a long weekend at a soccer tournament we returned home to the best surprise ever; the Ketcham family had come for a quick visit!  Macie and I were SO thrilled to see them and Mom was eternally grateful that they went out of their way make time for us (our annual trip to attend VBS in Arizona was cancelled this year since school extended into June and we were devastated that we weren't going to be able to spend time with the boys).  Like usual we managed to squeeze in all sorts of fun in a two day period of time.

 Despite the weather (high 90's) both our families drove to Red Rock for some exploring.

Presley and Nixon were so excited to be along for the journey (we usually leave them at home).

Dean, Graham, Macie, and I blazed the trails.

The terrain was rocky, but Presley and Nixon were troopers.

Towards the end of the hike Nixon's little legs grew tired and Mom carried him the remainder of the way.

We love the Ketcham family and we love that they get Mom outside her comfort zone- skipping naps and bringing the little kids along for a hike is not in Mom's wheelhouse.

Later that night we had movie night while our parents all went out for a night on the town.  After eating dinner downtown they went down to Freemont St. for some Vegas style fun!

Judging by the pictures, it looks like they had a fun time.

Despite a short, but we were so grateful they traveled all that way to spend some time with our family.

The rest of the school year went by surprisingly quick.  I had the opportunity to travel to Universal Studios in Los Angeles with my GATE class at school and Dad came along as a chaperone!  We loaded a bus at 4am and began the long drive to CA.  Movies and snacks helped the time go by until all my friends "woke up".

We played all sorts of games and Dad was enthralled by the constant conversations going on around him.

After a long 5 hour drive we finally arrived and couldn't have been more excited.

Our class got a special back lot tour and went behind the scenes where we learned interesting facts about Universal Studios.  Mom sent me with my own camera and I made sure to document everything!

It was awesome seeing all the movie props.

When the tour was over we were able to make our way around the park.

The most exciting part of the day was going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!! 

After riding some rides we walked through Hogsmeade and enjoyed some butter beer and snacks.  Everything was right out of the movie.  Olivanders was AMAZING, and Dad let me buy a wand for myself, one for Macie, and one for Cari.  It was so fun picking out each wand.

My trip to Universal Studios was fantastic and I was so grateful that I got to spend the day with my Dad.  He made a special trip even more amazing.

On the weekend Macie had a dance recital and really got into character for her hip hop number...

Mom is hoping that attitude ends when the recital is over.

Since the weather was still tolerable in early June we made sure to spend lots of time playing outdoors on the weekends.

Our last week of school was busy and filled with parties, projects, etc.  Each morning Mom made sure to catch a few pictures before we made our way to school. 

Macie's class had a Luau mid week to celebrate the commencement of second grade and she was thrilled that she was able to dress up in full Hawaiian garb.

I spent all of my evenings that week working on my final school project.   I made a diorama of a covered wagon that included a campfire, a tent, and a bench.  I designed all of them with random household items and Mom was really impressed with my creativity.

On the last day of school Mom made sure we were up and ready early with plenty of time to take pictures.  Interestingly enough, Nixon seemed to be the most excited for the day ahead.

Presley's class was celebrating their last day of Preschool with a pajama party and after some careful consideration she chose her Angry Bird pajamas to wear to school.

At school Presley and her friends couldn't wait to get their party started!

When the door flew open at pickup Presley ran out with a big smile on her face- she had an awesome day!

Nixon threw his arms around her and gave her a giant hug.  He loves her so much!

Macie and I were melancholy when Mom picked us up at school that afternoon.  Despite being thrilled to be out of school for the summer we were sad to say goodbye to our teachers and friends.

Before leaving for our Summer in California we spent two days enjoying Las Vegas.  We went to our favorite park to run around with some friends,

and while Mom was talking to another parent Presley snuck into her purse and put on her lipstick. None of us could believe what a fantastic job she did...

At home that night while Mom was packing for our trip Presley dressed up Nixon in a "fancy" outfit.  He didn't seem to thrilled...

She was a little too thrilled with herself and Mom has a feeling it won't be the last time she dresses him up.

Life in our house is full of laughter, but without Dad there always feels like something is missing. We are looking forward to spending our summer together with him in San Diego.