Tag Archives: vacation

they’re on vacation

17 Aug

While we were at Disneyland, I hardly had time to really focus on all the people watching I love to do. I love to just stare at people sometimes. Seriously.

Don’t even pretend like you don’t do it too.

Anyways. I didn’t have time for that. Did you know that there is only like, TWO PLACES IN ALL OF DISNEYLAND THAT SELL CHICKEN NUGGETS??? Ok, there might be more than that but I had a hard time finding them. I’m not sure why. And when you can’t get your kid to eat anything BUT chicken nuggets, you will search high and low for places that sell them.

(Don’t roll your eyes. I’ve tried the approach of feeding him what we are eating and my kid can go almost an entire week without eating what I present before him. SO. I search for the nuggets while we are on vacation. When we are home, I’ll take a stricter approach.)

So, I’m searching for nuggets. At one particular point on Day 2 that we are in the park, I am scurrying through the one and only chicken nugget line to make sure my little man has a full belly. I’m picking it up and bringing it back to where the rest of my family is eating. We picked a place to meet and we were all grabbing our own thing. But no one else wanted chicken nuggets.

I don’t blame them.

So I’m leaving the line and I’m grabbing packets of ketchup when I overhear two Disney workers chatting as they were emptying trashcans. Ok, I like eavesdropping too apparently. You know you’d do it too. Don’t pretend like we ALL don’t do it. Actually, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop this time BUT I did manage to hear one worker saying to another that they were frustrated about all the people that were in Disneyland. He said and I quote,

“Man, they don’t care about trash. They’re on vacation! They don’t care that other people here are working. And aren’t on vacation. And are tired and working hard to clean up after them.”

It sort of stopped me in my tracks. And made me think. And I felt really sad about his comment. I’m not even sure why I’m blogging this. Other than to say, I had been respectively enjoying my own vacation. I wasn’t NOT thinking about others. But I wasn’t exactly thinking about all the people it took to make my vacation a success. It’s so easy to NOT think about others sometimes, huh? Easy to be wrapped up in your own agenda. Your own situation. My own chicken nuggets for my own children.

I wondered what had maybe happened. Had this worker had an interaction with a visitor that was rude? Probably. Had he already been working a long day and was ready to go home? Most likely. But it still made me think. Because it’s odd- I actually HADN’T thought about my vacation through this lens. So it made me really aware from this point on how I was treating and viewing all the workers there that I came into contact with. How unfortunate to be having fun but forgetting that there are a lot of people around me who are NOT on vacation. And just want to go home to rest.

Vacation is fun. But I’ll always approach it in a slightly different way from now on. It wasn’t a huge deal. I know this post might not impact you greatly. But it was sort of a defining moment for me. Why? I’m not sure yet. But it really hit home. So I share it here.

Because that is what I do.



15 Aug

We made it home from California yesterday! What a trip! What a week! I didn’t bring my computer ON PURPOSE so now I’m playing massive catchup. But I haven’t had a TRUE vacation with no emailing and no blogging since, well…. since Cruz was born I guess! Crazy. It was so great to get away. We started the week with a few days in San Diego before heading North to photograph the wedding we had. And I have to say that San Diego has GOT to me on the top of my list of places I’d move to tomorrow. I mean, for real. If we had a chance to move there, I’d move in one big, huge giant heartbeat.

We love it there.

The wedding we shot was fabulous. Filming our promo video was a insane amount of fun. We have more filming to finish up in October, so I’m really looking forward to that. Mostly, I can’t wait to see it all come together and to use it as a way for couples to visually see who they are hiring for their wedding day or Lifestyle Session. We’ve dreamed about doing our promo video since very early on in our business, so it’s pretty nuts that it’s here and that we are doing it.

Then we went to Disneyland! And it was such a blast, except taking two kiddos who are in diapers and strollers is a MESS LOAD of work. And I made the decision this time that we were NOT leaving the park for naps so they just had to sleep wherever we were. It was interesting. No one napped, really. But it actually really did beat having to trudge OUT of the park and back IN to the park all in the name of good naps. It was better this way! But, still exhausting because Cruz didn’t nap at all and then had a really hard time crashing in the stroller come bedtime because he was WAY to excited to be at Disneyland. So he didn’t go to bed until past eleven for both nights we were there. Which made the car ride home, well…. interesting to say the least!

All in all, we had a GREAT time. It’s awesome to be home. We are back to the grind and hitting the ground running this Monday morning. Although I DO wish I could be on vacation, permanently. Wouldn’t that rock? Yes. And I DO have a major itch to move to San Diego now. It’s pretty much my dream place to live someday.

