Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Favorites - California Bound

Today we are flying to see my family in California. I'm very excited to see them and to play with my Ben-Ben and Makena!

I'm linking up with Erika, Narci and Andrea for Friday Favorites to share my favorite things to do when I'm in California visiting my family.

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf
We visit Monterey almost every time we visit California.  The older boys are getting a little tired of this place, but I still love it.  I'm hoping as they get older, they will learn to appreciate this place again. Mark loves it here especially the touch pool and the KidZone.

Posing out in Cannery Row.

Our favorite thing to do here is catch the feeding show in the Open Sea exhibit.  

San Francisco Giants
I may live in Texas but my heart is with San Francisco when it comes to sports. Catching a baseball game at the beautiful AT&T Park is one of my favorites.

Farmers Markets
One of the things I miss about California is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer months. The farmers markets here have so much variety and are so much better than any I've seen in Texas. So going to visit the Farmers Market is a favorite.

Berry Picking
We sometimes go to one of the many farms around the are to pick fresh strawberries.  Nothing beats red, ripe right-off-the-vine strawberries! We can also pick blackberries and olallieberries too, but strawberries are your favorites.

Napa Valley and Wine Tasting
M and I try to make time to go and visit some wineries when we are in California together. With his work schedule, he can't alway go with us when we visit California, but when he does go with us, we try to do an overnight in Napa Valley. I love Wine Country. It is one of my favorite places in California.

Just Spending Time With The Family
We try to visit my family at least twice a year. Last year, we went 4 times so it was very nice to see them so much. I think it's important for my kids to see and get to know the people who love them. It's important for them to see each other in order to maintain and build a close relationship because we live so far away. It's so special to see my kids interact with their cousins! And I'm so excited to welcome another niece or nephew in November.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Day in Our Lives

Random post on what we did last Tuesday. To be honest, it was a pretty full day for Mark and I - not typical on a summer day. Mostly we stay home and swim or just hang out.

I woke up bright and early. Not 5:58 early, closer to 6:30. I made my coffee and got online to check emails, read my blogs, etc...

I'm loving my new mug from my trip to Waco.

Then I went out to water my plants. Best to do this in the morning when it's not so hot.

Mark usually wakes up closer to 9 on a summer's day, but he decided to get up early this morning so while I was picking up, watering and doing a load of laundry, he was doing this.

We headed out to the gym after I fed him breakfast. Post workout selfie. It was a hard class so it kicked my butt.

I fed all three boys lunch and then headed off again with Mark to see a magic show at our local library.  They put on the best programs for kiddos. Mark loved the show and laughed his little head off!

As we were walking out of the library, he saw Jamba Juice and informed me that this was a perfect day for a smoothie. How can I not agree?

Then we walked over to one of my fave stores. He found a friend while I browsed around for some workout gear.

We met up with a friend to swim for a little bit. These two were born on the same day, in different countries but found their way to each other and became friends. The world works in wonderful ways.

I left the older two boys home to fend for themselves during all these activities with my Mark. This is the first summer that I'm comfortable leaving them home and it's pretty awesome. They just hang out, snack, and for the most part, stay out of trouble. I call them constantly to make sure they are OK, which they think is annoying. That's the price to pay if they don't want to participate!

After dinner and showers, Mark and I relaxed with a cup of chamomile tea and a little TV before bed.  On this night, we watched Maya the Bee.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Magnolia Everything

On Monday, I took a little road trip to Waco with a couple of good friends to visit Jo-Jo's and Chip's place. A little background - Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines are the stars of Fixer Upper a home renovation show, and they are one of the cutest couples I've seen (on TV, anyway). I love their renovation designs and I love to watch them interact with each other. Chip is a big goofball and Jo-jo just rolls here eyes at him.

Last night, Michael and Matthew watched a part of the show with me and without any prompting, Matthew says that Jo-jo reminds him of me. I will take that to the bank. I little while later, Michael says that Chip acts like his Daddy. This was when Chip was playing volleyball and gets super competitive. I guess that's the reason why I like them so much - I see a little of ourselves in them (with the rest of the country).

