Sunday, November 11, 2012


june was a busy month for us. not long after getting home from the cruise, we headed back to the beach- this time, the pacific! we love going to visit our friends in california. this has become quite the tradition. our friends, russ and katie, have lived in california for a little over three years now. each summer, we pack up and head to their mormon-colony-esque apartment complex and totally take over. luckily, we have made some good friends along the way that have allowed us to stay with them.

the hobbs were already in california, so the mitchells and the taylors decided to caravan together so that the kids would have something to look forward to at the pit stops. mission completed! we made it all the way to st. george before needing to stop and stretch at a park. the kids were more than ready... ben and violet quickly stripped all their clothing off and ran wild in the park's canal. i love watching these two play together. they are such good friends!
after a successful stop, we loaded back into the car. we were trying to plan stops around naps and little clara's feeding schedule. we would have been successful in our planning had we not run into this bad boy:
worst accident ever. both cars were full of screaming kids who were wanting nothing more than to go back to their canal in st. george- and we were moving at a snail's pace. uggggggggggg. we happily stopped again at the next chance we could get to let the kids play. ross and cade were sure to play as well...
we were finally getting closer to our destination. we had hit a bit of california traffic and the hot sun was really hitting us hard. even with a/c/ blasting, it was hot. from the depths of the back seat, little violet was starting to get antsy. we were doing our best to keep her calm when she let us know that she was all "muddy." not understanding what she was talking about, i just agreed. she insisted she had mud on her hands. finally, still not understanding what she was talking about, i looked back and saw this:

oooooohh... mud is BLOOD! poor vi was in the backseat dripping blood out of her nose. it was everywhere! it must have been bleeding for a while because it had soaked into her seat, all through her hair, down her neck- EVERYWHERE! she looks really freaked out in this picture, but trust me when i say that we were all laughing about it- even vi! cade quickly pulled off the road and we got the bleeding under control. she looked like she had been pulled from a horror movie set, but we were back on the road.

finally, we pulled into tustin. we were so happy to see the nelsons and all our friends. i cannot say enough how much we love them. violet was so happy, she got another bloody nose.

these bloody noses were relentless. it took a long time for this one to stop. luckily, we had two nurses on hand and an ipad IN hand. it all ended well.

first on the list in california is always the beach. we cannot get enough- so we went for two full days. the kids are old enough this year that they really stayed busy.

we set up enough shade so that they were able to take breaks, eat, and nap whenever they wanted. they mostly just played...
we all played! i always find myself wishing i lived in any one of the beach houses there in california. it is my ideal setting.

we buried lucy and violet... and ivy thought it was hilarious.

then vi tried to bury cade.
truthfully, cade wished she would have been more successful. he fell asleep like this and woke up a lobster. he skin would have been far better off under a few inches of sand.

the men always head out to "the rock" to feel like men and jump off. i have always been pregnant or too lazy to join in- but this year i thought i was up to the challenge. WRONG. the older i get, the more scared i get of simple things. i chickened out after getting knocked into the rocks by a strong wave. the men persevered... and cade amde a movie to document:

this is cade's favorite street... it warranted a posed picture. 
on sunday, we like to keep it a little more calm. church in california is always fun, but ben and violet were ready to go. hand in hand, they headed out. who knows where they thought they were going. and who cares? they had each other!
after sunday naps, the whole tustin mormon colony (not the actual name of the complex) gathered together for an epic cornhole tournament. how dare i call it epic, you may ask? look no further...
we all ate and threw the bags in an awesome tournament while the kids ran wild. they loved playing all together as they went from house to house, unloading every toy bin they could find. ivy just chilled on the grass. content as always.

 cade and i had some great beginners luck. we were doing really well and were slated to play the undefeated catholics (named because they are the only catholic couple in the tournament). they were worthy opponents- who have been enjoying months and months of undefeated glory in the tustin mormon colony... but cade and i brought our game. we beat the undefeated catholics! i wish i could say that we won the whole tournament- but we ended up losing to another couple later on... a big blow to what felt like our time to shine.

since california, cade has built his own cornhole boards and we are all still addicted to the game.
here is cade's movie documenting the tournament. you can see me being a sore loser at 1:20ish. have i mentioned i hate losing?

the main reason we were in california was to go to eliot's wedding reception. the couple had been married in nauvoo earlier in the week but had a fabulous dinner celebration that we were thrilled to be able to attend. our kids took over the place- we are quite the crowd- but otherwise, it was great!

another "must-do" on our list this year was LA's fashion district. all the wives were so excited to go and fabric shop to our heart's content. the boys, feeling as though being with the kids all day would get crazy, decided last minute to tag along for the fun. they were glad they did.

i love the picture above because i had left violet in her stroller so i could come back for the photo. i don't know why i did this... and judging by the look on her face, neither did she! poor, neglected vi!

anyway, the fashion district is incredible. i loved it too much! i mean, look at my face when i found these darling shoes at an unbelievable price:

we were all drooling...

we scoured this place and bought all sorts of crazy things. to keep the kids happy, we bought them all bubble guns which worked a little too well. wherever we went, 4,000 bubbles followed us and showered other shoppers with a sticky solution. i wanted to buy a turtle- but luckily cade has the ability to see past the moment and said no. i do not have that ability. i see, i like, i buy. needless to say, i am glad i don't have a turtle right now even though i really wanted one that day. our best purchase from the fashion district is pictured below:

an entire 3 piece suit with socks, a tie, shoes and a belt - all for 100 bucks. UNREAL! cade was loving life. he walked in the store wearing his white, summer man-pris (men's capri pants) and left looking like a southern lawyer. he got a lot of looks- a lot of good looks.

we had shopped for so long that by the time all the wives finally made it to the fabric section of the district, everything was closed or in the process of closing. i quickly ran into the closest store that had not closed and bought 15 yards of  fabric- just to feel better about the situation. i have yet to do anything with all that fabric. i needed more time! i am not too worried- i have moved the fashion district up on my list of california favorites and i plan on giving myself more time there next year.

staying downtown, that night we ate at LA live, a posh new part of town. everywhere we went, we were the highlight. so many kids all 2 years old and younger. people were loving us! LA needs more kids...
we stopped to take a photo of ivy in this awesome shoe and i turned around to find complete strangers had pulled out their phones and were snapping shots of her as well. i don't blame them. she is a doll, right!?

other highlights were breakfast with antique shopping for the ladies (which didn't yield much success) and taking over a sporting goods store with the kids for the men

early morning surfing

which cade made a movie about:

lots of outdoor fun with the friends
and frazzle runs (which were caught on camera)
cade bought a whole new wardrobe from DI for this summer's vacations. they were put to good use on the cruise and again in california. this is a great group of guys. 
we were so sad to leave. SO SAD. violet especially hated leaving. she loved the beach, her time with lucy, ben and kennedy, and all the fun we had. she cried in the car when she realized that we were heading home. i was almost in tears myself! we LOVE the nelsons and the mcadams. truly, this trip should be a biannual trip from now on. 

the drive home was fast and easy. we left suuuuuuper early in the morning and managed to make it to vegas in time for a great breakfast buffet. i made the best of being in vegas by playing a few rounds of blackjack and winning 80 bucks before we hit the road! hot dog! the kids made the best of it by having ice cream for dessert and running around like crazy. 

we made another stop in scipio for the petting zoo. if you are driving along i15, i highly recommend it! a free petting zoo! the kids loved it here. i was a little peeved because the ice cream machine at DQ broke right after i put in our order for 3 cones. i held a little lamb and all my sorrows went away. who needs ice cream when you have a zebra!?

so there you have it. i love california.

and i love my little fam.

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