Monday, January 4, 2021

Outside and more outside

Our Christmas break ends tomorrow and has looked so different than in years past. Over the past several weeks, I often thought of the thousands of hospital workers who were/are so inundated with patients and scrambling to find room and staff to help them. The thought of how much they are risking for us has driven us to take our part in attempting to be safe a little more seriously. So while we haven't been perfect, the theme in our outings or get togethers with family has been outside. Lot's of outside. ;) Because of that, I've  been reminded of how grateful I am that we live in a state in which our weather has allowed us the ability to still have so much fun over the break. 

We spent our Thanksgiving break camping with my family in San Clemente.

We introduced my sister and her girls to one of my all time favorite hikes in the desert, Murray Hill. My dad joined as well and we had a great time.

We made the very not fun decision of not going up to my in-laws as that was when the numbers were increasing SO rapidly. We were all incredibly bummed, but we were still able to have a nice Christmas. Here is one of my favorite gifts Chris gave me. I wear it all the time!

Freezing temperatures will never stop a good game of Among Us!

The kids and I had a super fun time scootering around Newport.

We introduced the cousins to it the following week. :)

Using a Cold Stone gift card from Christmas!

This next admission makes me feel very old, but my new FAVORITE activity is to relax in front of a good screen saver (there are tons on Youtube). One of my favorites is simply a Hogwarts castle setting, with rain sounds. It is sooo relaxing to sit and either read, or just watch while I drink coffee. My favorite time to enjoy it is in the morning when it's dark and I'm the only one up. I am often teased by my sweet family, but I really don't care. ;) 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

in person assessments

 *We had a fun evening celebrating my niece's 16th birthday.

*Halloween this year looked different, but actually not all that different. During the day, we helped out at our church's Trunk-or-Treat by decorating our car and handing out candy. My sister and I decorated our cars the same, which made it a little easier. :)

*Initially we weren't sure how many houses would participate in trick-or-treating, however we were pleasantly surprised, as were the kids considering how much candy they came home with! We made sure they put their masks on when they went to each door and many people seemed happy that kids were knocking at their doors. :)

*I recently started doing a few in person assessments. There are a lot of safety procedures involved, both before the actual day of testing as well as on the day! 

*Last weekend we visited my in-laws. It was a quick trip, but fun to have a break from the daily routine! Lots of Hallmark movies, baking, and relaxing!

On one of the nights, Debbie made us a homemade pizza bar. We created our own pizzas, which included choosing from 21 toppings!! :)

*I continue to LOVE my early morning walks. This morning's sunrise was especially pretty. You can't beat a cool morning where the streets are quiet and you feel like the only one up. 

*On my way back, a home had placed a bunch of stuff on the sidewalk to give away. I couldn't believe they were giving away a huge bag of assorted gift bags and wrapping paper. Luckily the house was nearby because it was heavy!

*Yesterday we decorated for Christmas!! :)

Sunday, October 18, 2020


 *Chris and his brother took the kids to the beach a couple weeks back. Here are Cam and Craig hanging out.

*Kendall joined us on our last couple of rides. She really liked them and I find myself secretly hoping she continues to. I would love it if she also started joining in from now on...especially since having her along on our hikes has been such fun.


*After a couple weeks of working from home full time, my neck started to feel the effects of constantly looking down at my computer. Chris was able to connect my monitor to the TV, which has made a huge difference!

*A highlight of every morning! I've switched from my usual flavored creamer and now just use plain cream along with a flavored coffee.

*I have had a lot of reasons over the years for not being on social media. This show touches on several. It's a very good watch.

*I have zero pictures from this past week and the various ways we celebrated Chris' birthday. But one way was making him a batch of his all time favorite cookie:


Saturday, September 19, 2020


 *My morning walks will soon be coming to an end as sunrise gets later and later each day. :( I'm prepping as much as I can the night before so that I have time to quickly get ready for work with the dwindling time I have left when I return. In addition to my true crime podcasts, I found a new favorite. I've long been fascinated by Scientology, so this podcast is super interesting to listen to.

*One of the first things Cameron wanted to do after he turned 14 was open his own bank account. Here he is while being taught how to use the ATM machine.

*We took our annual Labor Day weekend trip up north to celebrate Cameron's birthday with Chris' parents ( Aunt Noonie joined us as well!). There were Hallmark movies, great food, relaxing...all the usual wonderful stuff that fills the weekend. :)

*Chris' parents bought Cameron a scooter for his birthday. Kendall and I liked it so much, we used some Christmas money we had left and bought both of us scooters as well! Last weekend we headed to Newport and had a great time riding up and down the beach.

