Monday, November 26, 2018

Snow Day

We weren't home from LA for 48 hours and the snow came falling down. The Sunday following Thanksgiving there was a BLIZZARD warning and although we didn't get multiple feet of snow, due to the wind, there were places that were pretty darn deep. & it was FREEZING. The boys begged to go out and we held out as long as we could and finally when it stopped actually snowing and blowing, we said yes. They lasted longer than I expected too. 

& right before they were headed off to bed they learned that they were headed off to bed they learned that school had been canceled, extending their little vacation another day. They were stoked.

Monday morning arrived and they once again were begging to go out. Finally after lunch when the sun was out I said yes and they took off to the back yard to play with Gus. Gus isn't much of a snow lover like our Brodi was but he played for a little bit before asking to be let back in by the fire.

They came back in, warmed up and headed right back out. When I looked out to check on them, Kaden was across the street helping our neighbor clear her driveway. I love his heart. They had a long ways to go so I decided to take my lunch break and help out.

Once they were back inside it was back to the puzzles. We went through 4 that weekend. Puzzles are something that make the boys and I happy--we love being able to sit down, in our pjs and work on them together. We've probably got 15 that we circle through, we've lost a few too many pieces to good ole' Gus but they still work!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Back, Back to Cali, Cali

Over the last few years we been splitting our Thanksgiving holidays between being in KC and then being with our framily in Milwaukee. Last year they came to KC, they year before we went to Milwaukee, so this year, it was our turn to travel again but this time, they weren't in Milwaukee. They had just moved to LA--so I guess that meant we were headed to LA.

& to LA we went. 

Flights were actually relatively cheap and so we left bright and early on Saturday morning from KC and we chased the sunrise, spent 7 glorious days and came home the following Friday evening. We already had a JAMMED pack week filled with lots of fun activities and THEN the Rams, Chiefs game was changed from Mexico City to LA -- and we were trying to figure out how to fit it all in. But first, the beach.

And snakes. Yes, snakes. Logan saw a couple who had three boas and he immediately asked if he could go over and hold one. He didn't even know if they were ones which he could hold but that wasn't going to stop him. I supported him, although hesitantly, with my camera. I should have known he wouldn't have an ounce of fear in his body--he's one with all animals and if this kid doesn't end up working with animals in some form or another when he grows up, I'd be surprised.

& just as I was about to say, "Thanks" to the kind lady and gentleman, the snake was coming off of Logan and being thrown over my shoulder and the REALLY BIG snake was being placed on his shoulders. I guess we were both doing this. 

And then Julian joined in on the fun. And Gigi. Kaden watched from a safe distance away, happily, I may add. 

After lunch we headed to the beach. The water was cold but that didn't stop the kids from running into it. They built "castles", they played football, they chased birds and each other. We saw dolphins jumping and pelicans diving. We were surrounded by some of our favorite people and life was good.

Sunday brought more sunshine and soccer. We were lucky enough to catch not only one of Julian's games but he scored his FIRST goal of the season that day too! We were all so happy for him.

Monday was one of the longer days of the trip. We had plans to be at the ScienCenter but we were also thinking about going to the football game. The boys had never been to a regular season game of the Chiefs but then again, we were in LA and we just weren't sure what the crowd would bring. So we talked it through--maybe Justin and Justin would just go. Maybe our family would just go. Maybe Justin and Justin and the boys would go. And then, we found out that the stadium that we were going be headed to was LITERALLY right across the parking lot from where we would be spending our entire day at. I mean, if that isn't God telling you to JUST DO IT, I'm not sure what it is. 

So we did it. All of us. Quinn included.

Justin was pumped. The boys were pumped.  I was pumped.

But first--ScienCenter. Where we got to see the Endeavor up close and personal & watch an IMAX about the journey to space. All of the kids were mesmerized. And then we explored. And we ate. And then explored some more.

Finally, it was game time. We headed to the cars, added some additional clothing layers and off we went into the see of blue and red. So many Chiefs fans there. 

We were pretty early but I like being early. We easily found our seats. We were able to grab a few pictures & more importantly, snacks and food for the kiddos.

It was game time & to say that this was probably one of the most EPIC games in the history of football would be an understatement. It was tied at halftime and then the Rams started to pull ahead but then as quickly as they pulled ahead the Chiefs came roaring back and even took the lead. Only to have the lead taken back from them but with time running out they had a chance to win it but they couldn't. It was an offensive battle from the get go and hopefully a little preview to what the Super Bowl could be---only we would prefer a different outcome.

It was crazy. It was loud. People were everywhere but they were sooooo kind to us and to the boys. We were actually surrounded by Chiefs fans and they were loving interacting with the boys after big plays. Everyone would turnaround and just start high-fiving them. The boys were eating it up. Seeing the game through their eyes was pretty special and certainly a highlight to our year.

Driving home was fun too--actually, for never having driven in LA traffic, I think I did pretty good.

