Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wedding Wednesday: Mint & Peach Inspiration

There are only 5 more Wednesdays between now and our wedding - yikes! - so I figured if I wanted to share any wedding details, it's now or never. Wedding Wednesday has a nice ring to it, so you know what to expect for the next few Wednesdays around here ;)

I never really dreamed about being a bride as a kid. Not that I remember, anyway. I don't like being the center of attention, I'm not great at event planning, and keeping track of tons of minute details makes my brain hurt, so I'm probably not the ideal bride. However, I'm my mom's only daughter, and she would be devastated if we just up and eloped, and after giving it lots of thought I couldn't say for certain that I wouldn't regret not having a ceremony and sharing it with family and friends, so for a long time wedding plans just stayed in limbo. My mom got the ball rolling when she so kindly offered financial assistance, so we toured exactly two places before I fell in love with the cliffside ceremony spot we chose. Also, I'm a big fan of how much planning our wedding coordinators are taking care of. That being said, there are still lots of details that we have to decide for ourselves. Enter: Pinterest. How did people plan anything before Pinterest? 

I started with cakes. Of course. I know for sure I hate fondant, so that was out. A quick search for buttercream wedding cakes led me to that peach/pink/mint beauty up above, and that pretty much set the tone for everything else. If I had to guess before I started looking I would not have thought I'd love peach and pink this much. I thought I'd be more of a dark red kind of girl. But I saw it, and I loved it, and to streamline the whole decision making process my rule of thumb is to go with the first thing I love without second guessing and exploring a million more options. The nice thing about not having that childhood dream wedding is that there are no expectations to live up to and I wasn't searching for one specific thing that had to be just right.  

After cakes I moved onto bouquets and found that I really loved the addition of succulents. It's a little bit rustic and unexpected but still very elegant looking. I also loved the simplicity of that table up there, and even though my coordinator seems to think there won't be enough color, I'm a fan of muted light colors with little pops of brightness. I think it will make the wedding photos more timeless and classic. 

So there you have it! A first glimpse into our wedding. Funny how it seemed so far away and like there wasn't much to do and now I've got 8 different wedding related checklists on my phone that I'm working on daily, and as soon as I check something off I remember three more things I need to add. 

A few questions for other brides:
  • Did you have a set vision for how you wanted your wedding to go, and did it pan out?
  • How did you stay organized? I'm sure there must be a better way, but I feel like I'm pretty entrenched in my organized chaos, it might be too much effort to switch now. 
  • I'm also curious what kind of last minute craziness to expect? Were there any kinks on the big day? I know it's impossible to plan for everything, but it'd be nice to have a little idea of what other brides went through.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Bucket List: Splash Pad

It's just not summer without a few splash pad visits. One thing I love about San Jose is that the downtown area has a small park that they always update with fun seasonal activities. They had dozens of decorated Christmas trees and decorations, as well as hot chocolate and photo opportunities with Santa's reindeer at Christmas time, pumpkins and spooky decorations at Halloween, and for summer they turn on the water and bring out all kinds of giant sized games: Jenga, Connect 4, bean bag tosses, and there's even hammocks - you know, for those people who aren't busy chasing toddlers around ;)

This isn't really a traditional splash pad because it's not attached to a playground and those blasts of water are pretty strong. I think if Declan would've been brave enough to step directly on top of one he would've shot straight up in the air. Both kiddos were pretty cautious at first, but after five minutes Ez was sticking his whole head directly into the water while Declan watched him, gleefully stomping his feet and clapping his hands, cheering big bro on. He was more content to stand a good two feet back from the water, or run around weaving in and out of the fountains. 

After we were good and soaked we moved on to the games and some airplane spotting before hitting up Starbucks and taking the train back home where both boys promptly passed out in their stroller. One of the best perks of summer has to be the good napping that all these activities lead to. I've still got a few more splash pads we intend to explore before the season's up, but for now we'll go ahead and cross this off our list. Are splash pads a thing in your area? I know a lot of California ones are shut down because of the drought so I was very happy to find a few that are still open.

// motocross // camping // Declan's 1st birthday // Ez's 1st movie //
Crazy that we're already halfway through our bucket list!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Monster Trucks at the Fair

Last week I had to go to Modesto for my first dress fitting so on a whim I decided to check out the Stanislaus County Fair's schedule and.....they had monster trucks!! This falls in the category of things I could care less about before I had boys, but now I'm basically a monster truck groupie. I can name all the monster jam trucks and drivers, and of course we own most of the toys. So I made it my mission this year to take Ez to see some monster trucks and I was so disappointed that it just didn't work out with our schedules. The point of all my rambling is that I was so excited to have this opportunity to take Ez and I couldn't wait to see his face when he saw these trucks in person. Annnnd...
...this is what I got:

Not quite the excitement I was looking for. Especially after his excitement at the motocross event we went to. I think the noise and the long setup between each truck's run made it less than ideal for a three year old. Even the most avid monster truck loving three year old. 

However, as soon as the show was over he kept exclaiming excitedly that we saw monster trucks while making really loud revving sounds and flying his toy trucks through the air. Maybe he loved it so much he couldn't even process it all? We wandered around the fair for a bit, getting a milk shake for Ez and a beer for the rest of us. All of a sudden Ez remembered that we'd promised him a monster truck before the show started. When did his memory get so good??

