Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer Wrap Up

Irene has come and gone, and gratefully we did not lose power or suffer any damages to our home. We feel very blessed. I know several families in our area to lose power for many hours and have some damage to their yards and homes. Today 27 schools are out of power in our county, so Ellie is home today. She is very disapointed to miss school, but I assure her she will be back either tomorrow or Wednesday. The weather this past week was really weird, so we really didn't get a great 'last week of summer', but today we have plans to head out and enjoy the post hurricane sunshine.

Here is one of our last summer outings, tomato picking and canning. There are many local farms here in Maryland, something that I adore about living here. I wanted to pick tomatoes and can last summer but having a baby put a damper on that plan. =) This year we picked 20 pounds of tomatoes which made 6 quarts of lovely red soup and sauce ready gems.

Ellie had her open house for 1st grade last week. She is so excited becuase she has the same teacher from last year! Her much adored teacher has recently gotten married and has moved up to first grade and we lucked out to have her for another year. She knows several of the children in her class and is looking forward to making new friends. It is going to be another great year. We are also excited that the middle school has officially split from cradlerock elementary and has it's own name and administration, great things for both schools.

We have some fun plans for fall. We are hoping to head to Seattle for Chris' brother's wedding in November. The last Cochran brother is tying the knot and we are looking forward to celebrating with him and the family.We are also looking forward to seeing my parents soon, we think they are coming to visit in November. All in all a great summer, and more good things to come!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Earthquakes and Hurricanes

It has been a very exciting week here on the East Coast. We had an impressive earthquake on the 23rd that cracked the Washington monument in DC. That is very sad to me.
The day that the earthquake hit I was standing in our bedroom folding piles of laundry. The neighbor boy across the street was mowing the lawn. It was strange at first, I thought the shaking was from the sound of the mower, but the quake got bigger and it rolled through my room bringing pictures off the dresser and gave me a really good shake. It woke my baby from his nap. My neighbors came pouring out of the houses like ants. We talked about it and I told them it felt close to a 6.0. One of my neighbors went in to check the news and told us it was located in Virginia, and it was 5.8.

It reminded me of growing up in California and the earthquakes we had there. It mostly reminded me of the San Francisco Earthquake that we felt in 1989. I remember exactly where I was when we felt that one. It was very sureal.

And now we are waiting for what Hurricane Irene is going to bring. I have been watching the weather channel and checking online the status for three days. One of the most frustrating things about all of this is that things keep changing. At first the predictions really frightened me, and now things look a bit more manageable. I am a little embarrassed to say that we aren't as prepared as we could be, but I think we will be fine for a couple of days. I just hope we don't lose power for a long period of time. Ellie is supposed to go back to school this Monday, she is so excited. We had  agreat time at her open house yesterday. She is really ready to go back to school. I really hope  that on Monday we are in good enough shape to proceed with life as normal. Yesterday was a beautiful day here, and now, this morning the rain has started a little. I am hoping we are safe and sound by tomorrow night. We shall see.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Disneyland Last post!

Our last two days in Disneyland were so fun. We packed in a lot of things and saw a lot of Disney characters. Thursday was spent mostly in California Adventure with the girls. Anna and I had a fun time in Bug's Land with the girls, and we also rode the Monster's Inc ride which was fun and also rode The Little Mermaid...again. I think my girls loved that ride the best that week.

Chris stayed with Gradon in the room in the morning for his nap and joined up with us later when we had the chance to spend some time with our friends Matt 'Ho' Tysler and his wife Beth and their girls. Ho is a good friend of ours from VX9 days in China Lake. We were excited that our family vacations over lapped in Disneyland.

Gradon is not in the picture, he was sleeping in Grandma and Grandpa's room. Grandma was an amazing help that week!

 In the evening we enjoyed dinner at Goofy's kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel. The character dining is a lot of fun for everyone.

We took the girls on Pirates of the Carribbean, which was not a favorite. Too scary! Our last ride of the night was Splash Mountain and we all got SOAKED. I mean soaking wet. Sophia said to me after Splash Mountain : 'everytime we go on one of YOUR rides something bad happens.' They didn't like Thunder Mountain Railroad either. Too funny. I guess they aren't ready for those more adventurous rides.

Friday was the last push, and I spent most of my day running around seeing every Disney princess and character you can imagine. The girls were so pleased. We also spent time with my cousin Julia and her sweet kids. We rode the Autotopia, Buzz Lightyear and a few others together. Her daughter Jane and my Ellie are two months a part in age and got along wonderfully. I wish we could see them more often!

