Archive for Vacation

Friend Time

Living far away from friends is sometimes hard, but it’s fun when we get together.


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Sometimes it’s rough having creative and artistic friends…though they’re always good for inspiration.


Chillin on the chair




Best Present Ever–Disneyland

Ever since the billboards and ads for Cars Land have popped up Britton has been wanting to go to Disneyland. We knew the kids really didn’t need any more “things” so we decided that since we were headed to So Cal for Christmas anyway, we’d take them as their gift from us this year.

Needless to say–they LOVED it! Warning: There are A LOT of pictures in this post.

Starting off the day: Welcome to Disneyland!



We started in Cars Land because it was what Britton was most excited about. It’s a good thing we did too, because the fast passes for the Racers ride were gone by 9:30!

Our first ride was Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. It was fun waiting because there was so much to see. And the ride was fun too.


waiting to ride Tow Mater


The place really does look like Radiator Springs. It’s pretty cool. Of course, Disney was very detailed.

Next up was Luigi’s Flying Tires. It was really fun. Kaia liked it since she just had to lean back and forth to make it move.




Meeting Stanley

After riding all the rides we could, and knowing we’d be back later, we headed to the other parts of California Adventure. B and Mark went on Soarin’ over California while K and I went to Bug’s Land and rode the Chew Chew Train.

Then we got lucky. We were waiting to see the Chipmonks, but then Mickey came around and we got to see him instead.


She was so excited to see Mickey–and she thought it was so funny when she touched his nose. She kept going around saying “I touched his NOSE!”



Someone took our picture before we went in. B hated the sun in his eyes.

After we met back up we headed over toward fantasy land and rode the Buzz Lightyear ride. The line was SOOOOO long! But, the kids did pretty well with the shooting and got decent scores! We also saw the Captain EO movie. I was really not thinking they’ like it, but it turns out they did! I hadn’t seen it since I was young, so it brought back lots of memories.

Small World was a must–Britton remembered it from before. I love when it’s decorated for Christmas.



It’s a Small World was a big hit!



She loves the carousel, so we couldn’t go without doing that either.

When B was little I brought him at Christmas time and remembered seeing Santa in a cute little house. So, we went searching and found they’d made a whole village with crafts an games and activities.


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More Mickey!


She loves hot chocolate!



This Santa was the slowest ever! When we got there, the line was probably about 8-10 groups long. We waited over half an hour. He took pictures with everyone in the group, in multiple combinations and liked to chat. And RIGHT before us, the handlers decided it was break time. So, the kids checked out the tree an other decorations. But, the kids liked it and had fun.

Then we did cookie decorating. And they were actually pretty good–except for the frosting.






She couldn’t resist getting Jessie’s nose either!

After that we headed over to Frontierland an decided to ride the Riverboat.



Waiting for the steamboat. They were excited! I’ve never been on it before either.




Beautiful sunset. The boat ride was really nice and pretty. It was fun seeing a part of the park I hadn’t before.

Then we went to Haunted Mansion. Kaia fell asleep just as we were on our way over, and strollers can’t go in line, so B and Mark waited in line while I stayed by the front. Britton was definitely not  excited about this ride, but once we figured out why, we assured him it was just pretend and he was fine.


I love it decorated for Halloween, and for Christmas. It’s so fun looking. Kaia slept the whole time.

Afterward we made our way back out to head over to Cars Land again to redeem the fast passes gotten in the morning for the Racers ride. It was just in time to see Cinderella’s Castle transformed for the night.



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Back in California Adventure Britton was excited for the ride. We’d measured him earlier in the day, and he was BARELY 40 inches. And, he went on Soarin’ Over California with no problem.

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It’s amazing how real it looks. This is really a pretty small area. So, the sad part is they were super strict with the height. And, since it was night and he was tired, B wasn’t standing up as tall as he could. So, they deemed him too short. He was so disappointed. But, we managed to have fun exploring while Mark went by himself.




The end of the night was the World of Color program. B and I had seen it before, but K and Mark hadn’t.


This picture definitely doesn’t do it justice. It’s mostly so vibrant and beautiful. B liked it. K was just tired and only watched a little bit.



Miss K with her new Princess Minnie. That was what she chose as her souvenir. I asked if she liked Disneyland and she said, “Yes. It’s so fun.” With a high pitched emphasis on the SO.

We did have a fun day. We were all tired, and happy to get back on the bus to our car. But, we’re glad we went.


Misc Utah Trip


Did I ever mention that my camera got ruined in Hawaii? Well, it did., so all I have is my phone. Not the best quality, but at least we can document.

Here’s more fun we had on our trip…

Visiting Bookdocks with cousin Kaylee. Britton always gets so excited at the mere mention of her it’s so cute. And we haven’t heard the end of Boondocks since either.

Kaia loved the carousel.

Then we went with Shaela and Ethan to the aquarium.

She liked the frog.

Shaela’s cat had kittens while we were there. Britton had fun holding them.

We visited the Mt Timponogos Temple too. They weren’t really happy about looking at me, but it was a nice little visit. Though, the one cool day we were there, so we didn’t stay too long.

Next up…horse back riding.



Long lost friends…

Well, maybe not so much lost as far away and inaccessible for play time. It’s been 2 years since I’ve seen my friend Kristie and nearly 3 since we saw her husband Jared. They were our great friends in LA but they moved to North Carolina for grad school.

Thanks to all the traveling we did for All My Children we had a free flight that needed to be used, so Mark suggested the kids and I make a trip out to see them. Especially since they were in Denver for Christmas–and because of our awesome move, we didn’t get to see them then.

Let me tell you–it was soooo much fun! We had a great trip and all of us are really sad they’re so far away. Especially Kaia. She and their daughter Alia were best friends all week.

The first day we just relaxed and hung around the house since we’d gotten in really late the night before, and had a 3 hour time difference to deal with. Plus, the kids got to know each other.

The next day we went to a really fun science/discovery center.

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Britton really liked looking at the bugs under the microscope.

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In the butterfly house the kids really liked seeing all of them fly around.

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A man was working with the chrysalises and we could see them in different stages. Some had just emerged. It was so pretty. B liked seeing which butterflies he could find that were on the guide sheet.

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little friends

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B with his fossil he dug up by himself. The dirt is brought in from somewhere that has a lot of fossils, so it was pretty cool.

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Riding a dinosaur

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He had a chance to bang some big drums and play some little pipes.

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Kaia really liked it too. She made lots of noise.

Later that night we had a party for Alia’s birthday. We whipped up a rainbow theme and some yummy food.

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Gado, Gado, an Indian dish with colorful veggies, fruit, rainbow decorated cupcakes and rainbow swirl cookies.

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And a really cute birthday girl.


BFFs and some family time

One of the reasons I don’t mind our trips to Cali is that B and I get to see our friends and family that we miss terribly.

After the AMC Kids event, we had an all too short visit with our first besties, Mav and Paige. I also got to see their super cute new guy Tuck.

B and Mav

We all had a great time, and the hours flew by quickly. I’m bummed I didn’t get a pic of Paige or the baby, but I hope to next time. When asked who his friends are, Britton always says “Maverick and Paige and Max.” Sometimes Paige even comes first.

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There’s a pool at my mom’s place and we spent a lot of time there. There is a 2 foot section, so B could “swim” by himself, and Chez helped too. Kaia LOVES the water. On the first day I saw a girl giving her baby swimming lessons (she’s a real instructor) and so over the next few visits she gave me pointers. Kaia was always happy to put her face in the water or go onto her back. Like, so excited about it. I’ve got to get her into lessons here. And Britton liked to pretend he was swimming too.

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Just don’t try getting him to do a back float or really go under.

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Grandma Sheri even got to come one afternoon. Britton even got her to go in the water!

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On our last day in town our other besties Max, Eden and Linda came for a swim. The boys had a blast playing together, and eating sandwiches.