So back to the monster truck arena we went so that Grampa and Ez could ride not just any monster truck, but a fire truck monster truck. When you're three, that's basically the pinnacle of all trucks. Nothing will ever top that. Here's his face during the ride:

Now that's the face I was looking for. We probably could've skipped the show and just done the ride. Mental note for next year. Also, I can't get over how tiny Ez looks next to that tire:

Ez, I hope you realize just how much you're loved. Three people who don't care about trucks and can't stand the heat rallied together to spend the day in 102 degree weather just so we could witness your first time seeing a monster truck in person. And it was so worth it. 

Can you spot Ez & Grampa?

Clearly embarrassed to be getting kisses from mom in front of his monster truck idols:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

38 Facts About Joe on his Birthday

As promised, and for the first time ever, Joe is giving a little glimpse about himself here on the blog. Usually I just talk about him and post pictures, and he has no say over what I decide to share. But today, on his birthday, he's giving us a few random facts about himself. 38 to be exact ;)

Happy birthday my love! We love you more than you'll ever know. 

(The stuff in parentheses and italics are my add-on thoughts. Everything else is Joe.)
  1. My favorite Starbucks drink is a iced green tea latte with sugar free vanilla and soy milk.
  2. I call it "the green one."
  3. And I almost always make Nina say the order for me. (Former barista right here...I speak the language.)
  4. I have a doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine.
  5. My final high school GPA was 1.7.
  6. My final GPA when I got my doctorate is 3.7.
  7. I love peanut butter and honey sandwiches. (Said while eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich.) 
  8. I don't like jelly/jam.
  9. I'm right handed but my left arm is stronger.
  10. I've been working in digital marketing for 11 years.
  11. I just started using Instagram last week.
  12. My biggest bench press ever was 520 lbs.
  13. I wanted to compete in the strongman competition in 2002.
  14. I couldn't because I hurt my back and my shoulder.
  15. I can't even count how many jobs I've had, but I'd estimate over 50. (Begins trying to list them all...five minutes later I tell him an estimate is fine.)
  16. My favorite food is rice.
  17. I was raised by a single mom.
  18. I lived in Hawaii from the ages of 3-5.
  19. I have two younger half brothers.
  20. When I was a kid I wanted to be a bus driver.
  21. I originally went to school for government journalism.
  22. I love Civil War history.
  23. I played soccer from the ages of 3 to 7 and was on a few all star teams.
  24. I played JV basketball in high school.
  25. I've been a Lakers fan since 1987.
  26. My first car was a 1980 Plymouth champ.
  27. The first basketball game I ever went to was Magic Johnson's charity game called a Midsummer Night's Magic in 1987 with my dad.
  28. I've broken both wrists and both ankles - 3 while playing basketball and 1 rollerblading.
  29. I don't eat red meat or pork.
  30. I think washing my car is a waste of time. I prefer to just leave it outside when it rains. (Me too.)
  31. I used to collect baseball cards, coins, transformers, and stuffed animals.
  32. I still have my baseball card and coin collections.
  33. I got my most valuable coin from my dad who was working at a grocery store and somebody used it to pay. He kept it and gave it to me.
  34. My favorite TV show of all time is I Love Lucy.
  35. My guilty pleasure movies are Juwanna Man and Good Burger. 
  36. I watch Avengers and Dark Knight every time they're on TV.
  37. My favorite movie of all time is Hoosiers.
  38. I grew six inches the summer between ages fifteen and sixteen. Before that I thought I'd be 5'5 forever.

Birthday Getaway

Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt. 
~ John Muir 

Each year we like to do a mini getaway to celebrate mine and Joe's birthdays and this year, after some procrastination and very last minute planning, we rented a cabin up in Pinecrest. A weekend with our toes in the water, the sun in our hair, and dirt pretty much everywhere else was just what we needed. We were completely unplugged and present and in awe of the beauty that surrounded us.

Ez immediately turned into a little fish at the sight of the lake and was dog paddling all over the place without a care to how cold the water was. Declan took a little more convincing. As soon as he dipped a toe in the water he immediately started his exaggerated shivering that he does any time he's the slightest bit cold. Once he discovered the joy of throwing rocks in the water he was as content as could be.

A few hours of swimming and picnicking later both babies were struggling to keep their eyes open so we headed to our cabin. We actually caught Ez swaying back and forth on his feet with his eyes closed about to fall over and when we picked him up he protested for half a second then promptly fell asleep on Joe's shoulder mid sentence. Declan fell asleep in his backpack carrier and they both stayed asleep through diaper changes, being buckled into their car seats, and being transferred to beds at the cabin. I have a feeling bedtime would be a lot smoother if we had daily access to a lake.

Joe and I took advantage of naptime to make an early dinner, pop open a bottle of wine, and sit out on the balcony enjoying the trees and the sound of the river rushing down below. 

We eventually woke the boys up and they immediately took over the place, exploring every inch, opening every cupboard, and making the balcony their own private playground. We spent our evening searching for rocks and pine cones to toss in the river, playing chase on the balcony, and watching Finding Nemo while eating all the snack food we could get our hands on.

I would've loved to stay at least a week, but we had to pack up and head back to civilization on Sunday. We capped off our trip with a hearty breakfast at a nearby diner followed by a three mile hike rock collecting walk. Then we all piled in the car and both boys promptly fell asleep for the next two hours. I'm already dreaming of a longer trip back in the near future. 

Monday was my actual birthday but Joe had to work and we were pretty beat so we stuck close to home doing a whole lot of nothing followed by some burritos for dinner, strawberry cake for dessert, and the Bachelorette for entertainment. #teamluke

Just like that I'm a whole year older. In case you youngsters are wondering, 33 feels exactly the same as 32. And 31. And even 30... ;) 

"Life is too short to be lived counting the years." ~ unknown