And we’re back!! Well, we got back Sunday night, but it has been a little hectic trying to get back into the swing of things, so this is the first chance I’ve had to blog. Monday morning I woke up in denial about the mountains of post-trip laundry, so I went to breakfast with Aria and the kids. We went to Gourmandise, where I fell in love with creme brulee oatmeal and their almond croissants. After that we headed to the park to join Aria’s Monday play group. I started the kids on a rock hunt, and Lydia, who is slightly passionate about rocks, had a meltdown when I announced it was time to be responsible and head home.
But responsible didn’t hit until yesterday. I spent the rest of Monday lying in bed trying to gear up for cooking school. This week was sausage week, and it was absolutely disgusting. Both nights I came home drenched in raw meat juice. Sick. I was in charge of making: chorizo, chicken apple sausage, and Scotch eggs. I have a picture on my phone, which is both a) in my purse and b) dead. Maybe tomorrow.
Yesterday I scrubbed down the fridge and kitchen cabinets/appliances because something had started smelling while we were out of town. Then I took the girls on a massive grocery run since we were also out of food. We came home and I don’t remember anything after that except that I went to school again and dealt with raw sausage meat again. Part of our final includes making a pound of sausage from scratch. I am dreading that part.
Today I took the girls to sign Lydia up for summer ballet lessons. They were mesmerized by the ballerina practicing in the studio, which made filling out the paperwork pretty easy. After that we went grocery shopping again. Then we ran the groceries home and headed right back to church for Institute.
Today Institute was on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and the BYU professor teaching was amazing. I was a little distracted with the girls, so I didn’t get to hear as much as I liked, but I got that the early Christians understood many layers of meaning in that parable. For example, Jericho (where the traveler was going) is the lowest point on earth, and the traveler fell among robbers. Christ descended below all things and was crucified between two robbers (“thieves” is a mistranslation–“robbers” is a better translation and connotes the violence of the original word). I also caught something about how the Samaritan’s promise to return again is similar to Christ’s promise to return again in the Second Coming. There was also a huge analysis of early Cathedral stain glass murals that communicated the understanding early Christians had of this parable. I couldn’t see the slides since I was just listening from the nursery. I’m hoping to ask around on Sunday to see what else I missed.
Then we came home, ate lunch, and napped until Misty, Sophia and Max came for a play date. Lydia and Sophia are so cute together. They’ve been having play dates for practically their whole lives, and their interactions have gotten so, so sweet as they’ve gotten older. Misty and I love to watch them. The first thing Lydia did when I told her Sophia was here was run to offer Sophia her cat. Then she asked Sophia to wear her princess dress. I have a picture of the cuteness that ensued.
Which brings me to our California trip! It was the BEST vacation Abe and I have had since we have gotten married–including our pre-kid days (which were, um, few). The girls were, no exaggeration, perfect on the trip there. Not any whining or crying from them for the entire twelve hour trip. We could not believe how smoothly that went, especially since we didn’t even break out any toys until half-way into it.
We stayed with my aunts, Auntie Vee and Auntie Geri:
The next day we took the girls to Disneyland. Abe had to get his license to officiate in the morning, and as soon as he was done, we headed off. We love Disneyland. For me, the trick is to do it in half-day doses, which leaves you wishing you had more time there. We rode the teacups, Dumbo, the fairy-tale boat trip, the Jungle boat, train around the park, the car ride (where Lydia drove and said, “Sorry!” every time we bumped), and the scary Snow White Ride. You would think that the only ride we did was the last one, since Lydia literally talked about that for hours the next day. She was really scared of the witch. We also saw the parade and watched the Beauty and the Beast show. Mary looked like she was about to pass out from the heat, so I revived her with an apple slush drink that tasted really, really good on a hot day. We also took a break in the middle and shared a mint julep and Mickey Mouse beignets while listening to a band. That might have been my favorite part.
The wait to greet Anna and Elsa was four hours long, and since we didn’t have that time, Abe just took Lydia to where she could see the princesses (but not greet them). She practically jumped out of his arms because she wanted to give them hugs, and the only way we could placate her was to assure her that she would see the princesses again during the parade. Well, this was the only part where Disneyland failed us. The parade was magical and the kids were euphoric to see such a spectacle, but as soon as it ended, we realized there was no Frozen float. Bummer. Lydia was really, really sad. Actually, inconsolable. So we tried again: This time, we said, we’d go to the Bippity Boppity Boutique and get her an Elsa dress, since our promise earlier fell through. (Lydia’s shorts had actually fallen completely apart by that point; they were basically four flaps of material hanging on her legs.) But guess what? You have to enter a raffle to be eligible to even buy an Elsa dress, and they disappear five minutes after they hit the shelves. None in stock. Thankfully, Lydia was taken with the pink Sleeping Beauty dress, and although Abe and I were appalled at the price, we couldn’t let her down again. So Sleeping Beauty dress it was.
At that point, Abe made a big deal about how Mary must be feeling. He said that she knew Lydia had gotten something special, and she should get something too. Mary was enamored with the Mickey Mouse balloons, but once I found out they were FOURTEEN DOLLARS EACH (the woman said that with a straight face!!) I was ready to just tell Mary we loved her as much as Lydia and leave it at that. But Abe insisted that Mary get the balloon she pointed too…and five minutes later, pop! She popped it. Oh, well. At least she knows she’s equally as loved.
Anyway, here is the one picture we took that is not on my dead phone at Disneyland. Maybe when my phone is charged, I’ll download some more.
Oh! I found one more of the girls at the end of the day:
The next day Abe had the dress rehearsal and afterward we went to the beach. Again, the pictures are on my dead phone. I can not even begin to say how amazing it felt to be in the sun and the ocean after our long, cold winter. I could live on the beach, and I am currently jealous of every stay-at-home mom that lives near one. Can you imagine how great it would be to be able to take your kids there all the time? Oh my gosh. I looked up real estate the minute we got home. Ha! I’ll continue to live in my dreams, I guess.
After the beach, we went for Sushi with my aunts and our friends, Batch and Erin. We did this last year and have been planning a repeat for a year. We love catching up with our friends, and we love that Sushi boat.
And then the next day was Jon and Shirley’s wedding. It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. They held it in Descanso Gardens in a clearing near the blooming rose gardens and veranda. I can not actually imagine a more beautiful setting. And I was terrified that the girls would interrupt this perfect wedding, so instead of watching, I took them on a dwarf hunt, which morphed into a princess hunt. When the ceremony was over, we spotted Shirley–the princess!
After, we found our seats laden with gifts Jon and Shirley bought for the girls.
Then the next morning we headed home.
The girls cried a little more on the way back, but seriously, we couldn’t expect perfection twice in a row. We can’t wait to do this again next year.
And now I’m going to go watch a documentary on ballerinas with Abe. I am curious ever since being in the studio.