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Kaia and Eden had fun together too. They’re just under 2 months apart. Such cute girls! We were sad when they had to go home.

We got B’s next shooting dates, and they were just far enough away that we decided to go home, and fly back. So, the next day we headed out. The drive went pretty well. We got to stop at Angie’s again for a little fun and food. Britton wasn’t too happy when we had to leave.

Then at Shaela’s the dogs were happy to see them…and I think vice versa. Kaia wasn’t as afraid of them as before. We’ve discovered that Kaia has a thing for men. She likes them a lot better than women for sure. She’s always gone to Greg easily, but she’s been around him since she was born. Sometimes she likes Grandma, but I usually have to be nearby. At Shae’s she wasn’t too keen on going to her, but she went to Ethan right away and was just fine. Silly girl.

The next day we visited with my grandparents. GiGi and Gpapa to the kids. Grandpa indulged Britton with some ball throwing, and they played with the toys.

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The little crawler came up for her close up.

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Kaia with GiGi and GPapa. She went to him right away too.

Later we went to Cassie’s and played with her and Kaylee for a while. We got snow cones. I was so excited. I love them so much, but we don’t have any around here that I’ve seen. They’re very hard to find in LA too.

They are sharing a small. That’s right, each has HALF of a small. And B almost ate the whole thing. Not that I blame him. The Pina Colada was delicious. I stuck to my usual of Tiger’s Blood, Raspberry and Watermelon. Sooo yummy! Then we headed back to Cassie’s house and the kids played while I went through some of Kay’s clothes for Kaia.

She decided to help. A mighty cute baby in a box for sure.  Not so helpful though. She did continue her love of guys though. When Jeremy came home she was really excited, even though she’s seen him like once before. Apparently he was hilarious.

The next day we had a “normal” morning, then went riding in the afternoon.

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Our Hayseed. He looks like a natural up on the hay.

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He even took over the reigns on Star. He learned the “kiss kiss” and “woah” plus a little turning I think.

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Kaia’s first ride. She had fun for a while, and did good on a trip around. But then she saw me again and it was all over. Bummer.

Then we got more snow cones near Shae’s house. They weren’t as big, but just as delicious. Grandpa Jim came to visit too. Since he didn’t have a nap, Britton fell asleep in the car on the way to dinner…he slept the whole time!

We had a nice trip this time. It was fun seeing everyone…it’s been a few months. Kaia has changed a lot, and is much more mobile, so it was a bit of a challenge keeping her out of things,


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We’re going to Texas

Man, I’m glad I only told Britton that the day before our trip. I didn’t hear the end of it for days! Every time we left the house he asked if we were going to Texas, or said “We’re going to Texas.” And go to Texas we did! It was a fun trip where we got to see lots of family, and friends.

Here’s the highlights: Kansas and Oklahoma are really quite pretty with gently rolling hills and green fields. It made me wish I had grandparents with a farm to spend my summers with.

After a night in Hays, Kansas we had our first mishap. Miss Kaia rolled off the bed and hit her head on her car seat.

Kaia's bump

Yeah. Beautiful, huh?

Poor baby! This picture doesn’t even do it justice. But, it is almost gone now. Whew!

The drive wasn’t terrible. Kaia had a hard time sometimes, but we made it. In Oklahoma City we visited Becky’s Gift Shoppe, which carries our Sprout Shells, so it was fun to see.

Then we visited Mark’s long-time friend Ryan. It’s the first time I’ve met him, and it was great to visit with him and his girlfriend Lori.

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It was fun just talking and getting to know them. Plus, I learned an awesome new salsa recipe that I’m excited to try out this weekend.

We mostly just hung out in the pool and visited with Mark’s sister Lori and our nephew John on Thursday. Britton liked the raft. We had dinner at his dad’s house. There was lots of room for B to run and roll around and he had a great time.

Brit with Grandpa Dennis

Being chased by Grandpa

Fam pic

Grandpa, Mark, Britton, Bulbin

Then, Britton decided to take some pictures of his own.

