The temperature's rising, and so is my temper
It's over 100 degrees today. Hot, but definitely typical summer weather. I can do 100 degrees. Until the power goes out for 6 hours in the afternoon and I have napping kids and I can't leave the death trap of a house!!!!
It just came back on, the AC and the ceiling fans are going, and my sanity is slowly, slowly returning. Why, may I ask, does the clinginess of my children go up proportionately to the heat level? Hot, sweaty, sticky bodies draped all over me--- Aaaaaagh!!!
And we're back...yet again!
I promise, this is the last time you'll have to read these words this summer! We crammed all possible vacations into the month of June--France, New York, and most recently, California. For the rest of the summer, we'll be enjoying our time here at home. At least, that's the plan for now. Steve will most likely end up taking another couple of trips. Me--I've most firmly decided that I am DONE WITH VACATION!! Especially when it involves schlepping our traveling circus around.
This last trip was amazingly fun!! It wasn't nearly as stressful as the New York trip was. Steve's family lives in the Bay Area, so it's just plain fun to be there. Steve and I lived in the Bay Area when we were first married, so it always feels like going home to be there.
We packed so much into this trip. We spent a day on the beach in Monterey, where it was cold, but clear and beautiful. Perfect for sandcastles and naps.
Of course there was lots and lots of swimming, because what good summer vacation doesn't include hours at the pool?
We stopped by the mission of San Juan Bautista
for a quick tour of the mission and chapel. So interesting! My cute girls wander around oohing and aaahing over the artifacts. Their curiosity and interest never ceases to amaze me. The gardens were amazing. There was a 25 foot tall cactus!
We went to a rodeo in a little town where Steve's old buddy is a cowboy. One who commutes to work in Silicon Valley, but definitely a cowboy at heart. We spent a day at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, listening to the drum circles and riding the carousel. We stayed at a hotel in S.F. (Priceline
, how I love thee!) that had a straight view of the Coit Tower
and the bay. So incredible!!
We hung out with family and old friends, and had a simply wonderful time. But I'll admit, I'm so so so so glad to be home for good. I'm much more of a homebody than Steve is. Plus, it takes me so long to get back into the rhythm of things back at home. We've been doing laundry and recovering today. Back to real life now!
Shoes and souls
Chloe knows how to put on her own sandals, but hasn't quite mastered the whole left and right concept. So several times a day, I hear the haunting question, "Mommy, I don't know right from wrong. Will you show me?"
Yes I will. More than anything else, that's what I'm trying to teach you. And every single time she goes to put on her shoes, I'm humbled and overwhelmed at the responsibility God has given me, to teach them right from wrong.
The noisiest addition to our library
Look at this beautiful book
I got while we were at the Metropolitan Museum
!! Isn't it fun? I've wanted to do a big bird study--I've been inspired by so many of you and what you're doing. This looks like such a fun place to start. Tonight I heard a bird through the open window, and since I spent some time playing with the book the other day, I knew immediately what bird it was!
This is important because I've never done it before. I was so excited to recognize a bird by sound. My first....starling. Oh well, it's a start!
He made a wrong turn around the belly button, I guess
My kids never really adjusted to East Coast time, so they were up late every night and slept in each morning. But no one had as much trouble as Calvin.
One night in particular, the young angel would not
settle down. He ran and giggled and jumped and chattered and poked at his sleeping sisters. My mom took him down to the lobby to let him run off his energy, and run he did! The kid was wound up like a clock until 1:30 in the morning!
Every few minutes the shuttle bus would drop off a group of people coming home after a night in the city. They'd coo and laugh at my little man, and chuckle as they went to bed. One lady summed up the situation very succinctly.
"Did that Sandman make a mistake and put the sand up your a**??"
Yup. Pretty much.
And we're back, again!
Another loooong delay on my part, but with good reason, I promise! We were out of town (yes, again, I know). I always hate to advertise on the internet that we're going to be out of town, so it's just easier to wait until we're safely home again. Of course, all the people who read this and know me IRL already KNOW we're out of town, and so far none of you have broken in to steal our highly precious collections of random kids toys. But still. A little caution is always a good idea.
I know that we go on a lot of vacations. But please, lest you all get the wrong idea, let me explain. Steve travels so much during his work season, we have oodles and oodles of free tickets. Flying is very inexpensive for us. He's the king of priceline
, so hotels are very cheap also. He's self employed, so he has tons of time off in the summer, and traveling is one of his passions. Since it's something we value, we sacrifice other things to make it possible. For example, we drive some of the crappiest cars known to mankind. My van is known as the 'ghetto van', because it is! But they run, and they're PAID FOR, which means that we love them desperately and will drive them forever, if we can. So there are definitely trade offs to everything. Traveling is one of those things that we love to do, so we have found a way to make it possible.
That being said, we just got back from New York! Fun fun times. It was a quick trip, and my mom came with us and got to see the city for the first time. We did a lot of the super touristy things--Times Square, Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, look at Ground Zero, Central Park...all very fun.
