It’s January.


I really don’t like January.

The holiday uproar is over… Christmas decorations are all taken down and put away stuffed in the garage… Kids are back in school… and while the sun may be shining, it’s still a frigid 30 something degrees outside!  Summer is EONS away!


I might be getting a bad case of the Winter Blues.

I need something bright and warm to cheer me!

Some spunk- PIZZAZ!  Something to brighten my walls in my home now that decorations are put away; something to lift my spirits! So….

I’ve decided to go through some of our pictures… choose a few and frame them to add to my collection of family photos on our little gallery wall.  In searching, I found our photos from our trip to San Diego I took with the kids this past September…

Man I LOVE that place!  Not only is it home to me, but it’s HEAVEN for my kids!  We were there for almost 2 weeks and we played practically at the beach. I had sand in my hair, in my ears and in other nooks and crannies you don’t need to know about, but HEY, guess what?! I didn’t mind!  NOPE- I LOVE THE BEACH- SAND AND ALL!


I never realized it when I was younger- but BOY was I lucky to have grown up in San Diego and spent my childhood at the beach!   What I wouldn’t give to be able to live there NOW just for my children’s sake, so they could enjoy the benefits of living near and visiting the beach often…


Since I never posted any of these photos before- I thought I’d do it now…  just looking at them cheers me up! They also make me additionally excited for March!!!  My husband may not know it yet, and my parents are also probably unaware, but once the kids school lets out in March- I packing the van and we’re headed down there for some good sand, surf, sun therapy!

IMG_4979 (1)

Just me with these 6 crazies, snacks, good tunes and a 11 hour car ride!

IMG_4987 (1)

First place we hit up once we arrived in San Diego was the beach! of course.

IMG_4997 (1)

It was HOT in San Diego… No I mean H.O.T.! Like I thought I was walking on the surface of the sun HOT, and in addition to the heat, it was HUMID!!! Those first couple of days in San Diego there wasn’t anywhere really to go where we could beat the heat. It was even HOT at the beach and IN the water! So we lived off of Slurpees.

IMG_4999 (1)

I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve seen it rain in San Diego… sure it sprinkles- but I don’t really recall it ever RAINING in San Diego and I lived there my entire life until I was 23! Then this happened… a HUGE hurricane like downpour! It was so cRaZy streets were flooding and trees were down everywhere!


DSC_0221 (1)

We visited the La Brea Tar Pits in L.A. It was my first time, as well as the first time either any of my boys or my dad, Grandpa T., have visited it. It was HOT and smelled like stinky tar, but otherwise, it was pretty fun to visit- until it came to drive back home to San Diego. What should have only taken us 2 hours to drive, took us 5 hours to drive home in L.A. traffic!!! It was horrible! We even got lost in an L.A. ghetto- which I could have sworn was another 3 world country and my children saw “street walkers” working street corners during broad daylight!!! Sorry #notsosorry but I HATE L.A.!!!


IMG_5021 (1)

I laugh every time I see this picture because if you look closely- you’ll notice that Bentley’s head is floating on top of a dinosaur body! Yep, that’s the magic of a green screen! {not done intentionally, of course.}

DSC_0268 (1)

Turning tar. Everything’s a competition between these brothers, so naturally taking turns to turn and lift these buckets of tar turned into a competition too to see WHO was the strongest. Noah was trying to distract Ian and intimidate him with the likes of his muscles.

DSC_0236 (1) DSC_0258 (1) DSC_0210 (1)

IMG_5019 (1)


IMG_5129 (1)

Panning for gold at the Mormon Battalion Center in Old Town.

IMG_5086 (1)

Exploring the science museum in Balboa Park.

IMG_5107 (1) DSC_0511 (1) DSC_0545 (1) DSC_0561 (1)


DSC_0820 (1)

Would you believe me if I told you this was Bentley’s very 1ST time visiting Disneyland?!!! It’s true. Somehow- with all of the DOZENS of times we’ve gone before, he had never been- so, we left Atticus, Noah and Ian with Grandpa T. in San Diego, took Isla and Cohen, and met up with Aunt Tricia and her girls at Disneyland for a day!!! BOY was it HOT!!! It was probably 100 degrees, hot and humid! We were all dripping sweat- I don’t know how Mickey or any of the other characters managed to last more than a few minutes in their costumes!!!

DSC_0695 (1) DSC_0703 (1) DSC_0715 (1)

DSC_0723 (2)

Bentley didn’t go to Disneyland to meet the mouse… he went to meet the one and only Winnie the Pooh Bear!!!

