Tuesday, February 26, 2013

California Babymoon

President's Day weekend Micah and I decided to leave Kaylyn with Grandma Chelle and fly to warmer weather to enjoy some time with just us two lovebirds before 'lil Bandito joins our family and takes over our lives and hearts next month. Kaylyn slept better those 4 days at Grandma's house than she does at home and Micah and I had a fabulous trip filled with an unlimited food fund, the beach, two movies at the theater, warm weather, and fun.
To kick things off we got a very appropriate fortune...I'm due in a month! Can't wait to meet that short stranger:)
We flew into LAX and drove south on Friday afternoon. I got fish and chips and Micah got wings at a busy little bar restaurant in Seal Beach. We slept in every day and had breakfast for lunch - my favorite! Saturday we spent all afternoon on Balboa Island near Newport Beach.
Saturday at noon on Balboa Island we were driving for quite some time looking for parking when suddenly a spot opened up right in front of this delectable little restaurant.
Those hash browns were gooood!
We loved this unique little gift/art shop on Balboa Island's main shopping strip.
I love this! I must have baby on the brain...and in my belly:)
They did so many cool things with license plates in this little shop, but this was my favorite. Each state cut out of its own license plate - very cool and creative.
We walked along the water looking at all of the expensive houses crammed together on the island.
I loved seeing this kind of snowman...er, sandman...instead of the ones we've had in Utah lately. So nice to get a break from the cold!

Famous Balboa Bar.
We couldn't resist when we saw this sign. We got two beach towels (we didn't pack any with us), a few old books, a cookie cutter, and a cool old coin purse all for $3 and some change. 
I was sooo tempted to get this. I love the frame and am so curious to know the story behind this beaded diary cover from the 1800's that belonged to Marie Louise Seiffert. I'm having non-buyer's remorse.
After Balboa we drove further south to go to the beach.
I ended up falling asleep and waking up to this lovely scene...
...while Micah surfed the net looking for our hotel for that night. So classic. 
Saturday night we went to see Les Miserables at the movie theater. I cried like a baby. The story is just so moving and filled with lessons on selflessness, sacrifice, and forgiveness. So inspiring.
On Sunday we attended church in San Clemente. The chapel is set on the top of a hill  with a huge parking lot and open land next to it. It's a prime piece of land with an awesome view. 
San Clemente Pier.

You'll never believe what we just saw...
jk - just a great shot captured of Micah:)

Monday - lunch for breakfast at The Sugar Shack in Huntington Beach. One of our favorite places!
Huntington Pier.
We went to see a matinee on Monday afternoon before catching our flight home. We saw Lincoln. Quick review - the story itself is amazing because the history is incredible, but the movie was just okay. It focused more on the workings of politics than the stories, heroes, and inspiration of the Civil War and abolition of slavery. That said, I did come out of the movie feeling so grateful for freedom and those who fought - in actual combat and in the government - to make that possible for everyone in this beloved country. I'm proud to be an American!

It was such a well spent weekend. After being there alone together for a little while I quickly got over my nervousness about leaving Kaylyn (every mom feels that, right?) and told Micah that we should do this more often. Micah commented about how couples often stress the importance of having regular date nights together and that for him it's about getting my undivided attention. With kids Mom is always a little distracted in taking care of their constant needs, which is right and good, but Dad needs that care and attention too. I always thought of date night as being a way to keep the romance alive - and while it serves that purpose as well, I totally agree with Micah. We always laugh and say that Chancha steals Dad's tickles (Micah loves back tickles) so I was sure to give him lots of back tickles on our trip:) As we were driving to the airport to catch our flight home Micah said that in the end it's our relationship (as husband and wife) that is most important - not the kids. They'll grow up and get married and have their own families and it will be him and me again. We're working toward eternity together and we should be each other's priority. We only have one kid and as more come I can see how easy it could be for me to get so wrapped up in their needs that I neglect Micah's. I'm grateful for the reminder of what's important and for those moments of truth and clarity - thank goodness Micah provides those for me quite often! I'm one lucky and blessed girl.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Chateau

On January 5, 2013 we welcomed a new member of the family - an RV lovingly named "The Chateau". This has been a long time dream of Micah's and he's been looking for one for some time. Of course he found a killer deal and can't wait to share fun, adventure, and variety with family and friends as we discover more of our wonderful country on the road.
Our maiden voyage began on Friday afternoon, January 18th. Jeremiah and Dallas joined us and Grauling flew to California where we picked her up on Saturday - now that's dedication to friends and fun. We're so glad that she did!