Brittons flower pic


On Friday, we went to the World Aquarium. It’s a really cool place with a lot of different animals, not just sea life. there are a lot of monkeys, as well as a jaguar and

B reading

He likes to “read” everything these days.

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Mommy monkey carrying her baby on its back.

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Pretty Tamarin

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I added this just for Mark. These are bats.

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We have no idea what this is, but it has a shell like a turtle, but this soft, lizardy like head. And it’s smiling

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Brit liked the Manatee.

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Super cool octopus

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Mark and I with the fish.

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We really wish we knew what this bird was. It looks like a prehistoric pelican of some sort.

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I never knew that flamingos ate kind of upside down. The top beak goes down on the ground and they gobble backwards.

Later that night we ate at a BBQ place called Rudy’s with everyone (except Lori, she had a trip to pack for). Then we went to my aunt Melissa’s house.  Britton instantly went for Henry’s trains and wanted to play with nothing else. Even though it was like 10 at night.

The next morning we just visited and went to the playground. Later that afternoon we went to Paul’s wedding. It was a very nice, small affair.

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Britton loved playing with his cousins. Tommy played with him and taught him Spanish, etc.

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Jenna and Laura

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Britton with Julia doing “Guppy Face”

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Aw, loving Grandma

After the wedding we went back to Melissa’s and went swimming. Kaia was really excited about it.

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Really, she loves the water and “swimming”

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She also had fun with her cousin Cooper. They’re about 2 1/2 weeks apart, so it was fun seeing the differences between them.

I’m a little bummed I didn’t get pictures with the rest of the family. London and Henry are really cute, and Kaia really loved the attention from Londie.

Sunday was fun, with an extra long sacrament meeting and restless kids (yay). Then we had dinner with Doug and Laura and Jenna, Kira and Tommy. Britton got more play time with his big cousins and had so much fun. We were sad when we had to pack up and get on the road.

We told Britton we were going to Kansas. Guess what we heard the whole night?


Utah and friends

so, like a month ago we drove back from California and stayed with my sister in Utah for a few days. As the slacker that I am, I’m just getting to it…

We stopped at my good friend Angie’s house. She used to live in Cedar City, so we’d stop on our drive. She’s now in Sandy, so it was fun to see her new place (though, they’re moving back now, so yay!)

Lexie and Britton are about 5 months apart.

This one is a bit blurry, but I had to include one of Angie and me, so here ya go. Thanks Chez for taking the picture.

The kids with their GiGi, my grandma. They love playing at her house. She still has lots of toys that I played with when I was little. And visiting is always fun.

At cousin Kaylee’s house. She had lots of fun holding Kaia. She’s a good little helper. It was good to see my cousin Cassie and her husband too.

Yes, all this was in one day. Needless to say, as soon as we got in the car Britton and Kaia were completely out. It was fun though. I love seeing friends, but even with jam-packed days, I still didn’t see many people. I need a longer trip.

I saw my good friend Charlene too, and her new baby Andrea who is so sweet, and we had a great visit. I can’t find pictures from it though, so if I didn’t get one, sorry Char! I love you too!

We celebrated Britton’s birthday with my sister and Dad, so he became Cowboy Brit.

In the gear

Ride ‘em cowboy!

He’s like a pro!

Kai Kai and Aunt Shaela.

We had a really good time. Thanks for taking the day off to spend with us Shae. Hope to see you soon!

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Steamboat and a birthday

The day before Britton’s birthday he took cupcakes to his class at school. They looked pretty cool, and the kids liked them, even though I don’t think a lot of them knew what they were.

Angry Birds cupcakes

Right afterward we headed up to Steamboat Springs, a cute ski/outdoor town a few hours away. We rented an SUV because my car was in Cali, and to hold our stuff (Mark’s snowboard) and in case there was snow. It turned out to be a good idea. There was snow on our way in and would’ve been a little scary in either of our cars.

The next day was the birthday. He was excited to open his presents.

