Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monterey Bay, CA

Both boys have Birthdays in July!  Mason, July 12th and Matthew July 21st.  This year, after much discussion and way too much procrastination we decided to take the boys to Monterey for their birthdays.  We were going to go to the beach and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a place I have wanted to take the kids for a long time now.  I knew it was going to be cooler on the coast but I don't think I prepared myself for just how much cooler.  The closer we got to the ocean the thicker and more grey the clouds became till they finally formed a heavy blanket of grey that kept every bit of warm sun light out and forced us to dig through our bags to find warmer clothes.  I guess it has been a long time since I have been to the beach up here in the North!  But you know kids...they are immune to any sort of discomfort, cold temperatures included, when they are presented with something new and fun! 

We started out trip with a visit to the beach.  Makayla's and Mason's first time.  Matthew had been to the beach before but it was a long time ago. 

You can see the grey blanket of clouds in the background.  They had just burned off but we were still fighting the cool breeze!

This is the kids burring my feet and legs ;0)

On the second day of our trip we went to the Monterey Bay aquarium.  They have expanded and done so much since the last time I was there.  It was so fun to see all the fish and animals up close.

Makayla found a little friend.  A Sea Otter puppet!

We took a bread from the aquarium and had lunch in the restaurant that was there.  It was nice, the window looked out over the bay.

 I think the jelly fish and the touch tanks were the highlight of the aquarium.  The kids loved to touch all the sea life!

After a morning at the aquarium we went to Carmel beach!  The boys had an amazing time running in the sand and watching the Seagulls.  The birds were not shy, they would steal your lunch if you weren't watching.    Which is exactly what they did to the people sitting to the left of us!

Mason found a little chipmunk, we fed him some pistachio nuts!  It was so cute watching him shove them in his little cheeks till they were bulging so big!

Makayla and Daddy at Carmel Beach!

We had such an amazing time, just getting away as a family.  The older I get the more I cherish vacations and  down time.  We splurged and ate out, we relaxed and just enjoyed eachother.  The kids would have had just as much fun JUST going to the beach.  We will be back.  Way too much fun not to!  ~fara

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Makayla Grace got stiches...

About a week ago we were at the pool at the Club House, it was quiet, not may kids in the pool, the clouds were thick that day making it appear as though a storm was about to roll in.  We had met Jen, little Paige & Logan there.  It was the kind of day that was to warm and too cool all at the same time.  We were enjoying the little pool, Makayla was climbing out of the pool and jumping back in over and over again.  She had been watching Paige go under the water and swim and do flips.  Paige even had me staring!  She appeared to be nothing less than a fish!  I think Makayla was wanting so badly to do what Paige was doing.  All was going perfect until Makayla slipped, she was climbing out of the pool only to jump right back in when she slipped off the side and fell right on her chin on the side of the pool.  It was instant hysteria!  She was screaming and holding her chin.  It took a few minutes to convince her to lift her head and look up so I could assess the damage but when she finally did I knew that instant she was going to need stitches!  She tilted her head back and that cut opened up like the belly of a gutted fish!  We rushed home, covered the wound with a band aid and called Daddy!  We would meet him at Urgent Care in about an hour (I had to shower 1st, I know, but I really did need to shower really quick) I was not about to do our 1st ever stitches visit by myself.  I think that was the only funny thing about this story... 1st child, boy, no broken bones or stitches, 2nd child, boy, no broken bones or stitches, 3rd child, girl, before she turned 3 had to have stitches!  I laugh every time I think about it!  Makayla was such a trooper getting those three stitches in her chin, she cried and screamed but she was super still and didn't move a muscle.  They told us to come back in 7-10 days to remove them, but I have a medical background, so Dr. Mommy removed them last night after the bath!

I am happy to report Makayla's chin is healing nicely!  I am sure she will carry the scar for the rest of her life, thank goodness it is under her chin! 

A fantastic second day of school!

When Mason got home from school today he said "Mom, go open my folder in my backpack, there is a surprise in there for you!" I was super excited to see what it was but was not expecting to see a little yellow post it note from Mrs. Botonis (Mason's 3rd grade teacher)that read...

Mason, I am so proud of you and am honored to be your Mom.  I pray that 3rd grade will be a year of new discovery for you!  I love you to the moon!  ~mom

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The $5 shoot

It has turned into a bartering begging...them saying "NO" finally giving up and asking the obvious question "what will it cost me for 30 minutes of shooting time?"  Today the answer was $5!  I'll take it!  Thirty minutes for $5, WHAT A BARGAIN!  After all, my favorite subjects are my children. 

