Monday, April 25, 2016


The coast of Oregon might be as close to I can imagine what Heaven might look is truly something to see. This is my perfect idea of beach living...I could have the backyard of sand and ocean, hear and watch the waves, and see whales and seals from my windows all while never having to actually get into the fish water as it is just too cold! Our drive into Oregon was its own adventure as we were taking the scenic coastal highway...something we can now say we've done that is on so many people's bucket lists :)  Seriously...seeing the teal blue ocean out your left windows and the massive Redwoods out your right is something I hope everyone gets a chance to see at some point in their lives!

We stopped with the kids for a break to play in the massive trees...and of course Luke managed to give us a laugh :) Why he thought it was a good idea to kick his legs up and down over the river like he was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, sending his shoe flying into the river is beyond me! He literally just stopped and burst into sobbing tears screaming about his shoe as we all watched it float down the river, laughing our butts off like the good parents we are!! Fortunately Luke has some seriously awesome big brothers who bolted down the riverside and actually managed to catch his shoe downstream!!!

Gold Beach, Oregon was our home for a few days and one we literally had to drag ourselves away from. Looking out our RV windows at the Pacific Ocean is hard to replicate anywhere else and something we will miss having the opportunity to do when this adventure is over! We spent so much time playing on the beach, sitting face to face with seals, whale watching, spending hours watching the wild sea otters, and even saw a few bald eagles! The coolest thing about Gold Beach is the treasure hunt they set up for the visitors. They continually hide these beautiful glass balls all over the coast, in the grass and dunes and you get to search for them. You even get to keep your treasure! We spent hours playing pirate and searching for treasure!!! Craig and I took the kids on a private tour of the Salmon Hatchery and had the most fascinating hour learning every little detail about this sleepy fishing town's main industry! The kids couldn't let a trip to fishing land go without giving it a hand ourselves...of course Craig had to work so I had to take them...YUCK! I about passed out when the rod I was holding for Luke managed to snag a fish and I had to reel it in!! Matt had the biggest catch of the day and we all left Gold Beach with smiles on our faces!

Our second stop in Oregon was Portland...we stayed out by the waterfalls and spent a full day hiking the falls, exploring the forest and even meeting Herman, the world record holding Sturgeon! The kids and I ventured into downtown Portland to spend the day at Portland Science Museum (OMSI). What better way to learn science than spending a full day fully emerging ourselves! Definitely recommend this place if you are ever in the area! This family spent a week in Oregon and it was no where near enough! Oregon...we will be back!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

California, Part 2

We are back in California...this time up in the Northern half of the state! Our first stop was a highly anticipated one, particularly for the kids...back to Craig's Aunt & Uncle's house for a fun filled weekend with Craig's cousins and their kids who are all around the boys ages! Over the years we have done most of our keeping in touch remotely as we all live so far from each other. This year we were blessed with not one, but two trips here to spend time with everyone! The first was last February when we made a long weekend trip out, the primary reason being to say goodbye to Craig's Grandma. Craig's Aunt Mary & Uncle Jud were fantastic hosts as always, they are very welcoming and make us feel as if we were at home with my parents as they just dote on everyone. Mary and I even managed to sneak away for pedicures :) Luke's dreams were met when he spent more than a few hours in the giant bathtub in the guest room...the only thing he has missed this entire trip is taking bubbly baths (the kid is like a fish and stays in for hours!). All 3 boys had a fantastic time running around with cousins and Craig got to spend time hanging out with all of his cousins :) Definitely a successful weekend!!!

Our second stop was another place we were just at last year but this time we had a super cool visitor flying in to meet up with us for a few days...Aunt Key (my younger sister!). The kids were so excited to show her San Francisco and drag her (and her poor broken foot) all over the city to show her their favorite places! We even got to squeeze in something new for all of us...a tour of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Headquarters. What an amazing place!!! And the was so hard not to just grab them up and run as fast as you could! We learned so much on this tour and have such a new-found respect for these incredible dogs!

