Thursday, July 28, 2011

Waterfall hike with the BOWLINGS!!!

Did you ever have a very best friend who moved away and you didn't know if or when you would get to see them again? Well, Emily did. His name is Ezra and he is Emily's BEST friend. His parents happened to be our great friends too, so when Bob graduated and they moved to Gridley, CA we were all a little bummed (to say the least). Emily had a hard time for weeks understanding that Ezra wouldn't be at the park, couldn't come to play, and wasn't going to be at church. I myself have always been the mover, not the moved on, so I was pretty sad about the whole ordeal as well.

Anyways.. we knew the Bowlings' were going to be driving from St. George back to Gridley about the time we would be in June Lake. So naturally we mapquested it and turns out June Lake is pretty darn close to the route they would take. I texted EmmaLee and of course they would make the slight detour to have a little reunion.

The best part was that I didn't tell Emily they were coming. When they got to Connie's house I told Emily that Daddy had a surprise for her downstairs. We went down, Emily having no idea what to expect. Ezra walked through the door and Emily's eyes got big and for a moment she acted very shy- then she pounced. She pretty much tackled the poor kid. I knew it was going to be a cute reunion, so I planned on videoing, but it was too dark in the hallway to get a good shot. The two of them went NUTS. They were so excited. It really was special. When it was time to go to bed I PROMISED Emily that Ezra would be there in the morning. Emily woke up earlier and seriously asked me probably every 5 minutes when Ezra was going to wake up.

When they did wake up we took them on a tour around the resort and then put Lyla down for a nap. That was when the real fun began. We took them on a hike up to the waterfalls. It was a little rough for the kids, but with some daddy help, it was all good.

My strong hikers :)

Justin cooling off a little bit.
Emily, showing off her mad rock climbing shoes.
A cute Daddy and Emily shot.

Geo caching or bust...BUST

After fishing Justin thought it would be fun to try geo caching. He looked up to see if there were any in the are and turns out there are tons. We figured we could find it using the gps in our phones. However, as we started out on the 1.5 mile trek, we discovered that we would need a stronger cell signal to guide us. So- we had to give up. Oh well. I'm sure the Harley Davidson temporary tattoo would have been awesome, but we will never know.
Remember when I said it was a 1.5 mile walk. Well Emily can walk about 200 yards before deciding she rather die than go another step. After we gave up, Kody ran back to get the car while we headed on foot. Here's macho Justin carrying both girls. I don't carry kids- I'm a wuss.
Emily found some GIANT "wish flowers" on the side of the road. They proved to be more difficult than the little ones around our house.
We also saw a baby dear running alongside us in the bushes. I didn't get a picture, but it was really cute!


Our first morning in June Lake Justin thought it was time to take Emily fishing. They got all of their gear together and headed toward the stream in Grandma's backyard. The most important piece of gear these days is bug spray. The misquitos are on a mission this year and it is to bite as often as possible. We are all sprayed down and wearing the Off clip-on thingys. We still have bites, even with all of our precautions.
Justin and Emily are crossing the bridge trying to find the ideal spot. Realistically the best spots are probably further away from the house, but since Em's attention span is about as big as a black bean, we thought it would be best to stay by the house.

While the boys and Em put forth their BEST efforts, they returned home empty handed. Maybe we'll try again later in the trip.

Beach Day!!

A week ago I posted how much we LOVED the beach at Cape Cod. While we still do, we REALLY LOVE Huntington Beach. There is just something about the waves, being there with family, and the west coast sun that just really is perfection.

We met Matt, Christi, Christi's brother Scott, and Westin at Huntington Beach. We couldn't have asked for a better beach day. There were no clouds in the sky, the water felt fabulous, and all of the kids were great!

