Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunny California and the Big 3-0

Our family recently had the privilege of traveling to Hermosa Beach outside of Los Angeles for a lovely 5 day stay in a beach house. We went with all of the members of my family which made it ten times more fun! The kids loved spending time with their Meme and Pepe as well as all of their Aunts and Uncles. No cousins yet on that side, but my sister Megan and her husband Travis are working on that and are due to have a baby a few months after Dillard #3 arrives.

Our house - RIGHT on the beach!

The kids LOVED the airport experiences, did awesome on the plane ride (non-stop THANKFULLY) and were in heaven spending so much quality time with their favorite people. Oliver was in his element on the beach... he could run, skip, hop and flick his ears to his heart's content. Outside. In the sun. While running from the waves. Is there a better place for an active little boy.

We were greeted right after arriving by my youngest sister Emily and Basilio... and a brand new engagement ring on her left hand! They had just gotten engaged a few days before and were waiting to share the happy news with us in person! We are so excited for them and can't wait to make Basilio an "official" member of the family although he already feels like he is a part!

Gabriella enjoyed being outside, but was much happier far away from the water. She enjoyed playing in the sand and SWINGING... her all time favorite outdoor activity. And this beach had a swing set on the beach right outside our front door. Too perfect.

A little Gabby-print

We took an afternoon to travel to Hollywood and see some sights there. We met up with a man who sang an awesome rap using the names of everyone in our group. We all laughed so hard - it really made the afternoon!

Rapping to the kids about Daddy

The kids weren't too sure what to make of it...

While we were there, I had a milestone birthday... the big 3-0! My sweet family did such an awesome job helping me celebrate. My sister made shirts for all of the girls and my kids advertising my age. My kids both wore shirts that said "My mom is 30," while my sisters wore "My sister is 30," my mom wore "My lil girl is 30," and I got to wear "I make 30 look good!" Fun times!

We got to spend the day with some unexpected guests as well since my completely thoughtful and amazing husband FLEW SOME OF OUR BEST FRIENDS DOWN FROM WASHINGTON FOR MY BIRTHDAY!!! I was in complete shock as we were walking though the streets of Hollywood to come across our friends Dewy and Jenni Webb and their 3 kids! I couldn't believe the coincidence... until I quickly learned it was not a coincidence at all! For weeks Matt had been plotting to fly them down to LA to join us for part of our trip as a way to make my birthday extra special. Boy was it! We've been friends for over 5 years, most of them while living in different cities. But it was so special to reconnect, see our kids playing together, and just pick up right where we left up. You gotta love friends like that. I am so thankful to them for making the trip and for my amazing husband for planning a surprise that I will never forget. And I had NO idea... which is probably the most amazing thing about it since I am pretty hard to surprise. My man went all out. Husband of the year!

Playing on the beach with the Webbs

Cohen, Jackson and Oliver playing at the beach

At my birthday lunch

The surprises weren't done yet, however. I was handed a gift bag that afternoon which contained a new dress and was told to put it on and be ready by 3pm... and that's it. I had no idea where we were headed. But the whole gang (including my cousin Ashley and her husband who drove up from San Diego) headed out the door... and into a stretch Hummer Limo! WOW! We took a drive through LA up to Beverly Hills and enjoyed driving down Rodeo Drive and around that beautiful area of LA. I felt extremely blessed!

We ended the night with an amazing dinner at a Steakhouse in Hermosa Beach. Being surrounded by my family and close friends on my birthday was exactly where I wanted to be. Thank you to all of you for making it so special and memorable for me!

For more pictures of our trip, click here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Floors

When we moved into this house, we were greeted by new carpet. New WHITE carpet. The owners before us obviously did not have dogs or kids. We weren't thrilled with the carpet, but considering it was brand new (so new we had to wear little booties on our shoes as we toured the house prior to buying it) we decided to live on it for a while until we killed it. Well that didn't take too very long with toddlers and dogs in the house. About a month ago, we finally decided that after almost 2 years of the white carpet, it was time to get something a little more durable and stain resistant in our dining room and living room. We went with hardwood floors and are thrilled with the result! It only took the workers two days to put them in.

The kids were fascinated by the whole process and excitedly told anyone who would listen that the "mans" took out our rug and put in some "new wood." When Matt got home from work the day the floors were finished he told him "Dad, go in the living room and look down!"

Here are some pictures of the final result:

Oliver flicking his ears once his rug was replaced... with his little copycat following right behind. He really missed being able to do this nightly routine. During the middle of the construction, Oliver looked at me with sadness and said "I just want to flick my ears!"

A little late...

...but so cute I can't pass up posting them! Our snow day back in February!! We had over 7 inches. Our kids had great fun making snow angels. Oliver told me we wanted to eat it - so they attempted that too. It was so fun to have a winter wonderland right out our front door. Especially because it only lasted a few days!

Angel Oliver

Angel Gabriella

Pretty in Pink

Gabby eating snow

Oliver trying to catch the snow

The view out of our front door