Maybe someday!

I hope everyone has a great Monday! Here’s to a fresh week of work, creativity, and exhausting new hurdles to jump through with my ‘terrible two’s toddler’, I’m sure!

disneyland 2011

31 Jan

Pardon my absence. We’ve been vacationing in Disneyland for the past few days and with two little guys, that’s hardly a vacation! I hardly had time to think, let alone blog or do anything else! Ha! It was a very fun trip, although doing Disneyland with your small kiddos is quite a different experience than with zero children. We were so excited to take Cruz though. Since he’s now two, we were stoked to watch him take it all in and somewhat understand and remember this trip. And we were right! He’s still talking about it and talked about it the whole way home! I did manage to take a few pictures, although I intended to take many more. That’s what happens when you have a 5 month old who hates his life the entire trip.

Seriously. Rider couldn’t have been more difficult.

But we started out the trip in the car with NEW cars for Cruz to play with! He loved it. We even set up our laptop so he could watch the movie Cars, Toy Story and even Monsters, Inc. Definitely made traveling with him a little easier in the car.

We stopped to let him play at McDonald’s and to feed Rider. We got him a new car and decided that spoiling him a little bit on this trip wouldn’t do any harm. Not like he needs another car, but he was excited to get a new one nonetheless. At this point in the trip, Rider wasn’t fussy at all. He had slept the whole way and was a pretty happy and content little guy!

And then after a couple more hours in the car, little man was tuckered out. Aw.

Then we got there and checked into our house. Yes, you heard me. HOUSE. If you are ever traveling anywhere, especially with a lot of people, you NEED to check out HomeAway.com. We were able to rent a 6 bedroom, 5 bathroom house for super cheap for 3 nights! There was 9 of us, including the boys and everyone had their own rooms and bathrooms, basically. Cruz and Rider each had their own rooms too! It was so nice to be able to spread out and be comfortable while we were gone. Hotels are great, but they get pretty pricy quickly and you usually don’t have the option of a suite that’s big enough for 9 people without it being super expensive. I ALWAYS check HomeAway.com before I resort to hotels if I can because it’s an awesome way to stay places for pretty inexpensively! Check it out for sure.

We got up the next morning and headed to Disneyland!! This is where I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have hoped. Rider was a PILL the ENTIRE day. I think he was cold all day long, but I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I tried to bundle him up, feed him often, change his diaper, check his teeth- EVERYTHING. He was not happy. I then thought (stupidly) that I would take him on a couple of the rides that you can bring babies on and see if that would distract him. First, (and I’m not really sure why) I took him on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Which, looking back was a horrible mistake. Ha! It was too much overstimulation and he was a wreck when we got out.

THEN, I thought I’d be clear to take him on Pirates of the Caribbean. Again, another HUGE mistake. He screamed, and I mean SCREAMED, the whole time. It ended with me sitting in the boat sobbing with him. All any of us could hear was a screaming baby. No fun for anyone. When we got off the boat, I apologized PROFUSELY to the strangers that sat on the back half of our boat and they were very nice and gracious to me. They said, at first they thought the baby cries were apart of the ride! Haha!! Yea, they were definitely just MY baby actually screaming. *Sigh* So Rider didn’t go on any other rides after that. But he was very difficult the whole rest of the day. And I couldn’t figure it out.

Cruz, on the other hand, was such a good boy! He obeyed and loved every minute of being in Disneyland! We ran into Woody and Jesse too! The line was SO long, so we didn’t wait for a photo op, but we did stand off to the side so he could see them. Then, Jesse decided to come over to give Cruz a high five even though we weren’t in line!! It was so great. I don’t have a picture of it but I do have a video of it. Here’s a picture before Jesse came over.

My mom FINALLY got Rider to go to sleep. This is after he had been awake and fussy and screaming for 6 hours. Yes, from 8 am until almost 2 he was awake and a VERY unhappy little camper. Grammy to the rescue!

The next day, I layered Rider’s clothes like crazy and then I brought several blankets to keep him warm in his seat, as well as hats and more socks. And low and behold, it worked! Come nap time, he actually slept for about an hour and a half in his seat on the second day we were there. What a relief! I felt like I could actually enjoy Disneyland with my family and not have to worry about Rider. He was obviously way more comfortable this day, which is why I thought maybe he was too cold on the first day. Weird, because I thought I had dressed him warmly! But he was not the happy kid we are so used to. This was more like it.