Our last adventure in California was a doozey...we had our first "emergency". Kerry and I were driving back to Napa with the boys from SF when the Jeep had a tire blowout! I have never had this happen to me while driving in my life. I was well trained to call Craig and have him help when much to my amazement my baby sister decides to showcase her hidden talent of apparently being an auto mechanic in a prior life and hops out of car, rolls under the Jeep and promptly changes the tire while the kids and I got to be her assistants! Craig watched the whole thing live on Skype and was as impressed as I was!  She had the whole thing done before he could even get there to help us! Her reward...her very first ever campfire cooked dinner of hot dogs and S'mores, followed by her very first time ever camping :) We were so sad to see Aunt Key head back home but so happy she took time from her own family to come spend a few days with us!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Nevada, Part 2 :)

Well, we are back in Nevada...this time we went across the part of Nevada not as well traveled as that famous bottom corner...the top of the state. Our destinations being Reno and Lake Tahoe. I'll be honest, Reno is a place I really could have cared less to go to but it was Brian's Birthday week and we wanted to be somewhere fun for him! We ended up staying at the neatest RV park, it was attached to one of the massive casinos. They were completely kid-friendly and boy did my guys enjoy themselves!!! Brian's Birthday was a full day devoted to his wishes...we started with presents and pie, followed by airsoft paintballing/laser obstacles/inflatables, next up was the over the water driving range they were dying to try at the resort, with wacky bumper cars to finish off the fun before dinner at Chili's!  Brian's day of fun about exhausted us but he had the best day ever and that's all that matters :)

Lake Tahoe is so drive through the switchbacks and literally end up at this gorgeous, blue piece of water that looks like it fell out of the sky! We had such a fun time exploring the surrounding cities, playing football on the beach and enjoying a picnic together :) What  a neat treasure so close to such a big city...who knew?!?!?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Utah (Part 2)

We are back in Utah! On our way back west through the Northern part of America we decided Easter in Park City sounded perfect! My adventure loving family has declared this a state we would definitely consider moving to if we decided to ever leave Texas! On this trip we have been to three different parts (Zion, Moab & now Park City) and have loved one more than the next! We were so lucky to have my BFF of 25 years and her two kids (one of which is my godchild) join us for a super quick, but super fun 24 hours, including Easter morning!

Park City was supposed to be a five day stay and thanks to Mother Nature turned into a nine day stay and there was not a single complaint! The first part of the week included a lot of trips to Olympic Park...we literally couldn't get enough! We visited the Olympic Museum, tried out the virtual rides, watched the history videos, bought all day passes to the Extreme Adventure Park (more on this in a minute), played in the snow and did the funnest thing ever...watched Craig go in an actual Swiss Olympic Bobsled down the actual Olympic track! Talk about a once in a lifetime experience! The only two places in the world you can do this is Park City and Vancouver, and they only offer 6 time slots each day in the winter months. The kids and I got him this for his Birthday and he has been looking forward to it since. Craig has spent a good amount of time on this trip working (to pay for it!) and it was so fun to get to do something just for him! You could not pay me to hop in one of these but Craig got off with a smile lighting up his whole face! Flying down the course at 74mph, taking 16 turns with the g-force shoving him against the side of the sled was "the funnest thing ever" according to Craig! The extreme adventure park was not for the faint of heart! From extreme tubing down the ski jump hills, extreme ziplining at 65mph down a mountain and the adventure ropes course towering in the sky, my crew opened up the place and then shut it down 6 hours later! They even managed to convince me to zipline!

Easter was our final major Holiday of the trip and it was successful! The Bunny came for all 5 kids, leaving baskets and a huge egg hunt for candy and money! Waking up with 5 kiddos made the day so much fun. My guys were so excited to have Lance & Madison here for Easter...the kids all love each other so much and do not get to spend nearly enough time together.

Our trip is now officially in the 2 month homestretch. We know life is going to soon return to normal and the days of endless playing together, sleeping in, staying up late watching movies as a family and just being lazy are coming to an end. Even waking up to the excitement of massive amounts of snow is soon going to be a distant memory. While we are so excited to get back home and see family and friends and our pets, it's hard not to be a little sad at the thought of all of this ending. My kids have become closer than ever and Craig & I have had the chance to just enjoy them without all the stress and chaos that is normal life for us. We have given them the opportunity to truly just be kids, without all the pressures kids now face (completely different than when Craig and I were kids) and will always look back on this as the best thing we ever did! Now...let the countdown begin...Texas here we come! (after a few more stops!)