Here's Lyla playing in the water with Justin. She is a totally water baby. When the waves would hit her she would laugh so hard.
My nephew Westin received all of the athletic ability in the family so far. He even practices his golf on the sand. He turns 2 in a week and I am pretty sure he is a better golfer than me. Matt (my brother) made a little hole and putting green in the sand for the kids. It was pretty fun.
Emily and Kody making sand castles. This could be our last trip to see Kody for a while since he has put his mission papers in and is waiting for his call! We're gonna miss him- but for now we'll just have fun.
The kids playing. Lyla may be taking after Westin since she was most interested in playing with the assortment of balls hanging around.
Beach Bum
Beach Babe
We went back to Matt and Christi's for fish tacos and some relaxing. Emily and Westin had fun in the back playing baseball and going crazy on the play gym.

Lyla skipped the backyard play for a tray of Cheerios.
I am so glad Matt and Christi live so close to Justin's parents so we can squeeze in visits with them. Not to mention Christi is my pedicure buddy since we both LOVE the same nail salon. :)

Lyla and her friend Brady

I LOVE when my friends have babies. I know how much I love my girls, so it makes me really happy that they get to experience it too. Also, I love that it means my girls have built in friends. Luckily for both girls, they pretty much don't even need to make their own friends because I have picked oodles of friends for both of them!

Here is Lyla with her newest friend Brady. Brady's dad Ryan grew up with Justin. Poor guy almost lost a couple eye balls with Lyla trying to attack him. She thought he was pretty neat. We were really excited to finally meet Brady and he did not disappoint. He is really cute! We can't wait to see him again!

Hello From Sunny California

My next few posts are going to be from our 10 day excursion to California. They will probably be out of chronological order, but it all happened during the trip. Here is a brief run down of our schedule.

Wednesday June 20: Fly from Boston to Orange County.
Thursday June 21: OC Fair with Grandma Kathy & Ryan, Missy and Brady Neilson. BBQ with Aunt Kelli, Grandpa Patch and Grandma Judy.
Friday June 22: Cafe Rio & swim ALL day at Grandma and Grandpa's.
Saturday June 23: Huntington Beach with Matt, Christi, and Westin Pobst.
Sunday June 24: Church and pack up (oh and delicious prime rib dinner made by Grandpa)
Monday June 25: Drive to June Lake to see Grandma Connie.
Tuesday June 26: Fishing, delicious hamburgers, and Bowlings arrive.
Wednesday June 27: Waterfall hike, afternoon naps, raquetball for Justin and Kody, dinner at Eagle's Landing restaurant.
Thursday June 28: Justin and Kody go mountain biking at Mammoth Mountain, girls hang out at home.
Friday June 29: Spa day for Allison, boys hang out at home
Saturday June 30: Drive to Reno and fly back to Boston

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cape Cod Camping

In order to make this the craziest month of the year, we threw in a camping trip to Cape Cod for 2 nights. We headed to Nickerson State Park after church on Sunday and set up camp. Purely for documentation sake I have to say that setting up a camp with an 8 month old baby is tough. I set the tarp out for her to crawl around on, but no. The dirt, leaves, and bikes were WAY more interesting. Oh well, it's all part of camping and we have a lot of fun so it's totally worth the hard work.
Emily is our little helper. She loves to be given a task. Here she was sent to find little sticks for our morning fire. I don't have any pictures of our delicious camping food, but it was pretty good. Our first night we made foil dinners and in the morning we had dutch oven eggs and sausage scramble. From there the food actually went down hill because it took too much work, but we at least had 2 great camping meals!After breakfast we loaded up to go for a bike ride. Somewhere on our drive to the park Justin's back bike tire FELL OFF. Yup, totally gone- the whole tire. Whoops. Luckily biking is very popular in this particular area so it was easy to rent one.

Lyla was naturally not a fan of the bike helmet or the trailer for that matter. However, once we started riding she was a little happy. I'm not sure how much Emily loved being squished next to a crying baby though. Sometimes I guess it is just hard to be a big sister.

The trail we rode on was not the easiest of all trails. It was really hilly. There were times when I would be huffing and Justin would say, "You can't be that tired, you aren't pulling these girls." I think I enjoyed the bike ride the most.

