Sunday, August 3, 2014

Our California Visit In Review Part 1

We aren't able to get out to California as often as we would like unfortunately. It costs too much to buy three tickets and get a rental car etc. and it's a really big trip to make with a kiddo.  We have so many people to visit in such a short amount of time and it can feel a bit like being stuck in a blender on the fastest speed and not being turned off until we get back into our own beds two weeks later.  Truth. HAHA...I know all of you that have to make big trips to see a bunch of family and friends out of state know exactly what I am talking about.  In spite of the fact that it is quite exhausting, it is also wonderful to see everyone and catch up after being away for so long.  We hadn't been in CA for two years so I was definitely eager to see everyone!  

This trip was spurred on because my brother was getting married (woohoo!) and my sister and her hubby were graduating college.  It was a trip full of celebration and I am so happy for my siblings and so thankful that I got to be a part of those special events in their lives.  

Daisy was a total champ overall.  She got into a routine of watching movies on each of our 3+ hour car rides (which we had a ton of).  She was a good sleeper for the most and she kept up with our extremely busy days and late nights.  I will say that this was by far the easiest trip we have taken with her.  The older kiddos get, the easier traveling gets. 

I was about 14 or so weeks pregnant when we traveled and thankfully this pregnancy has been much kinder than my first so I managed to keep up with everyone.  I was absolutely fatigued but, the business  distracted me from it.  I think I felt it when I got back home:). lol  

Anyways, it was a good trip and SO good to see the faces of the people we love and Daisy loved all of the attention, presents and hugs.  Till next time California. 

The first place we stopped after landing was of course In N Out.  It's almost painful for me to post this picture because I am so hungry...and pregnant and I would do just about anything to get one of these burgers into my stomach...right now.  Oh my golly...drooling over here while I blog.  I'm also going to confess that Daisy wasn't too fond of her burger and being the pregnant woman that I am...I finished her burger was a big calorie day for me but, I have no regrets.  Best food ever. :) 

After landing in California were beyond exhausted.  We had been up since 3 AM and had gone to bed after 11PM and the flight was long and uncomfortable.  We couldn't wait to take a nap at our friend's house when we arrived! lol  It was so great to see our Morris friends and stay in their cozy home.  Thank you Elissa and Mike! 
We arrived Friday afternoon and the wedding festivities and family visits with family from all over the country and out of country as well began first thing Saturday morning. The very busy weekend took off!  First we stopped at the hotels where everyone was staying and we hung out briefly while they finished getting ready to go.  I got to see my sister Anna who I hadn't seen in two years!! I was overjoyed to see was Daisy as you can tell.  Auntie Anna is such an amazing auntie...and I'm not just saying that.  She lavished so much love and attention on Daisy every time they saw each other.  It blessed my momma heart so much.  Here Daisy is getting into Anna's makeup bag.  Happy girl:)
And I got to see my momma!!  They were both pretty smitten:)
And then we headed over to the site where the wedding rehearsal and wedding were being held.  We met up with a bunch of family and checked out the location.  It was a darling park and the weather was warm but, perfect for an outdoor wedding.  I got to see lots of family that I haven't seen in ages.  Aunts, Uncles, cousins, Great Aunts and Uncles, friends etc.  I do love that weddings bring so many people together into one setting.  It's a treat to see so many familiar faces all at once especially knowing how little we get to see everyone now.  Later that afternoon we headed to the rehearsal dinner for my brother and his then fiance Sasha.  It was held at a beautiful home.  The food was delicious and the decor was lovely.  

I was especially happy to get a picture with all of my siblings.  It's been a few years since we have gotten one and this is one that I actually like:).  I was so happy for my bro! 
and a nice pic with my seesters whom I wuv so much.
A picture with my soon to be sis-in-law, Sasha.  She's such a lovely gal inside and out.  So happy she chose my bro! 

