Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lake Powell 2016.

Mikes family grew up going to Lake Powell every single summer! Sometimes twice or three times in one summer. I didn't grow up with a boat, but would sometimes go to Lake Powell with friends that did. I love it there! The last time we went to Powell was when Georgia was 3 months old and it was actually really hard. Kind of disaster. That was our first trip with G, and I was still brand new mom trying to figure out nursing, getting her to fall asleep, etc... It was SO HOT and I just remember thinking, "get me off this houseboat as soon as possible." 
After our last experience, we just decided that this year we were not going to go. The ages of our kids worried me and the drive down there worried me, pretty much all of it made me stressed. But at the last minute I decided that it would probably be stressful and hard, but it would also be such a fun memory! And the fact that this was the Kimball sides big family reunion this summer, I just felt like we would really be missing out. So we ditched the idea of staying on the houseboat, and got a rental in Page, AZ about 10 minutes from the marina. This decision alone changed the entire trip! It was so nice to be able to go back to our rental at the end of a long day on the lake and shower, get clean, and sleep in a bed! Our kids ended up doing really well! I just went with the flow of missed naps and late nights and told myself it wasn't a big deal for 3 days. Lane went ALL OUT the first day at the lake. He was so excited about jumping off the side of the houseboat into the water. He called it his "diving board" and probably did it at least 100 times that day. He is used to taking a nap everyday so I was surprised that he didn't crash! He just kept moving, running, and swimming all day long! On the boat ride back to the marina however, he completely zonked out! Slept the entire boat ride, the walk to our car, the car ride to our rental, even THE SHOWER Mike gave him when we got home! Who sleeps through a shower???? Thats how exhausted he was. So to say we slept like rocks would be an understatement.
Georgia and Lane both tried the tube and loved it until Georgia got bucked off in the middle of the lake! She didn't ever recover from that incident and I think it might be years until we can get her back on a tube. Lane loved it though, and I'm sure when Leona is old enough, she will love it to. Our kids mostly loved playing on the beach and swimming in the water! It was actually a pretty relaxing trip for the most part. Robin fed us like kings, no surprise there. And it was nice to all be together as a big family, creating memories with each other! We don't get together as much as we used to. Everyone is so busy raising their own families. So it was nice to have uninterrupted time with everyone there. We took a big family picture the last day and I love it! I always come away from these trips feeling so lucky to have married into such an incredible family. The Kimball's have welcomed me with open arms and loved me like their own from minute one. I'm glad that I now have only positive memories of Lake Powell once again! No more Powell with newborns! 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bear Camp!

I have been going back and forth with whether or not to send Lane to preschool in the fall. He has a late May birthday, and I just worried that he may not be emotionally ready for school. Let's be honest, I'm probably less emotionally ready than he is, but whatever. He is just the sweetest, most sensitive soul. He has never gone to nursery by himself, and I have never pushed him to. I think as parents we think that pushing our kids to do certain things will drive them to be more independent. I'm not saying that it doesn't, but my approach to parenting is more led by my child's personality. Obviously there are things that my kids don't want to do that they have to do. Get dressed in the morning, eat the dinner I made, go to sleep when I tell them, etc... But I have never felt that nursery is something THEY HAVE to do. And, like Nursery, 3 year old preschool is not something I feel like is essential to childhood. Georgia for example, ended up really loving nursery and school. Lanes personality is just really different. Anyway, that was kind of a tangent. Back to the main topic here, Bear Camp. Miss Molly offers these little week long summer camps for kids 3-5 years old. I felt like this would be the perfect opportunity for Lane to get a feel for preschool, and be able to do it with Georgia by his side the whole time. The first day was so heart wrenching for me. I thought it would be better to just quickly fade out of view rather than to say, "Ok buddy, mommy is leaving now," and make it some big deal. I waited in the stairwell to listen to Lanes reaction and lets just say Lane wasn't the only one that shed some tears. But I stuck to my guns and told myself that Georgia was with him, and he needed to just try. Sure enough, 2 hours later he was all smiles at pick up! He got into the car and told me about all the things he did. He had the the biggest smile on his face and kept saying over and over, "can you believe I went to preschool????" Just like everything Lane says or does, it really was the cutest thing ever. He ended up going through that whole week of Bear Camp and really loving it. I was beyond proud of him. My heart was just beaming every time he got into the car with smile on. That gave me a huge boost in being able to confidently send him to school in the fall, knowing that he will learn and grow, and LOVE IT. It was such a weird week for me, having Georgie and Lane gone from 9-11:30 every morning. Having Leona all to myself was like being in a dream. We loved every second of it. Going to the park, farm country, she even was my little buddy at the DMV! I couldn't help but feel like a huge part of us, (half of our daily entourage) was missing. Leona and I were both so happy to have Georgia and Laney back at the end of the week! Here are a couple pictures I snapped before we left for their first day: 

Memorial Day in Midway.

