Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Card Dilema

Do you feel you need one?

When Nick and I were first married, I started sending Christmas cards. We were doing it every other year and it seemed to work well for us. Then a few years ago, an "on" year, I thought about it and came to this conclusion: I can count on one hand the people that would get a card from us that probably couldn't access our family blog. Friends and Family tell me all the time that they feel like they know us so well because of the blog. And for the most part, those people that cant access this blog, we speak to often, usually weekly. And I always felt like I was leaving people out. And I dont like feeling bad about things, so I figured if someone is going to be left out, it's going to be all of them!

Then you get the cards that are simply that. A card with a holiday message, no letter, no photographs... ::YAWN::  So maybe it's just me, but I'm a sucker for pictures and a nice little, "this is what we're up to" letter. Not to mention, I'm like a little kid when it comes to getting a non-bill in the mail. It brings a smile to my face and a little piece of that family seems to creep into my day. Then I start thinking again, maybe I should?

I don't know, what do you think? Christmas cards, a thing of the past that's dying fast OR keep the tradition alive because it helps my Christmas spirit thrive?!

Next, I'll be posting our family end-of-the-year wrap up shortly so stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What do you do on Christmas Break in California?

Well, we took a trip to Half Moon Bay. The kids sipped hot chocolate and ate clam chowder from a Boudin sourdough  bread bowl as we ate some local fish, artichoke hearts and chips from Barbara's Fish Trap in the harbor. It was a sunny 65 degrees. We then hit the salt water taffy store to taste samples and use our groupons. Mom's favorite flavor was pomegranate and Cooper's was Chocolate Chip cookie. On the way home, we stopped at Gray Whale Cove, hiked, got wet and took some photos. You wanted LOTS of photos right? At the bottom is a little video treat.

Cool ray o sunshine, hahaha! Take THAT December!
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Nick's money-shot, can you find Cooper?
Sean in Shadow, can you find the Seagull?
Bro's goofin' off
Mr. My Three Sons as "King of the World!"
They're such buddies.
Very cool shooting directly into the sun with some cool wave splashage
HDR shot
Very cool HDR shot
and another one....
and another.... almost over.
Dad dad Daddio
Mom on the beach with the boys (being this pregnant, that's about all you're gonna get of me)
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What an awesome day! It was gorgeous! We've always wanted to hike down to this little secluded beach right off of devil's slide. I find it just a tad ironic that we finally got around to it just days before Christmas. I guess that's what you do in California.
Here's your treat for making it this far. Watch the entire video for a wet kid.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mr. Muggins

That's what you get when you let the boys name the elf whatever they want. With a little too much influence from the movie, "Elf" this year, they named our elf on the shelf "Cotton-headed ninny muggins." I call him Mr. Muggins for short. He's a nice elf with brown hair and blue eyes. He finds pretty good hiding spot while the kids sleep at night, but he has yet to stump them. I think he needs to try just a little harder :)

The dining room light, not too shabby of a hiding spot. It took the kids a long time to find you that morning, Mr. Muggins.
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The fruit bowl, this would be good if me kids never ate fruit.

The art-deco lattice work in our totally 70s house

Real original Mr. Muggins, the Christmas tree, really?

And right next to the Wii? Like they don't look there? C'mon, get more creative

Hanging off a picture frame? A little better....

Irregardless, it's been quite the fun tradition to start this year. When they're fighting or acting up, I simply have to say, "Mr. Muggins is watching you" and they shape up pretty quickly. Does anyone know where I can get some coal? I'm seriously thinking about making these for their stockings....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A close up and other boring haps

I cannot believe that it's already Thanksgiving!! I mean really? I must be getting old because time is flying by. We've been here in California for almost a year and a half. It's just plain insane. 2.5 years to go and we'll be off somewhere else. Can I just say that I LOVE being back in Cali? Mostly because it's beautiful, sunny and mild. I mean it's not everywhere that your kids can be out riding bikes in t shirts in the middle of November. 

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Here's an awesome song about my home state for you to enjoy.

The apples on our trees are finally ready. At least the birds think so. They just wont leave them alone. We've been picking and I've been waiting for the energy to can them.

I rented a macro lens to help Nick with a school project. So I played a little today. And I mean a little. I took less than 10 photos. Really!