It's good to have these three fellas together on the open road.
On the way there we stopped in Las Vegas to go to a buffet with Karl, Carolyn & Lamar (Karl is Big Al's cousin from Ephraim). They are some of my favorite people on this planet. They are so good and kind and honorable. I was so glad that we could introduce more of our friends to them because people's lives are made better by knowing them. We sure love those Christensens!
After the buffet at the Bellagio with Karl, Carolyn, and their son Lamar.
This pic is dedicated to the one and only A-lick-ya. 
We got a late start from Vegas so instead of going all the way to Cali, we decided to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot in Barstow. We hadn't yet discovered the beauty and luxury of the RV and didn't know that we could have heat during the night without being "plugged in" so it was coooold. Luckily I had brought extra blankets because I'm always cold and Kaylyn was a mini-heater for me as she slept with us that night. Unfortunately, Micah froze and didn't know that I had an extra blanket that I wasn't using. Sad! We continued on our journey the next morning and made our first stop at the San Diego airport to pick up Lindsay and complete our RV Family.
The Crew
We drove on the coast for a while then finally decided to just grab a bite to eat and head to the beach. It took us a while to decide on our agenda partly because as we were parked on the side of the road near the water we couldn't help but just sit and bask in the warm weather with the RV door wide open and the windows down. It was so warm and such a nice break from Utah's foggy cold winter. I also had this weird and super intense earache so we considered going to go to an Instacare to get me some relief - it wasn't just any old earache. The night before it was especially bad and hurt so much that I felt like vomiting. After a priesthood blessing from Micah, some home remedy relief - hot corn oil in my ear (online it suggested using olive oil, but they didn't have any in the gas station) and feeling a little better the next day we decided to just call in a prescription and save the $200 visit to the doctor. I began taking the antibiotics that afternoon and the next morning I was a new woman. But back to the fun stuff...we spent a wonderful afternoon on the beach.

The water was so cold, but Kaylyn loved playing in it anyway. Kids are fearless. 
We found a sweet RV Park in Chula Vista complete with free showers, pool, hot tub, and live music the night that we arrived. The RV world is totally new to us, but fascinating! When we mentioned to some friends that we got an RV and they jokingly said, "Are you going to visit your grandkids in it?" Yes, the majority of RV owners are in their golden years, but why wait to discover this beautiful country from the comfort of home on the road?

Our next stop was Sea World:
The penguin exhibit.This is 1of 3 pictures at SeaWorld:)
Kaylyn loved the Pet Show! It was full of dogs, cats, and all sorts of animals doing amazing tricks.

Lindsay and I both got tagged by a seagull overhead during the dolphin show. Yuck!

Attempting a family nap in the back of the RV. It's actually really bouncy when you're out on the road so it's hard to sleep. Funny enough Kaylyn slept great back there as her little body bounced all over the place.
Nap time.
She's barricaded in all on all sides. During one nap Micah found her sleeping with her head hanging off the side of the bed.
We started to make our way home on Monday with a few stops along the way. For breakfast we ate at McDonald's then In-N-Out Burger for lunch. Healthy, I know. That's just what you do on road trips. We didn't actually use any of the kitchen or facilities on the RV this trip because we don't know how to yet!

After lunch we visited one of Micah's mission companions, Jesse Pricer, at his home for about an hour and met his wife and kids. It was fun to to have the four elders back together - Christensen, Christenot, Young, and Pricer - as they reminisced about New York and caught up with each other's lives. Then we stopped in Vegas again to meet Glade for dinner at a delicious Cajun restaurant. We finally made it home at 3am. It was such a fun trip and so cool to have our home with us wherever we went! The best part is always the people you're with and the good conversation on the open road. Can't wait for the next one!