Friday, December 31, 2010

A California Christmas, plus some.

First comes the plus some: Carson visiting Santa at Joel’s work. Can you tell how excited, uh I mean, terrified he was? Thank goodness for Mrs. Clause and her jingle bell.



We were lucky enough to spend a week in {semi} sunny Southern California for Christmas. We were reluctant to go when the opportunity presented itself, you know, with me being 8 months pregnant and all, but obliged after looking at and comparing Milwaukee to San Diego weather in late December. It was a no brainer.

So off we went. Our flight left late on the 21st. Like 7:30pm late. We weren’t scheduled to get in until 11:30pm California time, which is 1:30am our time. Are flights ever on time though? No. We did not land until 12:30am California time and still had to get our rental car and check into the hotel. Luckily, Carson was a champ and slept the entire 4 hour flight. Unluckily, for Joel and me, it meant we did not sleep a wink because he was sprawled out on our laps. He awakened as the plane landed and acted as though he was fully rested, full of energy and jabbering away. We made it through the torrential downpours- no kidding, we were soaked from being outside under a canopy while waiting for a shuttle- with our 5 bags plus a stroller and a car seat to the rental car and finally our hotel. I was exhausted, Joel was exhausted, but guess who was ready to party? You got it! We had to go through his whole bed time routine to get him to wind down and he still protested going back to sleep. Lil’ stinker. He finally fell asleep at 2:30am and slept until 6am. At 6 I got up, put cartoons on for him and went back to sleep. Every so often one of us would check on him and then resume our semi-restful sleep. This continued for 3 hours! We let the kid watch 3 hours of straight TV! I think we should get the worst parent of the year award! :)

When we finally pried our eyes open and got out of bed, we were welcomed by more rain. We went to brunch at this organic/wholesome restaurant called ‘The Mission’  and then went to La Jolla. We enjoyed a quiet afternoon there, watching surfers, seals and letting Carson get his feet in the sand. That kid absolutely loves the beach, or as he calls it the ‘bitch’. Our beach time abruptly ended when a wave came in and knocked him over, fully clothed mind you, and almost completely submerged him. I wish I would have gotten a picture of it but I was too grumpy from lack of sleep to think of it.

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From La Jolla we headed up to Coto de Caza, where a good family friend lives, and met my mom, Makenna and Tyler. The Stucki’s were very generous to open their home to us for four fabulous days.

I was able to spend Thursday ALL ALONE with my mom shopping!  I cannot tell you the last time we did that- it was a total blast.  Carson and Joel spent the day as bachelors on Laguna Beach.


Friday, Christmas Eve, we finished some last minute shopping and then headed back to Laguna because it was a beautiful day to let Carson roam the beach. We spent the day, just the 3.75 of us, and it was perfect.

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Christmas Eve night was like no other I have had before. We spent the majority of the evening watching YouTube videos, to which I laughed so hard, I’m surprised I did not induce labor. This was one of my favorites:

Christmas Day was amazing. Carson slept until 7:30 and then we opened presents. Lots of presents. Too many presents to fit in our luggage, but that is another story! We were spoiled this year. We ate our traditional Cinnabread French Toast from Great Harvest Bread with German pancakes for breakfast/brunch, had a little devotional, then enjoyed the rest of the day playing with the toys and gifts we got. I napped that day with Carson and then went to bed at 7:30pm and slept thru the night. I told you Christmas was amazing. Sleep was one of the best gifts I got that day!


Sunday we drove my mom to Oceanside so she could go to lunch with some of her cousins. The weather was less than ideal- think cool, cloudy and windy- so we drove along the coast and enjoyed our ocean view. We did manage to get out of the car and walk the pier for a short time in Oceanside and took one picture:

P1100818 Monday was our last day and was the most gorgeous of all the days. We started our day off with a hike at Torrey Pines State Park. I have to admit, I am not a State Park kinda girl, but Joel loves them, and because I love him, I agreed to go. It is right on the coast and has magnificent views of the ocean from the top of a mountain with trails leading down to the beach. I am so glad we went Joel forced me to go because I absolutely adore the ocean. The waves, the smell, just the wonder of that great body of water. If it weren’t so dang expensive, we would move there in a second…along with the rest of the world. :) We dropped by the San Deigo Temple- hello, how can you miss it on the 5??- and for our last activity of the trip we headed back to La Jolla for one last hurrah and some more beach time. P1100830P1100852

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We flew out Tuesday morning, only to be ushered back to Milwaukee with snow and cold. What did we expect though? After all, it is December.  On a side note, Carson got a backpack/suitcase for Christmas that he is obsessed with. It’s a dang good thing we had a 3.5 hour layover because he insisted on walking with it from gate to gate. Holding it while riding in the stroller was not good enough! I have to admit, he was pretty cute toting that ugly thing around.


As always, it feels good to be home after a vacation. Well,  minus the cold/flu that managed to wipe out Joel for the past 2.5 days. Yuck. I did not picture our last days of Christmas vacation being cooped up taking care of a sicky. I guess that comes with the whole mom/wife territory though. :)

So here I am, 11:15PM on New Years Eve with Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark in the background, posting on my blog because my boys are sleeping. What a glamorous life I live, right?? Amid all the parties, commotion, and craziness tonight, I am actually grateful for some quiet time to reflect upon what a great year 2010 has been and anticipate what 2011 will bring. Cheers!