DSC_0757 (1) DSC_0775 (1) DSC_0785 (1) DSC_0823 (1) DSC_0845 (1) DSC_0862 (1) IMG_5178 (1) IMG_5208 (1)

IMG_5214 (1)

This girl LOVED the Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride! She “oohed” and “awwed”, even clapped for Jack Sparrow when she saw him with all of the gold!



IMG_5243 (1) IMG_5242 (1)




IMG_5152 (1)

When it’s 90 degrees at 10p.m. inside grandma and grandpa’s house and all you’ve got are long pajamas- it’s perfectly acceptable to wear your older brothers clean underwear over you diaper instead. Sidenote: 360 days out of the year- where my parents live in San Diego near the beach it’s never hotter than 80 degrees- of course, there had to be that one exception, which happened to be while we were staying with them!!!


IMG_5077 (1)

Aunt Janna, Kyse, Paresa and Idrese took Noah and Ian to Legoland for a day! My boys never tire of this place…

DSC_0470 (1)

While we were in San Diego, Noah turned 9 years old! We celebrated with cupcakes at the beach for breakfast, ice cream at Frosties in P.B. for lunch, some boogie boarding and catching waves, then dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Casa Machado…. in place of cake, he blew his candle out and ate Flan!

IMG_5047 (1) IMG_5057 (1)

IMG_5063 (1)

Noah’s an unusual kid. He loves TOMATOES and he LOVES salad… so what did he order as his birthday dinner??? Tacos? Fajitas? Beans??? NOPE. He ordered and ate a grilled chicken salad!


DSC_0479 (1) IMG_5076 (1) IMG_5133 (1) DSC_0883 (1) DSC_0865 (1) DSC_0888 (1) DSC_0674 (1) DSC_0312 (1) DSC_0336 (1) DSC_0277 (1)

DSC_0401 (1)

We found these beautiful, yet strange, sea creatures all over the sand at La Jolla Shores. I never did find out WHAT they were called- but they were pretty awesome…. They’re sort of like clams, but eat like anenomes and star fish with their belly underneath… the clear dorsal fin thingy, is meant to catch wind like a sail, as it floats on the waters surface.

DSC_0409 (1)

DSC_0430 (1)

Now that Bentley knows how to write his name correctly, he scribbles it EVERYWHERE— found this gem on my walk down to the pier.

DSC_0444 (1) DSC_0466 (1) DSC_0455 (1) DSC_0460 (1)

IMG_5028 (1)

Isla never had any hair in Texas, where it was humid, so I didn’t know until we hit the humidity in San Diego that her hair CURLS! I LOVE IT! From time to time, if she works up a good sweat, her hair will curl here in Utah, but nothing like it did there in San Diego! She looked like my own little Goldilocks!


IMG_5040 (1)

IMG_5170 (1) IMG_5304 (1) IMG_5315 (1)

IMG_5318 (1)

This girl alone- required more work and constant supervision than all 5 of my other children- in addition my nephew too!!! Safe to say- Isla was born to live at the beach!!! She LOVED it!!! She refused to nap, let alone sit in her stroller, if and when we were at the beach. And she didn’t like to just sit on the sand and play with shovels… she wanted to be IN the water!!! I either had to hold her all the hours we spent each day at the beach or she was crawling into the waves! She never minded getting knocked over by a wave- she’d just laugh and laugh some more till another wave came by. It was EXHAUSTING keeping up with her! By our last day at the beach, she was kind enough to take a nap in stroller for an hour, while I played with her older brothers in the surf.


Bentley does all of his own poses!

IMG_5110 (1)

I have this photo I took of our boys several years ago, sitting on the lawn in front of the San Diego Temple, dressed in their Sunday clothes- that I love so much, I eventually had it enlarged and printed on canvas… Now that we’ve added Isla to our family, I would like to have an updated photo of the kids in front of the temple, so I tried to recreate it…. only, this time around, it was BLAZING HOT outside and we’d just come from 3 hours at church…. let’s just say, everyones patience was wearing thin— these are the best that I was able to get during not one attempt at photos, but TWO! Yes- I tried on 2 separate days to get some decent photos of my children in front of the temple and on both days, it was HOT and children were ornery.

IMG_5122 (1) DSC_0637 (1)DSC_0985 (1)DSC_0016 (1)

DSC_0896 (1)DSC_0359 (1) DSC_0381 (1) DSC_0390 (1)

IMG_5365 (1)

Leaving San Diego after two fun and busy weeks, with a nice golden tan!


IMG_5373 (1)

It’s always sad to leave San Diego- in fact, Noah delayed our departure from San Diego in the morning by about 20 minutes because he was hiding in Grandma’s home, hoping we wouldn’t find him and that I’d leave him behind- but it’s always a joy to arrive home and see this man! DADDY!!! We missed him!