Stopping for donuts...

*On Tuesday night, after we dropped both kids off at church, Chris and I went out to eat. It was SO nice to be at a restaurant and we actually enjoyed the experience even more with it being outside. Chris picked the place and we had an all time favorite of mine....Mizithra with Browned Butter
from The Old Spaghetti Factory. It was such an enjoyable evening. :)

*Chris and I have been enjoying Cobra Kai. Since it's based off the old Karate Kid movies, Chris especially has enjoyed it and recognizes so many of the songs. We initially thought it would be fun to watch with the kids, however despite it being mild compared to many shows today, it still isn't as kid-friendly as we had hoped.

*I've been trying to meal plan more. Granted, it only amounts to planning a couple nights out of the week, but it's better than nothing! I tried a Pizza Roll recipe my sister gave me. Despite their faces, they actually enjoyed it. I have Chris and the kids rate each recipe afterward, to help determine if it will be on repeat. :)

Sunday, August 30, 2020

14 years old!

*This past week we celebrated both my mom and Cameron's birthdays at a park. Cameron came away with some new books and his first pair of hiking poles. He is excited to use them for our hike to Mt. Baldy we have planned in a few weeks. 

*Lately I've been completely by myself in the office. I love being able to play music (without needing headphones). My go-to Pandora station is, "Film Scores Radio". Mainly it's composed of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and Lord of the Rings. All have amazing music.

*Speaking of Harry Potter...we just finished the first book and movie! Just as good as it was the first time!

*The past few weeks I've realized that by doing a little more work in the evenings in prepping the kids' breakfast and lunches (and even pre-filling my k-cup for the Keurig), I have time for a good 30-40 minute walk before work. These are some of my favorite times of the day.

*Today we officially celebrated our boy turning 14. He started out the morning watching a video compilation I made composed of some birthday messages from some friends/family.  Later, we had the quads over for lunch and video games (which, Chris joked, isn't really that different from every other day!). 

*While they were all playing, I prepped my lunches for the week. When I'm disciplined enough to do this, it makes all the difference in the world. I can then come home and just enjoy eating with Chris and the kids, rather than spend half my lunch time making my food. Lately I've been making the most delicious salads with spinach, cabbage, chicken, cottage cheese, tomatoes, and pickles.

*Cameron is a peanut butter super fan. It makes sense that he is also a Reese's Pieces super fan. Kendall helped me decorate his cake. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2020

*I have now been back to work for three full weeks. During the first week, Chris wanted to keep the fun times going for the kids so they didn't feel like THEIR summer was ending too. Beach with the cousins helped a lot! did breakfast at Panera one morning.


*The huge fire near us was quite the big deal around here. The fire department built a small city at a local park, with hundreds of firefighters sleeping, eating, etc. there for about a week. 

*My second week of work we spent kid-less as the kids and their cousins went up to my in-laws for the week. They had the time of their lives and it made me feel SOO great knowing they were having fun while I had to work.

*Now the kids are officially back in school...virtually. The virtual "coolness" has worn off since they first began last spring. And I'll be honest, both being done by 12:30 makes for some long afternoons. However we still have the quads available most days, which is an enormous plus.

*I work on site most days, however I just started working from home on Fridays. Chris is able to free up his computer for me to use, which includes dual monitors. This is a game changer for me when I'm presenting during IEP's. For meetings I just need to attend, it's also quite nice to do that on a comfy bed with the Starbucks he brought home for me!!

*Kendall recently started a blog. Most days she posts a chapter from a book she is writing. However she will also write posts about her life happenings. I must admit I love reading about what we do from HER perspective!! :)

Monday, July 27, 2020

*I saw this and loved it. I've never perked up when I drink coffee due to the caffeine. I've perked up simply because it's warm and comforting to drink. I look forward to coffee as soon as I wake up. :)

*Fun beach day with our cousins from Chris' side. We waited out traffic back at their house with some pizza, then the kids got to spend the night while Chris and I headed home. Fun for them AND us!

*We went on another hike with my sister and her kids (plus my dad). Luckily it was much cooler this time. I'm not sure if all of the cousins are going to be life long hikers, but maybe 1-2 might join us when we tackle the San Gorgonio summit this year (Cam and I did it with my dad years ago but Kendall wants her turn at that mountain top experience).

*Yesterday we surprised the kids and took them out to breakfast. It was so nice to eat at a restaurant, even if it was outside under an EZup!

*I was SOO excited when both kids agreed to read Harry Potter with me again!! A few years ago, when the illustrated editions were released, I really, really wanted them. Now that we are going through them again, I justified the purchase of book one. :) The pictures add a little extra something special. :)