Anyway, I've been wanting to make a trip there and after several cancellations, the sun and the moon finally aligned and we made our way out to Waco.  I didn't know what to expect, but I was very impressed! It was crowded, but well-controlled and had a very chilled vibe. It was an awesome experience.

Our arrival.  We got there early so there wasn't much of a crowd yet.

The market has 2 sections - this is the lower section of the market.

The famous Silos and the courtyard where people can play games, toss some balls around or just sit on the beanbags.

Beyond the courtyard are covered tables and benches and food trucks. There is a good variety. I had a rice bowl and it was yummy.

There is also a garden area with a little seed store.

As we were taking this picture, a reporter from the Waco Monthly came over and took pictures of us and asked for our names and where we were from.  We may be published! Look out for us in the August issue. Haha...

Before we left, we stopped by the bakery and I bought some cupcakes for the boys. It's best enjoyed in your undies, as Mark was demonstrating....

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Cabo San Lucas - Part 2

The second part of our Mexican trip was to meet up with one of my oldest friends at a resort that was a little further from town.  Thanda and I met at SCU when we pledged Delta Zeta.  That was almost 20 years ago and even though we haven't seen each other for many years, we keep up with each other and when we met up it was like old times.

She got to meet my Mark and I got to meet her little kiddos.  They are precious.  M wanted to take Sydney home with us because she was so darn cute. The boys LOVED her.  Matthew kept saying how cute she was. 

On the first day, the men went into town and got us groceries and other supplies. Thanda and I stayed with the kiddos and went swimming.

The villas had a plunge pool and the kids swam some more when we left the resort pool. These two became fast friends.

The next day was the same - swim, swim, swim...

I loved that this resort was so quiet. We had the pool to ourselves most of the time.

This boy had to take a break from swimming for a nap.

I don't know what they were talking about but it looked animated.

There was a grilling area and while the men grilled, the kids played.

Because the villa had a fully stocked kitchen and grilling area, we ate in a lot. So much better because the kids can run around when they finished and the adults can take as long as we wanted to eat and talk.

So sweet!

We ventured out to a few local beaches and these two were so funny.  They both hated sand in their crocs so they kept stopping every couple of yards to clean out their shoes. And they both fell behind.

At the first local beach we went to, the boys found a dead fish that had washed up. I thought it was disgusting.  They thought it was the greatest thing ever. Ewww.

The beach was too rocky for them to get in the water so they went exploring on the rocks. They had a blast trying to catch crabs.

We went into town to grab lunch a couple of times. We stopped at an ice cream shop for some ice cream afterwards.

This was at another local beach we visited. These two clinging to each other as they make there way to the beach.

This beach was swimmable, but there were still some rocks and no waves for Michael to boogie board.

So they went exploring on the rocks again when they got bored with swimming.

The resort hosted a cocktail party for the villa owners and guests so we got cleaned up and went to get some drinks and appetizers. When in Mexico, a margarita is a must (or a couple).

These two are always talking about something...

Another outing into town for lunch and some ice cream.

I took these two for a bathroom break and they decided to hold hands on the way back. Love, love, love. It looks like Mark is telling Carter a story.

We found the perfect beach on our third beach outing in Cerritos.  It was a bit of a drive, but so worth it because Michael finally found some waves to catch.

This little one was pretending to surf an 18 foot wave...

That same evening, we went to an early dinner in town at an Italian restaurant. Then came back to the resort and walked around exploring the  grounds.

They had a corn hole game set up.  Mark celebrated every time he threw the bag into the hole.

There were awesome views everywhere....

These two were having a moment gazing into the sea.

These two were pretending they were kings and spoke in deep voices.

Love this face.

We went down to the beach and put these three on the rock for some pictures.

 There was a big koi pond at the resort and the kids had fun watching them swim.

We had a great 10 days Mexico. We were sad to leave our friends and such a beautiful place, but like all vacations, it's always nice to be back home.  Our next trip is California to see my family in ten days!