Thanksgiving Week

Life just gets too busy around the holidays.

But, on Thanksgiving week with the kids off from school, we went up to our family cabin for a few days to relax. And then back to our house for a quiet Thanksgiving dinner.

When we got up to the cabin, it was chilly so to keep the kids occupied while the fire got started, Mike taught them Slap Jack. Needless to say, it was loud and entertaining. The next morning was filled with hunting for pine cones to take back to the house to make glittery ornaments (which we actually did!). We went to Big Bear for a little, and took the kids bowling and played arcade games.

The next day, we headed over to the local park then onto Lake Arrowhead for a few carnival rides by the water. Woofed down McDonald’s on the steps overlooking the docks and loud ducks. We almost stayed another night but decided to just go home to a very warm Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving was quiet and lazy which was kinda nice. The kids played in the backyard in their pjs for who knows how long. Brooke made mud pie soup on top of the cooler (a favorite thing to do nowadays) while Bryn collected the dirt. Blake played football with the neighbors next door (check out the proof on his knees below). And Ben.. always always smiling.


It’s not everyday you turn the big 35.

But, when you do, you get to go on trips like this one to Vancouver. The week before, I was in Nashville for work so what a difference a few weeks and a few plane rides can be.

Mike and I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver which was… perfection. In the middle of the city. Awesome bar. Nice people. Modern room with a great view. We want to go back and we would definitely stay here.

We took a cab ride to Granville Island and LOVED EVERY MINUTE of it. San Francisco-esque with cute shops and a marketplace filled with freshly baked cookies, cheese, and all the sorts of goodies you would buy on a Sunday afternoon shopping trip. We ate. We chatted with amazing locals. If you can, stop by a little paper shop (I think it’s Paper Granville) that has wonderful prints you would want to frame to hang in every room in your house.

And then the food… some of THE BEST I have had EVER. Dinners were probably the highlight of our trip. First night was at a “must go to” steakhouse–The Keg. Then for my birthday the yummiest dinner at Italian Kitchen. We sat on the second floor overlooking the street below enjoying pasta.

Here’s a few pics from our trip!


Cabo San Lucas – Trip Across The Border

We’ve gone on two vacations this summer without the kiddies (which I think should be mandatory for every parent). The first trip to Oahu was work-related for Mike so I mostly caught up on sleep. I was in a haze for a good week after we got back. And this trip, was a quick getaway to do the exact opposite of the first trip–skip naps and stay up way too late (oh, college days).

First, let me say that I would highly recommend a good all-inclusive when traveling to Mexico. I didn’t feel this way before we left but the hotel did an amazing job. The amount of food we ate would have made it worth it. But, throw in the beer and margaritas!? And the stocked mini-fridge in our room!?

We stayed at the Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos in one of their newly renovated suites (on that cliff) with a huge wraparound balcony and couldn’t have been happier. The service was great. The food was pretty darn good. Fun atmosphere (entertainment group at the hotel made it fun!) and close to town. We will be going back!

Grand Wailea: Our Maui Trip

To celebrate an early 10-year anniversary (and me turning the big 3-4), we decided to fly over the Pacific to one of our favorite spots–Maui. Since hub works with a lot of people who live in Hawaii, he asked them where to stay and all of them agreed on the Grand Wailea.

It was breathtaking. After we checked in, we went straight to the pool which has amazing reviews. Pretty kid-friendly with tons of water slides, a rope swing, water falls, lazy river… You get the picture. We skipped all of that and went straight to the adult-only pool (aww..quiet), ordered one too many mai tais, and ended up at the swim up bar with some great people from Louisiana and Arizona.

The next few days we ate YUMMY fried rice for breakfast at Fred’s, went swimming at the Secret beach just south of our hotel (there were really only a few of us there), and ate sushi at Sansei in Kihei (go late for half off sushi and karaoke). The few locals we met were extremely nice and pointed us in the right direction when it came to happy hours and “special” beaches where bathing suits are optional, if we were up for an adventure.

One more post to come of the last part of our trip. Aloha!

Two Girls Get Married

A few months ago, my sister-in-law got married. It was such a great day with friends and family. The day before the wedding, we drove the “few” hour drive north to Santa Barbara and stopped at the pier. Gloomy at first, but it was amazing by the end.

I’m so excited for these two beautiful friends of mine to be together forever. Their ceremony was one of the most emotional ones I’ve been in-and to-in a long time. I wish nothing but the best for them as they begin their life as a married couple.

Here’s a few pics I took (top two) and a few I stole from the wedding photographer’s blog. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge fan of his work!

Congratulations Michelle and April! Such a beautiful day of love and friendship.

All Girls Getaway

Up in the mountains, back in 1959, my Grandpa Stone built this amazing place we now call The Cabin. My Aunt Peggy arranged a fun, relaxing getaway for the girls of the family. While relaxing on the worn-in couches sipping wine (or chugging water, in my case), we chatted about life, family, and growing up. We ate sandwiches and pumpkin bars and veggies and dip. We took pictures of ourselves on the iPad and found out what celebrities we look like (poor Mal, Tom Hanks, really?). I think Jamie won that game–Rachael Leigh Cook look-a-like.

In the morning, we woke up to Aunt Nancy flipping pancakes, just like Grandma used to make, with boysenberry syrup. Such a nice time to really look around at all these great women in my life, and be thankful.

We missed my mom and Crystal but know this is the first of many trips away…to spend time with family…especially just us girls.

Lake Las Vegas

Gosh a few weeks ago already, we took a family trip to Lake Las Vegas. My mom took care of all the details–the hotel was gorgeous, the rooms were perfect, we were close to Lake Mead. It couldn’t have been a better time.

I think some of my favorite memories include Blake playing with Tess (the dog), playing darts with Aaron, Jamie, Mike, and John, watching Blake go down the water slide with Mike, finding two turtles with Blakey who live at the hotel, hearing the stories of Blake going on the inner tube with Jamie and Mike for the first time, and enjoying a minute with my mom at dinner to chat about the future (still can’t believe twins are on the way).

Now, time for the pictures that really show how much fun we had! That first one is B jumping from bed to bed. See? Fun!

River Rats

Last weekend, my Dad invited us on a family trip to the “River house” outside of Laughlin, NV. It was fun, a little tiring with a sick Blakey, and a memory we will treasure. It was B’s first time on a wave runner (those pics are on Mal’s camera but, believe me, he had fun).

Highlights included: Our first real road trip with Blakey who was AMAZING and didn’t get cranky at all; a highly enjoyable meal of carne asada, thanks to Jay; watching two little cousins play and swim together (sharing is still a struggle but I know that will pass); the gun show (see pic below); swimming in the pool; watching video of Mal take Fearless Blake down the huge water slide; and spending time with family.

Here are a few shots to share: