Friday, August 17, 2012

A really long post about a really short vacation

As easy as it'd be to say "just click here" to read about our Southern Californian vacation (thanks, Marie!) I figured now is as good a time as any to get myself back on the blogging grid.
This has been an atypical summer for our family.  About this time I am usually counting the days before school starts.  We are usually so "FUNgover" from the summer's different vacations that a return to normalcy and routine is just what we're craving by now.  But not this year.  Not even close.  Besides a 3 day jaunt to a friend's cabin, YW camp, and some boating days that I can count on one hand, we had nothing going on.  Not even a single swim lesson, baseball camp, or dance camp was scheduled.  But one thing we did plan in advance and looked forward to in earnest was our trip down south to visit the 'SoCal Crew' of Brandon's annual Cabo surf trip.

This beautiful family, the Wallwork's, have been some of our cherished friends for a long time.  They were kind, patient, (and possibly crazy) to let us crash their home. 

 Marie, Emry, Glenn, Lila, Brutus, and Ethan

First stop was the beach.  We didn't care that we had to wait in line to get a parking spot.  Catching some waves without having to gear up in wetsuits was one of the highlights of the trip.

The next stop was the Lundquist's home with this amazing swimming pool.  The kids stayed in this pool jumping and sliding and swimming until they were literally dragged out at night's end.  

The adults joined in on the fun, too.

  There aren't any pictures of it but the kids and I made a train and rode down and I even went down the slide double-decker style with my man. 
When we weren't playing around in the pool we were chatting and gobbling up some delicious Filet Mignon and Lobster Tails.  These SoCalites do some gourmet BBQing!

Just a few of the SoCal Crew Eric, (the homeowner), Ryan (the new daddy), Glenn (BBQ Master Extraordinaire), Ryan (the Newcomer), Matt (the mellowest), and Brandon (my personal favorite)

The next day we went to the beach in Encinitas.  We've had many beach days but this was a beach day to go down in the books!  Of course we were stoked to be amongst friends and fellow surfers but the weather was unreal.  We had barely stuck the umbrella in the sand when these two paddled out for some tandem surfing.

Watching all of the kids grab boards at random, wax them up, and paddle out all on their own makes a surfer's heart swell with pride.  (Not that I'm calling myself a surfer.  But I was very proud nonetheless.)

(Beau, Reef & Brandon, Mercedes, and Emry)

Mercedes and Emry taking off on a wave together that they paddled for all by themselves!!!

This little guy does NOT like getting left out.  I think he really gets his feelings hurt that he's not out there with the rest of the family. 

And believe me, I know how he feels.  So I put my husband in charge of Cruz, grabbed a board and paddled out myself!  Of course, there are no pictures to document it but let it be known to my posterity that I actually caught a few waves this day!  Brandon eventually put Mercedes in charge of Cruz, paddled out and we had ourselves a little surfing reunion. 

By the way, Mercedes is a very good babysitter!

The next day was church so we figured it'd be a good time to get some great photos while we were all dressed up.

(Emry, Beau, Mercedes, Cruz, Lila, Brutus the dog, Ethan, Reef)

I can't remember the last time we've taken a family photo!

Words can't explain how much I love this man!

Admire, Crazy about, Smitten, Adore, Cherish, Fancy, Idolize, Treasure.................. just to name a few! 

I enjoy watching these two together.  They can laugh but can also talk business.  They can discuss matters spiritual and matters temporal.  They keep it real.  And then they laugh some more.

And then they nap.  What better to do on a Sunday afternoon?

Marie was such an easy and mellow hostess.  She made us feel right at home and fed us some delicious meals.  She's a great cook, you know.  Follow the first link at the top of my blog post and she will inspire you to cook and eat natural and healthy.  We also share a love for thrift store shopping.  Marie is an amazing woman that I am glad to number among my friends.  It is so easy to pick up where we left off and ease right into a comfortable pace together.  She said some nice things about me on her blog but I want her to know that she inspires me, too!  I have some great memories of early motherhood, datenights and dancing, camping, and just pure enjoyable visits and conversation with  her.  And I know there will be more memories made as we continue to nurture our friendship.

There was no rest for Marie on this Sabbath day as she prepared to host 5 other families for Sunday Dinner.  The kids played together very well and the adults entertained eachother with stories from their missions and from previous surf trips to Cabo. 

Amy & Ryan Fifield

Jason & Jennifer Fifield

Ryan & Sarah Swindel with their youngest, Mason

Jeannette (Marie's sister) & her daughter Kylee

 Cruz even got a haircut from Uncle G-Dub.  The first haircut he never cried through.  Glenn must have made an impression on Cruz because he would give Glenn random hugs and snuggles that he doesn't dish out to just anyone.  And I think Cruz cracked his first joke during his haircut.  If that's the case, his Daddy better come up with some new material.  He's got some competition coming.

And what better to finish off a nice Sabbath day than a walk to the park?

We had fun playing around with some glow sticks and slow shutter speeds of the camera.  Emry read how to do things like this in a book. 

The last day was spent in the pool and at the Pizza Factory.

We hated to have to cut this trip short but have returned with bigger hearts as we have gathered in more people to love and have grown to love others more than we did before. 

It looks like the Summer of 2012 wasn't so much of a bust after all!


marie said...

I can't believe how many great pictures you got! You are a natural, I am seriously impressed with how many awesome candids you were able to capture!

Glad you enjoyed your time, you guys are truly the best and I kept thinking how lucky Hollister is to have you, your family is such an asset to any city & ward.

Love the pics of the guys sleeping while we were of course prepping food or dealing with kids :)

All I know is Beau is marrying one of my kids, even if it's Ethan.

Tiffiny said...

Marie, I am totally cracking up at that last sentence! But seriously..... just like we talked about, there is something brilliant and safe about arranged marriages!
And there's a good chance that your talented Emry took many of those candid shots! I have many more that I'll be sending your way soon!

Stefani said...

Awww, so much fun. We love the Sowards! And any friend of theirs is a friend of ours :)

Annette said...

WHAT. A. BLAST. Can we become honorary socal surf crew members?! And what was Cruz's first joke? I'm dying over the cuteness of your kids! YES, we LOVE the Sowards! Who doesn't! Everything Marie wrote about you in her blog Tiff, I feel exactly the same! All true. What a great way to end a summer vacation! (And the comments above are cracking me up too!)

Annette said...


Kari said...

Sounds like you ended summer on a great note. Sometimes the best times are spent with no schedule or agenda!