Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yosemite Camping Adventure

Our friends the Geisheimers asked us to go camping at Yosemite with them 6 months ago and the trip finally happened!  They took it upon themselves to go to the trouble of making the reservations (5 months in advance) and we got to go camp at one of God's gorgeous creations!

Tom practice camped with the kids a couple of times in the backyard to get them used to it and to see what we'd need for bedding.  Laura was thrilled each time they did it. 

 There was a rocket launch kindof on the way to Yosemite, so we left a day early in order see it take off.  We couldn't get on base to see it up close, so we drove up a (very twisty, full of switch backs, no guard rails, one lane, very bumpy, "Are we going to die??") mountain road in order to watch.  We made it alive (and without going into labor) and arrived in plenty of time to see it.  The kids were just happy to get out of the car and promptly started playing in the dirt and throwing rocks off the side of the mountain.

 Belly shot at 28 weeks

 It turned out that we were a bit farther away than we'd expected, so this is what we saw.  Kinda small, but we did see a rocket launch and had an adventure in the process.

 We had a few blissful hours of peace and quiet while they both conked out.  This was, sadly, not repeated on the drive home.

Next to a giant sequoia in Mariposa Grove!

Katie and Laura with the Grizzly Giant

The California Tunnel Tree - It has a big hole in it and it's still alive.

 It wasn't a long hike, but little legs get tired, so Tom got to do triple duty.  He asked if his load and mine were even.  I said no :)

 A baby (relatively speaking) giant sequoia.

 Andrew was in heaven.  This was relatively clean for him compared to what he looked like the rest of the weekend.

We brought and air mattress and planned (so we thought) ahead and brought a converter to use to blow it up.  However, our tent was 50+ feet away from where the car was parked... Thus some creativity ensued (it wouldn't fit through the tent door, so we had to blow it up in the street, inside the tent, and then carry the tent with the blown up mattress up the hill and then set the tent up around it--if it sounds complicated, that's because it was--almost as complicated as this sentence...).

Terrible picture, but the only one that I have of all of us (minus the photographer). We shared all our breakfasts and dinners with the Geisheimers.  It was nice to have company as well as share the cooking responsibilities.

 El Capitan - our view for lunch

Mama and her three little ones.

 Hiking down into Tuolumne Grove.

 The Dead Giant

 It was downhill all the way to the grove, so Tom got his exercise on the way back up. Surprisingly, the kids only rode halfway and then Andrew RAN the rest of the way up.

This is what happened anytime we were at the campsite.  I had come prepared with sand toys so they could play in the dirt  I just didn't expect it to be so dry that the dirt was dust.  It was pervasive and I had to resign myself to having very dirty (and very happy!) children.  

I washed this outfit twice and it still bears the evidence of hard play.

The only thing the kids didn't like about getting so dirty was having to be washed off before bed every night.  We had to rinse them off in cold water that we had to tote from the spigot by the restrooms.  When Laura got home and had a warm bath, she told us that she much preferred it to the cold rinsing she got while camping!

El Capitan and Half Dome 

 At the Glacier Point viewpoint.  Absolutely beautiful in every direction.

 Heading home

 Only a little antsy on the long drive.

Overall, it was a really good trip.  The kids did great - they slept better than we did and really enjoyed being outdoors so much.  I surprised myself and did pretty well, too!  While I didn't see any other visibly pregnant women, I now know that camping while 7 months pregnant isn't too bad.  I was, however, glad that the trip was only three nights.  I was more than ready to get back to running water, clean bathrooms, a dust-free house and my refrigerator!  Thanks to Tom and the Geisheimers for making this trip happen!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Family Photos

We managed to squeeze in a photo shoot with Tom's long-time friend, Tim Harman, while we were on the East coast.  I'm so glad we made time for it - he got some wonderful shots (in spite of Andrew's inability to sit still) that I will treasure for years to come.  Thanks, Tim!

 Laura loves her Daddy!

 Getting two little ones to sit still and cooperate was a little challenging.  I feel like in every picture where Andrew is forced to sit still he looks void of all life.

Tom didn't manage to throw Andrew quite as high as last year :) 

 He's happy now that he's moving!
 Can't catch him!

 Stopping to smell the flowers.

 Me and my cuties!

 My favorite picture from the day.

Happy again!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Trip to Mandalay Beach

Back in March, we cashed in some of Tom's hotel points (we've gotta get some benefit to all Tom's traveling!) and stayed right on the beach in Oxnard.  The weather was cool, but we had a good time just  being together.  The kids LOVED the beach and after Andrew discovered the water, we had our work cut out for us keeping him from taking a freezing cold swim!