Brit and Kaia

magnifying glass

He kept asking for/talking about a magnifying glass (he saw them on Sid the Science Kid) so he was thrilled to get one of his own.

He’s LOVING this present. It’s a PBS Kids game that teaches skills in a fun way with characters from the shows. I’m pretty picky about video games and this one is really good. It explains it’s curriculum areas, what the kids learn from each game and how it expands their knowledge. He’s doing really well with it too.

Then it was off to “Ski”

bundled up

All bundled up and ready to go.

On his little skis…had trouble with balance, so  it was pretty slow going. He just went on big snow drifts and little hills, not the chair lift. There was no way Mark could do it being on a snowboard. And, he was too young for anything other than all day childcare with a 1 hour lesson for $229! No happening. Maybe next year. Though, I was getting a little sad and wished I could ski, but Kaia wouldn’t do so well with that.

Anyway, he had lots of fun “skiing”  and told us it was his favorite part of the day.

After lunch he was EXHAUSTED! We went back to the condo and he took a nice, long nap. Later, he showed off his other favorite present:

His backpack! He’s been talking about one forever. He picked this one out and loves to roll it around.

The rest of our trip was fun. We went to the mineral hot springs in town (AKA, the local pool) and it was great. Kaia just lay there kicking and smiling. I thought she fell asleep on my shoulder for a minute. I think she’ll be my swimmer.

It was great to get away and spend time with just our family with nothing else to do but focus on each other. We haven’t had that in a while. The town was really cute, and we’d love to go back and explore more. I look forward to next year when I can ski. It’s been way too long.


Kickin’ it in Las Vegas

Sprout Shell had a trade show scheduled the first week of August. It kind of fit in perfectly with the moving time line. We weren’t super excited about it though, since it did cause a lot more stress and coordination.

Back in May I scored a great deal on our hotel at the Golden Nugget. The north end of the strip doesn’t get as much attention, but this place was really nice and had a great pool–complete with shark tank in the middle and tube slide running through it.

Anyway, the trade show ended up not being what we had hoped or planned for. I did find some bedding for Kaia, scored some adorable Squeakers shoes for a great price, and we got a few orders, but that was about all.

Here’s our booth though…

So, we packed up and enjoyed the rest of our week doing this:



Drinking Coke

Trying on M&Ms hats


Seriously. Our room got so dark with the curtains drawn it we wouldn’t know if it was 2:30 am or 2:30 pm.

Britton insisted on sleeping with me all week. He NEVER does that. He just rolls around and tosses and turns whenever we try it. He usually has to be in his own bed. Maybe he was traumatized from me being gone all day Monday, ’cause he was clingy all week too.

Our last night in town we went to a brand new restaurant–like, opening night–Max Brenner.

It’s a chocolate restaurant. Not everything has chocolate on it, or in it, but some things do. And especially their desserts! Oh my. We shared dinner so we’d have room for all the things we wanted to try.

One of the rare moments that Britton cooperated…until dessert came.

Our dessert spread

Dip your own ice cream, chocolate apple streusel with caramel sauce, Smores Sundae and Chocolate pizza with marshmallows. It was SOOOOOO good. We will definitely have to go back and try more of the chocolate deliciousness.

So, despite it not turning out like we planned, it was actually a very nice week. But, I was ready to get out of there and on the road to our new life.


Denver Date Nights

So, when we flew to Denver to find a place to live we realized it was also our last little getaway before Kaia gets here. Britton was with his She-She (new name, we’re trying it out), and I missed him terribly, but we had a great time.

We went to see Inception–great movie. Though, I don’t know that it was entirely necessary to pay $17 for IMAX. Mark would disagree. We drove A LOT, had ice cream at Bonnie Braes, slept in, found a place to live (will take pics and get those up someday), visited the Temple grounds and generally enjoyed getting to know the area.

Since we’re super awesome, we didn’t take pictures except this:

and this:

The sunsets here are gorgeous!

On my way back to LA the clouds were awesome. I had to get some of them too.


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