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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Let memories win. {our california sort-of recap}

I am having so much trouble starting this post and I don't know why. In my head, I know what I want to talk about. For some reason, it's not coming out eloquently. So I'm just going with it. Forgive me, choppy waters ahead.

Our trip to California was awesome. It was short. It went fast. It was really, really special and memorable. Traveling clear across the country with your two small children for a 4-5 day trip? A.lot.of.work. While at points I may have traded some of my sanity....it was worth it for the memories.


It's so easy to look at beautiful photos, sun-shine'y goodness, beach and smiles, and think everything is always perfect and great. Well, HA-HA. We all should know better than that, right? Unexpected happens. Turns out that toddler meltdowns travel, too. I'm thankful they were few and far between. More bribes and "you get ___ if you do ___" were used than I care to admit. Oh, and the amount of snacks/candy/treats it takes to keep a nearly 3 year old quiet and well behaved on a 5.5 hour flight? Let's not go there. One required candy to stay quiet. The other required boobs. It worked. They were both amazing. 


Before we left for this trip, I told myself I had to ease up. I've dealt recently with higher anxiety than normal--and I didn't want to be my own worst enemy to soaking this up and having fun. I'm pretty darn proud of myself though. I didn't let the 3 hours time difference bother me. I let the girls roll with the punches. We were flexible. They were fine. 


The first night Declan ended up with a serious stomach virus. It was awful. You know The One. Poor guy had to deal with that IN A HOTEL and seriously? Does anyone want to become familiar with a hotel toilet? I think not. I was feeling all woe-is-me and the-trip-is-ruined, when 6 hours later he woke up as good as new. I love that man, and am so grateful we still got to enjoy the rest of the days as a family.

In between the toddler-testing-limits, and unexpected stomach virus-thing---we really had so many moments of fun. We visited my little brother's office at Invisible Children, where Emeline ran around, met all his friends, and acted like she owned the place. We went to Coronado, put our feet in the sand, shopped, ate more mexican food than you can believe, had ice cream, and when dinner plans went wrong one night? We ate from a food truck instead and it.was.amazing


We snuck in some time after the kids were in bed to hang out with my little brother, where he showed us a few fun places he likes to hang out & grab a beer. We even ended up getting a Valentines Day date. Which was kind of awesome. We got to show Emeline the wonders of Sea Word and Shamu. We went to Sunset Cliffs and Ocean Beach, and I nearly died of a panic attack at how close my brother held my daughter at the edge of the rocks. He rolled his eyes at me and basically told me I'm overprotective. I cannot wait until the day he has kids and I can be all I told you so, chump. (still love him. but seriously.)


I watched my littlest baby touch sand for the first time and squeal with absolute delight. It was pure bliss. I probably messed her "schedule" up even more than it already was. But. IT'S ALL FOR THE MEMORIES. And? Schedule Schmedule. She literally slept on the go whenever she was tired. And she slept in a king size bed with Declan and I the entire time. She got to be barefoot half the time, and for this sock-hating little girl....pretty sure that made her little life. 


My parents, well--they were awesome. They had Emeline stay in their room the entire time and she absolutely loved that. It helped us out big time, too. We love all the memory making that happened on this trip. I treasure that, big time.


It wouldn't be the end of a trip without a finale, right? 

At about 12:30am the morning we were flying out, I woke out of a dead sleep to what sounded like someone breaking into our hotel room. I woke Declan up with a panicky voice and started shoving him to get out of bed and check what the heck was going on. Then I heard screaming. And cursing. And people rumbling. There was a full-blown fight going on right outside our door. Involving multiple people, both men and women.

Without going in too much depth, police had to come and handle the situation (this wasn't a motel either, it was a classy Marriott--but alcohol makes people genuinely stupid when abused), and they were literally asked to leave the hotel and escorted out. It took them FOREVER to pack their bags, all while screaming profanities, I mean, LOUDLY--and I was shaking like a leaf from the adrenaline/sheer panic of waking up out of a dead sleep to that. My mom and I were texting back and forth from room to room, and thank God, Emeline stayed asleep. If she'd woken up to that, honestly, it would have broke my heart if she would have been subjected to hearing that. I'm not quite sure how she slept through it, but thank God she did. 