However, no matter how hard the bike ride is, when this is your destination all the intensity is forgotten!

The Cape Cod beach was BEAUTIFUL. I believe we went to Crosby beach. When we first got there it was low tide and you could walk out really far to sand banks. We all had a great time playing in the water. Then Me, Justin, and Lyla played on the towel and Emily made some friends and played in the sand.

We had a great day at the beach and as we were riding our bikes back to camp we came upon a lake with a nice beach. (No you can't get too much swimming on a camping/beach vacay.) We decided that riding back with everyone was going to be really exhausting, so me and the girls stayed and played at the beach and Justin rode back to get the car.

That night a storm was rolling in and we decided we didn't want to be tent bound. We went to dinner at a restaurant called Arnold's Clam Shack. Just think deep friend sea food. Justin and I shared a Fisherman's platter that had deep fried calamari, shrimp, oysters, clams, scallops, and cod. It was definitely a lot of grease... but it was pretty tasty (except the oysters and clams- yuck.)
The night wouldn't be complete without a movie after dinner, so next stop was the drive-in to see Harry Potter. Luckily we(Justin) got Lyla to sleep before the movie started and she snoozed in her car seat the entire time! Emily fell asleep in about 5 minutes, so then we could just sit back and enjoy. I'm not sure Harry Potter was the best movie to see there though. We had to park kind of far back since our car is bigger (lame) and it was sort of hard to see the details and facial expressions and what not. Although, after many midnight showings this was a fun alternative.
After the movie we took our two sleepy heads back to camp where we all slept in until 8 o'clock!!! That is a miracle for our little girls, especially when we're camping. Sadly we packed up camp and headed home.

We did stop in the town of Hyannis to tour the Cape Cod potato chip factory and to take a ride on the Cape Cod merry-go-round.

We had another fabulous trip together. Little trips like this remind me how lucky I am to have a fantastic husband and serious 2 of the cutest little girls in the whole entire universe!

p.s. if you ever want to go to Cape Cod, come visit us I will go with you in a heart beat!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Life's a Beach

On Friday we went out to Spectacle Island with our friends Chris and Brittany. You have to take a ferry to get there, so it was quite the adventure.

Brittany brought a couple of umbrellas so Emily thought it was pretty cool that she could set up her own umbrella. Our umbrella kept blowing away and would knock over the other umbrellas and Emily would giggle every time and say, "MOM! You're umbrella is knocking over my umbrella. That's so silly!!"

Even though this particular beach was more pebble than sand, we still did the traditional burying. First Lyla was up.
Then it was Emily's turn.

And of course, Mommy had a turn. Yay sand burying.
Lyla is quite the little beach baby. Sidenote: 8 months old and she climbed onto the chair all by herself.
After a fun day of playing it was time to say goodbye to the island.
Ferry ride back to the city. It was really neat to see the city from this perspective. Claustrophobic people shouldn't live in Boston.

Cheers again to summer! Seriously, I can't get enough of it!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fun Filled Weekend Part 1: Hill Cumorah Pageant

One of the items on our east coast bucket list was to see the Hill Cumorah pageant in Palmyra, NY. We figured this was the year to go. We went with two other family's, Jason & Jessica Blankenberg and Wyatt & Cate Grantham.

Palmyra is a 6 hour drive from Boston, so we left about 7 and got there around 1. We had lunch at this little hamburger joint and then went to the Sacred Grove. We walked through and enjoyed the nice spirit and peace in the woods. Then we toured the rest of the Smith farm and homes.
These are just some pretty flowers. I just got a new lens for my camera so it was fun to play around.
Lyla decided to learn a new trick while we there and she got pretty good at standing unassisted. I think the keys helped her balance. She's a cutie and we LOVE her!

Emily had fun running around the fields. She needed to get some energy out after being cooped up in the car all morning.
The pageant was really cool and we are really glad we went! They did some effects with water that really made it fun. Wyatt and Cate were smart and went to the pageant grounds before lunch and saved some seats on the 4th row so we had a great view!