On this day I was just a Mom...with a camera...capturing his uniqueness...exploring his vulnerability...seeking his raw expressions...and loving every bit of him!  He is shy and reserved, he doesn't say much, he is sensitive, emotional, observant and curious.  He is creative and tanatious and he loves to cuddle.  He is MINE...half me and half Dave, so uniquely created and perposley made.  Thank you Mason, for giving me the opportunity to peek into your soul, you are PERFECT at being YOU!  ~mom

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fara turns 35!!

I wish I had some amazing wisdom to write down, a life lesson to share or a recap of some amazing journey that I experienced in my 34th year...I don't.  But I did want to write down how amazing I felt on my 35th birthday.  It was spent doing exactly what I wanted to do.  The weather was PERFECT and the company was amazing!  Priscilla, Char (military family that moved in right across the street into Alex's old house just a month prior) and I went to Old Sacramento, took the kids to the Railroad museum and then had lunch at Joe's Crab Shack!  We sat outside right on the river for lunch and let the sun warm our faces while we stuffed our mouths with a bucket of sea food!  What more could I ask for?  It was PERFECT!

For my birthday Dave got me an iPad!  So super excited!  What an amazing day spent with amazing people to create some amazing memories!  How very blessed I am!  ~fara

Monday, February 13, 2012

Disneyland February 2012

Our Disneyland trip of February 2012 would have to be my most favorite trip thus far!  Did I really say that?  Yes, it was amazing!  We drove down Sunday February 12th and drove home Saturday February 18th.  We were all super sad to say good bye but with the purchase of Annual passes before our journey home we knew it wouldn't be long before we went back! 
Our day started off very early in the morning, we pulled out of the drive way around 5:30am!  I just love to get on I5 and head south get to enjoy the sun rise, it is a view like no other.  We stopped at McDonald's a few hours into our 7 hour drive for breakfast, here is a little snap the kids in the car on the way to the Happiest Place on Earth!

We arrived at the Disneyland hotel around 1pm!  We were all so excited to be staying in the Disneyland hotel, for there just isn't any substitute for the magic that the Disneyland hotel brings to the Disneyland experience.  Disney actually remodeled their rooms and the was spectacular!  My favorite part was the head board above the was a picture of the castle with fireworks and stars that all lit up while playing "When you wish upon a star makes no difference who you are..."  I wanted to peal it off the wall and bring it home with me ;0)  I can't believe I didn't get a picture of it, good excuse to go back!!  Here are the kids just after arriving...

We had 5 day hopper passes that we were going to use Mon-Fri in the parks, so when we arrived on Sunday we had the day to swim, explore downtown Disney and eat at one of our favorite places...The Rainforest Cafe!

It was Monday and we were off to Disneyland (my happy place)!  Now all week leading up to our trip I was checking the weather...there were a few days that it looked like it might rain.  I don't do cold very well, so I was a bit worried.  The three boys kept teasing me saying 70 degrees is perfect, it always says rain but it won't rain!  Ok, so I packed a little of both, warm weather and cold weather clothes just in case.  Here we are in Downtown Disney on our way to the park early Monday morning!  The weather was cold enough for jackets...but no rain!


I am not going to lie, I was nervous about Makayla liking the rides, there was a little part of me that was worried she may be afraid of some rides and then we wouldn't be able to get her on any of the rides!  One of my most favorite rides is Pirates of the Caribbean what would I do if Makayla didn't like Pirates?  I would have been so bummed.
Makayla was such a trooper, she enjoyed each ride we went on, never flinched or got scared!  Day 1 in Disneyland was off to the most amazing start!

By 10am that morning Makayla was out...we wore her out!

The rest of day 1 was full of character meeting, riding rides and just simpley enjoying our favorite place!

Makayla loved Goofy's Go-Coaster!  We rode several times!

Mickey was so great with Makayla!  Gave her hugs and kisses, she absolutely loved it and ate it up!

Day 2 started off with a visit to Pixie Hallow to see Tinkerbell and Vidia!  The weather was still holding out but I was sure it was going to rain.  It was cold, Brrrrrrr!

Matthew on Big Thunder Mt. Railroad

Toy Story Mania!

Day 2 of our trip was also Valentines Day.  I wanted to do something extra special for Valentines Day so I got us tickets to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.

