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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hi :)

Oh, wait....what's this? Could it be a blog post? {Gasp!} ;)

Sometimes we all need little breaks in life from some things, which, in my case, would be blogging. Or maybe I should say big break? I did kinda leave y'all hanging for about six weeks. Sorry about that. :)

But yes, I did come back from MO, and I had a fantabulous time. :) I actually have a blog post from that which has been sitting unfinished in my post files for weeks now. {inserts sheepish grin}   
 Today, however, you get pictures from our CA trip!
Oh, did I not mention we were going on a family vacation? Wow, now you're probably really feeling out of the loop. :)

We left Saturday, June 14, at the crack of dawn, (or maybe it was more like 6:45. Which in my book is still early), to begin our 11 hour drive.  
11 people, 1 dog, pillows and blankets for everyone, suitcases, pack & play, strollers, and an insane amount of food. We do like our food. :) Basically, if we even thought we might need it, we took it.

The first couple hours of our drive went pretty smoothly. Aaron slept, and the kiddos were all content to watch out their windows, waiting for their first glimpse of California. They didn't quite understand how far we were actually driving to get there. Poor unsuspecting little souls. We stopped briefly at a rest-stop to change toddlers out of pj's, and get breakfast passed around, then we hit the road again.

After eating, the kids decided it was time to break out some of the toys/activities we had brought. The only problem with this was that they would play with it for about two minutes, then decide they wanted something new. Imagine this for about seven hours. -_-  
You can tell we don't often travel as we stopped every two hours to get out and stretch, and let someone go to the bathroom. :) I think I can say I've seen every rest-stop from here to CA. ;)
By the time 11:30 rolled around we had some pretty cranky kids on our hands since they were up early, and they obviously do not like to sleep in the car. Unlike me. :) Put me in a car, and I'm often out like a light. It's great.
12:30 had them asking the question of the ages: "Are we there yet?" You can imagine the groans that went around when we told them we only had 4 more hours to go. Lol.
We drove, and drove, and drove. Until finally, we heard the wonderful words, "We're in CA!" But we still had a couple hours to go...

Now, the day before we left, we had the car seats on the second bench of our van arranged so that Connor, Audrey, and Noah were all next to each other. Being the *wise* sister that I am, (no comment Katie), I thought to myself, "They'll probably fight the entire time we're driving if they're next to each other, so let's move Audrey up front, and I'll sit between Connor and Noah. Genius!"  Let's just say that was not a good idea. -_- I spent the whole drive trying to find a position that didn't have cars seats jabbing into my shoulder blades. Not fun. Not fun at all.

Man, it felt like we were NEVER going to get there! By the time we were an hour away, I wanted to get out of that van SO BAD! Noah had one of those Leap Pad toy things, where you press the button and it tells you what letter it is, and his favorite button was the letter 'W'. He pressed that button over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over....until I thought I was going to go insane. Lol.  I felt like Shi-Fu out of Kung-Fu Panda. "Inner peace...inner peace....in-in-inner peace..."
Thankfully that toy is no longer in the house. It has been accidentally maliciously destroyed. ;)
And he kept kicking my knee too. That got old really fast. 

We did FINALLY make it to Chris and Katie's house though, and everyone was in one piece!!!
HALLELUJAH! After unloading all of our stuff, (of which there was much), we crashed on the couches, and floor, and waited impatiently for our pizza to cook. :) Papa Murphy's stuffed crust pizza... doesn't get much better than that.
Chris had to work that day, so we also had to wait impatiently for him to get home.

The first night was pretty rough. We put all four toddlers in one bed at the same time, which was a BAD IDEA. Many spankings, and much frustration later, we separated some of them, and moved them back after they fell asleep.
I don't know about anyone else, but I slept like a brick that night. :) Although it was a little squishy trying to sleep on a love seat, despite the fact that I'm short.

Sunday was pretty low key. We went to church, and just kind of chilled, before BBQ-ing for Father's Day. Man, I ate so much yummy food on that trip, it's crazy. :)

Here we have Katie trying to chop her finger off    cut watermelon. 

And here's a one-eyed me waiting for her to chop her fingers off. It was a very tense moment.

Monday we went bowling! I LOVE BOWLING! Lol.
Not entirely sure why I enjoy it so much.

Tuesday we toured the Jelly Belly Factory which was fun. :) 

A family picture with all of us looking amazing in our Jelly Belly hats. ;) 

Afterwards we headed to Old Town Sacramento, where all the boys went to the train museum, and we girls wandered around the shops and had fun. :)

This place has quite the thing going on. They've got every kind of sock imaginable. From military socks, to clown fish socks, to Super Hero socks that have little capes attached to the back. You name it, they've got it. Made me wish I liked wearing socks. :)

 Megan found the cure for internet addiction!!! I would probably never get on the computer if using this was my only choice. Gives me the shivers.....

 Some of my family members seemed to think I needed this shirt. I can't imagine why. ;) I'll admit, I was very tempted to buy it. :)

 Ah, yes. The doughnuts. This was quite the experience. The young guy making the doughnuts was very outgoing, and made sure to include everyone in the pastry-making process.
Pictured below you have me dancing, while shaking up the powder sugar doughnuts.  My dancing skills are so impressive, I got hired on the spot. ;) We may or may not have video footage of this event...

Wednesday was our last day, and we decided to head to a nearby park so the kids, (big and little), could get some energy out. After that we went home, ate ice cream sandwiches, (best thing since sliced bread!), and started the fun job of packing everything back up.

We said our goodbyes early the next morning and got back in the van to begin the looooooong drive home. Whoopdy doo...
the way home seemed even longer than the drive there, even though I didn't think that was possible. We did however stop at Crater Lake when we reached Oregon. We've lived here almost my entire life, and we'd never seen it before.
The drive up was pretty scary though. Driving a fifteen passenger van up a mountain that has nothing to keep you from going over the edge? Quite terrifying if you ask me, especially since I'm afraid of heights.
But it was worth it. :)

After getting stuck on the mountain due to rocks falling on the road we did finally get down, and began the last leg of our journey.
We were all so eager to get home, but of course, you can't travel on an empty stomach, so we made a pit-stop for pizza at  the Eugene Costco. It felt weird to be so close to home, yet so far.
Just two more hours... We could do this...
Unfortunately Aaron decided to cry most of the way home. -_- I was able to sing him to sleep with my fabulous voice for a little while, but I couldn't seem to remember any of the songs I know.  Funny how that always happens.

Oh the joy, the indescribable joy when we pulled into our own driveway!!!! We left CA somewhere around 6:30 a.m. and got home at 8:30 p.m., so it had kinda been a long day. ;)

We had kids in bed, the van, and coolers, and several suitcases unpacked, Meg and I went for a run, and had the house tidied all before 9:15, that's how eager we were to get life back to normal. :)

Bub and Katie, thanks for having us over! It was good to see you guys, and I enjoyed our time. :)
Although, there really is no place like home. :)