I know that I'm about 2 months behind on my blog. Let's be honest, I feel like these days I'm pretty much 2 months behind on life. Summer has just been so crazy busy! And we are loving every second of it. It's heaven for me to have all my kids at home all day with me. I'm already dreading the start of school, when I have to send Georgia AND Lane to preschool. Give me all the tissues. 
We started our summer off right with a good old fashioned Kimball Midway Memorial Day. I have a confession to make... When Mike and I were first married and Georgia was a baby, I actually didn't really love going to Midway. I just felt like it was kind of far away, so dusty, my allergies would kick up, etc... But I have to come clean now and admit that I absolutely have fallen in love with Midway. And now I will be so sad when Mikes parents finally decide to buy or build a house! My kids love to be there, riding the golf cart and the horse. Grandma always makes family dinner and gatherings so special. Memorial Day was no exception! It was fun to be with all of the Kimball side and relax and catch up. I love that there are so many cousins for my kids to play with on that side. The older kids love the younger kids, the younger kids love each other, etc... Everyone just gets along. Leona loved riding the horse this time around. She has always been a little stand offish with the horse but this time they really connected and she didn't even want to get off! I also had the opportunity to take some family pictures for Dan and Marianne. I'm really not great at photography, but I have loved being able to improve my passion and hobby by taking pictures of family. It's just a ton of fun for me, plus I love that I'm comfortable enough with my family to say, "I'm not making any promises of great pictures here..." But to my surprise, these pictures did turn out really cute! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

California Trip: Part 3.

After our Disney days we had some down time where we got to play in the sand and the sun! We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach and it had such a fun pool for the kids. We lucked out with incredible weather the entire trip. Georgia and Lane loved to go down the slide at the hotel and jump in and out of the hot tub. They all really loved the beach, too! I love that the beach is the best babysitter in the world. It can entertain kids and adults for hours! The kids would just fall into bed every night, they were so exhausted from all of the fun. I was actually surprised at how well all 5 of us slept in a hotel room together. We made the most of Southern California eateries and pretty much ate our weight in doughnuts, pizza, tacos, and waffles. One of the days we were there, we decided to take the kids to the Santa Ana Zoo. This was something we did with Georgia and Lane a few years ago and it was a huge hit! We also found this amazing little park that the kids played at one morning. Mike and I kept saying to each other, "this is what dreams are made of." The nicest park in beautiful Newport Beach, overlooking the ocean. Leona's curls were in full force with the salty air, and I was loving every second of it!! By the end of the seven days we were all ready to get back home. Georgia kept saying things like, "I miss my bed." The plane ride home was a little bit rough. It was right in the middle of Leona's nap time and she let the entire plane know it! It was probably the longest hour and twenty minutes of my life, but we survived it. I'm so lucky to have my beautiful family to experience these moments with. I never knew what joy really was until I became a mom. The years are flying by but the memories we are making along the way are priceless to me. I think I have known this for most of my life, but never more so than I do now, family really is everything.

California Trip: Part 2.