We grabbed breakfast every morning at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen at Downtown Disney. Um, YUM. They have these amazing bengets and egg sandwiches too! It was so fun being with family!

Cruz is a bit obsessed with the Pixar movie Cars, so we were thrilled to run into these two!

Every time we wanted to ride any of the rides, we always had two of us get a Baby Pass (which is AWESOME) and wait with the kiddos while everyone else went on whichever ride we were at. My sister and I were waiting outside of Tower of Terror as everyone else ran to ride it, and while we were waiting these toy soldiers from Toy Story came out and performed for a crowd that was there! It was SO cute! Cruz calls the toy soldiers ‘guys’ every time he sees them, so he just kept shouting, ‘Hi Guys!’ haha! It was too cute! Now that we’re home, he keeps talking about seeing ‘The Guys’. Too funny.

And of course we followed Woody around the whole entire theme park.

I sorta failed at taking good, amazing pictures this weekend. Like I said, I had a pretty cranky baby on my hands and while I did have a lot of family that helped a lot, there was just a lot going on so I wasn’t able to focus on that. Ugh. But I did snap one shot while we saw World of Color inside California Adventure. If you ever get a chance, you HAVE TO GO SEE IT. It’s phenomenal. I mean, it’s unlike anything I’ve seen and I can’t wait to go back to see it again!! For most of it, my mom held Rider and he and Cruz both were mesmerized by the show! It was incredible! I have video of it and I kind of want to post it, but I’m afraid it doesn’t do it justice.

The rest of the trip was great. We went on lots of rides, ate way too much food, and had a blast!! On our way home, the boys were much fussier than they were on the way there. So we had to make extra stops, which made for a long day yesterday! But Jason’s hat kept everyone occupied and laughing.

Then we got word that my mom, sister and brother-in-laws car broke down right outside of Indio! They had to be towed back to Indio to see what the problem was, and it turns out that there was a major problem with the radiator. Now, I’m no mechanic, but I do know that that is not good. They ended up having to stay the night in Indio, rent a car, and are having to tow Cameron’s car back to Phoenix. What a mess! We felt so bad for them but are happy that everyone is ok for sure. Other than that, we all had a great family vacation! We are already planning our next trip for this November!! We love Disneyland and we LOVE going there as a family. As hard as it was to have Rider in the park, I’d do it all over again for the experience of it. It was hard and exhausting. But it was so much fun!

Oh and I have to leave you with a picture of Rider in his new ‘ears’ we got him while we were there. I saw the beanie Mickey ears and he HAD to have them!! More like, I had to have them I guess. Ha!

arm farts

28 Sep

Look at that face!

One of the nights that we were in San Diego last week, Cruz woke up crying really hard. Jay and I were in the living room of our suite, and usually I let him cry it out for a few minutes- most of the time he’s just transitioning and it takes him a couple minutes to go right back to sleep.

But this cry was different.

I jumped to my feet instantly and went into our room where he was sleeping. He was sitting up, crying and shaking. So of course I picked him up only to discover that he was definitely running a slight fever. It seemed weird to me- he didn’t have any cold or flu symptoms all day and I can usually tell when he’s teeth are bothering him. So I was kinda caught off guard to learn that he was running a fever.

I didn’t have a thermometer with us in the hotel, but I did bring Tylenol. So, Jay went into the bathroom to get it out of our toiletries bag and I rocked Cruz in the meantime. He laid his little head on my shoulder and I just rubbed his back until Dadda brought the Tylenol. We gave him just a little bit, I changed his diaper and then I held him some more. He put his little head back down on my shoulder and I just rocked him back and forth.

It was probably about midnight when all this was happening. And in the midst of it being the middle of the night, his fever, and being exhausted from the day, Cruz still managed to lift his little head from my shoulder and made the loudest farting noise with his mouth on my arm! He did it twice and then laid his little head back down on my shoulder. Ha!

Jay and I laughed for the rest of the night about it. No matter how sick, how tired or how late, our little Cruz mustered up enough strength to make farting noises on my arm. He definitely is a boy to the core!

And I’m happy to report, Cruz was completely better by morning!

family vacation

22 Sep

We left town yesterday and I am so glad that we did. I had an unexpectedly awful weekend, so it’s nice to get away for a bit. More on my awful weekend in another post. I honestly don’t feel like explaining it just yet.