I just need to survive the holidays, then get ready for baby! SO EXCITED! Although entering the beginning stages of the third trimester has NOT been fun. It's going to be a LONG 3 month wait. My poor family. It's hard for me to cook when all I want for dinner is grapes and these chips from Costco. Am I the only person who is motivated to cook because I'm excited to eat whatever I'm making? When pregnant, food is my enemy and my best friend. I need a private chef.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gilroy Gardens

We took the boys to Gilroy Gardens. They were in little boy heaven. My aunt and her daughter gave us 7 free tickets so we brought my mom along and gave the extra ticket away at the door. It was fun to yell at the people standing in the ticket line, "does anyone need a free ticket??" I gave it to the first taker.

What I liked most about this place is the garlic, artichoke, gardeny (yes it's a word, i just made it up) theme. And I really liked the circus trees.

Anyway, my poetic voice is on hiatus, so you'll have to be satisfied with unedited, fresh-off-the-camera snapshots. Yes, I'm that lazy.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Three Grandmas

We had three grandmas come out for Sean's baptism. So we thought it'd be fun to get a photo of three boys with the three grandma's. We love them all individually for their strength of spirit and support. Love you grandmas!!! We had so much fun with you!

It's great to be 8! Part II

For part I click here. Mom could pretty much cut and paste the feelings of that day to today.

So yesterday Mr. My Three Sons baptized boy #2. It was a great day. Sean was so excited and full of life. Mom blubbered like an idiot through her talk on the Holy Ghost. And we sang the best song EVER from the children's songbook.

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Today he was confirmed and he couldn't stop smiling.

We love LOVE that he's chosen to be a member of Christ's church. It's difficult to describe the tender feelings that a parent has for a child. I imagine is a microcosm of our Heavenly Father's love for us. I imagine that not only were Sean's family, friends and parents smiling yesterday, but also his Father in Heaven.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sweet Inspirations

I think there is little man that whispers in the ears of novelty food creators. This little man is my friend. While shopping at Target I stumbled across these very cool things.

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I swear, they were created JUST for me! They SCREAM my name. The problem is, they make cool stuff like this and then later down the road, it doesn't sell very well so they stop making it or the store stops stocking it.

Such has been my dismay with two things I miss dearly. The avocado hummus they used to sell at Costco. I would put it on everything from sandwiches to salads to Stacy's simply naked pita chips. And does anyone remember when Costco used to sell polish bagel dogs (it was like 20 years ago)? I'm totally NOT a "dog" person, but those things were killer yummy! Yes, I have made my own but they're not the same. And I still haven't tried to make my own avocado hummus, but I will because I pretty much thought my life was over when it was no longer on their shelf. Oh and I almost forgot about Sweet Baby Ray's Creamy Buffalo Wing Sauce... super delish, and I mourn for it's death, well it's death to me, it's no where near accessible to me at a price I can justify. (I mean, I could pay 14.95 + 10.99 in shipping... who pays that?)

The moral is: don't get too attached because it's not always going to be available. And moral #2: how freakin' spoiled am I? I mean my ancestors were worried about things like bombs dropping on their house and buying shoes for little Billy.... and I guess there will always be something new.  :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Made it through another Halloween!

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The boys asked what the "real meaning of Halloween" was the other day, I felt like saying, "it's a holiday that's just for kids to act like someone else and get a stomach ache from sugar overload." I mean why do they even go to school? Here in Pacifica it's quite different than it was in Salt Lake City. Here the entire day is a party, the kids get out of school early and two of the kids even had their homework cancelled. I mean, it's HUGE here! So much fun for kids. So much work for parents. In Utah, their school did practically nothing for Halloween. No costumes. NADA.

Yesterday, we did 3 parades and 3 school parties. Mr. My Three Sons didn't have school so he LUCKED out and got to help tag-team the parades. So sad that the camera cant be in two places at once! Poor Cooper was ninja at school, but got teased so ended up changing into Dad's wizard costume for the night.

After the evening festivities, we walked in the front door, showered the boys, sent them to bed and watched Gold Rush until midnight instead of cleaning up the Halloween mess. So guess what mom is doing today? Blogging! Okay, so this post will take like 10 minutes, then I'll clean before I lose my mind. Then I'm off to do a project. I was thinking of this for my barren-walled living room. We'll see how it turns out.