Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Huntington Beach Weekend

 Before our busy summer began, Scott and I were able to get away for a weekend in one of our most favorite cities EVER...Huntington Beach!  It just happens to be the city where two of our very best friends live too!  We flew JetBlue into Long Beach and what a pleasant experience.   Easy Peasy.  We walked a few feet to our rental car and headed to Thom and Jane's house!
 The first night there, we ate at Duke's on the water and made our traditional trek to the end of the pier.  Really, HB HAS TO BE one of the coolest cities on the planet.
 The weather was PERFECT. Duh.
 These two were little BFF twinnies one day!  They were headed to the Angels game while Jane and I hit the mall!
 We ate at the coolest restaurant! Nieuport 17 has the most elegant "old country club" look inside.  It was covered in old aeronautical pics, which made my pilot hubby love it too!
 Jane and I did some shopping damage in Seal Beach one day too.  Precious.
 The four of us went to Fashion Island to look around before having dinner and I was SO EXCITED to get to look in Vineyard Vines! (the weather had taken a turn for the HUMID, so my hair was literally puffing out by the minute!!)
 That night we celebrated Jane's upcoming birthday at Flemings Restaurant... we had never been there before, but I believe it is even better than my old fave, Ruth's Chris!
 They brought Jane the yummiest dessert platter, a coupon for a dinner on her next visit AND a box of Godiva chocolates! Sheesh!  Step it UP, Ruth's Chris, step it uppppp!
Jane is one of the sweetest, smartest, most precious people I have EVER known.
Scott and Thom have been friends since they were babies!  Their parents attended Bob Jones University together.  Thom and Scott spent one year at BJU together before Scott transferred to Liberty (and I am so glad he did, or I would have never found him!!)
 We were able to change our tickets to stay one extra night, so Scott and I said goodbye to the Doney's and Huntington Beach and drove up to Hermosa Beach to spend the night. We had a great day just sitting at the beach.  It was drizzly and windy but still so beautiful.
What a darling beach town! I can't wait to go back.
  GUESS WHAT?  On our way to the airport we drove right past the ERIN CONDREN office!  I can't wait to go back during business hours to see it in action! Oh the thought of meeting Erin Condren in PERSON! If you don't know who I am talking about go here!
 The Target there had the most AWESOME bags!  Look at those handles!!! Not the flat paper handles- the rolled, extra sturdy ones. Ahhhh.  I still have my bag almost two months later. No lie.  I empty it and reuse it.  Why ohhhh whyyyyyy didn't I get some more??
 Sadly we had to pack up and head home.....
 But not before we stopped by the sinful Sweet Jill's for one last cinnamon roll.  Seriously a good thing we do NOT have any of these bakeries in Redding. Seriously. Like, seriously.
Jet Blue is  my new favorite airline...can you say TV on the back of each seat...HGTV & Food Network kept me plenty entertained!  All airlines would benefit from the investment of in-flight entertainment.  Less grouchy travellers, no crying kids.  For reals.

We had a great little getaway and got some much needed rest and down time.  But, I was ready to get home because my college girl was on her way home just 3 days after we got home!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Afternoon Cruises With Lindsay

 You would think there are too many things to do at a camp to fit into a day.  You really would.  But, if you are Lindsay Luff, you need someone to 'help' you do ALL of those things. Well, guess WHO that person is for Lindsay....yep, it's me.
We have our little routine, the same one we have had for many years. 
When Lindsay wakes up, she makes a beeline to MY bed where we lay and talk for close to an hour, usually.  She has many important things to discuss, of course.
When she finally thinks she is ready, we get dressed and head over to my Mom and Dad's little apartment where Lindsay eats breakfast ( since we NEVER make it in time to eat in the dining room)and watches a little PBS while Grandma waits on her hand and foot, and picks up all the scraps of paper that Lindsay has been cutting...with know, 'cause Grandma is cool like that and lets her use them!
 After lunch ,( if it is warm enough) we head to the lake and Lindsay plays FOR-E-VER in the sand (and usually talks a few staff kids into helping her build a sand castle) She even swims in the frigid water!
 After a warm bath and some nice clean clothes, we head out to find the golf cart, load up, and take our daily tour around the 45 acres of camp.  It's a great time killer before dinner.  My mom will sometimes join us on our rides and Lindsay LOVES that!
 We visit the tractor,
 Go out near the sign to check for deer,
 and just drive wherever we think we want to go!
 I love to check the water  at Bailey Creek, but Lindsay does NOT like it when we drive up too close!
 WE check the tent, and peek inside to see if the group had a cute decorative theme that week.  Some of our groups really out-do themselves!
 We love to drive up next to the upper (fishing) lake to look at the ginormous toads...YUCK! We ALWAYS scream when they hop unexpectedly as I am trying to point them out to Lindsay.  Then we laugh hysterically at our "jumpiness".