Around lunchtime we spent a good amount of time at the Princess Faire in Fantasyland. Several of the princesses hang out at an area down past the rides and do a story time, a quick show and other fun events. Sophia had her heart set on seeing Cinderella, so this was our only shot at a visit with her. According to the Disney staff, she is rarely in the park anymore, and hard to catch. We were grateful that we were able to meet her that day. Sophia was upset that she didn't have her Cinderella dress, but I assured her that Cinderella wouldn't mind. Ellie was tickled pink to meet her favorite princess, Sleeping Beauty.

One of my favorite moments of the whole day was our visit with Rapunzel. I get teary even typing it out. Chris had waited in line a good part of the afternoon to see her, it's usually a 2 hour wait just to have 5 minutes with the princess. We visited with Tinkerbell and Silvermist in PixieHollow and then joined Chris at Rapunzel's tower.

Rapunzel was one of the sweetest most genuine princesses I have met at Disneyland. They are all polite and sweet and kind, but this princess was darling with my girls. She asked them about their days in Disneyland, and if they would teach her to be a fairy like them. They danced and talked about all kinds of things. It was magic. I was crying by the end of it. Really, I am such a baby. It made their day, and mine.

Dinner that night was spent at the Thunder Mountain Ranch BBQ, a great place for our last night in the parks. They pu on a fantastic family show complete with old time folk and cowboy songs. After dinner we headed back to the room for cake and ice cream to celebrate my brother's son Mason's birthday!
We had a great time all together. It was so hard to believe our magical time in Disney with the family was almost over.

Saturday morning we all packed up and our family made the drive to LAX to fly back to Maryland. It was a wonderful trip. It was so fun to be together as a family, all of us. My brother and his kids, and my cute sister and her wonderful husband. I am so thankful for the generosity and love of my parents. They made our trip so memorable. I loved every minute of our California vacation. I hope we get to do it again.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Disney Continued...

Alright, I am getting caught up. I think I will have just one more post after this to wrap up our California dream trip.

Wednesday was our 'Spirit Wear' day when we wore our reunion t shirts around Disneyland. We got a lot of attention, and people would comment to us that they had seen our shirts around the park. This was fun to hear since as a group, a family reunion, we had small numbers.

Wednesday was a crazy busy day. We met Jasmine and Aladdin.

We took a cruise on the Columbia.

Got to meet this famous mouse.

One of his famous friends...

Rode The Little Mermaid Ride (again) and the Ferris Wheel.

Rode the 'Wildest Ride in the Wilderness'.

And watched a magical parade.

Oh, and my girls made wishes in the princess wishing well.

We also rode Indiana Jones, Ellie climbed Tarzan's Treehouse, we took another ride on the carousel in Fantasy Land, and rode Snow White and Peter Pan. I love Peter Pan, it's one of my favorites. We braved Dumbo and the Jungle Cruise. We also watched the Wonderful World of Color at dusk. That show is amazing! Add in a healthy dose of ice cream and cotton candy, and this day was done.  Perfectly.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Delaware Beach Trip

Last weeked a bunch of our fabulous friends decided to head to Delaware for a beach day. Both the kids had been wanting to go to the beach all summer, and Chris was finally home so it was a perfect opportunity to have some family time.

Gradon loved the sand. We called him the baby sand crab. He was literally covered in sand the whole day.

My girls spent the whole afternoon in the water. Atlantic beaches are not warm at all, in fact they are sooo cold. It didn't seem to bother either of them, they loved being in the water. Each of the families brought yummy food to share and we set up camp.

Everyone had a great day. As for me, I just wanted to hear the sound of the water. I love the ocean.

We all loved our trip. We hope to go back again next year and make this an end of summer tradition.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

10 years

today. I have been married 10 years today to the most wonderful man. I remember my wedding day so clearly, it was a dream come true.

Chris and myself, Fresno California LDS temple, August 4, 2001

Today I feel the same way. I am a lucky girl. Chris you are still my sweetheart.

We celebrated our anniversary early this year. We went to Wicked at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., back in June. It was fantastic! The story was so compelling, and the music completely took my breath away.

Chris got home today (hurrah!) from his first rotation in family practice. It was a great experience. We are very much looking forward to the rest of the year and figuring out what he ultimately will choose for a specialty.

Talking tonight together we both agree that ten years seems like a long time, but really it's gone by so quickly. It's been such an amazing journey from where we started to where we are today. I find myself humbled by how much I have learned over these years. Life is good, our life is so sweet. I so love my family. I am grateful for our life together.

Savor every minute. I wonder what the next ten years will bring? =)

Chris and I, Kennedy Center, Washington D.C June 2011