Tuesday was a down day. Tugce and I got to spend time at the spa while the men took care of the kids. Wednesday brought a little more downtime--the Souths spent the morning at the beach because the Garrett kids weren't feeling too well & then we had Thanksgiving as a framily. The Garretts invited a couple over that Justin knew from his time in KC & Justin cooked us all up a feast. We ate beef tenderloin, had Janet's sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cheese cake -- so much yumminess all at once. And as great as the evening was, it was an early bedtime for all because we had a bright and early departure Thanksgiving morning.

We were headed to DISNEYLAND!

That's right, on the busiest week of the year, we were going to Disneyland and keeping our fingers crossed that Thanksgiving would be the slowest day of that week. & for the most part, I think it was.

We had park hopper tickets with the max pass so we instantly jumped into a line and while there we planned out the next few rides. First up was Tomorrowland and Buzz Lightear Astro Blasters which we all rode. And everyone enjoyed but we knew that wouldn't be the case for every ride so we created the A Team and the B Team. The A Team consisted of JG, me, Gigi, Logan and Julian -- the five of us would ride just about anything. The B Team, well, it was everyone else who wouldn't want to ride most things. After the Astro Blasters ride, The B Team rode it again with a fast pass while the A team jumped in a line outside of Astro Blasters for all the kids but after that it was pretty much divide and conquer:

Everyone rode - King Arthur Carrousel, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Astro Orbitor and Toy Story Midway Mania.

A Team also rode - Radiator Springs Racers, Soarin' Around the World, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Indiana Jones Adventure.

B Team rode - Star Tours (I didn't think Kaden would do it but Justin said he did great---Justin on the other hand, well, not so great.)

We rode. We played. We conquered TWO parks all in just a days time. The kids were honestly, awesome. We had a few breakdowns here and there but for the most part they rocked it and rallied and I think we may have been able to push them for a few more hours but the fast passes were done & we weren't really looking to wait in long lines so we called it good and headed home. I guess we did have a flight to catch that next day.

Speaking of that next day, we took it easy. We hung around the house and let the kids play outside and then grabbed lunch before saying goodbye to the ocean & then saying goodbye to our framily. I hate goodbyes and we all know that I cried when that time came -- seven days is a lot of days but it went by way too quick, it always does with the Garretts. We had the best time and it was exactly what our little family needed, uninterrupted family time with those we love most.

Till next time LA--Hollywood sign I'm coming for you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

World Kindness Day

For our fall family pictures I needed to get the boys something new to wear and so I went to the one place I also go now, Abercrombie Kids. I picked out a few button ups and then picked out a few Christmas shirts and then added these Choose Kindness shirts to my pile. I envisioned getting a picture of them wearing the shirts on the red steps and door after we grabbed a few family pictures. 

And while my vision came true--they were freezing. But it literally took 3 minutes to capture a couple pictures & this picture (taken with my phone) may just be one of my favorites yet. 

So, after I got the shot, I posted it to Instagram and I, of course, tagged Abercrombie Kids. A few days later they reached out and asked if they could use the image in their upcoming World Kindness Day email campaign.  Ummmmm, my kids, in an Abercrombie Kids campaign, ABSOLUTELY. I exchanged a few messages with them and they told me that the campaign would come out on the 13th, World Kindness Day. And what do you know, it did...

And not only were they featured at the top but they were featured as the cover image on their Instagram account, their Twitter account and their Facebook page. 

We always talk to them about how important it is to CHOOSE KINDNESS over anything else. That people will forget what you did or what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel. 

I couldn't have picked a better campaign for the boys to be part of and can we just give it up for Abercrombie Kids for promoting kindness. Kindness to one another, kindness to ourselves.

Choose Kind. Every Time.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sporting KC Advances

We took advantage of some last minute Sporting KC tickets that came our way and let me tell you, the seats were amazing! We decided to surprise the boys, they knew where we were going, they just didn't know how close we would be sitting and when they saw we were FRONT ROW, they lost their shit, in the BEST way possible!

With these tickets we also got to welcome the team to the field and as each player walked by, they high-fived each of the kids who were standing there cheering them on. Such a cool experience for the boys to take part in.

This was an important game for us. We had tied the first game at 1-1 but for some reason on the road goals count as more points so we really needed to make sure that we held them on our home court. And from what I know, Sporting KC is pretty darn good when it comes to matches on their court. It was shaping up to be a good game. 

We started the game out with a lot of back and forth and then GOAL. A SPORTING KC GOAL!

It didn't take long and the game was tied. But then, in the final minutes of play, Sporting KC scored TWO GOALS and coming away with not only a victory but with the rights to move forward in the playoffs. The energy in the stadium was at an all time high & the players were riding the wave. They made their way around the field thanking fans for coming out and thanks to a security guard who was right in front of us, a few players made their way over to the boys and posed for pictures. The boys were on cloud 9, so were mom and dad.

What an awesome experience for the boys and even more so for Justin and I as we watched it through their eyes. Now it's off to knockoff Portland. It's time to Claim the cup. Again.