All these things are fun, but the thing she loves the BEST is going "Trash Pickin' with her grandpa! They get their gloves on and collect all the empty soda cans that the campers have thrown away!
(I tried doing it one's gross. I was POSITIVE I could earn enough money to buy a Louis Vuitton bag....I happily drove "down the hill" with a truckload of hard work...and when the guy at the recycling center gave me $47.25 I promptly retired.)
It has not been warm enough at camp for too many swimming days, and right now we are having stormy weather at Lindsay and I are spending a few days at home.  We hit the mall, bought flip flops and even got a few school clothes! She is good company and last night as I was praying for all my girls, I thanked God that he saw fit to give me this very "special" blessing.
Life would not be the same without this girl.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gnarly, Lindsay, and Party of Five Again

 I found my Gnarly Neon pics, so I am gonna post a few, for memory's sake. 
It was so much fun, and even waiting for our "wave" to start the race was fun! Beach balls were bouncing everywhere and people went ALL out in their race garb! Lots and lots of tutus (which we ALMOST wore and will FOR SURE wear next time!)
 We have had matching shoes in Boot Camp for a while...we all love them (and no worries!  They cane clean after the run).
 As we ran through the different color stations, we were attacked with 'gnarly neon' colors.
 Kristen and I after we met up at the finish line :) She has become one of my best and dearest friends (not to mention my accountability partner for going to the gym)!
 What an accomplishment!
 Anna kept texting me and saying "WHERE are you? We finished a long time ago!!" (she WAS in one of the first waves of runners, I think we were in the 6th or 7th).
 My first official race garb. 

Lindsay has really made progress this year (I will do another post on her first year of high school later:)
One morning as she was going out the door for school she yelled back, "Mommy, I left you a surprise on the counter!!"
She sure did. 
 Her name has never looked more precious to me.
 Her art repertoire has sure developed into actual pictures!  Her spacial awareness is amazing.  Heads are in proportion and there are obvious arms and legs!
 I love this lady's big, red, lips.
 There is even grass sometimes.
 And blue sky!
 One thing I have LOVED about this year are the aides and the teacher in Lindsay's class.  There was a fishing field trip and I received the cutest text messages and pictures from sweet Janene.  Her presence in Lindsay's life has been a gigantic blessing to us! (and what fun to get pictures of Lindsay during her day at school!)
 What a fun opportunity for this girl!  They have fishing guides who patiently work with the "special" kids to help them catch fish!  Lindsay had a blast!
 The highlight of the last month HAS TO BE the big sister's arrival home from college!
 I know it's ridiculous, but I think it is so fun to have gifts on the bed waiting for you.  My mom did it for me and I remember how welcomed I always felt when I got home from Liberty (same college my girl attends!!) too.
 I stayed home and prepared the girl's favorite meal while her dad and lil sis flew down to Sacramento to get her.
 Lindsay was indescribably excited all day (I didn't tell her until that morning that Shae would be coming because she would have driven me to the funny farm, and clearly, I already have reservations there.
It's wonderful to be a 'party of five" once again!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Waking Up The Ol' Blog

 I am not sure how I neglected to post on this blog for so long, but I am determined to become a regular blogger again.  It is my only record of our life's events. 
I have been busy with my new life as a gym-going I think that is my excuse. For now. I have been enjoying my new energy, my thinner body and lots of new clothes! (I can even wear JCrew!!)
I ran (I use that term loosely) my first 5K.  It was the gnarly neon color run.  It was a BLAST! All my spin class/boot camp friends and I did it together .(Anna did it too, but left me in the dust)  We started out nice and clean, and then finished pretty "gnarly" with neon colors all over us (wish I could find the pics on this stupid laptop).
Doing a 5K is such an easy thing for most people.  To me, it was a BIG DEAL.  I even cried when I got home.  Cross THAT off my bucket list.
I thought I might want to do another race of some sort, but I have developed knee issues...I had a cortisone shot in my left knee and I am totally getting one in my right knee next!  I hope it helps and I can continue on my quest for fitness.
This year Anna's school did a Father/Daughter evening.  Scott was impressed and so blessed. There was a beautiful challenge by one of the teachers who encouraged the dads to be the godly leaders their daughters need, she didn't have a father like that and she shared her testimony of rebelling for many years.  She is such a gift to our school!  I am so thankful that she is able to attend a school  that promotes these kind of events.  Priceless memory!
 I can't believe my BABY girl just graduated 8th grade and is now an official High School girl.  Where have the years gone?
 Shae flew home from college in time for the big night.
 My parents came out from Arizona, and will be with us at camp all summer.  I love love love having them here! They are in their 80's and still so energetic and so funny! (Lindsay is especially happy that they are here!)
 Anna was chosen by her classmates to give the speech at graduation.  YIKES!  She was nervous but you would have NEVER known it!  She did a beautiful job and even made her big sister cry!  Her theme was "choices" and what a challenge she delivered!  How blessed we are that she is such a good girl, makes good choices herself and has a heart after God's.  I don't know what else we could ever want from her.
 With Grandma and Papa Luff
Scott and Anna had spent the previous week at Ecology Camp FREEZING to death but having a great time white water rafting and participating in many challenges.  Anna's team actually ended up winning for the week! Scott kept texting me and saying how proud he was of her for jumping right in, participating and being a real leader.  She is a good girl! What a way to end her Jr. High years!
I am so excited for her as I look forward to all the fun times she has ahead of her in high school.  Shae absolutely LOVED high school and I know Anna will too!