We headed to San Diego for a family vacation, which is also in honor of our 6th wedding anniversary that is coming up this week! We have been so blessed with several trips this summer- and I thought we wouldn’t be able to take ANY. We are one lucky family with the most amazing friends and family ever. So Jason, Cruz and I headed out yesterday morning and we are staying on Shelter Island. When we got here I immediately fell in love with this little island. I’ve been to San Diego many times and I have never been to Shelter Island.

I love San Diego. We fully intend to live here at some point in our lives. Probably to retire. And that’s fine with me.

We are staying at a great hotel. When we checked in, not only did we receive the best customer service ever but we were also upgraded to a King Suite! Why? We’re not sure! But we’ll take it! We were given free breakfast every day either for room service or in the restaurant here and several other amenities that we weren’t expecting- including a view of the marina! These were taken last night from right outside our balcony. It’s amazing and the breeze that blew into our suite is perfect:

Our ViewOur View

We went to Fred’s for dinner. We both ate way too much. We walked around The Gas Lamp District and talked about all the spots that we want to do photo shoots around here. There’s so much to dream about!

Today we are taking Cruz to Sea World for the first time!! So we are completing #13 on our 101 in 1001 days list! We are so excited to watch him check out the dolphins, sting rays and fish! Cruz really loves animals and watching his little face light up will be SO worth it.

We are here until Friday and I am so grateful. We are also going to try to hit up San Diego Zoo while we’re here too. I love family trips with my boys!

vacation from our vacation

5 Aug

We had such a great time this past weekend in Sedona. Our dear friends, The Evjen’s, saw two couples (us and The Alley’s) who really needed a mini vacation and to get away for a weekend. Alex took us up to her home in Sedona for the weekend; a trip that was planned when I was crushed about not being able to afford Disneyland. We still were able to go to Disneyland, with the help of my amazing family, and Alex and Ryan still wanted to take us up North- even though we were still able to go on an amazing vacation.

The Evjen’s and The Alley’s are great, great friends of ours. Alex and Ryan really made the weekend a great escape for four people who needed to relax! We were only there for two nights, but it was so relaxing and wonderful to get out of the heat and goof off with ridiculously cool people.

While we were in Sedona, Jay and I continued to document our lives. We love photography and honestly look at life as one big photo shoot.

This weekend was no different.

We had so much fun photographing everything. Nothing was off limits. We tried to capture every moment with these friends while we were there, capturing memories with friends that we are super grateful for.

Of course, we couldn’t start the weekend off without immediately taking tons of pictures of Cruz. That kid has more pictures that he will ever know what to do with. And I am grateful for that.

The cutest kid everPiano with DadWe went to Flagstaff for the day on Saturday to shop, eat and go to an amazing coffee shop called Macy’s. We found a random phone booth and all tried to jump in. It made for a lot of laughs, and really fun pictures.

The GirlsThe GuysThis is such a special little kid. I can’t even explain how much he lights everything and everyone up.

And isn’t the ground the coolest ever?

Rockstar BabyWe went to Macy’s for coffee- we’ve heard it’s the best coffee in the nation. And it was SO good!

Macy'sYum!Jay & JessAlex at Macy'sGoofing off and taking random pictures of each other was definitely on the agenda.AndreaJess


I have too many pictures to post here. I could go on for days I’m pretty sure.

It was just so great to get away again this summer. We’ve been blessed with fantastic people in our lives who have taken such good care of us. People who have seen how stressed out Jason and I have been and who made it possible this summer for us to get out of town and forget about stress, money and the heat!

On top of the shopping, eating, belly laughing, and random photo shoots, it was the greatest to wake up to this view, these people and relax for a couple days.

I could stay here foreverMr. CruzI guess we got a vacation from our vacation after all!

A big thanks to Alex & Ryan for making this weekend so fun for us. You two are so giving- I know we, along with Andrea and Cody, are super grateful. I have a CD of all the pictures for all of you!


27 Jul

We needed a vacation. It’s as simple as that.

Jason and I had been trying to save money for this trip that my family has been planning to Disneyland for about a year. With a baby on the way when we started saving, it was a lengthy process, but we thought for sure we’d have enough to get us through the gates.

In June, my car broke down and we had several unexpected large expenses come through that required us to use that vacation savings on other important things. We were pretty bummed that we weren’t going to be able to go with my family to California in July. Jason and I knew that we would have to sit this one out.

My family saw that we really needed a vacation. It’s been an amazing and difficult year in a lot of aspects, at least financially. They saw the need and each of them, in their own way, pulled together money and resources- enough to help get us to Disneyland with them!

