Thursday, October 31, 2013

We Celebrate Beatrice

Today is Beatrice's birthday, Halloween. We don't celebrate Halloween, and Beatrice knows why, but shielding our kids from a holiday we don't participate in while having a child with a Halloween birthday has proven to be really difficult. Everyone just assumes that we celebrate and when they learn that Beatrice's birthday is on the same day, they probe her on costume selections, trick or treating, and jack o lanterns. She looks up at me, waiting to see if she can say it or if I will: "we don't celebrate Halloween."

She's glad to not celebrate. She doesn't like anything about the holiday, it all scares her and makes her sad. We talk about what God says about witches, magic, the devil, and evil creatures. She knows it's all an abomination to Him and that for us, celebrating a holiday that endorses those things does not honor Him.

Awhile ago I realized how sensitive she is to the stuff we don't celebrate. It made me sad because I never want her to feel bad for having her birthday on the same day as Halloween. We have talked a lot about how the world does some things that we don't, but we don't have to be ashamed of having a Halloween birthday. Our focus on October 31st is celebrating Beatrice.

And we love celebrating her. She's the sweetest, most thoughtful, hilarious, dramatic, and creative little 4 year old girl. She is a great singer, dancer, and bike rider. She loves her friends with all her heart, she loves her sister all the way to the sky, and she loves her parents so much it makes her cry, she says. She is beautiful and strong-willed, kind and sensitive. She is worth celebrating and it's my goal to make sure she is excited about her birthday each year, even if we don't celebrate Halloween. We will always celebrate her because she is awesome and she's ours.

She's the best thing about Halloween.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

San Diego In A Day

When my friend and I made plans to go apple picking last weekend, we decided to make it an overnight trip. San Diego was only a short drive from the orchards so after our apple haul, we drove to the city. We only had a day and a half to explore and we wanted to make the most of our time there, so we made a list of the best things to do in the city with kids and focused on 4 places, 3 of which I have photos of.

2 mamas and 4 kids shared a giant hotel room on Sunday night after dinner in Old Town. I don't have any photos of Old Town, but imagine a wild west town with lots of Mexican restaurants. That was about it. It was colorful and loud, the kids loved it. After dinner, we hurried home to get our babes in bed. It was a wild night of jumping on the beds (every single one), giggles, and threatening kids to go to sleep. Carlie and I barely slept (it was HOT in there) and 7 o'clock came early, but it was a super fun sleepover.

Coronado Island

Coronado is a lovely beach town with beautiful craftsmen homes, sidewalk cafes, historic hotels, and the BEACH! This was our first stop of the day. We parked in town, grabbed coffee and donuts, and walked to the beach. The kids went straight for the dunes, running up and sliding down over and over. We put our toes in the sand, waved to dolphins, and chased our babies.

Balboa Park

We left the beach around 1 and went to Balboa Park. I had no idea what to expect. Friends told us we'd love it, there would be museums and ponds and play areas, but it was more than I expected. It was all of that and more. Sculptures, art installations, and culture were crammed in every inch of the sprawling park. Colors, sounds, textures, Balboa Park had it all. We walked, we played, we learned. I could have stayed all day.

La Jolla Cove

The only thing I really wanted to see in San Diego were the seals. Our last stop of the day before heading home was La Jolla Cove. We watched the seals sunbathe, explored the tide pools, and decided we were too tired to go find food so we ordered a pizza and had it delivered to the beach. I love my life.

We watched the sky turn orange, then black, then we drove home. It was the perfect end to a whirlwind weekend exploring a new place. I can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Apple Picking

Recently I googled "The Top 10 Things To Do In L.A. In The Fall" and apple picking was at the top of the list. I researched and decided apple picking was going to be right up my alley, I needed to pick apples fresh from a tree. Also, I knew the girls would love it so this weekend we packed up, drove to orchard country, and picked apples with friends.

Everything about picking apples was fun. The orchards were located in the most beautiful farmland I've ever laid eyes on. Imagine mountains in the background, fruit trees for miles, blue skies, lakes, and winding country roads that lead to modest farm houses. It was perfect.

We paid $10 to fill up a bag of apples, plus you could eat as many as you wanted while harvesting. The kids loved it. Penelope ate 3 apples while we were picking! They were so good.

After we left the orchards, we went up the road to the historic town of Julian for a cider break. We found lots of shops selling handmade candies, preserves, and ciders along with fresh local honey, nuts, and baked goods. It was a quaint busy, little town. I spent $45 on pies. What? I was intoxicated by the fresh mountain air and high on apples! Plus, I really like pie.

Apple picking was definitely in the top 10 best falls things I've ever done. If there are orchards near you, GO! It's so fun harvesting your own food and exploring a new place.

Part 2 of our adventures coming soon...