The table decorations were so pretty.  It was such a classic and slightly vintage wedding.  Loved the pearls and peonies. 
We got home late Saturday night from the rehearsal dinner and crashed shortly after.  The time change was really killing me more than usual this trip but, we managed to chug through the busy festivities and our friends were such wonderful hosts with our constant coming and going.  Sunday morning we headed out bright for another hour trek to meet the family and help with wedding set up.  We helped set up and decorate the tables and displays.  It was fun to help with my family and my soon to be sister-in-law's family and friends.  Such a lovely California day!
 Then it was time to get ourselves ready.  I helped Anna with her hair and make-up which makes me feel special since neither thing am I really skilled at but, I enjoy making other people feel pretty:).  We Hart girls marveled at the fact that we all wore mint in some form or another and not a single one of us planned or orchestrated our outfits.  I love when that happens. I had not intended to buy a dress for the wedding but, as the time drew near I realized that I was looking much more pregnant and I hated how I looked in all of my old dresses.  I looked everywhere for a dress...I mean everywhere and had absolutely no luck.  The day before the wedding I ran into a cheapo store with only a few minutes to spare.  Saw my dress hanging in the front display and knew it was for me.  Love when that happens too:). It was comfy for my puffy stomach and classy enough for the wedding. Win Win.
Daisy loved being held anyone and everyone and Auntie Anna definitely held her the most.  See how they match too! Anna looked so beautiful and Daisy looked so cute:).
My bro looking sharp and waiting for his lovely bride to walk down the aisle.  Loved his suit and shoes. So classy.  I have more pictures on my DSLR camera that I need to download that show my bro crying as his bride walked down the aisle to him.  Seeing him cry over his beautiful bride made me and all the women in my family giggle and cry with him.  Ahhhhh love.
The girls dresses were so pretty and elegant. 
I really enjoyed my brother's wedding so much.  The weather was perfect and the setting was beautiful.  The people in attendance were wonderful and friendly and everyone had a great time.  It was a blessed day for my bro.
and it is official folks.  My bro is married! Look at the sweet couple all glowing and stuff:).
I adore this picture.  A gorgeous beaming bride and a handsome, funny groom.  Good times.
This isn't my better quality family pic but, it's good enough to get an idea.  Awesome to see our family growing once again...and soon by one more when our son joins our mix this December! Woohoo!
Then began the hour or so of family selfies and other silly, happy captures.  I hadn't seen everyone in so long and I came to California, determined to capture some updated images with the people that I love.  Daisy is the queen of silly faces. She was such a champ all day at the wedding even if the time change was screwing us all up.
With my bestest friend and Momma.
water break!
Pregnant with my cousin Toni and this is her first kiddo.  So excited for her!  We are both having boys and she is due just a couple of weeks before me.  Neato!
Cheesing with Toni and Mike
Finally united with my cousins and sisters and it felt so good. I missed these girls so much.  We all grew up just minutes from each other.  Celebrated every birthday, holiday and everything in between together for well over 20 years of my life.  It was so good to see you girls!
Daisy is so loved by her Auntie Becca...and everyone in the family for that matter.  She is a blessed little gal.
With my cousin Jess who we call Auntie Jessie since she just seems like more of an Aunt to Daisy:).  She and her hubby Mike, spoil Daisy like crazy:).
Being silly with my cousins Jessie and Courtney.  She loves them and she loved all the attention:).
"Uncle" Mike and Daisy.  Mike is so awesome.  Kiddos didn't attend the wedding ceremony so Mike took Daisy and his daughter Kennedy so that we could enjoy the ceremony and know that she was in good hands.  He asked her what she wanted to do and she said she wanted water and an ice cream so he took her to do just that.  Lucky girl:).  Thanks so much for looking out for her Mike!
Jumping off the log and into Courtney's arms over and over.  She had a blast.  I wish I had Courtney's energy...oh and Daisys. lol
Me and my lovely cousin Courtney.  We are only four months apart and we've been buds since we were in diapers:).  So many great memories with this gal!
With my beautiful sisters.  me, Anna and Becca.  Anna just turned 20 this week! Happy Birthday again Anna.  She is finishing up college and has been doing such a great job being a nanny and holding a job.  Becca just graduated with her BA! I'm so proud of her and I'm thinking kiddos might be in the near future for her.  We shall see.  Anyways, I love my seesters and I'm so happy to see them doing so well.  Oh and have I mentioned that I have become the shortest Hart girl?  I never saw it coming.  I'm 5'8 mind you...but, I'm the shortest.  Lame.  Oldest and shortest.  Awesome.
Daisy with her cousin Kennedy.  Kennedy just turned one and oh my golly she is a cutie pie.  Wish we lived closer so I could squeeze her more often.  She reminds me of Daisy in many ways.  So many facial expressions, giant smiles and overall a happy, silly little girl. Miss you K!
Daisy has never attended a wedding and I was excited for to be able to boogie on the dance floor with us.  She was much more timid than I expected and really didn't want to dance much at all but, we all still had a great time...don't mind me...I never said I was good at dancing, just that I enjoy it:).
I tried to teach her a few simple moves but, she was stiff as a board.  It was quite amusing actually.  She usually loves dancing! I think she just thought we were all acting quite strange for a bunch of grown ups:). 
That was all I got of the wedding on my iphone.  I did take some pictures on my DSLR that I will share in a separate post but, for the most part I just really wanted to enjoy my time with family and friends and pictures weren't on my mind much at all.  It was a lovely wedding and I loved being able to celebrate with my bro and his new wife. 

