Sunday, January 29, 2012

San Diego in January

We recently took a weekend trip to San Diego. I love to go to San Diego any time of year, but it was especially fun to be there for my brother's wedding this time. (Side Story: My brother and most of my family almost didn't make it to the wedding because of a crazy ice storm in Seattle. After a series of cancelled flights and alternative arrangements, though, it all worked out.)

Here are some highlights of the long weekend:

We spent a morning at Mission Beach walking the pier and watching the surfers. We also spotted several dolphins swimming nearby. But a highlight for the kids was watching the water splash down below us. At one point, we looked like this.

We spent the afternoon exploring Balboa Park then headed to Little Italy for the evening. We found some great places to eat! We settled on Filippi's Pizza Grotto for dinner. I have to say, having been to Italy, this place was very authentic Italian. Good food and good for kids. Then, we made a special stop at a second restaurant....just for dessert! That's my kind of place! Every dessert looked better than the next, and all the desserts we ordered were amazing. The ambience was amazing, the sweets were amazing...I MUST go there next time I'm in town.

Then there was the wedding. Sadly I don't have a single picture of the bride and groom. But they looked adorable and in love and it was a beautiful experience. I did manage to get a shot of Owen with his cousin Will. The two are super buddies.

And a shot of Mark and Gavin off to the side having one of many "talks" about acceptable behavior.

And then we spent a day at Sea World with all the cousins. Here's Owen with cousin Alice.

And a picture (of a picture) of us on the Sky Tram.

We ate at yet another super fun place after Sea World, though I don't have any pics. It was called the Corvette Diner and it was awesome. Burgers, shakes, dancing servers, balloon animals, arcade, and straw hairdos. Look it up, it was a great all-ages place.

And finally, before saying goodbye to the cousins and family, we had lunch at one last amazing eatery. Goodness, I should have titled this post "Where to eat in San Diego". We met up and ate at Lucha Libre Taco Shop. I'm serious, this place was DE-LICOUS. I have been craving the tacos I ordered ever since. The boys picked up a couple of Luche Libre masks as souvenirs.

Great January trip. Now, where should I go in February? Hmmmm.

Sunday, January 08, 2012 a Single Post

It's so late to be posting this. I told myself to just forget it and move on to 2012...but I can't. December was crazy. It was fast. But it was fun. And I don't want to forget all the fun things we did. Here are some highlights:

I created an activity advent for the boys this year. And one of our first activities was to write letters to Santa.

Then there was the decorating. We almost didn't put up the Christmas tree since we were leaving for the holidays. But I'm so glad we did. I wish we had Christmas lights up all year long. They're so magical.

We also decorated a gingerbread house...made of real homemade gingerbread! This was so much fun that I think we'll make a haunted one for Halloween as well.

On the last day of school Owen had a Polar Express Party. We watched the class sing and dance and share their highlights of 2011. Owen's favorites were his "best friend Luke" and his "crazy brother Gavin". The whole party was so much fun.

Owen's teacher is seriously amazing. She had read the Polar Express book to the class earlier in December, and they knew the story well. They all wore their pajamas and had hot chocolate with marshmallows. But the best part of all was watching the kids get a special delivery from the North Pole. They were SO excited to receive their very own Polar Express ticket. They were to place the ticket under their pillow on Christmas Eve and if the train came to their house that night, they would use their ticket to ride. So fun! This picture almost captures the joyous moment perfectly.

And the fun continued as we traveled to Utah to spend the holiday with family. We took the boys to see the lights on Temple Square and made it extra fun by riding the light rail there and back. Truly a highlight for the boys, who kept asking if we could ride it again.

Then on Christmas Eve we had a special family dinner. Mark's mom prepared a wonderful Christmas message using lights to tell the story of Christ. And we ended it by lighting Sky Lanterns and sending them off into the night sky. I think we should do this every year!

Owen made the final Christmas Eve preparations and then we were off to bed.

Here are the boys on Christmas their Sunday best.

We had such a good time staying at Grandma's and Grandpa's house and visiting with our cousins. We also squeezed in a visit with our good friends...and made our kids take a picture together. Because, after all, they will be lifelong friends too.

There were a lot of highlights in December. But my very favorite happened one Sunday afternoon, a couple weeks before Christmas. Owen was in the next room looking through a holiday book about the nativity story. On the last page you press a button to turn on bright lights around the baby Jesus and play the tune Silent Night. After looking through this book Owen came into the room crying. Mark asked him what was wrong. And he replied that the book made him cry. He said he just had a good feeling while reading it, and they were happy tears.

I know he felt the Christmas Spirit--the true meaning of Christmas. I hope he always remembers that feeling. And I hope I can too as I step into 2012.