In the morning, over breakfast, we all rubbed our eyes from sheer exhaustion from the middle-of-the-night-chaos, but agreed we wouldn't allow that to ruin our trip. Because we really did have so many fun, beautiful moments.


We made it to the airport without any issues--except a minor detail that I lost my ID. The good news is, I lost it at just the right time, since I'd already been through security. We walked all around to find it, I knew it was in my back pocket last--but I'd been to the bathroom, and, well, we all know how that goes.

The flight was uneventful. Again, even though Emeline was overtired, un-napped (and refuses to sleep on a plane, not even for a split second), we made it through with relatively happy children and not a single eye-roll. In fact, at one point, Eme almost had half the plane singing in Old McDonald had a Farm in rounds. I wish I was kidding.

Mid-way home, I pulled out this little plastic handbag thing of my toddler-girl, and saw my ID poking out. Whicka-what? There was no way it could have ended up in there. Unless my toddler pick-pocketed me. Which we all know is possible. We all just smiled and laughed and thanked God since we prayed it would show up miraculously. And it did.


We were one of the last people off the plane, and walked out to find one wheel of our stroller completely snapped off and unusable. Emeline was 10 hours overdue for a nap (ha-ha), and like a crazy-child jetted for the street, where my dad had to chase her down. It didn't end well, she tripped, face planted--has a bloody-scuffed up nose and knee to show for it. Her screams set off Lucy, and at one point Declan and I both muttered words we weren't proud of and joked that we must be on a reality show, because this ish is insane, yo. Oh, and then we lost the parking ticket for our car. It sounds funny now. I assure you, it.was.not.funny.


It's in those times that I have to remind myself to not let those stressed out-why-the-heck-is-everything-going-wrong-predicaments change my overall outlook.

It wouldn't be real life without real life obstacles. And we had them.

But.

The good wins. The beauty wins. The memories win.


And it was awesome.

***

If you missed my recap video (just one song long), here it is again:

33 comments:

  1. gorgeous photos!!! looks like you had an amazing trip, filled with wonderful memories :)

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  2. looks like so much fun! the pictures are gorgeous. love the one of emeline and her uncle.

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  3. looks like so much fun! the pictures are gorgeous. love the one of emeline and her uncle.

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  4. I'm so glad you guys had a great time, despite all the mishaps. You always have a way of making problems not seem like problems at all! Love that about you! Gorgeous pictures! Eme looks like, "yeah I got this, California" and Lucy is just precious, simply precious.

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  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS POST! :) So awesome..can't wait for our first family vacation as FOUR! :)

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  6. I love how you are choosing to look at the good and let memories win. It sounds like a great trip, and probably a great time in the sun right in the middle of winter. =)

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  7. Love the photos. But more importantly? The memories. My family wants to do a beach vacation 12 hours away about 8 weeks after this babe is born, before my brother and SIL welcome their first little girl.

    Adam was so against it. SO SO AGAINST IT. He had me in tears. Luckily I convinced him it will be worth the memories, especially for Connor. I already had guilt that this baby was going to keep Connor from an amazing trip with his cousins!

    Mom guilt is a bitch.

    Also, your ID story reminded me of when I put my cell phone in the sun shade of our stroller and forgot about it, folded it up, and it went under the plane. The entire flight I was thinking my phone, which was on, was going to interfere with the plane radar and make us crash! Aye yi yi.

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  8. Vacation wouldn't be vacation without some mishaps! ...and even though at the time they must have seemed insane (I would have been freaking out) in hindsight I'm sure they're all laughable now, except Eme getting hurt because no one wants to see that happen.

    ...and what a nice treat to have some warm weather right in the middle of winter!

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  9. I"m exhausted just reading this! ;) I'm so glad y'all had a good time! The pictures are fabulous, as always! So glad you had this time with your family! That pic of your mom and dad with Emeline is perfect! LOVE IT! Welcome home!

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  10. Looks like you had a great time. Super cute pictures

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  11. That family pic of y'all on the steps is great! I think my favorite is the one with your parents kissing Emeline. I'm so happy for you and that you were able to share these fun, and even crazy, memories with your dad.