Daisy loved playing in the Morris boy's play room.  Elissa was playing a board game with the kiddos.  It was such a blessing to have a place to stay while we were in San Diego for the wedding and it was so great to see our good friends even if we were in and out the entire time:).
we really only had one day to hang out with the Morris fam after all the wedding helping and festivities.  So we headed out to explore the area a bit and we had a really lovely day. Daisy likes to stop at every fountain she passes.  I just like this shot because I was able to get all four kiddos in it.  That is a rare feat!
I sometimes forget how beautiful the tropical flowers of the west coast are.  The east coast is bursting with blooms but, the west coast has colors and flowers that I have never seen.  I loved this tree! So vibrant.
Then we went to Coronado Beach but, just briefly as it was rather chilly and we didn't bring our beach attire.  Daisy was so excited to be at the beach can't you tell:)
I got a nice pic with my bestie, Elissa.  Been friends with this gal for over 10 years now and boy we've been through a lot of life changes together.  I was about 14 or so weeks preggo here.  Feeling decent too which was a blessing.
After we left the lovely beach we started our trek back into town to get some lunch. 
I told you that Daisy has to stop at every fountain:)  I absolutely loved downtown Coranado.  It was SO pretty and I really felt like I was on a tropical island having a vacation...for about an hour:).
If you are from the west coast and you had to move away as we did I think you would agree that Mexican food is something you miss terribly.  Whenever we fly back to CA for a visit, Mexican food is one of the first things we eat and we try to eat a lot of it while we can.  So I took a picture of my food because CA Mexican food pictures make me happy:). 
and I took a picture of all of us enjoying our CA Mexican food together.  I absolutely loved the outdoor patio at this restaurant.  It was another tropical experience for me and I was in Heaven. The temperature was perfect and the breeze was lovely.  I wanna go back! 
After spending the first half of our free day in the Coronado area we headed back to the Morris house to get in an afternoon swim.  They have the most beautiful community pools!
Before we knew it the day was over and the next morning we began our long drive up to see my parents in the mountains.  We call their home a place of rest because they live in a small town that doesn't have much hustle and bustle so we are forced (by choice) a very good way to breathe and relax for a few days when we visit them...which is precisely what we need when we have our super crazy, busy California visits.  It's a place where this tired momma finally gets a little break because my Mom/Dad and whoever is around take over my kid for a bit here and there.  My mom wanted to have things for Daisy to do which helps so much so that I am not always having to entertain her.  She pulled out her old doll house, toys, books and even got a quad for Daisy to ride (and future grand kiddos).  I was really nervous about Daisy riding it at first but, she was a dare devil and had the thing mastered in no time.  It was all that she wanted to do for most of our visit.
We were just a tad worried that she would tip the quad over so we took turns walking around with her while she rode.  I would like to have my own quad to ride next to her, k Mom:) lol  It was pretty funny at one point because my Dad got on his drive on mower so that he could ride around with Daisy.  It was adorable to see my Dad cruising all over behind Daisy on his mower.  Such a sweet Papa.
We played with my mom's dog Mate a bit to pass the time.  Daisy especially enjoyed throwing him a toy.  This picture is a great action capture if I do say so:)  It's so pretty and peaceful in the mountains lemme tell yah.
and we spent a good amount of down time in my Mom's room.  Daisy loves to get into every collection, jar, jewelry box, drawer etc.  My mom is great about letting her explore things to keep her occupied:).  Here they are making necklaces.  And in other random news I just have to say that I love my Mom's cozy, cottage room.  It's simple and sweet and such a lovely room to hang out in.  I actually hope to create a similar color scheme and feel in my master bedroom someday.
And Daisy enjoyed playing with my sister's old horse collection. 
Our time of mountain rest was brief but, wonderful and before we knew it we were heading to San Louis Obispo for my sister Becca and her hubby's graduation from SLO.  She got her BA in English and he got a Masters in Computer engineering...I think? I'm so proud of them.  They juggled full time school, jobs, bills and marriage for several years and they are now both graduates.  I'm a proud sister! 
We snapped a few pics before graduation. I don't think any of us were totally ready for this pic but, it's the only one I got so yah:)
Auntie Anna loves her silly Daisy so much
And then we were off to Becca's ceremony on Saturday.  Toni graduated on Sunday.  All the family and friends joined us and we enjoyed a very lovely, busy two days of graduation festivities.  I snapped a pic of my sis waiting in her graduation line.  Being silly of course:). 
after I got in a pic with her and my other lovely seester, Anna:).