The Royal Court invites you to join in a spectacular not seen since the Middle Ages.  A four course feast awaits as you watch the incredible Andalusian stallions perform feats of equine skill.  The Knights of the Realm compete in the thrilling jousting tournament in the name of honor and chivalry.  As cheers of the King's noble guests fill the arena.  Skill and strength are measured in the combat.  Discover which of the knights shall become Champion
Journey through the mists of time and enter our realm.  Leave your world behind and join us in a forgotten age of valor and chivalry.  This day you are a royal guest of His Majesty and all the pageantry of our ancient realm awaits you.  Medieval games of skill and a display of the royal falconer's craft prepare you for the stirring Tournament of Knights.  We promise you an unforgettable experience!

Are you still wondering if the weather held out all day?   Well for the most part Day 2 was "PERFECT, WITH AN OCCASIONAL SHOWER".  Yes, it rained on and off all day but it wasn't bad.  By the time we found a place to get out of the rain it would stop and the sun would shine down on us then a hour or so later it would happen again.  Over all Day 2 was a huge success!

Day 3 started out a little colder and a little rainier.  The forecast called for a better chance of rain for day 3 but we were determined to get out and make the best of the day anyway.  We had reservations at Ariel's Grotto, we couldn't miss it!

Yes, that is a winter jacket Makayla is wearing.  Today the weather man will prove himslef right, it will rain...rain really hard!

Everyone waiting for park to open with unbrella's out!

One of Makayla's favorite TV shows was Mickey Mouse Club House.  She loved seeing Mikey and all his friends in real life.  If only I could have peeked inside her little mind and saw what she was really thinking ;0)

The highlight of Day 3 was our lunch at Ariel's Grotto.  The boys on the other hand didn't have such a good time.  It was hilarious, each princess that visited our table was sure to say hi to the two princes (Matthe & Mason).  I wish I had a picture of it.  It was as if we were forcing them to do something horrible!  Let's just say we went for Makayla and she loved it.  Well worth the small forturne it cost us!

When we were done with lunch we found our stroller drentched with water as it had been pouring for the last hour!  I mean it was really coming down.  It was raining too hard for us to stay in the park do we decided to call it quits and head back to the hotel.  But before we did the boys wanted to ride California Screamin' in the rain.  Ok, go ahead!  Little did they know it wouldn't prove to be the wisest decision of the day, cause when it is raining that hard and you are going that fast it hurts!  
Dave fighting the rain off!

Day 4!  For the rest of our trip the weather was AWESOME!  No more rain, just high clouds and sunshine, for the most part. 

Now a few years ago Matthew and I braved the 'free fall' and rode TOWER OF TERROR!  He hated it and it actually affected him for the remainder of that whole day.  Well it has been a couple of years and Matthew wanted to give good ol TOWER OF TERROR another go to see if he may like it now, now that he is older.  So there we are, this is a picture of the picture on the TV monitor that they display for you to preview, top left corner (Matthew wouldn't let me buy the picture). 
I really truly believed that now that Matthew was older her would enjoy the ride a little more...NOPE, same story, he HATED IT!  Will probably never ride it again.  Now I can't lie, I don't like the Twilight Zone part of the ride, the spooky, ghosty part, but, the free fall part is pretty cool!  Guess I will have to get Mason to ride with me next time ;0)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain remain family favorites!  Well Mason & Dad don't really care for Space Mountain, but Matthew and I we are in line.

And there we are, again this is a picture of the TV monitor, 2nd row, poor Matthew is buried behind the guy in the front row and me all cool with my sun glasses on!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad...

Matthew & Mason actually sitting in the very 1st car, best seat on the whole ride!

We ended Day 4 with the World of Color in California Adventure!  I can't even say how amazing it was as there aren't words grand enough.  It was so much more that what we expected, even Matthew said "Wow Mom, I wish I could say it wasn't worth the wait...but it so was!"  Disney continues to meet and exceed our wildest expectations!  I don't have pictures to post but even if I did I probably wouldn't as pictures would do it no justice. 
Day 5 would be our last day in the park.  We closed out our stay with the parade and fireworks!  Makayla didn't make it to watch World of Color or the Fireworks, oh how I wish she did.  I know she would have loved them both. 

I don't quite know why I love Disneyland the way I do, I think it is a combination of a bunch of things.  The music, the smell, the way it takes you to a fairy tale place where dreams really do seem to come true might have something to do with it.  Or maybe it is because you can go and forget about the trials and troubles of real life, you can step into a place that is full of good and full of magic and dreams.  Whatever the special thing is that makes Disneyland the heart and soul of those who wish on stars it truly is magnificent.  I am so blessed to have a husband that enjoys it as much as I do ;0)
To many more trips to come!  ~fara