    I hope they didn't make you pay some ridiculous fee for losing your parking ticket. Now that I have two, I think I lose something daily. Last week, I dropped my phone in a toilet. The rice actually fixed it and two days later I couldn't find it. It ended up being in the driveway covered in snow. I think I drove over it with my car. Miraculously, it's still working at 90%. Yesterday, I lost a 20 bill while meeting my student group. I'm trying to think that god wanted me to help a poor college student ;)

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  12. One, you are super skinny...two, Emmaline looks SO big! Glad you were able to have a good time despite all the madness you encountered.

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  13. What a fun (and slightly dramatic) trip! Of course it would not be a family vacation without a few bumps here and there. I'm glad memories were made, fun times were had and that your littles behaved so well on the plane rides. When I saw you were going to Cali I thought "she's BRAVE!", but it sounds like y'all handled yourselves well and had a blast. The pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing with us.

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  14. Great pictures! Sounds like such a fun trip! So glad to see you post two days in a row! I miss your blog posts every morning!

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  15. Love the pictures & video! Eme has such a sweet personality! I'm now craving a vacation :)

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  16. So happy you had such a good time! And thank you for including the regular ol' life ish that happens. Makes me feel a little better about Noah crapping all over Brad in the ocean a few months ago. lol.

    Oh, you can tell your brother that I was inspired by his photo wall. I'm planning on making one in either Noah's room or our little office when I'm done re-doing everything. :)

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  17. Your photos always seem to make me smile. And I give you all the mommy kudos in the world for taking on this big vacation. I don't know that I have it in me. Your girls are gorgeous!

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  18. Sunshine is good for the soul, I tell ya. I could use some myself!

    It looks like you had a blast, and that it's a trip you'll remember, in more ways than one!

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  19. What I want to know is where can I get shades like Emeline? You think I'm joking, but I am not. Those are stunna'!

    Also, you look absolutely stunning in all these photos.

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  20. Oh my gosh, the fight story!? Cah-razy! I love the pictures, though. The furthest west I've been was...uh...Texas when en route to Mexico and changing flights. ;)

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  21. What a fun trip! I've had the nice hotel with the fighting in the middle of the night experience. It was unsettling, annoying, and weird.

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  22. Lovely post. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

    Also ... is it just me or is this not the first time that D Money has mysteriously come down with some freaky sickness in a hotel at the beginning of a vaca? I seem to remember this happening before....

    (hi declan ... promise Im not a crazy stalker. I just love your wife a lot)

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  23. Beautiful pictures! So glad you had fun and are able to laugh at the craziness that ensues with traveling with kids!

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  24. Girl your pictures are out of this world! I was looking forward to seeing these pics and now I am craving the sunshine, ocean beach, and Mexican food. I wondered how you managed with a toddler and baby in a hotel room, it is not easy! Your parents might be the best grandparents ever (mine are awesome but they would NEVER!)

    Traveling across the country is SO HARD. I've done it a few times now but never for less than a week. You are a rock star family, so glad you had a great time and all made it home safe in the end.

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  25. Your trip sounds just about how ours usually go. Makes me feel a tad bit more normal lol. Love the pictures and am so glad you had a wonderful, eventful and memorable time!

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  26. Such sweet pictures!
    It looks like such a good time, even with the couple hiccups.

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  27. I remember you posting about Declan having a "first day of vaca" virus before. That poor guy! But at least it was over quickly. Sounds like you had a great and somewhat eventful time. I'm sure you were so glad to see your brother and his environment. Hopefully you get to chill and rest some this week! Seems the girls did awesome on the plane rides! I flew with Nathan when he was 1 and I remember how unnerving it can be with all the "what if"s but it's nice when kids surprise you with good behavior :)

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  28. These pictures are amazing! I feel the sunshine just looking at them. So glad you guys enjoyed yourselves for a much needed few days away. :)

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  29. We took our kids to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and we went on a tour...with our autistic son. It was bad, really bad. I ended up getting into a big fight with the hubby who acted like a jerk. THAT part was not fun. But the rest was good. Sigh.

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  30. It seems like traveling always has some of those pitfalls, but you had a bunch of them! I'm glad you were able to get through them and have fun.

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  31. So the pictures are amazing; as usual. The girls are gorgeous and their Mama is stunning!

    I did kind of like hearing about the mishaps though ;) Just because all of my trips are filled with mishaps and it makes me feel normal to hear of it happening to other people. That ID thing? So something that would happen to me. Except I'm sure I would lose it before hitting security. Glad y'all had a blast! I totally need a trip to some sunshine soon..

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