Monday, December 26, 2016

Brad's first Christmas

Brad and my Christmas started early.  Brad was bright eyed and bushy tailed at 4 am.... (Which is why I have been able to blog so much this trip.  Lots of early mornings.)  So Brad played for about 35 minutes... long enough to make sure that I was really awake.  And then he fell asleep on me.  So Brad slept and I blogged.

When Brad woke up we went and woke up Daddy!  It was time to open presents!!!  Brad opening his first present.

(Books from Grandma Lynette)

Brad playing with his rubber ducky.  His present from us.

Then we went inside to see the presents waiting under the tree....

I title this picture, "Who wants to open presents???"

First we went to church and ate a delicious dinner of prime rib, funeral potatoes, pear and pecan salad, roasted asparagus, rolls, and a delicious citrus slushy.

Then onto the main event.... PRESENTS! 
Presents were ridiculously fun this year because of Brad.  It loved opening all his presents.  Well until he got distracted by someone else's present, or bow, or box, or plastic, or tissue paper....

Both Brad and Daddy got remote control cars.

Brad helping Grandpa sort out the presents.

But by the end of the couple hours of opening presents Brad was pretty over whelmed and exhausted....

Brad with all his loot!
(Obviously very difficult to get Brad to look at the camera when he was distracted by all his presents!)  His favorite was this cute little doggie Grandma got him.  It barks and walks and wags his tail.  Brad thought it was the best!
His loot:
lego blocks, an audio book, a Mickey Mouse Waffle maker!, remote control cars, an awesome tunnel tent and balls, his doggie, 2 outfits, a snuggly jacket, and 2 hand made beanies created by Grandma!

And finally: a picture of Brad with his two cousins Gwen and Reid.  

Christmas was a wonderful day.  Probably my favorite thing besides being with Jason's family was our Christmas Service.  You see, every Christmas my family gets together and pulls out our Christmas hymnals and sing and sing until our hearts our content.  We don't care how loud or terrible we sound.  We just sing and sing.  I missed that this Christmas... but luckily for me, at church unlike most Christmas programs that are sang mostly by the choir, the congregation sang most of the Christmas songs.  So I got to sing about the true meaning of the season.  And that for me, is Christmas.

Away in Manger has taken on new meaning in my life.  

"I love thee Lord Jesus Look down from the sky and stay by my cradle til morning is nigh."

Sunday, December 25, 2016

San Diego Beaches Christmas Vacation Part 2

Although we spend quite a bit of time in San Diego county, I'm pretty surprised how few of places we have been.  So I made a list of some of the top beachy areas in San Diego county for us to check out.  I will always be partial to Orange County... but San Diego county grew a little on me.

The 4 beaches we went to:

1. Just south of Carlsbad.  (We had actually been to this beach.  We had actually had some engagement pictures done here)  But we don't normally go to this beach so it was fun.
2. Coronado Island.
3. Torrey Pines State Park.
4. Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument, and Ocean Beach.

1. Carlsbad Beach - it was a first day in California.  Looking at the weather I knew this was the sunniest, warmest day of the whole trip so I knew I needed as much sunshine as possible.  Leigh watched Brad for a few hours so we were FREEEEEEEE!

Oh how I love sunshine.

After we stopped at a little Mexican shop and had pork tacos and tamales. Delicious.

2. Cornordo Island
I had been out to the Island once to a fancy Italian restaurant... but that was it.  I wanted to see what else was out there.  Although it was pretty cloudy it was shockingly warm.  Like too hot for my sweater and boots.  Going to the Hotel was the highlight of the Island.  It was beautiful.  Iconic.  And totally touristy.... all my specialties.  They had an ice skating rink right on the edge of the beach.  So stinkin cool.  


And a very smiley Brad at the pizza place we went to after walking around the Island.  The pizza was pretty darn good.  Some of the best pizza we've had in a long time.  

The next day before we went on our next adventure I took Brad on my usual run on the rolling hills (monster hills) around Jason's parents house.  My favorite row of palm trees.
Brad loved it.... until he fell asleep.  (The bear suit might have been a bit overkill but I figured I'd rather have him nice and toasty than cold)

3. Torrey Pines State Park.
We have driving through this area lots but we have never paid the stinkin' $15 to park and hike around the park.  It was pretty cool and the perfect temperatures for a little hike.  

Moose and Maverik....

4. Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument, and Ocean Beach.

We went out on our next adventure on Christmas Eve.  Turns out a national holiday/a very windy evening is the PERFECT time to adventure out to very touristy areas.  No crowds and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL.  We started with some more Mexican food... tacos!  We ate the tacos in the car while Brad kept sleeping.  We do so this stage that Brad is in where he sleeps most of the time he in the car... 

I LOVED the neighborhoods around Point Loma.  It might have been my favorite area in all San Diego county.  But we are going to have to come back another time because it was SUPER windy and cold so Brad and I spent most of the time in the car.  (Brad was sleeping.)  But we got to Cabrillo National Monument right as the sun was setting.  Merry Christmas to us!!!

tried to get a selfie just so I could prove that the sunset was actually real.... nice and windy.

We ended our Christmas eve night at the most perfect place in all of San Diego.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Vacation Part 1

Since this month is Jason's real last break possible ever.... (I am going to miss the student schedule someday.... if only we had money when we had time.... such is life.)  Anyway, we decided that I should take an extra 4 days off work and begin our Christmas Vacation when it should have started!  So we left for Cedar Friday after school.  We were hoping to beat the storm... or at least beat the snow.  It was raining when we left.... but that didn't last long.  Long long long story short.... we possible could have missed most of the storm except we got stuck in dead stop traffic for over an hour on the mountain pass south of Scipio.  Brad didn't mind.  He had slept the whole way until Scipio.  So he enjoyed the hour of romping around the car.  (Notice the hue of the color of tail lights just in case you were afraid Brad was really drive us while we were moving.)  But I must admit... I kind of dream of living in a day without carseats.  What that must have been like... although I do vaguely remember... Oh well.  
Once the line of cars finally started moving I put Brad back in his carseat and he slept until Parowon. Yes... as always, the best baby ever.  Which was a good thing because the roads were awful and it took us over 6 hours to do a drive that normally takes 2.5.  We were glad to finally pull into Grandma and Grumpa's house.  

Brad had fun getting into all sorts of drawers and cupboards that weren't locked.   
 And showing Grumpa his new tricks.
 But I think his favorite thing was hanging out with his cousin Sadie and playing with tickle me Elmo.
We wanted Brad to experience snow for the first time so we took him to "Walmart" hill sledding with Broc and Nick's families.  

It was super duper cold (Don't let the Cedar City sunshine fool you.)  I bet with the windchill it wasn't even in the teens....  Brad LOVED the sledding part, but hated getting snow in his face.  So he would laugh and squeal on the ride down until we hit the fresh powder.  When it hit his face he would cry... and then the tears would freeze on his face and I felt like a horrible parent.

 I understand Brad.... I hate the snow too.
Then after parties, delicious salmon, games of scum, and church Monday morning we headed down to California.  We decided we all needed a break by the time we got to Barstow so we drove out to a fun rock climb.  We didn't stay long but it was a nice little break.  Brad sat in his stroller and kicked his feet while Jason and I rock climbed.  

And then California welcomed us with a perfect hazy sunset as we dropped out of the Cajon Pass into Los Angeles County.
Ah.....California at Christmas.  My favorite time of year.