We were in California for 6 days and it was the break we needed. I am so thankful for a family that loves us that much- they all did everything they each could do to have us on vacation with them. It was wonderful. I thought I’d post some of the highlights of the trip along with pictures! There’s a lot so I hope you’re comfortable! Ha!

We left for California Monday morning. This is Mr. Cruz getting ready to go in his big boy car seat. We weren’t sure how he’d like his car seat, but he did ok!

Cruz in Carseat

We stayed at my Aunt Bev’s house– this is the same house that I grew up visiting. It’s so much fun to bring Cruz there now and to think that he’s going to make memories there too! I posted a couple pictures earlier in the week of Cruz sitting on the front lawn. I had fun doing a mini photo shoot with my Aunt Bev and my two cousins Julie and Jim. Here’s a few pictures from our mini photo shoot:


CousinsAuntie BevCousinsOn Tuesday we left the house after Cruz had his morning nap to head towards the beach! It’s been a recent tradition of ours to eat at Fred’s whenever we go. Jason and I love their mexican food and it over looks the ocean! We try to sit on the patio so we can see the water and the beach. Huntington Beach was pretty busy for a Tuesday, but it was great to sit, relax, and eat with family. Cruz loves the California weather- I mean, who doesn’t really?

Fred's SignFreds with DaddyFred's and CruzJuls & Bev

On Wednesday, we got up and headed to take Cruz to the LA Zoo! It was about 45 minutes away from my aunts house so Cruz napped in the car on the way there. It was very hot on Wednesday, but we still made it through the entire thing. Cruz loved looking at all the animals! It was so fun to watch him experience seeing these live animals for the first time. I know he won’t remember much, but it’s still fun to show him new things.

Cruz Zoo 1Cruz Zoo 2Cruz Zoo 3

This was Cruz at lunch trying french fries for the first time. Ha! He doesn’t like “adult” food very much and I can’t seem to get him to eat anything other than baby food. *sigh*

Cruz Zoo 4

He loved the monkey exhibit. The monkey’s were talking to each other so loudly while we were there- Cruz didn’t do much but just stare at them. It was fun to watch them swing from branch to branch!

Cruz Zoo 5Cruz Zoo 6

We stopped to cool off and take a break after the monkeys and Cruz was so smiley and laughed so much. He was so happy- well, he’s always happy usually. But it was so fun to see him enjoying the zoo!

Cruz Zoo 7

The zoo exhausted Cruz about halfway through! So Jay and I just walked around and saw the rest of the animals while Cruz napped. It was such a fun day!

Cruz Zoo 8

Thursday was Cruz’s first Disneyland experience!! We got up earlier than normal and headed out to meet my mom, sisters and Cameron at their hotel that they were staying at which was about a block away from Disneyland. We got there, parked and bought shuttle passes for the bus so we could all get into Disneyland together.

Disney 1Disney 6

Yep… We went for it! Grammy bought Cruz his very first pair of Mickey ears! He actually left them on for quite a while!

Disney 5I know- It’s super cute.

Cruz loved Disneyland. When we walked in on Friday, he belly laughed all the way from the entrance gates to the Peter Pan ride in Fantasyland! Jason and I were trying to figure out what he was laughing at!

Disney 3Disney 9I was riding the Tower of Terror when my sister Danielle snapped this picture. Chip came right up to the stroller and was making Cruz laugh so hard. But it happened so fast- you know how those characters are- they move fast! So she was able to catch this picture, which I just love!

IMG_1598Cruz loved riding the carousel too! It was also so great to have so many family members around to help us with the little man while we were there!

We managed to take Cruz on a few rides, although I didn’t get a lot of pictures while riding. Simply because I was taking video of him- especially on ‘It’s a Small World’. He LOVED it.

He also loved the Peter Pan ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, the carousel, Mickey Mouse’s house (not a ride, but he loved it) and California Screamin… Just kidding. Ha! We didn’t take him on anything with a height requirement, but he was able to enjoy quite a few things!

Disney 10Disney 12Disney 11Disney 4It was just so great to get away for a week. I don’t remember the last time we took a trip that was simply for us and allowed us to relax. We were so appreciative to everyone who helped get us there. Cruz loved every second of it and these are just a few of the pictures that were taken during our week out there!

We love California so much. It’s always the best when you can sneak away and be with family for a little bit. We were all exhausted after the trip though.

We’re seriously thinking about taking a vacation from our vacation.

Disney 8