Steve the darling and wonderful got ticket for me and my mom to see Wicked
. So completely wonderful!!! He watched the kids while we went. Isn't he the greatest??
We got home late last night, and all the kids are very tired. So am I, for that matter! Traveling with three small people, to New York of all places, is not the easiest. Calvin especially is a challenge. He has this new and charming habit of throwing tantrums where he is only content to be writhing on the floor. If that surface happens to be a filthy New York street covered in I-don't-even-want-to-know-what, all the better. I'm really hoping he grows out of this darling stage soon!
So. Good times. We've a few more little jaunts planned, then we'll be staying put for the rest of the summer. Unless of course Steve can persuade me otherwise!
Labels: adventures, family, vacation
Last of the France photos
Here's the last of the photos from our trip. We woke very early and went to Avignon and saw the Palais des Papes.
We drove from there to Moustiers St. Marie, through some of the most beautiful countryside I've ever seen. I wish I could blog the smell of the air in this lovely field. So heavenly.
Moustiers is a little town high in the rocky crags of a mountain. So so beautiful.
We drove through the Gorges du Verdon (stunning) on our way to Nice.
We stopped in Grasse and visited some of the perfumeries and perfume museums, then went to Nice. We walked along the Promenade des Anglais, and had dinner at a fun little restaurant. I had rabbit! Tres bien, I must say.
The next day, I was oddly hit by overwhelming jet lag, so I slept much of the day. But it was rainy anyway, so it was ok. Steve explored Cannes while I slept. Then we came home to our darling babies!
Labels: adventures, vacation
Think I can hold her to it?
Chloe obsesses over her birthday parties. We talk about potential themes, guest lists, and decorations ad nauseum, and all starting months before the actual event.
Today, in the spirit of getting a jump on future events, Chloe informed me that she wants a pirate treasure hunt party for her 16th birthday.
Ahoy there mateys, it's me sweet sixteen!!
Labels: funny, Kids
The second full day of the trip we went exploring Aix en Provence. It's my favorite city in France. When I was 17, my grandparents were the mission presidents for my church
in Marseille, which means that they lived there and oversaw the mission there for 3 years. I got to stay with them right after high school for 4 months. It was a wonderful, amazing experience, so I was very grateful to be able to return. Aix is a dear spot to me, with many many happy memories.
We wandered around, saw the markets, explored the little streets and shops.
In so many of the little towns, you'll round a corner and stumble on a fountain, or statue, or little courtyard area. So beautiful!
We went to the little port city of Cassis for dinner that evening. The weather was windy, but crystal clear and invigorating. Cassis was one of the very prettiest places we went the whole time.
Don't worry, it was a short trip. Just a few days left!
Labels: adventures, vacation
The next day
We woke up early and took the train from Milan to Nice.
Such a gorgeous ride!!!
Unfortunately, jet lag overcame me and I missed lots of the view.
We rented a car in Nice and drove from there to Aix en Provence. Can I just say that the GPS is one of the best things to ever happen to travel? We would have been lost, very literally! without it. We stopped in a tiny town, Les Arcs, for lunch/dinner before heading to the hotel in Aix.
Labels: adventures, vacation
Europe rundown, part 1
We're home, and I'm so excited to share all the photos and memories of that amazing trip with all of you. I'm going to be that one obnoxious acquaintance who makes you sit and go through all their vacation photos. But since this is my blog, I can post photos mercilessly, and that's ok!
I think the best place to start the run down is just to go day by day. We flew into Milan and arrived at about noon. It was quite a long flight, but we managed to sleep enough so we were ready to go for the day. Steve has a good friend from long ago who is Italian and lives in Milan. Paolo met us at the train station and took us straight to the First Communion party for his little niece, Katrina. Oh, what a quintessentially Italian party it was!! Food, lots of hand gestures, noisy, lots of laughter, and a 95 year old Italian great grandmother--it was awesome!! Paolo had asked us to bring him some things from the States--pecans, canned cranberry sauce, and a rhubarb pie! We carried that bag from Village Inn all the way from Utah to Italy, and it arrived in perfect condition. The family ate it at the party, and truth be told, I don't think they were that impressed with rhubarb.
After the party Paolo, his girlfriend and their son took us all over Milan to see the sights. Statues everywhere,
a famous mosaic of a bull in the Galeria. Legend has it that if you spin around on the bull's balls with your heel, you'll get your wish. Steve is always up for a spin on the bull!
The Duomo, inside and out.
Here I am, loving the Italian-ness of it all.
So much to tell, but it's late and I need to go to bed. Chloe gets her cast off in the morning. She's been so worried that the doctor will be mad at her because people have written on her cast. Heartbreakingly worried, despite all my reassurances.
It's been so wonderful to be back with my sweet little people. We've had a beautiful few days of lots and lots of lovin on them. So fun to be just with Steve, but it's even better to be back in the middle of life.
Labels: adventures, vacation