The second and third day spent at Disney were just as great as the first one. The weather definitely got warmer on those days so the afternoons were quite hot, but other than that I really have no complaints. I always look for my "magic moment" of every trip. It's cheesy I know but every singe time I have taken the kids to Disneyland there is always one moment that stands out more than any of the others. This trip had a magic moment I really will never forget! It was our last day at Disney, a Wednesday. We had gotten to the park before it was opened, and Mike decided that he wanted to go to CA Adventure to get the fast passes for Radiator Springs. I wanted to start over in Fantasyland so I just told him to meet us over there after he got the fast passes. Well, this particular morning was cool because they didn't have a Magic Morning hour at Disneyland. So when we got into the park, no rides were open yet. The kids and I got to the ropes that were blocking off the entrance to the different lands and we kind of just sat there waiting for 9 am to hit. I had never been to the park before it opened without it being Magic Morning, so I didn't really know what to expect. So at about 8:55, some music came on the loud speakers. Then, a voice started talking through the speakers welcoming us to Disneyland and talking about how Walt Disney had envisioned this place for families to come and create memories. I immediately felt the lump starting to form in my throat. I mean, that Walt Disney was really something else. Anyways, the music is playing and the guy is talking and all of sudden he says something like, "we hope you have a magical day here at Disneyland." And all at once the workers took down the ropes and all the park goes start clapping and cheering and running into Sleeping Beauty's Castle. My kids were so excited and Georgia looked up at me and said, "THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!" Instant tears from me. It really is the most magical place and to experience that little park opening with me and the three littles was definitely my magic moment of the trip. Lane and Georgia were brave (and tall) enough to try Space Mountain this time around! Georgia ended up loving it, but Lane burst into tears as soon as the ride stopped. That ride is seriously fast! And dark! I was hysterically laughing the entire ride, just holding on to Lanes hand. I couldn't even see his face because of how dark it was, but when the ride ended, he just looked over at me and started to cry. Poor buddy. Now whenever anyone asks him what his favorite ride at Disneyland was he says, "NOT Space Mountain!" Another moment to remember was when Georgia got to open up Toon Town with Minnie and Pluto! If you get over to the entrance of  Toon Town right before it opens (an hour after the park opens) it's so cute to see the classic Disney Characters open up the gates and welcome everyone to Toon Town. Georgia got to hold Minnie's hand all the way in. It was so cute and Georgia loved it! The magic of Disneyland never gets old, I'm already well under way planning out next trip!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

California Trip: Part 1.

On the 15th of May, we set out on our family trip to California! I was looking forward to this trip for what felt like forever. I'm such a Disney lover, and I was so happy that this trip was going to be 7 days of our family all being together. Normally when we go to California, we either do a Disney trip or a beach trip, but this time we combined them both and it was so much fun! I went back and forth about taking Leona or not. I just felt like she wasn't ready for Disneyland quite yet, and I worried about how she would do on the flight. After much deliberation, I decided that if I'm going to be gone for 7 days, I would miss Leo way to much and therefore, we decided to bring her with. I'm so happy that we did!!! All of us were having so much fun watching Leona experience Disneyland for the first time, and she actually did incredibly well. We flew into Long Beach on Sunday afternoon and stopped by my aunt and uncles house in Huntington before heading to Anaheim. I grew up visiting Huntington almost every year and I have the best memories there. I always love seeing Sandy & Mike, and they are always so happy to welcome visitors into their home. After we visited for a while and ate some lunch, we headed to our hotel. The kids all did really well on the plane, but traveling makes for a long day and I wanted to make sure that the kids got a good nights rest before our Disney day on Monday morning. We got to the hotel and got all settled in. The kids were just running around the room screaming with joy because they were so excited to be in a hotel, and also to be so close to The Happiest Place on Earth. All of us slept great that night, and Lane made sure to wake us all up bright and early so we wouldn't miss out on any of the magic. We got to Disneyland right when it opened, around 9 am. Gosh, I can't even tell you how happy this place makes me. Just walking down Main Street USA and hearing the music, seeing that castle, smelling the churros... it really is my heaven with my kids. We had our double stroller, and a single umbrella stroller, so Mike and I probably looked a little funny, but there is no way Georgia could walk around all day without the stroller. We always find ourselves in Fantasyland first. Georgia and Lane love all of the rides there, and it's not super busy in the mornings. Leona was actually a little nervous of the rides at first, which actually worked to our advantage because she wouldn't let me put her down. I always worry how my babies will do when we are waiting in line, and the fact that she was perfectly content with me holding her was a huge plus. After the shock of the first couple rides wore off, Leo ended up loving all of the rides! She would scream "TEACUP!!!!" and "MANE-A!" (Mater). It was the cutest thing ever. Georgia loves all of the characters and wants to meet every single one. Lane is more selective in the characters he actually wants to meet and get a picture with. He only likes the ones that don't talk, Goofy, Pluto, Woody, Mickey, etc... Leona hated all of the characters in every way shape and form. I did get one picture with her and Mickey Mouse but I had to hold her the whole time and on the side that was furthest aways from Mickey. She would immediately cry if we got close to any of the characters. The weather that first day was probably the best Disney weather we could have asked for. Overcast and 70 degrees. Mike and I both agreed that this trip probably gave us the best weather. Here are a few of the pictures from our first day: