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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunny Santa Barbara

We got out of the dreary fog and rain the first week of January to celebrate Randy's birthday. Randy didn't care where we went, so it was all up to me. I decided on Santa Barbara because I had never been there. I loved it (and so did he)! The city was beautiful and the architecture stunning. We loved all the history there. It was a great way to celebrate Randy's big day. I love sharing a "first" with him....:)

In front of the Courthouse Clock Tower 

Here we are UP in the tower...unbelievable views...and heights...ugh. I freaked out a little.

The birthday boy with his daughter

This phone booth inside the courthouse was so cool!

Patrick and Ellie on one of the many staircases

I love all the texture the scenery provided for my pictures

Parts of the courthouse were completely open to the outside- no windows!

The Law Library inside the Courthouse was be-a-u-tiful!

Nicholas  :)

The grounds outside the courthouse were expansive. The kids played in sunken gardens for quite sometime before we continued on our historic walking tour.

Here the kids are at The Presidio. We bought Ellianah a purple paper flower...she loves purple.

Patrick loved the "pizza oven" he found in the back yard

This is outside of the local museum we stopped into. They had some really cool artifacts, paintings, historic clothing, etc. And admission is donation only.

Patrick stopped me in the middle of town when he saw this fountain...he wanted me to take picture after picture of him falling off the dolphin. That kid cracks me up sometimes...

However, when it came to Benjamin Franklin he was very standoffish and didn't want to sit in his lap like I asked him to.

The Santa Barbara Mission...they call it the Queen of all the missions

Ellianah was such a trooper.

And what a cutie...

This is in the graveyard section of the mission.

The front of the mission was partially destroyed twice by earthquake and then restored.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

This was a pretty big Botanic Garden up the hills of Santa Barbara. The scenery was beautiful and it was big enough that you felt like you were hiking in some sections. Part of the garden incorporates the old water aqueducts used for the mission.

She walked the entire time with nary a complaint.




Peek a boo!

There were many trails that went through the garden...Christian kept us pretty much on track.

Nick found a tiny frog

Okay...so this is toward the end of our second day and you can see that Ellie is completely losing it...

So it's just the boys now...

This is what happens when I'm done taking pictures...
pure chaos.

We loved Santa Barbara.
We love the memories we made there.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Favorite Pictures of 2010...and what they tell me.

At the end of each year I love looking through all the pictures that I took that year.
It's such a great reminder that time is precious and that none of knows how much we have. I believe in living each day like it's my last....I don't always succeed, but it's my goal every day.

This picture reminds me that I need to have my kids hair cut more often...

This picture was while we were miniature golfing...Randy ALWAYS beats me. It reminds me that when I'm ahead on the first nine I need to keep my cool and not blow it!

One of my all time favorites! This picture was taken almost exactly one year ago.

Having family come visit is always a really special time.
 When you only see your family once or twice a year you know that the total amount of time you will see them in the next decade will be measured in weeks, not years...you have to make it count!

My "young man"...we have banished the word "teenager" in our family in hopes that he will strive to be something more mature...I'll let you know how that goes.

I always miss my kids binkies once they are gone...I really missed Ellie's this last weekend while the entire car had to listen to her cry for an hour. Aren't babies with binkies sooooo cute?

Possibly my all time favorite of 2010...this was in Avila.   :)

Best Father's Day present ever....

This picture was from Randy and I's anniversary trip to the Mendocino Coast in August. It was really great to get away just the two of us. this picture reminds me that love needs our time and attention to grow stronger.

One of my best pictures...Eliie does not usually stay still enough for me to get a crystal clear shot of her...Love those eyes.

This reminds me of the joy that my friends (and their kids) bring into my life...spending time with them takes me away from my "norm" and allows me to be fun and goofy.

A snake is a great pet to have if you are forgetful when it comes to feeding...I don't know how it survives!

I am TERRIFIED of heights...and I think it's getting worse. I can face my fears okay when it's just me, but I can't stand for my children to be anywhere near any precipice. This was our trip to Utah...and Bryce Canyon.

Hume Lake...shorts and t-shirts...what could be better...

You might not know it, but this man is incredible. He is the most loving, supportive, unselfish husband I could ask for.

My BOYS...aren't they cute?

Randy on the SKUNK Train...also from our Mendocino trip. I can't get enough of him in that grey sweater...I don't know what it is!

Grandma's lap, eating watermelon.

I love this picture because Patrick was so protective of Ellianah that day. He never strayed far from her side, even though dad and his brothers were closer to the lake having fun. I was so impressed by him.

Nicholas is my most photogenic son...he loves to have his picture taken, too. This was New Year's Day at Shaver Lake and it seemed like every time I turned the camera on someone else, he had some trick or something he wanted me to take a picture of.   :)

Patrick love Ellianah...when he is not tormenting her...:)

This picture perfectly captures one of the things I love about camping. A delicious, hot dinner (that I didn't have to cook), and my family all gathered around a table-outdoors!

My mom at the beach. I look at this and remember to seize the day. To not let my to-do list get in the way of enjoying my family.

Christian loves archery...I am terrified someone will die because of it. This picture reminds me to let my kids follow their dreams...(and to keep small children out of the way while they do)

Civil War Reenactment

Mother's Day

Here are my light eyed beauties.

How precious is this? I love this girl so much. What a sweet blessing she has been for all of us. None of us can get enough of her...except in that car ride I mentioned previously....then we were all at our Ellie limit.

This picture just makes me smile...
someday I will display it at her wedding.

Randy and I kayaking...we almost fell in the water trying to take this picture...it reminds me of how much fun I have with him...and how he always makes me laugh!

This was at her big brother's birthday party. Everyone wore plaid...and it looked so cute!

She loved this place in Utah. It made me wish we could recreate it in our backyard...coolness with no risk of drowning..

This is how she steals his heart...

Another camping favorite...

Travel picture again...this was a completely unexpected stop on our road trip. It reminds me to stop and smell the roses, so to say.


I get so excited when I think about all the memories that will be made this year, Lord willing...